Lincolnshire Freemasons are working with the charity LIVES to make more life-saving defibrillators available to the community

Freemasons are investing at least £20,000 to meet the aim of installing defibrillators outside the 21 centres in Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire. Moreover, the Freemasons and LIVES have set up an agreement to make sure they are maintained, with all funds going back into supporting the charity.

The move aims to guarantee that the defibrillators are available to everyone in the community around the clock, permanently ready to respond. The involvement of volunteers from LIVES, Lincolnshire's Community First Responder charity, will ensure that the equipment is professionally maintained.

Lincolnshire's Provincial Grand Master Dave Wheeler said: 'We have a long tradition of support for the community at large. Working in partnership with LIVES to provide defibrillators outside our buildings means they will be available for the community as a whole, not just our members. We see this as a way of making sure that Freemasons continue to be good neighbours, which is why we have agreed to cover all the costs involved.'

Members of the Bicentenary Lodge of Installed Masters in the local town of Horncastle has made a substantial donation to the work, which is being co-ordinated by Barton Freemason Phil Spicksley.

Phil said: ‘We have had defibrillators in our Masonic centres for eight years, but until now they have been fitted inside, and therefore available only to those using the buildings. 

‘To make these arrangements for them to be outside, and therefore available to anyone who needs them, is a natural extension of Freemasonry’s growing openness.’

Kirsty Raywood from LIVES said: ‘We are thrilled to be working alongside the Freemasons to move all of their defibrillators outside so that they are available around the clock. Around 30,000 people in the UK experience an out of hospital cardiac arrest each year. The potential for saving a life is dependent upon time; the faster medical help can be obtained the better the chance of survival.

‘Clinical studies suggest you have less than five minutes from the onset of the event to save the patient’s life and the chance of survival decreases by up to 10% for each minute that their heart is stopped. The early use of a defibrillator alongside early CPR makes a significant difference for the likelihood of the patient surviving a cardiac arrest.

‘In rural areas it can take longer to get medical help, so Community Public Access Defibrillators (CPAD) have a very important part to play in helping to save lives in rural communities. CPAD schemes are reported to be up to 10 times more effective in saving lives, in the pre-hospital setting, than other community schemes alone.’

Work to fit the defibrillators has begun, and the first to be moved was at the Nightingale Rooms in Lincoln. 

Freemasons in Leicestershire & Rutland have had a change of leadership for the first time in 10 years

At a special meeting in Leicester, where over 420 Freemasons attended, Peter Charles Kinder, a Freemason for the last 46 years, has taken over as Provincial Grand Master, succeeding David Hagger as the organisation's thirteenth head since the combination of the counties of Leicestershire & Rutland in 1856.

On Friday 29th November 2019, Freemasons' Hall in Leicester was close to capacity as the UGLE's Deputy Grand Master Jonathan Spence and his team made their way from London to preside over the Installation of Peter Kinder as Provincial Grand Master of Leicestershire & Rutland. 

Before the meeting, a lunch was held in both the Oliver and Holmes Dining Rooms to celebrate a new era in Freemasonry for Leicestershire & Rutland. At the meeting afterwards, Peter Kinder was announced as the new Provincial Grand Master, after which he proceeded in to announce his team for the coming year to help run, support, and manage the 11 Masonic Centres and 79 Lodges.

Peter was born and raised in Leicester, son of Ken Kinder, a sales and marketing professional at British United Shoe Machinery Limited in Leicester. Peter's mother, Kath, was born in Hertfordshire, where her father ran the family bakery business until she moved to Leicestershire after meeting Ken.  

Peter completed his education by attending Southfields College in Leicester where he studied Boot and Shoe manufacturing, (BBSI Grad.) linking in with his occupation with the National and International Adhesive Manufactures Bostik Limited as a sales management trainee. Peter has stayed within the industry and is now Chief Executive Officer of Anglo Adhesives in Melton Mowbray.  

Freemasonry runs in the family, the influences of his Father, Brother, God Father, and many friends led Peter to join the fraternity in 1973. When not working or carrying out his many duties for the Freemasons, Peter is a keen golfer. He was Captain of Rothley Park Golf Club in 1994. Moreover, he was also a very interested Rugby player at Stoneygate FC and now follows Leicester Tigers and Leicester City Football Club.

