Wednesday, 15 January 2014 00:00

The Queen's New Year's Honours list 2014

A number of Freemasons have been honoured in HM The Queen's New Year's Honours list 2014

David Mark Spofforth, OBE

After graduating from Durham University and training in the City, Mark joined the family practice in Sussex where he has worked for 30 years, including two periods as Managing Partner.

He is the immediate Past President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants having served on Council for 18 years and chairing various committees, and served on the Takeover Panel. Mark spent 6 years making weekly broadcasts on local BBC Radio on financial matters, wrote a monthly column for Accountancy Age on practice management, and has lectured internationally on accountancy topics, including at the 2010 World Congress of Accountants.

His international experience includes a 6 year period on the International Accounting Education Standards Board, a standard setting body of IFAC, and visits to regulators and other professional bodies on every continent. He is now a Technical Advisor to the IFAC Board.

Away from professional life Mark has a partner, Veronica, and a son and a daughter. Mark’s daughter Gemma has recently retired as an elite swimmer, having competed in the Beijing and London Olympics; in August 2009 she became World Champion and continues to hold the World Record for the 100m backstroke event. His son, Peter works for a Corporate Finance company in the City.

Mark is currently Junior Warden of the Chartered Accountants Livery Company, and has also been Master of the Horners, another City Livery Company. He is a governor of Sion School in Worthing, and is Trustee of the Thalidomide Trust.

Peter Clive Crawford Pitt, MBE

Peter travelled the world accompanying widows of fallen soldiers on pilgrimages to military memorials close to where their husbands had been killed. He said the trips were a 'frightening experience' for the women but offered some form of comfort.

He was thrilled but surprised to have been honoured. 'I thought I was far too old for it,' he said.

'I'm 80 now and thought when you get to my age you don't get these things.'

In church the organist congratulated Dr Pitt on his MBE saying, 'I have never heard of anyone getting the OBE and the MBE at the same time.'

'How come?' I said. 'Over Bloody Eighty and the MBE!'

Dr Robert David Taylor Sillett, MBE

'It has been a great honour for me to have been awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours. The citation is for services to the community and helping others.

'All my many friends in Freemasonry both Provincially, Nationally and Internationally have been very supportive of one aspect of my work since retirement in 2001. It was very clear to me at the time that there was a void in my life that needed filling. Raising money for Down Syndrome Education International has been one area and I thank all those Freemasons who have helped me raise a lot of money through my presentations in several degrees.

'Serving the needs of others was constantly in my mind during my professional career at Christ’s Hospital. My challenge on retirement was to continue this ambition in as many areas as possible. I shall continue to focus my mind on helping those in need bearing in mind those prophetic words of Abraham Lincoln ‘No man stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child’.'

Richard Brian Sutherland, MBE

Richard, honorary chairman of the board of trustees at Birtenshaw School, has been awarded an MBE for services to education and the community in Bolton.

He is a Past Master of Anchor and Hope Lodge No. 37 and Supera Moras Lodge No. 3326. He is also a Member of Antiquity Lodge No. 146.

The Birtenshaw school moved to its new multi-million pound site, in Bromley Cross, in September 2012 and Mr Sutherland was instrumental in bringing the building of the new school from dream to reality. At that time, after 21 years serving Birtenshaw as trustee and six years as chairman, he stepped down from the role and a plaque was unveiled to reveal the school hall would be known as Richard Sutherland Hall as a mark of his commitment.

Richard, who retired as Chief Executive of Bolton Health Authority in 1994, said 'I would like to thank everyone for the opportunity of working at Birtenshaw. The MBE belongs to Birtenshaw and the other charities who have put up with me for so many years.'

Maj (retired) David Malcolm Davies, BEM, TD*

David lives in Porthcawl and has been branch secretary of SSAFA Mid Glamorgan for 12 years, and a caseworker in the Bridgend division. He was previously a teacher and also worked in the accounts department of a law firm until retirement last year.

He has 5 very busy grandchildren and his hobbies include reading, gardening, walking and charity work.

