W Bro Steve Wright is currently in the chair of two Craft lodges: St Wilfrid Lodge, No. 4453, in the Province of Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire, and Fons Vitae Lodge, No. 8744, in the Province of Derbyshire.
This inspired him with the idea of walking between his two lodges, Fons Vitae in Long Eaton and St Wilfrid in Oundle – a distance of some 60 miles – to raise money for the respective festival appeals in the two provinces: the Derbyshire 2014 Festival in aid of the Masonic Samaritan Fund, and the Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire 2013 Festival for the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution.
On the morning of Tuesday 8th May, accompanied by his intrepid and long-suffering partner, Miss Sue Leaver, and their toy rabbit mascot Alistair McAlistair, he set off from Long Eaton in Derbyshire, cheered on by members of the Fons Vitae Lodge.
After many trials and tribulations – as well as the occasional well-earned break for refreshments at hostelries along the way – Steve and Sue (and Alistair, of course) finally arrived in Oundle on Saturday, 12th May, to be greeted warmly by members of St Wilfrid Lodge.
In total, W Bro Wright succeeded in raising over £1,200 with the walk, to be divided between the two festivals. Many congratulations to him and his good lady, Sue, and a sincere thank you to the brethren in both provinces for their generous sponsorship.
As well as being an experienced Freemason, Tony has been a national volunteer with The Scout Association for the past 25 years, working in a range of areas including the recruitment and training of adult volunteers. He is also the Provincial Grand Mentor for Derbyshire and Director of Communications for the Derbyshire Festival 2014.
For the past five years, Tony has been the point of liaison between the Kindred Lodges Association and The Scout Association, aiming to promote a better understanding of Freemasonry within Scouting and of Scouting within Freemasonry. As two organisations with similar values and shared challenges, both The Scout Association and the United Grand Lodge recognise the potential that communication between the organisations has for the future and both endorse and support the work that Tony is doing.
In his Prestonian Lecture, Tony will outline the many similarities between Scouting and Freemasonry – as well as some key differences. His research examines the relationship the founder of Scouting Robert Baden-Powell had with Freemasonry and he will also identify some of the many Freemasons who have made a positive impact on the growth of the world’s largest youth organisation.
Tony will additionally describe some of the work that Freemasons are doing to support Scouting today and explain how Freemasonry can learn from an organisation that is growing in membership.
At times entertaining, at times challenging, Tony’s Prestonian Lecture will be of interest to all Freemasons, whether they have a Scouting background or not.