Tuesday, 11 September 2018 00:00

The RMBI are approaching care from a new angle

The Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution’s Devonshire Court care home in Leicester has opened the STAR centre, which has an innovative take on boutique care for older Freemasons and their families, offering residential care and dementia support. Each room in the centre has a theme, such as ‘movie star’ or ‘garden’

Home Manager Juliet O’Connor said: ‘Our STAR centre is an important step towards offering residents a unique and individual care experience within beautiful surroundings. Each room is furnished and decorated differently to help reflect residents’ personalities and interests.’

For further information about Devonshire Court or any of RMBI Care Co.’s services, please call 020 7596 2400 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Published in RMBI

Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes was the guest of honour at the conclusion of the Nottinghamshire 2018 Festival, which raised over £2.6 million for the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys

Festival President Philip Marshall, the Provincial Grand Master of Nottinghamshire, presented a cheque to the Pro Grand Master for £2,645,907, which was raised by Nottinghamshire Freemasons over the six years of the festival appeal.

The day started with a celebration for young people. Children’s charities supported by Nottinghamshire Freemasons were invited to a spectacular outdoor event, free of charge, in the grounds of Kelham Hall near Newark. Over 1,000 people attended the event which included riding for the disabled, face painting, craft workshops, fairground rides and bouncy castles. The young people enjoyed a day of fun in a safe environment which was marshalled by Freemasons and the Nottinghamshire Scouts.

The evening celebration was attended by Freemasons from Nottinghamshire who had generously supported the 2018 Festival. A drinks reception in the late afternoon sunshine was followed by a banquet held in the Great Hall and Carriage Court of Kelham Hall. Over 560 Freemasons and their partners attended along with Freemasons from the surrounding Provinces and leaders of the Masonic Charitable Foundation.

Following a series of speeches by the leaders of the Festival and VIP’s, the Chief Operating Officer of the Masonic Charitable Foundation, Les Hutchinson, revealed the Festival total to the expectant gathering. He explained that the amount raised of £963 per member was the second highest ‘per-capita’ figure raised in any Masonic Festival – and second only to Nottinghamshire’s total from their previous Festival.

The incredible six year period of fundraising was concluded with a spectacular concert. World renowned girls’ choir Cantamus started the concert with enchanting performances of popular music tracks.

The girls were followed by Jasmine Ellcock, a recipient of support from The Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys and finalist in Britain’s Got Talent 2016. The concert, and Festival, was then brought to an appropriate crescendo by the winners of Britain’s Got Talent 2014, Collabro.

Archibald George Montgomerie, 18th Earl of Eglinton and 6th Earl of Winton, Past Assistant Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England, died on Thursday 14 June 2018, aged 78

Born on 27 August 1939, he was the son of Archibald William Alexander Montgomerie, 17th Earl of Eglinton and 5th Earl of Winton, who served as Grand Master Mason of Scotland from 1957 to 1961, and his wife Ursula (née Watson).

Educated at Eton, he married Marion Carolina Dunn-Yarker on 7 February 1964, with whom he had four sons. On the death of his father on 21 April 1966, he succeeded as 18th Earl of Eglinton, 6th Earl of Winton, 7th Baron Ardrossan, 19th Lord Montgomerie and Chief of Clan Montgomerie.

He was a member of the London Stock Exchange, Managing Director of Gerrard Holdings from 1972 to 1992 and subsequently, Chairman of Gerrard Vivian Gray from 1992 to 1994 and the Edinburgh Investment Trust in 1994.

Lord Eglinton was initiated in Mother Kilwinning Lodge No. 0, under the Grand Lodge of Scotland, before joining United Lodge of Prudence No. 83 in 1961 and serving as their Worshipful Master in 1968. He was also a member of Royal Alpha Lodge No. 16, Bard of Avon Lodge No. 778, Christ’s Hospital Lodge No. 2650, Old Etonian Lodge No. 4500 and Methuen Lodge No. 631.

He served as Chairman of the Board of Management of the Royal Masonic Institution for Boys and also the General Committee of the Royal Masonic Institution for Girls, and later served as the first President of the Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys (subsequently, the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys) from 1982 until 1988. He also served as a Trustee of the Prestonian Fund and the Grand Lodge 250th Anniversary Fund.

In the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE), Lord Eglinton was appointed Senior Grand Warden in 1971 and was appointed Assistant Grand Master in 1989, serving until 1995. He was also the representative of the Grand Lodge of Scotland in UGLE.

He was exalted in Westminster and Keystone Chapter No. 10 in 1981 serving as MEZ in 1990. He was appointed Grand Scribe N in 1991 and promoted to Past Third Grand Principal in 1992.

