A family support room has been officially opened on Byland Ward at Harrogate District Hospital, thanks to generous donations from local Freemasons and the Friends of Harrogate Hospital and Community Charity

The Masons Suite was officially opened by the Provincial Grand Master of Yorkshire, West Riding David Pratt following a £25,000 major grant from the Provincial Grand Master’s Fund, and £5,000 from the Friends of Harrogate Hospital and Community Charity.

The new Suite will improve patient experience on Byland Ward for patients, including those with dementia and learning disabilities. It includes reminiscence features and mood lighting and will provide a comforting non-clinical environment to patients.

Tammy Gotts, Matron, who has co-ordinated the efforts to open to the Masons Suite, said: 'The project has been two years in the making and we are delighted that the Masons Suite is now open.

'Our huge thanks go to the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding and the Friends of Harrogate Hospital and Community Charity, for their generous donations. Without them, the project would not have been possible. The Suite will improve the experience of staying in hospital for the patients on the ward.'

David Pratt said: 'It was my absolute honour to officially open the Masons Suite within Harrogate District Hospital’s Byland Ward.

'The grant application to financially support this initiative was made by Knaresborough Priory Lodge, and in the coming years it will help provide comfort and to countless people from the Harrogate district and beyond.

'In Harrogate and Knaresborough there are seven lodges, and all are active within the community. It is through to the generosity of our members that we are able to fund initiatives such as this family support room with the hospital.'

A Yorkshire scouting group has held a ceremony to launch a new boat named after a masonic magazine

Wharfedale Scout Sailing Centre was able to purchase four boats and a trailer, thanks to a £12,000 grant from the Freemasons Province of Yorkshire West Riding. And, to thank the organisation for its financial support, the scouts named one of their boats, White Rose, after the twice-yearly provincial publication.

The centre is a Royal Yachting Association recognised teaching establishment and activity centre administered primarily by the 3rd Bingley Sea Scouts, who are recognised by the Royal Navy.

The centre, located at Reva Reservoir, near Menston, is visited by scouts from all over the country who use the boats for their activities and courses.  

The road trailer now enables young students completing their Duke of Edinburgh qualifications to take boats away on expeditions.

Roger Newhouse,  Assistant Provincial Grand Master of Yorkshire, West Riding, said: 'We are delighted to be able to support the Wharfedale Scout Sailing Centre with this grant, which has enabled them to purchase four boats and a trailer.

'Each year, the Province of Yorkshire West Riding gives grants totalling £200,000, to organisations across the region, including youth groups, charities, churches and schools. It was a pleasure to attend the launch of ‘White Rose’ and see the equipment that the grant has helped purchase and we wish the sailing centre every success for the future.'

The grant was sponsored by the Lodge of Amity No. 4148, which meets in Baildon.

Chelsea Lodge stalwart Freddie Davies compered a musical extravaganza at a Northern Masonic Variety show, which raised £10,860 for the West Yorkshire Mark Benevolent Fund

Bradfordians Lodge No. 9886 Past Master Sir David Wootton, UGLE Assistant Grand Master, attended with Yorkshire, West Riding Provincial Grand Master David Pratt at Bradford Grammar School along with Bradford Lord Mayor Clr Abid Hussain and West Yorks Lord Lieutenant Dame Ingrid Roscoe.

Artistes included internationally acclaimed vocalist Gordon Cree and electric violinist Lauren Hinds, who both produced outstanding virtuoso performances.

Three members of Wakefield Lodge No. 495, in the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding, received a warm welcome attending a meeting of St. George’s Lodge No. 85 under the Grand Lodge Alpina of Switzerland, on 26th April 2018

Lance Milburn, Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden, Gary Parker, Assistant Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, and Andrew Wakefield, Worshipful Master of Wakefield Lodge, attended a ceremony of Initiation in the town of Morges on Lake Geneva.

St. George’s Lodge is one of only four lodges meeting under the Swiss Constitution that works in the English language, using Emulation Ritual. The lodge was consecrated in 2013 to meet the masonic needs of the ex-pat community in the Lausanne region.

The meeting was truly an international affair. The Worshipful Master of the lodge Jean-Pierre Dousset is French/Swiss, the Senior Warden Mustafa Taskale is Turkish, the Junior Warden Peter Steiner is German and the Director of Ceremonies Frank Fowlie is Canadian.

There were other brethren present from across Euorpe including Switzerland, Russia and the UK.

