Celebrating 300 years

Lifelites Chief Executive Simone Enefer-Doy has left Freemasons' Hall to kick-start her 2,500 mile journey to 47 famous landmarks to raise awareness of Lifelites and £50,000 for the charity

Dubbed 'A Lift for Lifelites', Simone will see Freemasons in nearly every Province in England and Wales and will be stopping at landmarks such as Hadrian’s Wall, Angel of the North and Bletchley Park in vehicles including a classic Rolls Royce, a camper van, a four seater plane, an E Type Jaguar and even a zip wire.

Simone said: 'With the help of Freemasons and their vehicles around the country, I’m on a mission to raise the profile of our work and raise more funds to reach more children whose lives could be transformed by the technology we can provide.'

We'll be updating this page regularly, including images, as Simone continues on her epic quest.

Day 14 – Thursday 7 June

That's a wrap! Simone completed her 14 day challenge and finished in style on ThamesJet speedboat with guests including United Grand Lodge of England Chief Executive Dr David Staples. Her fundraising currently stands at over £103,000.

Day 13 – Wednesday 6 June

It's the penultimate day, starting with a trip to Bedfordshire at the Shuttleworth Collection. The next stop was Silverstone racetrack in Northamptonshire, which included completing a lap in a Jaguar, before driving this to Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire. The last trip was to the home, studios and gardens of former artist Henry Moore in Hertfordshire.

Day 12 – Tuesday 5 June

Day 12 took in journeys across Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. The first stop was Gordon Boswell Romany Museum in Lincolnshire before using two vehicles, a Hudson Straight Six Touring Sedan and a Range Rover, to Bressington Steam and Gardens in Norfolk. There was still time to grab lunch at Bury St Edmunds Abbey in Suffolk before a BMW took Simone to her final stop in Cambridgeshire, which included a punt on the River Cam.

Day 11 – Monday 4 June

Simone crammed in four locations to start the week, with a wide variety of vehicles used. The day started in Yorkshire Sculpture Park before driving a 1977 Bentley to the National Tramway Museum in Derbyshire. It was from here that Simone then picked up a DeLorean to take her to Newstead Abbey in Nottinghamshire before completing the day by driving a gold Rolls-Royce to Victoria Park in Leicestershire.

Day 10 – Sunday 3 June

The week concludes with trips to Northumberland, Durham and Yorkshire and East Riding, as well as the news that Simone had already hit her £50,000 target. Trips included the Millennium Bridge in Northumberland, the Angel of the North and a scenic drive across the Yorkshire Moors to Bolton Castle.

Day 9 – Saturday 2 June

Day nine saw visits to the Provinces of West Lancashire and Cumberland and Westmorland, with landmarks including Hadrian’s Wall in Cumbria and transport provided by a horse and cart.

Day 8 – Friday 1 June

Two Rolls-Royces helped provide the transport on day nine, with Simone starting at the Avoncroft Museum in Worcestershire, driving down to New Place in Warwickshire and then to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. There was still time to conclude the day by visiting Manchester Cathedral in East Lancashire.

Day 7 – Thursday 31 May

At the halfway point, Simone made trips to Cheshire, Shropshire and Herefordshire – starting out at the Georgian Hall Dunham Massey, then heading to the RAF Museum Cosford in a custom built Rewaco Bike and finally, to Arthur’s Stone.

Day 6 – Wednesday 30 May

Day six was solely focused in North Wales where Simone took on the challenge of the fastest zip wire in the world. This was then followed by making the journey to Chester in a six month old blue McLaren Spider and flanked by the Widows’ Sons motorcyclists and Blood Bike volunteers.

Day 5 – Tuesday 29 May

Day five was a journey across the borders for Simone as she ventured to Oxfordshire before heading west to Monmouthshire and continued to South Wales and West Wales. Landmarks included Radcliffe Camera in Oxford, Caerleon Amphitheatre in Newport, the Donald Gordon theatre in Cardiff and ending the day in the county town of Carmarthen to meet the Provincial Grand Lodge of West Wales.

Day 4 – Monday 28 May

Simone began day four by driving an Aston Martin DB9 to the Grand Pier in Weston-super-Mare with help from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Somerset. A 1928 MG Riley saloon then took Simone to her next port of call, Clifton Suspension Bridge where the Provincial Grand Lodge of Bristol had a 1966 Austin Mini Cooper waiting to take her to Caen Hill Locks. It was here that Simone met representatives from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Wiltshire, before the final stop of the day saw her clock up the miles to Shaw House in Berkshire to be greeted by members of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Berkshire.

