The recently held Old English Night at Dephis Lodge heralded another wave of charitable giving to local organisations. Over the past decades Delphis has consistently recorded the highest per capita giving within the Province of Herefordshire, generously supported by the Vaga, Delphis, Coningsby Charitable Trust as once again most evident on this occasion.
W Bro Kevin Lyons, Worshipful Master of Delphis Lodge, and his Wardens Brothers Ian Talboys and John Crooks, by example, supported the following proposals put by W Bro David Knowles and W Bro Don Lane which were universally approved:
- £1,000 Blackmarston School, plus £304 from the draw & £105 from the auction
- £1,000 Haven Breast Cancer Support Centre
- £1,000 Robocap
- £1,000 Herefordshire Masonic Charity Associations (HMCA) 'B' Fund used for petitions from local charities
- £30 Teddies for Loving Care for Hereford Hospital from the auction of one of the teddy bears
Such dedicated giving promises well for the future, including the next Festival to be awarded to the Province of Herefordshire.
For well over a decade Herefordshire Freemasons have sponsored a named horse at the Riding for the Disabled Centre at Holme Lacy. One such horse was aptly called Mason.
The present horse, Gypsy, took part in the recent Paralympic procession in Hereford, and is a most suitable horse in the Holme Lacy stable for riders who suffer from cerebral palsy.
Presenting the annual donation to Janet Alderton, Manager of the RDA Centre, Mike Roff, the newly appointed Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Herefordshire, expressed the continued support of local Freemasons for the Centre’s excellent and significant work with the disabled.
In the photograph, Mike Roff is accompanied by the Yard Manager Helen Powell, with Gypsy back at the Centre following a few weeks of freedom 'in the fields'.
David and Craig Shaw run a family business in the city of Hereford, Foil Technologies Limited, manufacturing specialist metals.
As father and son they are now working even closer as brothers in Freemasonry. Following a recent and relatively rare double initiation ceremony, David and Craig are the newest members of Cantilupe Masonic Lodge which meets at Kyrle Street, Hereford.
David and Craig, in joining the other six hundred Freemasons in Herefordshire, are eagerly anticipating being involved in supporting local charities.
Megan Baker House (MBH), a Herefordshire charity at Moreton Eye, near Leominster, is a centre of excellence in conductive education. It teaches problem-solving skills to people with physical disabilities and special educational needs. Many are from nearby counties, but some children – and more recently, adults – come from across the UK to attend classes.
As MBH does not receive any statutory funding, and does not charge for its services, local masons have maintained their support with donations from the Herefordshire Masonic Charity Association and Royal Edward Lodge. Julia Higgs, MBH volunteer organiser, emphasised that such sponsorship is essential to the charity and its outreach centres.
Members of Dean Waterfield Lodge give welcome support to Hereford Contact Centre.
The centre provides facilities for estranged parents and wider family to meet with their children in a neutral and safe environment. The facility, based at the Riverside Community Centre in St James, is staffed purely by volunteers, with parents contributing £25 for the service for a period of six months.
Stuart Powell, Worshipful Master of Dean Waterfield Lodge, and Brother Keith Farmer, a volunteer at the centre, decided to assist with a donation to purchase books, toys and equipment to be used by the visiting children.
The presentation was made at a recent fund-raising event at Hereford Welsh Social Club organised by centre manager Gill Terry, and chairperson Karina Baldwin. Entertainment was provided by the Helen Vereker Singers, with 'compulsory' audience participation. It is hoped that with increased funding, charity status will be achieved.
Worshipful Brother Stuart Powell emphasised that 'this is the first occasion on which we have directly supported the Hereford Contact Centre, and we intend to continue to support such worthy and increasingly necessary local services.'
A grant of £5,000 from the Freemasons’ Grand Charity has been allocated to support HRH The Prince of Wales forestry scheme for unemployed youths in Herefordshire, representing part of a grand total of £250,000 made this year to The Prince’s Trust for England and Wales.
The donation was presented to Lisa Barea, The Prince’s Trust Fundraiser for the West Midlands, by Rodney Smallwood, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire.