David Pratt, Provincial Grand Master of Yorkshire, West Riding, was a special guest at the consecration of the Britannic Lodge of Madeira No. 134 under the Grand Lodge of Portugal (Legal)

The consecration was held on 17th March 2018 at the O Lagar Restaurant in Câmara de Lobos by the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge (Legal) of Portugal  Julio Meirinhos, with around 70 brethren in attendance including visitors from local lodges, the Portuguese mainland, United Grand Lodge of England, Grande Loge Nationale Française, Regular Grand Lodge of Serbia and Grand Lodge of India.  This was followed by a sumptuous celebration banquet of local delicacies and wine where the brethren were joined by their families and friends.

The history of Freemasonry in Madeira goes back to 1767, and Britannic Lodge of Madeira No. 3683 was a lodge under UGLE which was consecrated in Funchal, the capital of Madeira, in 1913. The lodge moved to London in 1935 after Freemasonry had been banned in Portugal, and handed in its warrant after its last meeting in 2006.  It wasn’t until 2009 that a new lodge, Zarco Lodge No. 71, was consecrated under the Grand Lodge of Portugal (Legal) – 74 years after the ban.

The new Britannic Lodge of Madeira’s founders are mainly expats, and the lodge will work in English using Emulation Ritual and meet four times a year at the Masonic Hall in central Funchal. The lodge’s badge pays tribute to its predecessor with a similar design and they have adopted the former lodge’s motto: ‘Labor Omnia Vincit’ ('Work conquers all').

David Pratt’s involvement came about from both a passion for Madeira and an inquisitive nature to discover more about the former UGLE lodge, Britannic Lodge of Madeira No. 3683 at the request of the founders.

David said: ‘The history is fascinating and I've managed to track down some of the former members who are delighted that a new lodge bearing that distinguished name is being formed. I’ve been the ‘go-between’ to research information about the former UGLE Lodge.

'The consecration was a wonderful event, and it’s fascinating that a number of the former members of the UGLE lodge travel to Madeira on holiday frequently and had no knowledge of the local masonic activity.

‘I pay tribute to the founders from UGLE lodges who are keen to promote Freemasonry as full participating  members of the family of the four lodges now on the Island. Ed Barrow, Past Provincial Junior Grand Deacon (East Lancashire), the Founding Master, and Stuart Condliffe, Past Provincial Assistant Grand Superintendent of Works (Cheshire), the Founding Secretary, have worked tirelessly to create the new lodge. Octavio Sousa of the Grand Lodge (Legal) of Portugal also provided excellent support and guidance to bring about this momentous achievement.’

The lodge welcomes visitors from UGLE – please remember to contact the Grand Chancellor’s Office before visiting any foreign Grand Lodges.

Published in International

Disabled people supported by a Harrogate charity will be able to step into a whole new world, thanks to Yorkshire Freemasons

In a bid to equip customers for independent living, Disability Action Yorkshire is turning to virtual reality to help train and prepare them for a host of everyday life experiences, including supermarket shopping and travelling by public transport. 

Members of the town’s Spa Lodge No. 7609 secured a grant of £2,000 from the Provincial Grand Master’s Fund, which has been used for the charity’s Virtual Independence Project to purchase a Garmin spherical camera, Oculus Go virtual reality headset and a new laptop computer to edit the recorded footage. 

Disability Action Yorkshire Chief Executive Jackie Snape said: 'Thanks to the Spa Lodge nominating us for this generous grant, our training sessions for customers will be totally revolutionised.

'Whilst many are keen to live as independently as possible, the reality is that some people have had little or no experience of everyday life – our Virtual Independence Project will change all that.

'Our customers will be able to experience what it is like to travel on a bus independently, travel around a busy shopping centre or supermarket, or prepare and cook a simple meal. The aim is that once people have gained confidence in a virtual setting they will then go to try new experiences in daily life.'

Doug Mills, Spa Lodge Charity Steward, said: 'Charity is one of the three grand principles of Freemasonry and I’m delighted that we have been able to support Disability Action Yorkshire in kick-starting their Virtual Independence Project. 

'With the camera, the charity will now be able to develop a series of 360-degree videos, which will help train and prepare customers keen to explore new experiences. I tried the headset on myself, and whilst it was great fun I could see a real benefit for those who lack confidence in undertaking simple tasks which, to them, can seem like major obstacles. 

