Monday 14 May 2018 proved to be a memorable day for members of the Lodge of Saint Mark No. 8479 in Dorset, with 92-year- old, World War II veteran Ray Fuller being installed as their Worshipful Master
Ray joined the Royal Navy as a 17-year-old in 1943 and served on HMS Illustrious. The carrier's aircraft attacked targets in Japanese-occupied Dutch East Indies and took part in the Battle of Okinawa.
In early 1944, the aircraft of HMS Illustrious and USS Saratoga joined forces to strike a naval base at Sabang in northern Sumatra.
Nearly 80 Brethren gathered in the village of Kinson to see Ray take the chair, which created a fantastic atmosphere on this remarkable evening. It wasn't Ray’s first time in the chair though having previously been Master of Bisley Lodge No. 2317 in Surrey, but that didn't detract from making this a special occasion for him. Over £700 was also raised for three charities during a bumper raffle.
Giving a moving response to the visitors toast was one member who had travelled down in a minibus from Surrey. He had known Ray since they were seven-years-old and they're both proud holders of the Burma Star, a military medal awarded to those who served in World War II.
The Provincial Grand Master for Dorset, Richard Merritt, commented that it was a remarkable coincidence that it was Ray's second time in the chair and that he was the 46th Master, as doubling this figure equalled Ray's exact age.
He went on to add that having made enquiries with UGLE, Ray was one of the oldest brothers to be installed into the chair of a lodge.
James Radford of Onslow Lodge No. 2234 was raised to the Third Degree on 5th May 2018 in a ceremony which took place at Remembrance Lodge No. 6188, at their Masonic Hall in Glenmore House, Surrey
At the age of 19 years and three months, he has become the youngest current subscribing Master Mason in the Province of Surrey.
Special thanks was given to Onslow Lodge's Worshipful Master Paul Cope and Remembrance Lodge's Senior Warden David Reeve for making such a night possible.
Paul Baggett, Immediate Past Master of Dunckerley Lodge No. 3878 in Poole, Dorset, travelled to the Menin Gate war memorial in Ypres, Belgium, to take part in The Last Post Ceremony
This poignant ceremony has become part of the daily life at Menin Gate and takes place every night at 8pm. It is a simple but moving tribute to the courage and self-sacrifice of those who fell in World War I. Every evening the busy road through the memorial is closed to traffic before the ceremony and 'Last Post' will be played.
A member or guest of the Last Post Association, a visiting dignitary or a visitor, will say the words of the Exhortation, taken from Laurence Binyon's poem 'For the Fallen'. Standing in the centre of the road under the arch of the Hall of Memory, the person will say the words:
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old,
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn,
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
Afrer laying a wreath on behalf of Dorset Freemasonry, Paul Baggett, who was accompanied by Phil Conway of Lumen Lodge No. 4922 in Surrey, was honoured to be the one to read those words and help continue this most important tradition – watch the video here.
Canterbury Cathedral hosted a Tercentenary thanksgiving service in recognition of its close and long-standing relationship with Freemasonry
More than 1,500 masons and their families came from across the Provinces of East Kent, West Kent, Surrey and Sussex to attend the service, which was held in the presence of the Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent, the Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Kent and the Lord Mayor of Canterbury.
The Dean of Canterbury Cathedral, the Very Reverend Dr Robert Willis, thanked the Duke of Kent for his support of the church. He recalled how the royal family helped when the building was damaged by bombing during World War II. He also paid tribute to the generous support of the masonic community, whose relationship with the cathedral dates back more than 100 years.
‘The idea of men coming together to make society a better place is one that has stood the test of time’ Geoffrey Dearing
At the time of the service, the cathedral was undergoing the largest restoration project in its history, the interior and exterior covered in scaffolding to allow the ancient building to be returned to its former glory. A donation of £300,000 from the Freemasons of Kent, Surrey and Sussex funded repairs to the North West Transept, including new tower pinnacles and a spiral stone staircase.
East Kent Provincial Grand Master Geoffrey Dearing said: ‘The existence of Freemasonry for over 300 years bears witness to the fact that the idea of men from all walks of life coming together to make society a better place is one that has stood the test of time and inspired successive generations.’
