Celebrating 300 years

Lifelites Chief Executive Simone Enefer-Doy has left Freemasons' Hall to kick-start her 2,500 mile journey to 47 famous landmarks to raise awareness of Lifelites and £50,000 for the charity

Dubbed 'A Lift for Lifelites', Simone will see Freemasons in nearly every Province in England and Wales and will be stopping at landmarks such as Hadrian’s Wall, Angel of the North and Bletchley Park in vehicles including a classic Rolls Royce, a camper van, a four seater plane, an E Type Jaguar and even a zip wire.

Simone said: 'With the help of Freemasons and their vehicles around the country, I’m on a mission to raise the profile of our work and raise more funds to reach more children whose lives could be transformed by the technology we can provide.'

We'll be updating this page regularly, including images, as Simone continues on her epic quest.

Day 14 – Thursday 7 June

That's a wrap! Simone completed her 14 day challenge and finished in style on ThamesJet speedboat with guests including United Grand Lodge of England Chief Executive Dr David Staples. Her fundraising currently stands at over £103,000.

Day 13 – Wednesday 6 June

It's the penultimate day, starting with a trip to Bedfordshire at the Shuttleworth Collection. The next stop was Silverstone racetrack in Northamptonshire, which included completing a lap in a Jaguar, before driving this to Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire. The last trip was to the home, studios and gardens of former artist Henry Moore in Hertfordshire.

Day 12 – Tuesday 5 June

Day 12 took in journeys across Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. The first stop was Gordon Boswell Romany Museum in Lincolnshire before using two vehicles, a Hudson Straight Six Touring Sedan and a Range Rover, to Bressington Steam and Gardens in Norfolk. There was still time to grab lunch at Bury St Edmunds Abbey in Suffolk before a BMW took Simone to her final stop in Cambridgeshire, which included a punt on the River Cam.

Day 11 – Monday 4 June

Simone crammed in four locations to start the week, with a wide variety of vehicles used. The day started in Yorkshire Sculpture Park before driving a 1977 Bentley to the National Tramway Museum in Derbyshire. It was from here that Simone then picked up a DeLorean to take her to Newstead Abbey in Nottinghamshire before completing the day by driving a gold Rolls-Royce to Victoria Park in Leicestershire.

Day 10 – Sunday 3 June

The week concludes with trips to Northumberland, Durham and Yorkshire and East Riding, as well as the news that Simone had already hit her £50,000 target. Trips included the Millennium Bridge in Northumberland, the Angel of the North and a scenic drive across the Yorkshire Moors to Bolton Castle.

Day 9 – Saturday 2 June

Day nine saw visits to the Provinces of West Lancashire and Cumberland and Westmorland, with landmarks including Hadrian’s Wall in Cumbria and transport provided by a horse and cart.

Day 8 – Friday 1 June

Two Rolls-Royces helped provide the transport on day nine, with Simone starting at the Avoncroft Museum in Worcestershire, driving down to New Place in Warwickshire and then to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. There was still time to conclude the day by visiting Manchester Cathedral in East Lancashire.

Day 7 – Thursday 31 May

At the halfway point, Simone made trips to Cheshire, Shropshire and Herefordshire – starting out at the Georgian Hall Dunham Massey, then heading to the RAF Museum Cosford in a custom built Rewaco Bike and finally, to Arthur’s Stone.

Day 6 – Wednesday 30 May

Day six was solely focused in North Wales where Simone took on the challenge of the fastest zip wire in the world. This was then followed by making the journey to Chester in a six month old blue McLaren Spider and flanked by the Widows’ Sons motorcyclists and Blood Bike volunteers.

Day 5 – Tuesday 29 May

Day five was a journey across the borders for Simone as she ventured to Oxfordshire before heading west to Monmouthshire and continued to South Wales and West Wales. Landmarks included Radcliffe Camera in Oxford, Caerleon Amphitheatre in Newport, the Donald Gordon theatre in Cardiff and ending the day in the county town of Carmarthen to meet the Provincial Grand Lodge of West Wales.