When asked about his goals for taking over as Provincial Grand Master, Peter said: 'Freemasonry is more relevant in today's society than ever before. The constant challenges that face us in our working and social lives, can be enriched by the work we as Freemasons do. 

'My major objectives during my tenure as Provincial Grand Master is to build on the successes of the past. Encourage larger attendances at Lodges and further develop the Pathway project that will hopefully lead us to recruit and retain many high calibre members. Additionally, to ensure that our members take great enjoyment out of what we do and to bring Freemasonry to the forefront of the local communities that we serve.'

Every Spring and Autumn Freemasons from all around Devon met to support local organisations and charities which require financial assistance, amongst those included are schools, youth centres and locally based charities including hospices, hospital services and cancer charities

The money is raised through the 'WAKE FUND', a trust conceived by William Alexander Kneel, the Provincial Grand Master of Devonshire from 1970 to 1984. Since the idea was initiated, the fund has grown through the continued generosity of Devonshire Freemasons and wise investments which today stands at £2 million. From the £2 million, the trustees devote £50,000 each year for charity purposes.

Since the first disbursement in 2001 almost £770,000 has been given to over 868 worthy non-masonic organisations and charities throughout Devon, selected by members of the 131 Masonic lodges based throughout the county.

Ian Kingsbury, the current Provincial Grand Master for Devonshire Freemasons, presented cheques to 20 deserving causes at the meeting held at The Masonic Hall in Exmouth at the beginning of November. The charity representatives accompanied by a member from their nominating lodge were able to enjoy a superb reception & buffet, enjoy a tour of the lodge building, ask any questions they wished and receive their cheques totalling £25,000.

Ian Kingsbury said: 'I am delighted that the Freemasons of Devon are able to continue to contribute to these important local causes many of which are totally run by volunteers and hopefully these donations will make a real difference to the lives of many people.'

Among the organisations that will benefit are:

  • Street Vets, Plymouth
  • Shekinah Mission Plymouth
  • Ivybridge Community Transport Assoc
  • Plymouth Raiders Wheelchair Basketball Club
  • Exeter Gateway Centre, No.17 Exeter Foyer
  • Exeter Saracens Under 11 Rugby Team
  • Veterans with Dogs Exeter
  • Sid Vale Memory Cafe
  • Exmouth Gateway Club
  • Axmouth Playground Assoc
  • Crediton Play Scheme for Children with Special Needs
  • Sense Devon Group for the Deafblind
  • Exeter & Newton Abbot
  • Torbay Guide Dogs
  • The Calvert Trust Barnstaple
  • Holsworthy Scouts
  • Slightly Different Singing Group North Devon
  • St. Mary Magdalen Church South Molton
  • Exmoor Explorers
  • Barnstaple Rugby Club Juniors

Good Hope Hospital Charity and Heartlands Hospital Charity are aiming to raise £150,000 for brand new state-of-the-art incubators for the Neonatal Units across the two sites that will help treat the tiniest of lives at the hospital. Warwickshire Freemasons have stepped up and pledged £40,000 to buy two of these lifesaving systems

Every year, over 11,000 babies are born at Heartlands Hospital and Good Hope Hospital. Over 1,000 of those babies will be born too poorly or too soon and need the support of the Neonatal Unit.

The Neonatal Units treat babies who are born as early as 23 weeks of gestation and can weigh as little as one pound. These babies will be born before their vital organs have developed such as their brain, lungs and even skin.

The hospital charity has launched a fundraising appeal to bring seven state-of-the-art incubators to the hospital’s Neonatal Units across Heartlands Hospital and Good Hope Hospital to help staff provide the best possible care for the hospitals most tiny patients.

These incubators will not only make it easier for staff to treat babies in a more comfortable way, they will also provide lifesaving therapeutic hypothermia which helps reduce the likelihood of brain injury to premature babies by cooling. Currently, babies who need this type of treatment may have to be transferred to another hospital, causing more distress to families.

