Leicestershire & Rutland Freemasons, from St. Mary's Lodge No. 7164, gathered to enjoy the talented renditions of a young tuba player, Olly Douglas

Olly is 14-years-old and plays for the National Youth Orchestra and Uppingham School Concert Band. He recently received a grant from the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) to support the purchase of a professional standard instrument and also to be provided expert tuition.

Olly’s father Stefan Douglas, a member of St. Mary's Lodge, based in in Melton Mowbray, asked Olly to play his tuba at the festive board as a thank you to the lodge and Freemasonry as a whole for the support he has received in developing his musical career. He was only too delighted to oblige and gave a flawless rendition of the Hindemith Tuba Sonata and then, to lighten the mood, the theme from The Muppets.

Stefan Douglas spoke over dinner about the importance of the Talent Aid programme within the MCF and how it supports many gifted and talented young adults. He also expressed his sincere gratitude to all Freemasons who support the MCF through their charitable donations.

The Master of St Mary’s Lodge, Michael Brooman, said: ‘Helping the members understand the local work of the MCF alongside their national work is vital to ensuring the ongoing support of the Foundation.’

In attendance was the Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Leicestershire & Rutland, Peter Kinder, and Tony Molyneux, who both supported Olly’s application.

St Mary’s Lodge No 7164, which meets in Melton Mowbray, welcomed members of Granta Lodge No 4950, from the Province of Lincolnshire, as part of their biannual visit for the 50th year in a row

The lodges started reciprocal meetings in 1967 after the two Lodges used to hold an annual cricket match. Many members from both lodges were farmers where friendship were developed quickly. Fifty years have since past and these visits are still going strong.

On Monday 27th March 2017 as a celebration of these visits, a Collaret was presented to each Master, by the Lodge Liaison Officer W.Bro. Brian Golland, to wear at future visits between the lodges. The Collaret was designed by W.Bro. William Hutchison, Past Master of St Mary’s Lodge, who sought special dispensation from the Grand Secretary for it to be allowed to be worn. The medallion celebrates the bi-annual visits and was sewn on by W.Bro. Mike Rowe’s wife, Yvonne.

At the Festive Board, a special cake was also made bearing the details featured on the new medallion.

W Bro Martin Oliver and Mike Rowe from St Mary's Lodge No. 7164 presented three local charities with £250 each which has been generously donated by its members

Representatives from Motor Neurone Disease in Leicestershire and Rutland, Parkinson's Disease Melton Mowbray Support Group, and the Melton and Rutland Branch of the Multiple Sclerosis Society each received the award at a presentation ceremony at Freemasons' Hall, Wicklow Lodge, Melton Mowbray on Saturday 30th July 2016.

Martin Oliver said: 'Some of our members have been affected by the illnesses supported by these wonderful charities and we're delighted to be able to offer these donations to help the local community.'

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