The grant will specifically support the Get into Woodlands course proposed to take place during March-April 2013 on the Duchy of Cornwall’s Herefordshire estate. The aim of the course is to give young people who are work-ready, but lacking vocational skills, a mixture of practical training and hands-on experience, that will enable them to get qualifications and employment in the woodland forestry sector.
The course, to be run by a range of local partners including Duchy of Cornwall, Forestry Commission, and Herefordshire College of Technology jointly with Holme Lacy, will support twelve young people between the ages 16 to 25, developing their confidence, motivation and skills in forestry.
Lisa Barea sincerely thanked Rodney Smallwood for the generous support given by Freemasons, and invited local masons to the 2013 presentation to be held at the completion of the Get into Woodlands course.
A truly entertaining and successful fund raising event was recently held at the Courtyard, Herefordshire’s centre of the arts
Ten amateur choirs competed in Hereford’s The Last Choir Standing in aid of the Mayor’s chosen charities: the Haven, which provides support for sufferers of breast cancer, and Robocap, which will provide robot-assisted surgery in the treatment of prostate cancer.
Following the performance the Right Worshipful the Mayor of Hereford, Councillor Brian Wilcox, welcomed members of one of the successful choirs – the newly created Herefordshire Masonic Choir – to the Mayor’s Parlour at the Town Hall.
During the visit the Masonic Choir entertained the Mayor and invited guests with a delightful musical evening.
Roger Tomlinson, conductor and choir master, emphasised that the Masonic Choir had an unusual choir format of 1st and 2nd tenors and basses. The choir was formed with two aims in mind: to promote the enjoyment of singing, and to add support to masonic and local charities.
Herefordshire Freemasons have officially acknowledged their support of this year’s identified Mayoral Charities.
Cllr Brian Wilcox has chosen The Breast Cancer Haven and Robocap, a state-of-the-art robotic technology treatment for prostate cancer, to champion over the forthcoming twelve months while in office as Mayor of the City of Hereford. These are local charities close to his heart.
Herefordshire Freemasons have officially declared their support for the Mayor’s two chosen charities. Local Freemasons were the first to financially support Robocap, and since last year they have been awarded the title Guardian of The Haven.
This declaration of support by Herefordshire Freemasons, signifies their continued sponsorship of these two local charities.
Members of Coningsby Lodge No.6383, known as the `Weekenders’, have raised £360 to support the emergency operations of Longtown Mountain Rescue Team
Longtown Mountain Rescue Team, which is based in the shadow of the Black Mountains and consists of some fifity volunteers, undertakes in excess of thirty search and evacuation missions each year in liaison with other emergency services, particularly RAF Search & Rescue (SARF) and Midlands Air Ambulance.
Chairman of the Longtown Team, Mike Jones, stressed the importance of community and public support to meet the £15,000 annual cost of maintaining this vital public service, and applauded Herefordshire Freemasons for the donations received by both the Mountain Rescue Team and Midlands Air Ambulance.
Gordon Bumfrey, Coningsby Lodge's Charity Steward, with first-hand experience of the expertise of the Longtown Team, said he was privileged to be given the opportunity, on behalf of Herefordshire Freemasons, to support such a worthy, crucial and indispensible local service.
At the annual meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Herefordshire, Rodney Smallwood, Provincial Grand Master, presented Midlands Air Ambulance with grants totalling in excess of £50,000. This represented money raised and given by local Freemasons over a three year period.
An additional £12,000 was also presented to Midlands Air Ambulance by the Provincial Grand Masters of Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire, on behalf of The Freemasons’ Grand Charity. This donation is part of over £1 million donated by the Grand Charity since 2007 to air ambulances and similar rescue charities throughout England and Wales to support them in the delivery of their life-saving services.
Annie Newell, Fundraising Manager for Midlands Air Ambulance, on receiving these donations, expressed her sincere gratitude for the commitment, and generous support given to the charity by Freemasons over the years.
Rodney Smallwood emphasised how “Midlands Air Ambulance plays a vital role in our rural community, and without either government or National Lottery funding, their services are in need of support. Helping local projects and such services, is important to Freemasons as these donations demonstrate. It is with a sense of pride that the masonic Square & Compass logo is displayed on the tail fins of the three distinctively coloured red and yellow Midlands Air Ambulance helicopters as they take to the air on their mercy missions.”