Day 4 – Monday 28 May

Simone began day four by driving an Aston Martin DB9 to the Grand Pier in Weston-super-Mare with help from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Somerset. A 1928 MG Riley saloon then took Simone to her next port of call, Clifton Suspension Bridge where the Provincial Grand Lodge of Bristol had a 1966 Austin Mini Cooper waiting to take her to Caen Hill Locks. It was here that Simone met representatives from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Wiltshire, before the final stop of the day saw her clock up the miles to Shaw House in Berkshire to be greeted by members of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Berkshire.

Day 3 – Sunday 27 May

Day three involved journeys to Dorset, Devon and Cornwall. It started with a visit to Lulworth Cove in Dorset to be met by members from the Provincial Grand Lodge in a yellow camper van and to receive a donation of £2,000. Simone then ventured to Buckfast Abbey to receive a donation of £5,000 from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Devonshire before departing in a classic Rover to head to Lanhydrock House and Garden in Cornwall, where she received another donation of £1,750.

Day 2 – Saturday 26 May

Simone took to the sky for day two, meeting a representative from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Hampshire and Isle of Wight who drove her to Southampton to board a flight to Jersey, to meet members of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Guernsey and Alderney.

Day 1 – Friday 25 May

Simone has begun her challenge, leaving in a taxi escorted by a fleet of Widows Sons motorcyclists. This is the start of her 14 day road trip with a difference, using a variety of unusual and extraordinary forms of transport.

The next destination for Friday was Richmond Park where Simone was met by representatives from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Middlesex after arriving in a Porsche 550 Spyder. Further destinations included Guildford Cathedral, where Simone was met by a Noddy car, and Brighton Royal Pavilion, where the Provincial Grand Lodge of Sussex made a donation of £5,000.

Lifelites has a package of their magical technology at every children’s hospice across the British Isles and their work is entirely funded by donations. Through the journey they are seeking to raise £50,000 – that’s the cost of one of their projects for four years.

You can sponsor Simone by clicking here

Published in Lifelites
Tuesday, 13 March 2018 00:00

Sam Derry's great escape to Rome

Escaping German capture many times, Sam Derry went on to aid the rescue of thousands of Allied soldiers from occupied Italy

Samuel Ironmonger Derry was born in Newark, Nottinghamshire on 10 April 1914. He embarked on his army career in 1936 at the age of 22. While serving in the Western Desert in 1942, he was captured by the Germans but managed to escape by hurling himself into a ravine. Ironically, some five months later and 800 miles away, Major Derry was recaptured near El Alamein by the same German unit. Alas, this time there would be no quick escape and he was transported to Italy to be interned with 1,200 officers at Chieti (Camp 21). 

After the Italian armistice in September 1943, the camp was taken over by the Germans, with Derry put on a prison train for transportation to Germany. However, en route between Tivoli and Rome, he managed to escape for a second time when, in broad daylight, he evaded a German paratrooper guard and jumped off the moving train. Badly bruised, he headed for the hills and was taken in by an Italian family.

While hidden 120 miles behind enemy lines, Derry discovered there were another 50 Allied prisoners living in conditions of extreme hardship, and so, with winter setting in, he decided to obtain help from the neutral Vatican in Rome, some 15 miles away.

REFUGE IN THE VATICAN

Derry wrote a letter to the Vatican asking for money and clothing to ease the plight of his adopted men. The communication reached the desk of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, who had toured prisoner of war (POW) camps during the early years of the conflict seeking news of prisoners who had been reported missing in action. If he found out that they were alive, he tried, through Vatican Radio, to reassure their families.

When Italy changed sides in 1943, thousands of POWs were released but remained in grave danger of recapture when Germany forced occupation. Some, remembering O’Flaherty’s visits, managed to reach Rome to ask for his help. Instead of waiting for permission from his superiors, O’Flaherty promptly set up an underground movement to assist them. Looking for someone to bring a little order to the growing number of escaped soldiers, the Monsignor decided that Derry should be brought into Rome.

On 19 November 1943, with the Germans established in the district, Derry journeyed to Rome at great personal risk. O’Flaherty requested that he stay in the city and assume control of the Rome Escape Line, which was helping Allied escapees but only operating in a small way at that time.

Under Derry’s leadership, the organisation grew, and the German authorities became aware of the existence of the Rome Escape Line as early as January 1944, which meant that there had been a great danger of infiltration. Yet by April 1944, a total of 3,975 escaped Allied POWs were under Derry’s care.

