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.”
Rodney Smallwood, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire is piloting the county’s Masons in a sustained and dedicated programme of support for Midlands Air Ambulance.
At a recent meeting with Annie Newell Community Liaison Officer at Midlands Air Ambulance base at Strensham, Rodney Smallwood presented a donation of £25,000.
An annual national grant, this year totalling £192,000 from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity which is distributed countrywide, formed part of this local donation, with the remaining £21,000 being the amount raised for the Air Ambulance within Herefordshire’s Masonic Lodges.
Such continued support over the years, both nationally and locally, has been acknowledged by Midlands Air Ambulance with the display of the Masonic Square & Compass logo on the tail fin of their three distinctly coloured helicopters.
Rodney Smallwood praised Midlands Air Ambulance staff for their dedication and expertise, and these sentiments were echoed by the Provincial Grand Masters of Gloucestershire, R W Bro Adrian Davies, and Worcestershire R W Bro Richard Goddard, both present on this occasion, who also presented donations to the Air Ambulance.
The evening, held at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham, marked the conclusion of a five-year Festival Appeal that included many successful initiatives – from a Provincial lottery, which raised £36,500, to the sale of a range of masonic-themed merchandise.
‘The brethren of Worcestershire, and their wives and partners, have dug so deeply and, through their tremendous support, made a real difference to the lives of so many children,’ said RMTGB president Mike Woodcock.
Those present at the event included the Provincial Grand Master for Worcestershire, Richard Goddard, and the Deputy Grand Master, Jonathan Spence. Guests were treated to a range of musical entertainment before the result was announced.
Worcestershire Provincial Grand Master Richard Goddard joined the Lord Mayor of Birmingham and other dignitaries at the 10th Fun for Kids Day fair in May, presenting Robert Wilkinson, the fair’s owner, with a Certifi cate of Merit
Wilkinson offers use of the fair, plus ice creams, candyfloss and other delights, free of charge to some 500 disadvantaged local children, slowing the rides to allow the least able to enjoy an experience not normally available to them.
Started by the Kings Heath branch of the Worcestershire Associated Masonic Lodges in 2002, the fair has become highly valued by local special schools. Masons act as stewards, and raise funds for drinks and a St John’s ambulance.
World Kickboxing Champion Drew Neale, of Vernon Lodge No. 560, has received his Grand Lodge Certificate from Worcestershire Provincial Grand Master Richard Goddard.
Last October Drew won the Scandinavian Open in the 82 and 84 kilogram events, was also successful in the team category and was nominated best fighter in the tournament.
He decided to follow up these successes by travelling to Italy in December to regain his World Championship, in which he was successful. He is now one of the few British sportsmen who can claim to be a British, European and World Champion!
As the PGM remarked: “This is a first for me – I have never presented a Grand Lodge Certificate to a world champion before!”