As well as providing a lifeline for premature babies the new incubators have a number of additional benefits to staff and families. These are:

  • The incubators are sound proof and can help the baby get the rest they need on a loud busy unit, as well as having special covers to block out the light and protect the baby’s delicate eyes.
  • Nurses and doctors can also weigh the baby inside the incubator, to save the trauma to the baby of having to be constantly moved and disturbed.
  • It has the ability to be lowered (even down to toddler level). This means mums who have had C-Sections will be able to access their baby with ease and little discomfort.
  • The roof lifts off, this means doctors and nurses can gain crucial access to baby – this is especially helpful during procedures.
  • It has an inbuilt IPad/IPhone docking station so that parents can record themselves reading a story, their heartbeats or play music to help baby feel more comfortable.
  • Finally it has heaters which create a wall when the side of the incubator opens. This means parents can be more hands on without worrying about baby being cold.

The Warwickshire Masonic Charitable Association will be supporting these two local hospitals in this vital work, by purchasing two life support machine/incubators. This will enable critically ill babies to remain close to home so that parents can spend as much time as possible bonding with their new baby, making the most of the time they have together.

Laura Power, Fundraising Manager at Good Hope Hospital Charity, said: ‘A huge thank you to the Warwickshire Freemasons for pledging £40,000 for the brand new incubators the Neontal Units across Good Hope and Heartlands.

‘The brand new incubators will improve the care of tiny babies born in the hospitals and will prevent them having to be transferred to another hospital for their care and treatment.’

Each incubator costs £20,000 and the WMCA is asking each lodge to consider using one of its charity appeals to help raise the funds. A roll of honour showing the name and number of each lodge, which has contributed, will be displayed in the Neo Natal unit at each hospital. This is an urgent appeal as babies need help to live right now.

The Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshire David Macey, who visited the Neo Natal Unit at Heartlands Hospital on 25th October 2019, said: ‘The work undertaken on the Neo Natal Unit is both outstanding and futuristic. It was a real privilege to meet the staff and witness their total dedication to their tiny patients and their families.

‘As the head of Freemasonry in Warwickshire, I am extremely proud of the generosity shown by our members which will enable premature babies to remain close to their families at such a critical time in their lives. I am sure that the two incubators we have donated, when combined with the skill of the staff on the wards, will give all the babies a strong fighting chance.’

HARIS’S STORY

Haris was born at 24 weeks and three days, weighing just 1lbs 10oz and was cared for on the Neonatal Unit for the first 94 days of his life. His mum, Ellie said: ‘The unit saved our son’s life. We were very lucky and appreciate everything that the staff did for Haris.’

The pictures below show Haris when he was born and how he looks now as an energetic and healthy one year old. Neonatal babies will almost always need the assistance of a specialist incubator to help monitor progress, keep babies away from infection and help with their respiratory. The money provided by the Warwickshire Freemasons will provide incubators to help babies just like Haris.

Read baby Haris’s full story here to see how important our support is for premature babies and their families.

As part of its Centenary celebrations, Norfolk Installed Masters Lodge No. 3905 was honoured to receive one of only four official presentations of this year's Prestonian Lecture - Freemasonry and The Great War by Mike Karn

Mike gave an outstanding presentation which he had tailored for the evening to be particularly specific to the Province of Norfolk. His wonderful presentation was enjoyed by a packed house and followed by a particularly vibrant and enjoyable Festive Board.

Mike was in the company of the Lodge’s Master and his Wardens, who also happen to be the Provincial Grand Master for Norfolk Stephen Allen, Deputy Provincial Grand Master Charles Hall and Assistant Provincial Grand Master Michael Gooderson.

In 2018, the Leicestershire & Rutland Light Blue Club successfully bid to host the 2019 New & Young Masons Clubs Conference. Beating competition from other clubs throughout the country, the Light Blue Club’s winning theme of 'Building Bonds’ was the foundation for months of hard work, culminating in the conference that was held at Freemasons’ Hall, Leicester on 28th September 2019

The New & Young Masons Club (NYMC) was created to bring together all of the Light Blue Clubs from around the country, to share ideas and best practices and to ensure their continued success. Representatives from 31 of these clubs descended on Freemasons’ Hall, Leicester, to enjoy an action packed and informative day, with friends, acquaintances, new members and a great line up of speakers.