Published in UGLE

Wheelchair sports charity WheelPower partnered with the Middlesex Masonic Sports Association to deliver a ‘Feel Inspired’ junior disability sports event for 12 to 18-year-olds in Uxbridge on 7 June 2018

The event was a great success, with 52 children from three local schools taking part in a wide range of sports including wheelchair basketball, wheelchair tennis, wheelchair badminton, powerlifting, fencing, boccia, modern pentathlon shooting and zone hockey. 

Amongst the helpers and trainers was Great Britain powerlifting gold medallist Louise Sugden, who coached powerlifting, showed her medals and inspired all present with her story. 

'The junior camp was a resounding success and was thoroughly enjoyed by all who participated,' said Oliver Buncombe, WheelPower's Sport Development Officer. 

'We are extremely grateful for the support we received from Brunel University, who provided the sports facilities we required and whose students were fantastic volunteers. A big thank you must also be said to the sports coaches who gave of their time to deliver the sports sessions.  

'Finally, we cannot thank the Middlesex Masonic Sports Association enough for their support in not only providing brilliant volunteers but for also funding this event. We hope that we will be able to work alongside them again and host more events like this in and around Middlesex in future.' 

Paul Sully, Chairman of the Middlesex Masonic Sports Association, added: 'We are very proud to be associated with this event and able to help Wheelpower transform lives through sport. It was a great day and we already have plans to repeat the exercise.'

Also supporting the event were Middlesex Provincial Stewards and a number of the members of Ruislip St Martin's Lodge No. 9125, which is the Universities Scheme Lodge associated with Brunel University.

Published in Initiatives & Clubs

Supportive sailors in Lincoln have transformed a £25,000 Tercentenary donation from the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) into a specialist pontoon and a safety boat to transform the way it can help disabled people on to the water

The sailors are members of Hykeham Sailability, a charity launched in 2009 to provide sailing opportunities for disabled people in Lincolnshire, but at that time the group had no boats, equipment, sailing expertise, volunteers, or even potential members.

Led by non-sailing Keven Roberts, who sadly passed away in 2016, the group has secured thousands in funding, inspired and trained numerous volunteers and instructors and worked tirelessly to establish what is now a thriving, vibrant sailability club.

Hykeham Sailability is part of the national RYA Sailability programme, which supports disabled people in learning to sail and sailing regularly. The group’s aim is to give both adults and young people the freedom and confidence to get out on the water.

Lincolnshire Freemasons Walter Cook, Worshipful Master of Doric Lodge No. 362, and Terry Wallhead, from Witham Lodge No. 297, have visited the club to see the equipment bought with the MCF grant.

The Provincial Grand Master of Devonshire Ian Kingsbury paid a visit to the United Grand Lodge of England, but bizarrely he didn’t have to go all the way to London

Simon Wills, General Manager of Babbacombe Model Village in Torquay, Devon, had invited Ian to view the latest introduction to their collection – an exact replica of the iconic Freemasons' Hall building in Great Queen Street. Ian was also featured in his dress regalia as part of the new model demonstration.

These models had taken many months to build and also included in their new City display is a model of Mark Masons Hall.

The village, which has been open since 1963, houses hundreds of model scenes of famous and iconic buildings which can be found around the country, surrounded by waterfalls and water features and includes over 13,000 miniature residents who live there.

Simon also kindly offered to donate 50% of the entrance fee from Devonhsire Freemasons and their families to help fund the MCF Masonic Charitable Foundation Devonshire Festival 2023.

Sara Rothwell has become the first winner of the Royal College of Organists’ Freemasons’ Prize

Sara came up from Fishguard in south-west Wales to play on the Grand Temple organ at Freemasons' Hall, where she was congratulated by Dr David Staples, Grand Secretary of the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE).

Following this, Sara was then shown around Freemasons' Hall by Charles Grace, the Organ Curator, who was also oversaw the restoration of the Grand Temple organ.

The Freemasons’ Prize is awarded to the pupil who scores the most points overall in the Colleague of the RCO (CRCO) examinations.

Besides instituting this prize, UGLE are also funding Freemasons’ Bursaries to help less well-off pupils with organ tuition fees and travel expenses, as well as making the new digital organ in Temple 10 available to RCO pupils who wish to practice for their exams. The Grand Temple organ may be one of those used by the RCO for examination purposes.

Sara said: 'I am delighted to be the first winner of this prize and thrilled to be able to look round this beautiful building and have a chance to play this organ. It is a lovely instrument and Harrison & Harrison have done a wonderful job of renovating and enhancing it.'

Published in More News

Eleven-year-old Clara Garavini has walked across Wales in aid of Teddies for Loving Care and raised over £2,000

Her three-day adventure took place over the May Bank Holiday weekend, beginning near Welshpool and ending at Claragh Bay near Aberystwyth on the coast. 

