Last month saw a large attendance at Shrewsbury’s Freemasons’ Hall for the much-anticipated signing of the Armed Forces Covenant by Provincial Grand Master, Roger Pemberton on behalf of Shropshire Brethren, committing the Province to supporting the nation’s serving and former members of the country’s Armed Forces
Provincial Grand Master Roger welcomed the many guests, especially Lieutenant-Colonel Samantha Brettell, Senior Military Representative from Army HQ West Midlands, Dr Ashley Fraser, Deputy Lieutenant for Shropshire and the Hon. Selina Graham, High Sheriff of Shropshire.
Also present were Shropshire Brethren, including those from the Province’s newest Lodge, Shropshire Combined Services Lodge No 9988, led by their Worshipful Master, the blind former soldier and Paralympic archer Clive Jones.
Roger highlighted the Province’s links with the Armed Forces over the centuries: our first Deputy Provincial Grand Master retired in 1780 after 35 years’ service as a half pay Major for King George 111; Salopian Lodge of Charity No 117 was formed in 1810 from the Shropshire Militia and the Provincial Grand Master for 39 years until 1938, Lord Forester, was a Colonel of the Royal Horse Guards.
Looking forward, the Provincial Grand Master said the Freemasons offer Fellowship, Respect and Care and accordingly were proud to be signatories of the Covenant to as a continuing commitment to demonstrate support for members of the Armed Forces in every area covered by the Covenant, including education, family support housing, careers, access to health care and to financial assistance.
Those present were entertained by a local brass band and a buffet before witnessing the formal signing by the Provincial Grand Master, the Deputy Lieutenant and the Senior Military Representative.