After welcoming their guests, a tour was conducted by our Light Blue Club members of the magnificent building we have at London Road, culminating in a talk in the Holmes Lodge Room by Richard Barnett and a viewing of their museum.

By 10am, the 100 seats in the magnificent Holmes Lodge Room were filled as their Light Blue Club Chairman Bob Reay opened the conference. Bob gave a welcoming speech and introduced the Provincial Grand Master for Leicestershire & Rutland David Hagger, who thanked everyone for attending and introduced the day’s guest speakers. Next to take to the stage was the President of the Light Blue Club, Peter Kinder, who gave an insight into the origins of the Light Blue Club, along with his thoughts and aims for the day.

Samuel Harris of the Light Blue Club then took great pleasure in introducing the next two sets of speakers, with whom he had been liaising to secure their time for a ground breaking set of presentations. First to the stage was the Grand Master of the Honourable Fraternity of Ancient Freemasons, Christine Chapman, to give an insight into the history and background to Women’s Freemasonry in England.

There are two Grand Lodges of Women Freemasons in England, and the second presenter was Elaine Malone, Deputy Grand Secretary, accompanied by Mia Cameron-Dungey, from the Order of Women Freemasons. This presentation was very well received and gave the audience a better understanding of where the Order originated from, as well as an insight into their future plans.

The first ‘Break out session’, with the theme entitled The Foundation Stone, involved a move downstairs to the Oliver Dining Room, which was set up by the superb team at Devonshire Place. The round table discussions proved to be a huge success, with energy and enthusiasm for understanding what it is our New & Young Masons Clubs need to be successful.

After lunch, the team from Solomon, David Pratt, Provincial Grand Master of Yorkshire, West Riding, together with Dr. Craig Johnson and Ken Wootton, gave a valuable insight into the Learning & Development programme.

Breakout sessions two and three, ‘Raising a Superstructure’ and ‘Building Bonds’ were equally a success, with great feedback from all participants as the attendees worked towards sharing ideas and developing a mission statement.

Then in the Holmes Lodge Room. Focusing on the Future of Freemasonry and how we can all help to achieve this bright future, David conducted a captivating presentation, which was followed by a question and answer session before the day's proceedings were brought to a close. To round off an exhausting yet captivating day was Mitch Merrick-Thirlway, the Administrator of the NYMC, as it was down to him to announce the winners who would host the conference to held in 2022. And the winners were, the Fleet House Light Blues Club from the Province of Hertfordshire.

After such a superb day, of learning, listening, education, and sharing of ideas, many of the attendees stayed on to enjoy the hospitality of the Wyggeston Lodge No. 3448 to complete the day.

David Hagger said: ‘I would like to thank all of the organisers and members of our Light Blue Club for what has been an excellent day. I would also like to thank all of our guests and speakers for their valuable time and also to all of the members from up and down the country for their energy and enthusiasm. You are the future of Freemasonry and today has demonstrated what a bright future we have.’

Published in Initiatives & Clubs

During a royal visit to Bristol, UGLE's Grand Master, The Duke of Kent, accompanied by Lord Lieutenant for the City and County of Bristol, Peaches Golding OBE, the High Sheriff of Bristol, Charles Wyld, and the Lord Mayor of Bristol, Councillor Jos Clark, were given a detailed tour around Freemasons' Hall by the Provincial Grand Master Jonathan Davis and Deputy Provincial Grand Master Richard Lewis

On arriving at Lodge Room 1, they were greeted by a packed room of Bristol Freemasons and their partners. The Grand Master was then given a tour of the Grade II listed building, which has been the home of Bristol Freemasons for over 150 years.

He then received a short talk on the history of the Province of Bristol and afterwards was introduced to members who are involved in different projects, which include working with local charities s in the community.

After a light lunch served in one of the Dining Rooms, the Grand Master was invited to sign the visitors book before departing by car for his next appointment at Bristol Cathedral.

Staffordshire’s Provincial Grand Master John Lockley endorsed and launched a unique advertising campaign to support the Masonic Charitable Foundation and the work they do to help communities throughout England and Wales with donations to local charities

A large advert has been placed on the side of an articulated trailer owned by local Freemason Danny Poole who runs a specialist chilled food distribution and transport business based in Stoke on Trent.