'The visit to Disability Action Yorkshire’s Claro Road residential care home proved to be a very satisfying experience, particularly in the knowledge that Freemasons in the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding have provided financial support to the wider community.'

A letter written more than 250 years ago in Amsterdam, congratulating the new master of a Leeds Masonic Lodge, has been discovered amongst the pages of a book in the market town of Skipton in North Yorkshire

In the two-page letter penned in 1762, Lewis Bastide, a member of Golden Lion Lodge, also speaks of his experience with foreign lodges in the Dutch capital and his intention to form an English lodge in Amsterdam. 

The correspondence was unearthed by Chris Hill, secretary of Craven Lodge No. 810, during an audit of historical books and documents, where it was found in an envelope tucked into an old copy of a Book of Constitutions. 

From records held at The Library and Museum of Freemasonry in London, the Golden Lion Lodge was warranted by the Premier Grand Lodge of England on January 8, 1761, and numbered 258 on the Roll of Lodges, and initially called 'A Masters Lodge'. 

The Warrant for Lodge No. 258 was issued by Lord Aberdour, Grand Master, and appointed Sir Henry Ibbetson to be Master, Lewis Bastide to be Senior Warden and George Lawman to be Junior Warden. 

During the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, Sir Henry raised a corps of 100 men at his own expense and, in recompense for his loyalty, was created a Baronet. 

Lewis Bastide was a prominent merchant in Leeds whilst George Lawman was a master Surgeon in the Army. The lodge met at various taverns in Leeds including, from 1766, the Golden Lion, Briggate, from which the Lodge took its name in 1772. However, it ceased to meet regularly from December 1780, and was erased on February 1, 1786. 

The only information available about the Lodge’s members is a list of names which appears in a volume entitled List of Members 1770. 

Chris Hill, Secretary of Craven Lodge in Skipton, said: 'This wonderful letter was found totally by accident when I was conducting an audit of lodge possessions. 

'It was in a plain envelope and fell out of the pages of an old Book of Constitutions. Despite it being there for goodness knows how long, the letter is in remarkably good condition, and is now carefully preserved. 

'The contents of the letter are fascinating and give an insight into Freemasonry in Leeds and Amsterdam more than 250 years ago. It’s just a shame the name of the Master Lewis Bastide was writing to congratulate is not known.'

Below is the transcribed letter in full:
To Golden Lion Lodge No. 285
 
Amsterdam - the 23rd March 1762
Dear Sir & Brother,

I should have troubled you before now with a few lines had my business allowed me the time to write them, which I hope you will excuse: the friendship and brotherly love reigns no less betwixt us for all that, at least on my side and I dare flatter myself of its being the same on yours.

It is with great deal of pleasure that I have heard by Brother Geo. Scott that the Brethren have elected you Master of our Lodge, of which I wish you joy. What pleases me the most and what I can say without flattery is to see that our worthy Brethren have recompensed your merits, and that they have done but what you justly deserv’d  by the zeal you have always shew’d for the Craft, and the trouble you have taken in helping to make the Lodge upon a good footing and to maintain a good order in the same, which I doubt not but you’ll continue,  especially now that you are at the head of it, and to which I take the liberty to exhort you  and the rest of the Brethren , and to see our laws well observed by everyone in the Lodge. For what greater beauty and pleasure there can be than to see a good order kept in a Society? It is that only, that creates and maintains a good harmony and friendship amongst the members thereof.

You’ll have heard that I have had the pleasure of visiting some foreign Lodges, where there is such a good order kept that you would be charmed with if you was to see it. I was admitted to one in Amsterdam where the Baron of Boetzelaer, Grand Master of Holland assisted, and as I had the honour of being placed by him, he asked me several questions about our Grand Lodge at London and how Masonry went on in England to which I answered in the best manner I was able. They did me the honour of drinking our Lodge’s prosperity which I return’d in a proper manner. I have met with some Brethren in Amsterdam, whom were made in England and being desirous to work in the English way I instruct them in the same and am going to form an English Lodge in the said place having accordingly wrote for a Constitution to Bro. Spencer.

I further observe that you are increased in number, and that you are removed to the old Kings Arms. I must beg to tell you upon the first article that you should be very discreet in taking people in; you know what we had resolved upon before I left Leeds, and I hope if we keep them rules our Lodge will flourish and will be composed of good sorts of people. In regard to the other article, that is about changing the Lodge, I did the necessary for the same and paid 2/6d to Bro. Spencer for it which please to note in conformity.

