Continuing aid for Vanuatu
Following the Grand Charity’s £20,000 donation via the British Red Cross after a severe tropical cyclone hit Vanuatu in the South Pacific in March 2015, Warwickshire masons have also provided aid. More than £5,600 has been sent to the Vanuatu Recovery Fund thanks to 16 Warwickshire lodges, one very generous brother and the Province’s Masonic Charitable Association.
The Vanuatu Recovery Fund, managed by Lodge of Discovery on the island, has decided to fund the rebuilding of the library at Suango Mele Primary School, and to create a bigger and better structure than had previously existed. The school will now have a media centre within the library to ensure it meets students’ future study needs.
Warwickshire support for Acorns
Every year for the past five years, Warwickshire Freemasons have donated £150,000 via the Masonic Charitable Association to around 120 non-masonic charities, including Acorns Children’s Hospice in Birmingham. Founded 27 years ago, Acorns offers a network of specialist palliative care and support across the West Midlands for babies, children and young people with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions.
Over the years, support for Acorns from Warwickshire masons has included technical help with computer equipment that was installed at the Selly Oak hospice by Lifelites, a charity backed by the masonic community.
Province champions Birmingham Hospital
Warwickshire masons have raised £10,000 for the Birmingham Children’s Hospital Cancer Centre Appeal, with the Province also named as one of its Charity Champions. Fundraising began when PGM David Macey set up The Famous Five initiative, giving lodges five charities for which they could raise funds. Hospital public fundraising manager Vikki Savery thanked the Province ‘for the incredible amount of money that they have raised so far for our Cancer Appeal and plan to raise for the hospital in the future’.
Foundation stone resited
Warwickshire Freemasons participated in an unusual and symbolic service when the foundation stone laid in 1937 in the Coventry and Warwickshire Hospital was resited in the Faith Centre garden at the new University Hospital.
It had originally been laid with full masonic ceremony by the then Provincial Grand Master, Col Sir William Wyley, a former Coventry Mayor and JP, and was recovered when the old hospital was knocked down.
The stone was symbolically relaid by the present PGM, David Macey, accompanied by a procession of Warwickshire masons in full regalia. The PGM applied a silver trowel to the stone during his address, followed by a blessing from the Provincial Grand Chaplain. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the PGM presented a cheque for £1,000 for the Faith Centre and garden.
Warwickshire on show
Civic leaders joined the annual church service of the Province of Warwickshire and the procession to the Collegiate Church of St Mary. District council chairman Cllr Richard Davies and county council chairman Cllr David Shilton walked to the church, which has an association with Freemasonry that goes back to at least 1728 when the Master of the first Warwickshire lodge was the vicar. Local masons presented the church with an oak pulpit in 1897.
Representatives of the Jewish, Sikh, Hindu and Christian faiths were also present at the multi-denominational service conducted by Provincial Grand Chaplain and Methodist lay minister John Cowan. Provincial Grand Master David Macey presented a cheque for £7,400 to the vicar, followed by £1,000 from the service collection.
In another civic event, the Deputy Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Cllr John Lines, invited Warwickshire and Worcestershire masons to attend the annual Lord Mayor’s Show in the city centre, helping to raise funds for his chosen charities.
Local children have been entertained at their annual pantomime – this time, Dick Whittington – thanks to Warwickshire Freemasons and TOA Taxis. A morning show was enjoyed by children with learning and physical disabilities, while an afternoon performance was staged for youngsters who might never have seen a live theatre show before. More than 600 children and around 100 carers attended. Warwickshire Provincial Grand Master David Macey introduced the show in the morning, welcoming the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Cllr John Lines, and the Lady Mayoress, who presented David with a cheque for £500 for the Freemasons’ chosen charities.
Helping out Georgia
Warwickshire masons from 17 lodges have given support to teenager Georgia Pickard, who is fighting one of the world’s rarest forms of bone cancer.
Georgia’s grandparents have provided catering for a number of lodges in Tamworth and Sutton Coldfield for many years. Grandfather Walter Richardson and the Sutton Coldfield-based Lodge of St Blaise, No. 6113, led the fundraising with £1,600 from a ladies evening. The cheque was presented by Master Pete Woodfield.
A masonic procession to the Annual Church Service of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire took place at the Collegiate Church of St Mary, Warwick, where people have worshipped for nearly 1,000 years.
The church’s association with Freemasonry dates back at least as far as 1728 when the Master of the ﬁrst lodge in Warwickshire was vicar at the church. The present vicar, the Rev Dr Vaughan Roberts, welcomed everyone to the service during which representatives of the Jewish, Sikh, Islamic, Hindu and Christian faiths oﬀered thoughts and blessings relating to the multi-denominational service’s theme of Brotherly Love and Charity.
The UK’s party mood, evident throughout the summer of 2012, continued as the Province of Warwickshire celebrated the finale of their Festival on behalf of the MSF.
Provincial Grand Master David Macey handed over a cheque for £3,159,870 and thanked the members and their families for their generous support. Hugh Stubbs, President of the MSF, encouraged those present to use their new-found awareness to identify others in need of health and care support.
Pax Mundi Lodge, No. 119, of the National Grand Lodge of Romania (MLNR), based at Brasov, hosted a delegation from Stivichall Lodge, No. 5799, Province of Warwickshire, to celebrate its 10th anniversary. Bogdan Prodea, who studied in Coventry, and his father Mihai Prodea, both members of Pax Mundi Lodge, extended the invitation. Masons from Brasov lodges, their mother lodge in Sinaia, and MLNR Grand Officers including Pro Grand Master Virgil Nitulescu, attended the meeting and a gala dinner at the Brasov Citadel with an orchestra, singers and dance.