This giant trailer is decorated in specially commissioned MCF colours and branding and has been launched on the roads of the UK and Europe – in particular England, France, Germany and Belgium.

The idea was generated by Danny and his wife Jackie. Danny approached the Staffordshire MCF Representative Andrew Tomblin and generously offered a trailer for decoration in full MCF colours to carry the masonic message of Charity For All across the country and into Europe.  These trailers never stand still and rather like aircraft are out there somewhere constantly working and being seen by all.

Andrew took the idea and discussed the plan with the MCF marketing department team, which resulted in the creation of the new artwork designed to carry the Masonic message across the entire length of the trailer and the rear doors. The vehicle is breathtakingly large and very eye catching and will take Freemasonry’s caring message far and wide.

John Lockley said: ‘Many thanks to Danny and Jackie for their great idea and for allowing the use of this magnificent vehicle to help Staffordshire Freemasons promote the Masonic Charitable Foundation, nationally and internationally.’

Funds given by Freemasons to help victims of Wainfleet’s summertime flooding are being used to good effect in and around the town

So far more than £55,000 has been given to 61 families whose homes were inundated when the River Steeping burst its banks. 

The funds were made of up £25,000 each from the Province of Lincolnshire, The Mark Benevolent Fund, and the Masonic Charitable Foundation, topped up with donations from other Provinces which had also experienced flooding, and understood the need for a sustained response.

And on a Lincolnshire Day visit to the Coronation Hall in the village, the Provincial Grand Master for Lincolnshire Dave Wheeler said he was confident the funds were being given to the right people in the right way.

At the ‘sharp end’ of delivery is Sue Fortune, Joint CEO of the Lincolnshire Community Foundation which is managing and co-ordinating the appeal funding. She has met many of the families face to face and said: 'Phase 1 involved giving £500 to each home which the water had got in to. Phase2 started at the beginning of September, and is offering up to £1,000 to alleviate specific hardship.'

The money is not being divided equally, says Sue, but is being distributed equitably. 'Some people need the money more than others, and some haven’t asked for financial support on the basis they believe others are worse off and need the money more,' she said.

Sue said a face-to-face approach had been made available to support those affected, rather than leaving it to online applications. 'As well as needing money, people needed to have someone they could talk to; to feel someone cared. That, and having the Coronation Hall to go to where people could access various support agencies, have been a fundamental part of the success of the recovery process.'

Sue freely shared her mobile phone number with the families, resulting in calls as early and 7.30am and as late as 9pm.  She also spent a considerable time at the Coronation Hall in the town, which became a ‘flood hub’; a focal point for residents. Those calls and meetings yielded some tough stories, such as the couple who were due to exchange contracts for a house sale the day after the floods and families who lost everything. “We listened to all the stories, and responded equitably,' she said.

Face-to-face meetings also helped signpost the villagers to people with specialist knowledge who were able to get things done. A grants panel was formed, with Sue as mediator, to offer financial support to help bring Wainfleet back to, as close as possible, to the way it was before the flood. Sue’s fellow Joint CEO James Murphy added: 'There was naturally a significant degree of emotional distress. Being here in person provided the reassurance of proactivity; that there was a person they could talk to.'

After meeting Sue, James, and the residents at a Lincolnshire Day get-together in Coronation Hall Dave Wheeler said: 'We have been so reassured that the money we have donated has gone absolutely to the right people and the right places. The process we have heard of today is fantastic. All of Lincolnshire’s Freemasons can feel as proud as I do of what’s been achieved with our financial help. I am in awe of the work that’s been done here since the flooding; it’s superb.'

80 members from Cambridgeshire and its neighbouring Provinces attended an Emergency Meeting of the Cambridgeshire Provincial Grand Stewards Lodge No. 9927 on 19th September for a unique event within the history of the Province – their Provincial Grand Master William Dastur was the Candidate for Initiation

The acting officers for the ceremony at Freemasons’ Hall in Cambridge were members of 10 out of the Province's 30 lodges, who had made the highest bids to participate.

A very enjoyable evening saw the acting officers (and the Initiate) perform an impeccable ceremony and raise a total of well over £2,500 for Cambridgeshire's Festival 2023, in aid of the Masonic Charitable Foundation.

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