I cannot say to have anything further to write at present but to wish you health, happiness & prosperity in all your undertakings, and to Salute you as well as to the rest of the Brethren, by the number only known of the Enlighten’d mortals and believe me always Dear Sir and Brother 
 
Your most obed’t and Humble Serv’t, and Affectionate Bro.
Lewis Bastide

PS: I am afraid I shall not be so happy as to be with you before May. If I can be of any service to you or to any other friend please to give your letters to young Tennant who will take care to forward them to me.

Doncaster Freemasons have given a £5,000 boost to a charity providing a valuable counselling service to disadvantaged young people in Doncaster

The money, via the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF), will fund Doncaster Housing’s service in supporting young people at risk of homelessness, for a further 12 months.

Stuart Shore, Chief Executive of Doncaster Housing for Young People, said: 'Virtually all of our clients come from disadvantaged backgrounds in Doncaster, and we provide support at a time of crisis in their lives. Our core purpose is supporting young people who are at risk of homelessness, but our clients often have a range of support needs and many experience mental ill health.  

'Our counselling service is really important in helping young people address often deep-seated issues in their lives and this, in turn, helps provide the stability for them to sustain a tenancy and cope with independent living.'

Graham Bailey, the Master of Danecastre Lodge No. 4843 in the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding, said: 'We are delighted that our funding has ensured the continuation of this important service for another year.

'Charity is at the heart of Freemasonry and we are always keen to support organisations such as Doncaster Housing for Young People, whose work is making a huge, positive difference, to the lives of young, vulnerable people across Doncaster.'

A donation of £1,700 from Harrogate Freemasons has helped Harrogate District Hospital launch a 'comforting' initiative for relatives of patients at the end of their lives

Harrogate and Claro Lodge No. 1001 secured £1,700 from the Province of Yorkshire West Riding’s Provincial Grand Master’s Charity Fund, to kick start the 'Comfort Bags' scheme. Set up by Harrogate District Hospital & Community Charity and Harrogate District Palliative Care Team, the bags are helping enhance both dignity and practical support throughout end of life for patients and their relatives, in the acute hospital setting.

Each year, more than 600 patients spend their last days and hours in the Harrogate District Hospital and Ripon Hospital.

The bags, which contain a blanket, travel pillow, toothbrush and toothpaste, tissues, notebook and pen, hand lotions and essential toiletries, a free meal voucher and a free parking permit, provide very practical items to help improve the comfort of relatives staying for long periods, or overnight with patients who are in the last days of life. These are items they may well forget to bring with them when they’re in a hurry or didn’t expect to stay long.

Feedback from relatives has been very positive and grateful for the additional support this scheme has provided.

John Birkenshaw, Charity Steward of Harrogate and Claro Lodge, said: 'We are really proud to support this innovative scheme which will bring much needed comfort and support to both patients and relatives at a time when it is needed the most.'

Initial funding was used to launch the bags, however ongoing funding is vital to continue to provide this service. Current projections suggest this will require approximately £5,000 per year to fund 300 comfort bags.

The donation from Harrogate Freemasons will make a set the scheme on a firm road ahead and the donation will be used to continue to fund the contents of the comfort bags.

With the especial meeting at the Royal Albert Hall streamed online in the Grand Temple of Freemasons’ Hall, nearly 1,000 brethren and ladies – including the wives of official guests – were able to watch the ceremonies

After attending the screening, Ruth Wright from the Honourable Fraternity of Ancient Freemasons commented, ‘I could feel that I was part of something very special. I cannot say how privileged I felt to be part of your special day. You could have heard a pin drop as everyone watched with great interest and when, spontaneously, most of the men joined in singing the hymns. It made you realise just how wonderful an organisation Freemasonry is.’

‘A wonderful meal – how on Earth could such splendid fare have been served to the thousands present with such style?’ David Pratt

The Grand Temple guests then attended a special dinner in the Grand Connaught Rooms, chaired by Earl Cadogan, who was assisted by senior members of the Metropolitan Grand Lodge of London

Meanwhile, nearly 2,000 of the attendees from the Royal Albert Hall meeting were being bussed through London’s rush-hour traffic to Battersea Evolution for a special reception and banquet. Yorkshire, West Riding Provincial Grand Master David Pratt commented, ‘A wonderful meal – how on Earth could such splendid fare have been served to the thousands present and with such style? We then floated back to our hotel with so many stories to share. What a day.’

Published in UGLE
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