Day 3 – Sunday 27 May

Day three involved journeys to Dorset, Devon and Cornwall. It started with a visit to Lulworth Cove in Dorset to be met by members from the Provincial Grand Lodge in a yellow camper van and to receive a donation of £2,000. Simone then ventured to Buckfast Abbey to receive a donation of £5,000 from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Devonshire before departing in a classic Rover to head to Lanhydrock House and Garden in Cornwall, where she received another donation of £1,750.

Day 2 – Saturday 26 May

Simone took to the sky for day two, meeting a representative from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Hampshire and Isle of Wight who drove her to Southampton to board a flight to Jersey, to meet members of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Guernsey and Alderney.

Day 1 – Friday 25 May

Simone has begun her challenge, leaving in a taxi escorted by a fleet of Widows Sons motorcyclists. This is the start of her 14 day road trip with a difference, using a variety of unusual and extraordinary forms of transport.

The next destination for Friday was Richmond Park where Simone was met by representatives from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Middlesex after arriving in a Porsche 550 Spyder. Further destinations included Guildford Cathedral, where Simone was met by a Noddy car, and Brighton Royal Pavilion, where the Provincial Grand Lodge of Sussex made a donation of £5,000.

Lifelites has a package of their magical technology at every children’s hospice across the British Isles and their work is entirely funded by donations. Through the journey they are seeking to raise £50,000 – that’s the cost of one of their projects for four years.

You can sponsor Simone by clicking here

Published in Lifelites

Clive Jones, a blind former soldier and Freemason, has been awarded Honorary Townsman of Market Drayton

Market Drayton, a small market town in north Shropshire, thrives on the contribution made to its community life by many of its citizens. The Town Council has the right to bestow the award of ‘Honorary Townsman’ upon those whose accomplishments are considered to be outstanding and therefore worthy of this prestigious accolade.

Due to his unselfish and constantly successful dedication to charity and the local community in which he lives, Clive was presented with the accolade of Honorary Townsman at the Town Hall reception on 8th March 2018. He received the honour from the Town Mayor counsellor M Erwin and enjoyed the evening with his wife Stephanie and their three children, as well as friends from St Mary’s Lodge No. 8373 in the Province of Shropshire.

Clive, originally from the village of Rogiet in South East Wales, was the founding Almoner at the concecration of Armed Forces Lodge No. 9875 in the Province of Monmouthshire on 18th January 2013. It was a very proud moment in his masonic career, and it's now that Clive finds himself as Worshipful Master of the lodge. Clive is also the current Worshipful Master of St Mary’s Lodge.

In July 2016, Clive was informed of his success in becoming a finalist in the Pride of Shropshire Awards in the Courage category. He was also informed that he had also been chosen as a finalist in the Soldiering On Awards in the Inspiration category, where he celebrated this achievement at a Champagne and Canopy reception at the House of Lords in February 2017.

In September 2017, Clive was informed of his nomination and success in becoming a finalist in the Fundraising category at the Pride of Britain awards, after raising more than £76,000 for charity.

Upon being award Honorary Townsman, Clive was presented with a medal which has a picture of a buttercross on it, which is a memorial to commemorate the great fire of Market Drayton which happened in 1651. It also has the spire of St Mary’s Church on it which is a central point of the market town.

At the Jasper Tudor Lodge No. 4074 Installation meeting on 17th February 2018, it suddenly transpired that the last four Provincial Charity Stewards were all in attendance

This provided the opportunity for a memorable photograph and a unique event as the four brethren are collectively responsible for raising over £2.5 million pounds for the Province of Monmouthshire.

This is even more impressive considering there are less than 1,500 Monmouthshire Freemasons.

On Saturday the 28th November a Gala Dinner was held at Newport Masonic Hall

This fully booked event was the culmination of several months work by the APGM W Bro Chris Evans and his committee who are heading a ‘mini festival’ to replenish the charitable fund which supports only charities and good causes within the Province of Monmouthshire.

The main event of the evening was the Provincial raffle which raised the staggering sum of £6,500. All thanks must go to the lodge Charity Stewards and others who distributed the tickets very well. Almost all the prizes were donated by the lodges and the first prize was £500 with many  other high value prizes also.

The crowd were entertained by a very humorous after dinner speaker in the person of WV Bro Michael Roff, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Herefordshire along with a soloist singer Bro Mark Pearce who has entertained many times with his rich baritone voice.

It is hoped a similar event will be held next year to continue the good work helping the less fortunate. The funds were considerably enhanced by the auction of three limited edition prints of the murals which used to stand in Newport town centre.

On the 28th of November the annual presentation evening was held at Newport Masonic Hall

There were 40 awards given to local good causes and charities totalling £30,000. The evening was without doubt a great success, and, listening to the thanks and descriptions of the activities that these volunteers do for others within our community, we are very fortunate that our fundraising makes such a difference.