Graham Phillip Ellis, BEM

Father-of-three Graham, of Puffers Green, Harlow, has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds after more than 30 years of fundraising for a number of different charities.

His first challenge was the London Marathon in 1981 and just last month he completed a 100 km trek in one of the toughest terrains in the world, the Sahara Desert. The chartered surveyor was in the desert when the letter informing him of the honour arrived at his home.

He said: 'I have been fundraising for so long that I thought I had missed out on something like this so I’m chuffed. I’m half expecting for there to be some mistake!

'It’s lovely and my family are very proud. The letter arrived while I was in the Sahara so I got home and saw the letter was there from the Cabinet Office. It has been more than 30 years of fundraising and I am pleased to be recognised. It’s really nice.'

Graham, who has five grandchildren, added: 'I have been well supported throughout the years; it has been great. The Sahara was fantastic, an amazing experience and very tough. It’s kind of hard to put into words really.'

The British Empire Medal was reintroduced in 2012 to reward sustained, local contribution and innovative, high-impact work.

Joseph John Gildea, BEM

Landlord Joseph has been awarded the British Empire Medal for his tireless charity work.

For over 10 years Joe has raised in excess of £107,000 in memory of his daughter Angela, who died from breast cancer when she was just 32 years old.

Since 2002 Joe and his regulars have been raising funds for the Countess of Chester Breast Care Unit, with regulars jumping out of planes, climbing mountains and even racing around Chester Racecourse dressed as turkeys in the annual Turkey Trot.

In September 2012 Joe's pub, nicknamed ‘the little pub with a big heart’, was voted the most charitable pub in the UK by trade paper The Morning Advertiser. He recently retired, but hopes to continue with charity work.

Andrew Harold Osborne, BEM

'I am deeply honoured to be awarded this decoration.'

'I was appointed a trustee of the Faversham United Municipal Charities by the Faversham Borough Council in 1970 and subsequently a co-opted trustee by my fellow trustees. 

'In 1970 the Charity was in a sorry state with little and often misused funds, and trustees who had closed the almshouse chapel, demolished the spires and whose main aspiration seemed to be to demolish the remainder of the building or hand it over to the Council and close the charity.

'I am proud to have been a member of a revitalised board of trustees who under the guidance of Harry Woodman, their new clerk, succeeded in turning around the finances of the charity and saving the building and its endowments for the benefit of Faversham. In 1987, 16 new modern almshouses were added to the estate.

'Last year the final step in this transformation was achieved with the agreement of the Charity Commissions to a new trust scheme which swept away the previous outdated and obsolete trusts and amalgamating the 32 separate charities under one modern scheme called Faversham Municipal Charity 2010.

'This new scheme is still bedding down and I hope to remain a trustee to see this work completed. The next major task is to remodel the old building to provide all units with separate bedrooms, improve disabled access, thermal and sound insulation and generally bring the flats up to a high standard to last for the next 150 years.'

Other brethren to receive honours included Sir Roger Gifford (Knight Bachelor), Lt Col Victor Joseph Garth Matthews (OBE), Paul Victor Dedman (MBE) and David Malcolm Davies (BEM).

Published in More News

On a visit to Sophie House in Hampton Bishop, Ian Talboys of Delphis Lodge No. 7769 found the experience 'truly inspirational'

Together with fellow Freemason Don Lane, Ian presented a donation of £1,000 from his lodge to the Martha Trust.

Sarah Sharp-Smith - founding trustee and mother of Sophie, one of the lifelong residents - gave a guided tour of the new building, now just twelve months in being.

The visitors were suitably impressed with the home’s exceptional and innovative design with 'organic shape' open spaces. It has a fully landscaped garden and a state of the art centre for complementary therapies, including hydrotherapy, aromatherapy, and music and multi-sensory stimulating light therapies.

This new building adds to the charity’s first purpose-built home at Hampton Green, established in 1996, resulting in a total of 28 single bedrooms. The rooms serve lifelong residents with profound disabilities and complex needs, requiring specialised individualised care.