After the liberation of the city, Derry was granted an audience with Pope Pius XII, who had been totally unaware that the young officer had been his ‘guest’ in the Vatican for many months. In recognition of his work with the Rome Escape Line, the now Lieutenant Colonel Sam Derry was awarded the Distinguished Service Order.

Following demobilisation in 1946, Derry returned home to Newark. He was a prominent Freemason in Newark and was initiated into Corinthian Lodge, No. 5528, on 13 January 1949, remaining a member until his death on 3 December 1996. In June 1970, he was a founder member of Newark Lodge, No. 8332, resigning on 30 March 1993.

THIS IS YOUR LIFE

In 1963, Derry was surprised by Eamonn Andrews and his big red book outside the BBC Television Theatre, where he became the subject of This Is Your Life. While a national television audience watched, old colleagues and former POWs came forward and spoke about the occupation of Rome and the escape organisation to which most of them owed their lives.

As the tributes came to an end, a surprise guest was announced and O’Flaherty walked falteringly from the wings to embrace his old friend. This was to be the last time the two men would meet. Eight months later, O’Flaherty died peacefully at his home in County Kerry, Ireland.

Did you know?

Derry escaped from his German captors by leaping out of a moving prison train in broad daylight

Words: Tony Narroway

Published in Features

After-school clubs and weekend classes are a great way to keep children  busy and entertained. But did you know they are also a fun way for them to  learn new skills and gain fresh experiences?

A study of more than 6,400 children found that as well as achieving more at school, children who take part in extracurricular activities develop social, emotional and behavioural skills such as time management, confidence, teamwork and creativity.

The recent study, carried out by the Institute of Education at University College London, showed activities outside of school hours could help close the attainment gap between children from disadvantaged backgrounds and those from wealthier families.

However, it also found there were still inequalities, as many low-income families struggled to afford the costs of sports clubs, private tuition and music lessons. With this in mind, the MCF provides opportunities for children and young people both within the masonic community and in wider society.

The MCF recently awarded a £37,000 grant to Boccia England, a charity that provides accessible activity opportunities for disabled people aged twelve to eighteen. Boccia is a ball sport especially designed to test muscle control and accuracy. It is practised in more than 50 countries and is also a Paralympic sport.

The grant will allow Boccia England to continue supporting young people with physical, learning and visual disabilities and encourage inclusion in physical activity for all.

Shirt sleeves and sun cream were the order of the day as Nottinghamshire Freemasons celebrated the Tercentenary of the United Grand Lodge of England with their Community Fun Day

Held in the hub of Nottingham’s city centre, the Old Market Square, the public was treated to fabulous entertainment at this free to attend event. The UGLE representative and special guest for the day was the Past Pro Grand Master, Lord Northampton, who was accompanied by his wife Lady Northampton.

Community was at the very centre of this incredible spectacle, with over 40 local charities supported by Nottinghamshire Freemasons invited to attend. Their hard work, undertaken with the assistance of donations by Nottinghamshire Freemasons, was on display for everyone to see. The Masonic Charitable Foundation promoted the current Tercentenary Awards with their unique Human Fruit Machine – a popular attraction for visiting Provincial Grand Masters.  

Live bands and international dancers performed and local sports stars were interviewed on the big stage by two local radio presenters. Pop-up entertainment spots, a Victorian market, fairground rides, face painters, storytellers, a graffiti artist and even an organ grinder all added to the great family friendly atmosphere. Nottinghamshire Teddies for Loving Care grassed over an area for their TLC Teddy Bear Picnic and handed out lots of goodies to the children.

In blazing sunshine, the undoubted highlight of the day captured the attention and imagination of the Nottinghamshire public. A procession, the first in Nottingham since 1946, of over 200 brethren in full regalia marched from the Masonic HQ through the streets of Nottingham to the city centre, assembling at the steps of the Council Building. 

The procession was led by the ‘Knights of Nottingham’ on horseback and the banner of Provincial Grand Lodge, followed by the banners and representitives of 70 lodges in Nottinghamshire. The public lined the streets, cheering and applauding as the procession passed. 