Clara was supported by her father Nick Garavini, Immediate Past Master of Longmynd Lodge No. 4877 in the Province of Shropshire, who planned the route and walked with her. A JustGiving page set up to raise funds has already seen Clara overtake her target of £2,000 and donations are still welcomed.

Nick said: 'This was a big undertaking for a girl who is, after all, still just eleven. Over £2,200 represents nearly half of Shropshire's annual spending on teddies for this wonderful charity.'

The walk itself was arduous, made more so by the appalling weather. 'We began in mist and were treated to some traditional Welsh Bank Holiday weather before enjoying glorious sunshine as we neared our destination,' said Nick.

Nevertheless, Clara was able to feel a real sense of achievement and to know that her walk will enable thousands of distressed children to receive some comfort at a time of need.

Lincolnshire Freemasons have stepped in with a £3,000 donation to help Scunthorpe’s Forge project meet the growing demands for its services amongst those in poverty and suffering homelessness
 
The service, based on the town’s Cottage Beck Road, is facing more demands for help than at any time since it was launched almost 20 years ago, and this latest donation will be used as part funding for a part-time support worker to help meet the need.
 
The money is a donation from the Masonic Charitable Foundation and was made by representatives of Scunthorpe’s four masonic lodges, who were able join some of The Forge’s service users in a creative writing workshop.
 
The Forge is managed by Andrea Houghton, who said that staff had established partnerships with other agencies such as social local housing authorities, drug agencies, mental health agencies and social and private landlords, and as such was a hub at which those in need could access services in a safe and supportive environment. She said that by working closely with these agencies they were able to get help to where it was needed quickly.
 
The centre is now open for five mornings a week to provide support with a range of issues, and three afternoons a week for creative work. Lunches are provided, cooked by the service users themselves, and there were shower and laundry facilities, which had been introduced as the result of other financial help.
 
Andrea said: 'A number of factors, including changes in the benefits system, have meant numbers attending our Day Centre have almost doubled, and we can only see these numbers increasing.  We say The Forge is about opportunities for change; it’s about helping people to help themselves, and build in them the resilience to be able to do that.'
 
Lincolnshire Freemason Stuart Pearcey said: 'The funds from the Masonic Charitable Foundation are an example of how we can support the work of non-Masonic organisations. Having funds available means that people working in support of the community can make a more effective contribution than they would otherwise be able to do.'

West Lancashire Freemasons have donated £19,449 to Willowbrook Hospice in Merseyside

The donation was made by the Masonic Charitable Foundation on behalf of West Lancashire Freemasons, which follows the hospice's bid for a grant to fund a special project. As a result, a visit was arranged from the St Helens and Prescot Group from within the Province of West Lancashire to mark the donation.

Willowbrook was chosen as a recipient in order to aid in the creation of ‘Willowbrook Connections’. This is a three-phase project to aid carers and family members who need support before, during and after the loss of a loved one. Particular emphasis will be placed on assisting children and male relatives, two groups who are often reluctant to seek help.

Specifically, the project will provide a ‘Kids Shack’ where children between the ages of 5 and 16 can come along to after school hours, get to know each other, and take part in activities together. Support will be on hand from trained staff who will engage with the children and help support them in those difficult times.

A similar project will create a ‘Men Shed’, designed to help and support male relatives who are often unwilling to talk about their difficulties.

The St Helens and Prescot Masonic Group has supported Willowbrook since its foundation and donations from the group, as well as from individual lodges and chapters, are an important aid in funding this essential and important local service. Although the hospice does receive aid from central government and the local health authority, this only provides a small percentage of the large sum they require each year to function.

Neil Wright, Willowbrook Hospice CEO, detailed that the hospice costs £4.5 million annually to run and that government support of just £1.5 million left a very large funding deficit. Neil explained that this shortfall had to be filled by appealing for voluntary aid and support from the local and wider community. Money, he said, was raised by various means, with donations and legacies forming a very important part of this fundraising, supplemented by the hospice lottery and income from the hospice.

The Masonic visitors were welcomed by the Chairman of the trustees Alan Chick, who gave a short explanation of the work done by Willowbrook and thanked the Freemasons for their generous donation.

The ‘Willowbrook Connections’ project was then explained by Family Support Therapist Jan Barlow, who explained that she would now be enabled to provide full time support and much more care and therapy for bereaved relatives. She stressed how ‘Willowbrook Connections’ would also provide continuing support for family members of terminally ill patients both pre and post bereavement.

On behalf of the visitors, Assistant Provincial Grand Master Tony Bent paid tribute to the excellence of the care provided by the hospice and praised the staff for their commitment to delivering that care.

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