Don and his wife Heather have supported the Martha Trust over the years, appreciating the severe lack of long term respite care nationally for such individuals.

Masters at work

What connects Freemasonry and martial arts? Caitlin Davies discovers how the masonic values of humility and respect have found a home in the Shotokan Karate Lodge

Sitting round a table in the corner of an Enfield pub, a group of smartly dressed Freemasons are enjoying coffee and a chat. Conversation ranges from the state of the weather to the date of the next lodge meeting. When mention is made of sweeping low blocks and rising punches, it becomes apparent that some of these masons are also black belt karate masters.

Founded more than ten years ago, the Shotokan Karate Lodge, No. 9752, is the only martial arts lodge in the world. Brothers wear a white karate suit and white belt during initiation, with the belt signifying the beginning of two journeys: Freemasonry and Shotokan karate. 

Shotokan, translated as ‘hall of shoto’ (kan meaning ‘hall’ and shoto, ‘pine waves’), was introduced to Japan by Gichin Funakoshi in 1922. Lodge members believe that this martial art and the Craft are a perfect match, as both teach brotherly love, humility and respect for others, as well as tolerance and understanding. 

Some of the men here this afternoon are senior in the lodge, while others are senior in karate. Michael Randall, the lodge’s Worshipful Master, is both. He studied under Dr Vernon Bell, who brought karate to Britain in 1956, and at ninth Dan, he is Europe’s top non-Japanese Shotokan karate sensei, or master.  

Michael first discovered karate when he was a young carpenter apprentice. ‘An older colleague had been in the army and he’d heard about karate abroad. He asked me if I fancied doing it. I thought, wow, that looks really good.’ Michael went to the Japanese embassy to ask about karate clubs, and joined the only one in London. 

A Freemason for thirty years, Michael was to meet others in the karate world who were masons. He realised that members who shared an interest often formed their own lodges, so the idea for Shotokan Karate Lodge was born. ‘Both teach the same moral lessons in life,’ he says. ‘To work hard, to train and to be a better person.’

The path to discovery

Michael picks up a copy of the lodge’s crest. In the middle is the Shotokan tiger, overlaid with the masonic square and compasses. He points to the white belt at the bottom, ‘This equals the start of the journey. It means, you come with nothing. You are innocent, a beginner.’

For Michael, karate has been a way to learn about himself, something that lodge Secretary Anthony Kirby agrees with. Anthony, also a Shotokan master, believes that karate ‘is about self-discovery’. He joined a class held at Winchmore Hill School of Karate when he was fourteen. ‘I would see Michael reading from this little blue book and I thought it was very religious. I didn’t realise then that he was a Freemason learning the ritual.’ 

Anthony was invited to become a mason when he was twenty-nine and joined Michael’s mother lodge, Sackville Lodge, No. 7063. ‘I knew nothing about it, I was one of the biggest cynics, and…’ he smiles, ‘I’d been brought up a Catholic and my parents were very uneasy. But then we found there are plenty of Catholics who are masons and that it’s nothing to do with religion.’ 

When Michael suggested forming the Shotokan lodge, Anthony became one of the founders. It started with around forty-five members, the same number it has today. ‘Some we have lost, some we have gained. We’ve had a lot of applications recently so it’s a very exciting phase,’ explains Anthony, who is proud of his lodge’s global appeal, attracting brothers from Greece, Brazil, Bermuda, Lebanon, Barbados and the US. 

As members are spread across the world, the lodge meets four times a year at Freemasons’ Hall, London. But brothers bump into each other in the world of karate all the time and frequently meet socially too. 

‘Karate changes your perception about life,’ says Michael Dinsdale, Treasurer both of the English Karate Federation and Shotokan Karate Lodge. ‘You become calmer, you react differently to situations in life, it brings you a greater humility and teaches you to understand other people’s issues.’ 

A new stance

Back in 1966, when Michael Dinsdale took up karate, he was eighteen and remembers being more inspired by James Bond than finding an inner balance. He vividly remembers one day, when he was working in a meat market, being on the London Underground: ‘I was sitting there watching the houses go by and I thought, that’s my life and I’m not doing anything with it. Then someone invited me to karate.’