In addressing the public and the procession, the Provincial Grand Master for Nottinghamshire, RW Bro Philip Marshall, paid tribute to 300 years of English Freemasonry, the fantastic communities in Nottinghamshire and the contribution made by local Freemasons. Lord Northampton followed with an address in which he highlighted the positive role in society played by freemasons through their charitable work and congratulated all on their fantastic contribution to the UGLE Tercentenary celebrations.

Please scroll through the gallery at the top to view photos from the parade

To celebrate their lodge number in 2017 and the Tercentenary of Grand Lodge, the Duke of Portland Lodge No. 2017 held an emergency meeting in the Indian Temple (No. 10) at Freemasons’ Hall on Thursday 25th May 2017

Brethren and their ladies left from Goldsmith Street, Nottingham, by coach in the morning, accompanied by the Provincial Grand Master for Nottinghamshire, RW Bro Philip Marshall and other guests.

On arrival at Great Queen Street, the party, which had been joined by brethren and ladies travelling from other parts of the country, received a guided tour of the Freemasons’ Hall and the Grand Temple.

At the meeting, the Worshipful Master W Bro William Randall, invited W Bro Tim Sisson PPrJGW to take his chair in order to initiate his son George Sisson into the lodge. Bro Edward Sisson, Senior Deacon, then acted as Junior Deacon to guide his brother around the Temple.

A team of intrepid climbers from the Province of Nottinghamshire reached the summit of  in Tanzania, climbing to Uhuru Peak, which, at 19,341 feet (5,895m), is the highest point in Africa.

Raising funds for the 2018 Festival for the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys, the team suffered some effects of altitude sickness, yet took only six days to reach the summit with a further two days to descend.

Jayne Torvill meets Nottingham masons

Ice-dancing celebrity Jayne Torvill OBE made a stop at the masonic stand when she visited the Great Central Railway in Ruddington for a day of fundraising to help local charity and adoption agency Faith in Families. Born locally in Clifton, the Olympic gold medallist (pictured above at the event) is a patron of the charity.

Local Freemasons organised the fundraiser in conjunction with the heritage railway, and the masonic stand was manned by members of South Notts Freemasons for Charity. The group meets at West Bridgford and was formed to raise funds for local good causes. 

These boots are made for walking

A team of Nottinghamshire masons, led by Provincial Grand Master Robin Wilson, assembled at Freemasons’ Hall in London to begin a sponsored walk to their headquarters in Nottingham. The 175-mile route between the two cities followed the towpaths of the Grand Union Canal and took the walkers 11 days to complete.

After setting off from Great Queen Street in the presence of Grand Secretary Nigel Brown and members of the Board of General Purposes, they passed through several Provinces, allowing other walkers to join them. The unique walk was one of Nottinghamshire’s major fundraising events in support of the 2018 Festival for the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys.

The brass band proms

More than 400 visitors attended the second event held by The Freemasons of Bassetlaw Committee, which links all 12 Craft lodges meeting in Retford and Worksop, at which the Thoresby Colliery Band provided entertainment. Provincial Grand Master for Nottinghamshire Robin Wilson, along with the heads of other Orders, was among the distinguished guests at the Great Hall, Worksop College. A raffle raised £1,488, bringing the total profit of the committee to £4,521 when combined with the inaugural swimathon previously held at the college. Within a year the committee has raised more than £10,000 for local charities.

Aiding youth potential in Nottingham

The RMTGB is helping young people achieve qualifications by supporting SkillForce

The RMTGB has awarded a grant of £30,000 to SkillForce, a national charity that provides an activity-based alternative curriculum to help hard-to-reach young people achieve their potential.

The grant is being used to support SkillForce’s partnership with schools in Nottinghamshire that aims to motivate young people and maintain their involvement in challenging educational activities. Through these partnerships, SkillForce is often able to double the number of qualifications achieved by young people.

The Province of Nottinghamshire is currently supporting the RMTGB through the 2018 Festival and a delegation from the Province visited a local SkillForce group. The visit allowed the Province to witness first-hand how the charity uses donations to help young people, regardless of whether or not they have a masonic connection.

The students are currently working towards a Sports Leader Award, and Robin Wilson, Provincial Grand Master for Nottinghamshire, presented a cheque – in the form of a cricket bat – to the group.

Published in RMTGB
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