Steve Axon, chairman of the riding centre trustees, said, ‘The £15,000 will be spent on 3,000 bales of hay, a year’s feed for our 29 horses and ponies.’
When Tandridge Hundred Lodge No. 5767 heard that a local disabled riding group was raising funds for a ramp for their pupils, the decision was made that they would fund the whole project
The ramp now means that the group can offer lessons to wheelchair bound pupils - something that was not previously possible. The work has now been completed at a cost of £2,500.
Receiving the cheque, Chairman of Godstone Group RDA (Riding for the Disabled), Gill Morrison, explained that the group depended entirely on charitable donations to be able to sustain the group.
Godstone Group RDA have been offering riding classes to disabled children and adults from the local area for more than 30 years and currently teach 62 riders, 45 of whom are under 25 years of age.
As part of the Tercentenary celebrations, Guildford Freemasons entertained over 70 elderly and underprivileged local people to high tea, with the assistance of Age UK Surrey, Contact the Elderly and the local Lions and Rotary Clubs
Held at the Guildford Masonic Centre on 20th August, entertainment was provided by the Surrey Fringe Barbershop Singers and magician George Kimber, whilst the event was also attended by the Guildford Deputy Mayor and Mayoress Cllr Mike and Mrs Jean Parsons.
The grant, which comes from the Masonic Charitable Foundation, is funded by Freemasons and their families across England and Wales.
A cheque presentation was held at the charity’s Redhill base, followed by a presentation from Director of Operations, Leigh Curtis, about how their continuing support has made such a difference.
The life-saving charity operates throughout the South East covering an area of 3,500 square miles and a population of 4.5million people. So far this year, their crews have been called to more than 600 missions, helping the most critically ill and injured people in the region.
During 2017, Freemasons around the country will be presenting 20 regional air ambulance charities with grants totalling £180,000.
Lynne Harris, Director of Income Generation for the charity, said: 'We are so grateful to Surrey Freemasons for their continuing generosity. Without support like this, we simply would not be able to continue our life-saving work.'
David Olliver, Provincial Grand Charity Steward of Surrey Freemasons, said: 'We are so pleased to continue supporting the great work of the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance. Supporting the work they carry out in our communities every day is something to be proud of.'
An auction held by the Provincial Grand Lodge of Surrey has helped to raise £1,500 for Police Constable Keith Palmer’s family
The auction was held after a day’s golf and dining, organised by W Bro David Eager, and included a very poignant item – a framed Charlton Athletic FC football shirt which had been brought along by David’s son, Cliff Eager, who is a Safety Officer at Charlton.
Cliff Eager outlined that this shirt was a one-off design worn by all the players for a league match following the sad death of PC Palmer, who was on duty when the terror attack took place at the Houses of Parliament in March.
PC Palmer had been a Charlton Athletic season ticket holder for a number of years and this was one of the club’s tributes to him. The player who had worn this shirt had signed it and it also bore Keith’s Police Warrant Number.
The Surrey Masonic Sports Association had agreed to match the auction figure raised which was a £500 bid by Julian Whiteaker, after which Kevin and Beverley Field then donated a further £250 – making the final total raised £1,500 for PC Palmer’s widow and young daughter.
A Surrey Freemason will be donning his hiking boots and preparing to take part in the Nijmegen March this July
Spread over four days from 18th – 21st July 2017, W Bro Nigel Feltham will be taking part in the 101st International Four Day March in Nijmegen, Holland, for the fourth time.
During the four days, Nigel Feltham will be walking approximately 100 miles, alongside a total of 47,000 starters of this popular event. He will be joined by his friends Andrew Bignold and Cornish Freemason Michael Wierenga, who is also a member of Stoneleigh Coronation Chapter in Surrey and will be completing the walk for the ninth time.
Nigel Feltham commented: ‘The party and carnival atmosphere in the village every night is incredible, hundreds if not thousands of walkers sharing their experiences of the day. The last day is the best, with bands playing and people cheering; it’s a very emotional experience with a medal waiting for you at the finish line.’
You can sponsor Nigel Feltham by clicking here