Denis Dixon, a Junior Warden, discovered karate fifteen years ago when he arrived in the UK from Canada and took his two sons to a lesson. ‘I needed them to learn an art that had some discipline to it. They were new to England, had had some physical tussles, and I didn’t want them to be bullied. It gave them confidence to stand up and diffuse situations.’

Until then, Denis’s knowledge of karate came from Bruce Lee movies, but one day his boys’ instructor asked if he’d like to join in. He now runs a karate club in Colchester. Denis became a mason in 2005, after being encouraged by an old school friend and one of the lodge’s original members: ‘The principles are similar –  how you carry yourself with family, with colleagues and the people you train with.’

As for how Freemasonry has changed, Anthony says things have moved on significantly. ‘It’s more relaxed and open now. When I became a mason there was still an element of being approached. 

Just this morning a man who wants to join phoned me and we’re going to meet for coffee.’

Sacha Orzo-Manzonetta is one of the lodge’s newest members. As Anthony notes, ‘It’s the start of his journey,’ although Sacha actually began Shotokan karate when he was six in his native Italy. ‘The principles of Freemasonry and karate are similar – brotherhood, honesty, believing in yourself and others, and giving,’ Sacha says.

And with that, the group gets ready to go to Winchmore Hill. It’s where it all started for Anthony and is one of the oldest karate clubs in the south of England, offering classes for juniors and adults. The members change into white karate suits to begin practising preparatory positions as well as blocking and striking techniques. The physical mastery is impressive but so is the sense of camaraderie and shared values.

‘Karate changes your perception about life. You become calmer, it brings you a greater humility and teaches you to understand other people’s issues.’ Michael Dinsdale

Letters to the editor - No. 25 Spring 2014

Universal brotherhood

Sir,

I read with interest and fascination the recent article in Issue 24, the paper on Shotokan Karate Lodge, No. 9752. The connection and synergy between the martial arts and Freemasonry may not at first appear that obvious, but this paper clearly draws the parallels between the two. In fact, I would argue that the connection between martial arts and Freemasonry translates and has parallels in the philosophy and practice of most martial arts practised today.

Having trained in the Korean martial art of Taekwondo (to Black Belt), it is clear to me that many of the tenets described in this paper – brotherly love, humility, respect for others, tolerance and understanding – are similar to the tenets of Taekwondo, which include courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control and having an indomitable spirit. Well done fellow martial artists and brothers.

Robert Ashford (Professor), University of Birmingham Lodge, No. 5628, Edgbaston, Warwickshire

Freemasonry explained in Yorkshire

Thanks to a donation to Harrogate’s Royal Hall, a masonic exhibition has returned a portrait of Henry Lascelles to Yorkshire

The Royal Hall at Harrogate, one of the finest Edwardian theatres in the country, is a Grade 2 listed performance hall and theatre. With support from many local benefactors, led by industrialist Samson Fox, the building opened in 1903 as the Kursaal. Designed by Robert Beale and Frank Matcham, one of the most prolific theatre architects of his time, it was loosely based on the design of the Ostende Kursall in Belgium. 

Over the years, the Royal Hall has provided a superb home for the Annual Meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Yorkshire, West Riding, the first one being held in 1937. However, its masonic links go back to the Royal Hall’s origins. Samson Fox, Robert Beale and Frank Matcham were all Freemasons, as was Julian Clifford, the Royal Hall’s musical director for many years, and Alderman David Simpson, four times Mayor of Harrogate, who laid the foundation stone in 1902.

In 2001, the Royal Hall Restoration Trust was formed to raise funds towards the restoration of this important National Heritage building. Supported by the actor Edward Fox, a great-grandson of Samson Fox, donations were received from local benefactors, Harrogate Borough Council, Harrogate International Centre and the Heritage Lottery Fund which allowed for a fully authentic interior redecoration and the restoration of the Dress Circle. In 2008, the patron of the Royal Hall Restoration Trust, HRH the Prince of Wales, led the Hall’s official re-opening.

Since that time, the Trust has remained in existence to continue with those improvements not included in the major project, including the further development of the Heritage Lounge. In 2010, the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding, was pleased to make a generous donation towards the Restoration Fund, and, in particular, towards the refurbishment of the Heritage Lounge.

Part of this work included the provision of a run of seven large display cabinets, some of which the Trustees intended to fill with items of interest from those heady days when the Royal Hall attracted many outstanding 'stars' of international reputation.

Furthermore, another part of the refurbishment included an ambitious project to provide a 2 screen audiovisual system which would show different aspects of Harrogate and the Royal Hall.

As the Royal Hall, including the Heritage Lounge, is a feature of the ‘Harrogate Heritage Trail’, it is open to the public on a good number of days each year. It is also used for a variety of corporate events and as a bar during concerts or other performances held in the Hall.

When the Trustees, therefore, offered us the long term use of two of the display cabinets to house a masonic exhibition and also the opportunity to develop a module to be incorporated into the audio-visual system, W Bro Martin Stray, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, had no hesitation in gratefully accepting this very generous offer. After all, this would be the first time that a permanent exhibition of Freemasonry would be available for public viewing in a non-masonic context.

It soon became clear that there was much work to be done if we were to develop an exhibition of which the Province would be proud, hence we – W Bro Stuart Ross and W Bro Peter Smith – were commissioned in July 2011 with the task of making it happen.

Immediately we busied ourselves finding out exactly what was available in the way of interesting items suitable to be included in the exhibition. A trip to the Library and Museum of Freemasonry at Grand Lodge proved to be a very positive starting point. Diane Clements (Director) and Mark Dennis (Curator) offered invaluable assistance in creating a wish list of available items. Rooting through various cellars, cupboards and other dark and mysterious places around the Province soon unearthed further treasures which could be included. 

Early in the project, from research pursued by W Bro Stray, we were made aware of a magnificent portrait of George Lascelles, 6th Earl of Harewood, who was Provincial Grand Master of Yorkshire, West Riding 1926–1942, Pro Grand Master 1935–1942 and Grand Master 1942–1947. This portrait was commissioned by the Province in 1937 and to which each of its lodges subscribed. The portrait was painted by Sir William Nicholson and presented to the Earl to be hung in Freemasons’ Hall, London. 

Having expressed our interest in bringing this painting back to Yorkshire, representations were made to the Board of General Purposes, which agreed to the loan for an initial period of five years. This is the first occasion that the portrait has been seen outside London since it was presented all those years ago. Whilst we were naturally delighted to hear this news, it very soon became apparent that moving a fifteen foot painting from London to Harrogate was not going to be such an easy proposition. However, that was a problem for the future!

Having instigated our search for interesting exhibition items, it now became important to switch our attention to the development of our audio-visual module and to define the structure and content. We settled on the module being split into three parts i.e. an introduction, then two options: ‘What is Freemasonry’ and ‘Freemasonry and the Community’. 

From the start, we were clear that everything to do with this exhibition was to be aimed at non-masons. With this in mind, suitable text was prepared for each of the three modules and appropriate images sourced or created to support our message. When the text had been recorded as an audio file, the software company had all that they needed to work their magic on our base material, which they did with great skill. The final flourish to the module was the development of an interactive keyboard, which appears on the touch screen at the end of each module, allowing for the entry of a name and email address for anyone wishing to receive more information. Data collected in this way is then immediately sent via the internet to the Provincial Office at Bradford. 

Meanwhile, having agreed on a goodly number of artefacts from the Library and Museum of Freemasonry, it was time to look at what would be available from some of our local Lodges. We were fortunate in that De Grey and Ripon Lodge No. 837 agreed to lend us the Provincial chain, jewel and apron of the Earl de Grey and Ripon (later the Marquess of Ripon), Provincial Grand Master 1861–1874 and Grand Master 1870–1874. We then raided the Provincial archives where we found a wonderful set of Consecration Vessels, some charity posters and the beautiful Registrar’s Purse. Finally, we found some interesting items from Philanthropic Lodge No. 304.

Once transport had been arranged to bring the portrait and artefacts from London to Harrogate, we then had to consider just how the portrait was going to be raised some thirty feet in the air without damaging it. The weight of the portrait was such that special brackets had to made and cemented into the wall so that the portrait could hang safely. These brackets could only be fixed in position with the help of a scaffolding tower. Once the cement was set, the portrait would need to be hoisted up the wall and hung on to the brackets. All this had to be carefully timed to coincide with the portraits’ arrival from London.

With the portrait in place and the artefacts chosen, one would have thought that there was very little more to do other than arrange the displays in the cabinets. However, before that could be done, loan agreements had to be drafted for all the items which were to feature in the exhibition. Each artefact needed to be described in great detail, indicating any damage, and in most cases photographic evidence was required to support the description and value.

Once insurance was in place, the displays and information cards for the individual items could progress. We decided to use quite different approaches to the displays in our two allocated display units. 

Firstly we decided that the public would be interested to see items that a Freemason would himself use or see on a regular basis as a member of the Craft. Hence the main feature of the first cabinet is a Mason’s case overflowing with items of regalia, dress, jewels and other printed ephemera. 

A full box of working tools is to be found nearby, together with a number of ceremonial mauls and trowels commemorating the laying of various Foundation stones around the Province. This part of the display is supported by a superb collection of interesting glassware and ceramics, including a collection of Leeds Creamware complete with masonic symbols and two rather interesting ‘dice’ glasses.

The second cabinet holds a more limited number of larger, spectacular items, with the central focus being the Registrar’s Purse. This purse is a replica of the one belonging to United Grand Lodge and was used by the Provincial Grand Registrar to carry official documents on ceremonial occasions. This magnificent piece is a work of art in its own right and was created from silk velvet, using stump work with raised gold bullion thread, plate and sequins.

The purse is complemented by a set of decorated gilt Consecration vessels, comprising the Cornucopia (for corn), the two Ewers (for wine and oil) and the Salt. 

The colourful Provincial Grand Master’s apron and chain, used by the Earl de Grey and Ripon, then show an interesting contrast with the light blue Master Mason’s apron in the adjoining cabinet.

To provide an eye-catching backdrop to the displays, a series of superbly ornate Charity certificates from the late 19th Century were borrowed from our Provincial archives and attached to the back wall.

The exhibition opened on the occasion of the Annual Meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge on May 29th 2013, when many of the distinguished visitors and brethren attending the meeting were able to view the exhibits, watch the audiovisual presentation and admire the portrait of the Earl of Harewood on its return ‘home’. Seeing the way the exhibition was received made all the hard work and effort worthwhile, but it must also be remembered how important the support of both Harrogate Council (particularly the Royal Hall staff) and the Library and Museum of Freemasonry had been to the overall success of this development.

The exhibition is now open to the public on various days throughout the year and is also usually available for those attending events and performances in the Hall. If you would like to see the display, visit the Royal Hall website: www.royalhall.co.uk and follow the link to Royal Hall Open Days.

Very shortly after this exhibition had been completed, the opportunity arose for another exhibition to be created at the Bradford Industrial Museum. This exhibition has the double benefit of a much greater floor area to work with and an impressive attendance of around 40,000 adults pa.

At the time of writing this article, we are in the process of selecting and agreeing the items to be displayed, creating the loan agreements and putting the finishing touches to what will be yet another opportunity for the non-masons within this Province to share in the wonderful history of Freemasonry.

The exhibition, entitled 'A masonic Experience: Freemasonry Explained' is on schedule to open to the public in early December. Once again, we are indebted to the Library and Museum of Freemasonry for their continued support. We also appreciate all the hard work and effort from the staff at the Bradford Industrial Museum and the Bradford lodges: their assistance has been invaluable in helping to create this exhibition.

Ledbury’s recently formed Marie Curie Cancer Care Fundraising Group has been supported by Freemasons with a donation of £1,500

The donation was awarded by local masons from Eastnor Lodge No. 751 of Ledbury and Vaga Lodge No. 3146 of Hereford, with an additional £500 from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity.

Bruce Foster, Chairman of the Ledbury Fundraising Marie Curie Group which was formed in March 2012, emphasised that such financial help would be ring-fenced to support Herefordshire Marie Curie nurses in their care of the terminally ill.

His group of ten local members raised £8,000 during their first year, and hope to exceed this total during this current twelve months. He emphasised that, 'Our Marie Curie fundraising charity group in Ledbury genuinely welcomes this significant support of the Freemasons.'

Presenting the cheques at the Feathers Hotel, Mike Roff, Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Herefordshire, expressed the significance not only of the charitable giving by local Freemasons, but also that of the London based Grand Charity, specifically awarded to support local charities in the shire counties such as Herefordshire.

According to the Haven’s manager, Frankie Devereux, the 'hugely successful' Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Hereford, 'culminated in a most welcomed and substantial donation of £5,800.00 from the Freemasons'

Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, in presenting this latest donation, spoke highly of the truly supportive work undertaken at the Haven in Hereford. He emphasised the continued support of Freemasons, being fully aware that the success of the Haven’s work depended entirely upon charitable giving. Herefordshire Province of Freemasons has been a Guardian of the Haven since 2011.

In attendance at the presentation, undertaking his first official duty, was Edward Lord, the newly appointed National Director of Fundraising and Development for the Breast Cancer Havens in Hereford, Leeds and London. As a senior mason himself, he welcomed the support given by both local Freemasons and The Freemasons’ Grand Charity. He praised Herefordshire Masons for the continued support received over recent years.

This year’s annual masonic donation to the Haven included specific giving from Royal Edward Lodge No. 892, Palladian Lodge No. 120 and Delphis Lodge No. 7769 in Herefordshire, and the Herefordshire Masonic Charity Association. This local support was match funded by The Freemasons’ Grand Charity.

A suitable horse

Riding for the Disabled Centre at Holme Lacy, Hereford, is searching for a suitable new horse. The previous occupant of the now empty stable was Gypsy, a horse sponsored by the Freemasons of Herefordshire

Freemasons wish to continue their two decade support of the centre, and recently donated £2,600 towards the purchase of a replacement horse. The original horse they sponsored was aptly named Mason.

The annual minimum cost of maintenance for each of the 13 horses stabled at Hereford RDA is £1,500. Like all centres, Hereford RDA depends on local financial and physical support in order to provide the much appreciated quality service of compassion and care.

The centre provides 250 sessions per week for their disabled clients. One such client is Nick Jones, now aged 35, who first attended the centre at Holme Lacy when aged six: he is now an Ambassador, voluntarily representing the centre at all public occasions.

The newly appointed manager, Lisa Millman, who has been at the centre for the past 21 years, warmly welcomed the Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire the Rev David Bowen, and the Provincial Grand Charity Steward David Knowles. Lisa emphasised that as a charity, volunteers as well as financial donations are required. She is to contact the fifteen masonic lodges in Herefordshire seeking such physical support.

Rev David Bowen expressed how the quality of life of the individuals who attended the centre would diminish should the centre become non-viable – for some clients the visit to Hereford RDA was their only 'outdoor' activity. He promised continued support on behalf of Herefordshire Freemasons. The most recent donation had been match funded by The Freemasons’ Grand Charity.

Disaster relief in the Philippines

The President of The Freemasons’ Grand Charity has approved an Emergency Grant of £50,000 to the Red Cross to provide immediate disaster relief in the Philippines following the devastating Typhoon Haiyan

On Friday, 8th November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan known locally as Typhoon Yolanda, struck the east coastal provinces of Samar and Leyte. It then headed west, sweeping through six central Philippine islands. It was the strongest storm ever to make landfall, and one of the most powerful ever recorded, with reports of winds over 190mph which have caused widespread damage.

Millions of people have been affected. Amongst these are those already left homeless by the earthquake that struck in mid-October. It is estimated that 10,000 people have been killed. Many towns have been affected by the typhoon. Tacloban, Leyte Province, largely flattened by a massive storm surge. Guiuan, Samar Province with a population of 40,000 has been destroyed. Assessments in the far north of Cebu Province, had shown that some towns had suffered 80-90% damage and Baco, a city of 35,000 people in Oriental Mindoro Province was 80% under water.

On 11th November 2013, the President of The Freemasons’ Grand Charity approved an emergency grant of £50,000 to the British Red Cross to provide immediate disaster relief across the region for much needed Hygiene Kits for 8,500 families.

An online fundraising page has also been set up by The Grand Charity for the benefit of the Philippines Disaster Relief Chest. Donations can be made online using a Debit or Credit card from: http://everydayhero.co.uk/event/E0129C  

If you have any questions about this grant please contact the Grand Charity on: 020 7395 9388 

For more information about the dedicated Relief Chest visit: http://grandcharity.org/pages/typhoon_haiyan_philippines.html

Published in The Grand Charity

The Cobalt medical charity, now approaching its 50th anniversary, supports patients with cancer across Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire

At present, the charity is working with Wye Valley NHS Trust to set up a state of the art Breast Cancer Digital Screening and Biopsy Assessment Centre at Hereford County Hospital. With sufficient funding this project could be realised by the end of the current year.

Mel Bolton, Service Delivery Manager at Hereford Hospital, recently met with representatives of Herefordshire Freemasons, who are continuing in their support of the Cobalt Appeal, and toured the designated hospital area which will accommodate the new facilities. They were accompanied by Sian Syddall, Community Fundraiser for Herefordshire Cobalt Appeal.

In presenting the latest donation, the Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, Rev David Bowen, praised the work of the charity and the financial support given to the Cobalt Unit by the people of the county. He was pleased to be informed that the realisation of this latest project would make it unnecessary for patients to travel to Bromsgrove and Cheltenham to access these services.

Sian Syddall said: 'One in eight women in Herefordshire will be affected by breast cancer at some stage in their lifetime. We want to ensure that all women across the county have access to the best possible screening and follow-up, close to home and loved ones. New digital breast screening equipment for the county will undoubtedly play a vital role in the detection of breast cancer and help to save more lives. On behalf of the women in Herefordshire we would like to extend our sincere thanks to Herefordshire Freemasons for their generous support of our important local appeal.'

The Provincial Grand Master wishes to place on record the invaluable contribution made by fellow Freemason, Allan Lloyd together with his wife Angela, who have campaigned for the past decade for the provision of comprehensive cancer treatment at Hereford Hospital, of which access to digital mammography is an integral part.

A further development to be initiated by the Cobalt Charity will be the provision of a Mobile Digital Mammogram Unit serving the five market towns in the county.

 

Centenary walk for Somerset lodge

On Tuesday October 8 Nyanza Lodge, No. 1197, in Somerset celebrated 100 years in their existing Lodge building in Berrymans Lane, Ilminster, by walking from their first home in North Street, Ilminster, now a doctor’s surgery, to the current Temple.

The lodge was founded in 1867 and members moved to their current home in October 1913. In that year the brethren processed in full regalia from North Street to Berrymans Lane, via the High Street of the Somerset town, to celebrate the move. To re-enact that celebration, and to mark this historic occasion, the current members repeated that walk on October 8 in full masonic regalia, the first time that any lodge in Somerset has paraded in public since the Second World War.

The Worshipful Master of Nyanza Lodge, Hall Smyth, was joined in the procession by Stuart Hadler, the Provincial Grand Master of Somerset, together with eighteen lodge brethren. The lodge has thus continued the ‘openness’ theme, following their very successful ‘Open Day’ in 2011 when the building in Berrymans Lane was visited by several hundred members of the local residents of Ilminster.

The procession through Ilminster has since received considerable sympathetic news coverage in both local newspapers.

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