We are also fortunate that such hard working people are prepared to put such tremendous effort into helping others. There was a wide spectrum of charities assisted, from Langstone Church who need funds to repair vandalism to 500 year old windows to Monmouth Music Theatre who have enrolled many youngsters who are currently preparing to perform The Wizard of Oz to the general public.

The funds have been raised by the Brethren of Monmouthshire who only last year completed a five year festival for the RMTGB which raised £1.2 million pounds. There has been many innovative methods used for raising funds, from a Provincial Christmas card competition to a variety performance put on by the Jasper Tudor Lodge No. 4074. Along with more traditional methods such as a well supported Provincial raffle and a dedicated team of Charity Stewards who encourage the Brethren of the Province to take out Gift Aids so they give regularly.

We may occasionally complain about the level of fundraising that we are asked to do, but when you see the heartfelt thanks of those who benefit from our funds then it does give encouragement to continue supporting them.

On Friday 3rd of October at Blackwood Masonic Hall a dinner was organised by the Islwyn Lodge No. 4725 in aid of the Jacobs Starz charity

The guest speaker was Warren Gatland, the Welsh rugby coach, who entertained all those who attended with very frank responses to the questions that were put to him regarding the Welsh team, the Lions tour and the future of Welsh rugby.

The purpose of the evening was not only to enjoy ourselves in the company of like minded people but to make a difference to others by our donations.

The Provincial Grand Master for Monmouthshire, the RW Bro the Rev Malcolm Lane, was surprised at the level of support for the raffle and the following auction. A total of almost £4,000 was raised for Jacobs Starz, which was founded by the inspiration of Jacob Eales who died in 2009 from a cancerous tumour at the age of 15. It was Jacobs dream to set up a charity that could help others whose future appeared bleak.

Jacobs father attended the evening and was visibly touched by the generosity of people who had never even met his son but were willing to support his ideals.

Surprise find at Monmouth Masonic Rooms

Brethren of Loyal Monmouth Lodge No. 457 were surprised when a medieval guard tower was discovered in monmouth's masonic building during a preparatory survey and inspection for much needed repairs

The three storey guard tower, complete with arrow slits was hidden inside our Tyler’s flat when Lord Llangattock, a Provincial Grand Master of Monmouthshire, commissioned local architect George Vaughan Maddox to convert a theatre into masonic rooms in the 1840’s.

Ongoing research with Monmouth Archaeology and CADW indicates a cluster of four or five medieval buildings joined together and much altered through the centuries. The temple is thought to be a medieval hall with upper floors removed. Its huge chimney breast structure has been identified in the undercroft or basement, once used as a wool merchant’s premises. A second wool store in the front car park was converted into four cottages in 1840’s and demolished 1938.

Underneath the building is a once defended steep access tunnel to a still visible medieval quay on the River Monnow. How many lodges have salmon fishing rights at the bottom of their garden?

Imported limestone blocks in garden walls may have come from Monmouth Priory or more probably an adjacent Roman building.

Reference to deeds identified twelve dwellings, a brew house and timber yard. Also a 500 year covenant attached to 1830’s documents approximate to Edward I murage grant (a tax) of 1297 and another in 1315 for completing or repairing town walls, defences and reconstruction of fortified Monnow Bridge, now one of the only three in Europe. A 600-year covenant links with 1181 Assizes of Arms. Some of the town wall and what is believed to be remnants of Monk’s Gate circular flank tower can be seen in our car park.

Medieval wall finishes have also been found on stone wall of rear staircase high above the tunnel. Initial investigation of undercroft earth floor has revealed two earlier floors underneath and at least one room below which has been infilled.

The Monmouth town ‘open doors’ weekend was a great success with the Masonic Hall attracting over 250 visitors. A considerable number when you consider the building was only open for a total of six hours.

The lodge members are now tasked with the unenviable job of trying to restore the building before its too late. One wall has become porous and the funds needed to repair the roof are daunting.

Special thanks to W Bro Bill Hall who has been responsible for a considerable amount of research into the building's history.

Should a brother wish to offer free specialist advice or be able to help with either labour/materials or funding, the lodge members would be more than pleased to hear from you.

Please contact W Bro Neil Mounter:

c/o Monmouth Masonic Hall
Monk Street
Monmouth
NP25 3NZ

Riding to victory with Disability Sport Wales

Monmouthshire PGM The Rev Malcolm Lane and Provincial Grand Secretary Brian Davies visited the Wales National Velodrome, Newport to present a tricycle to Neil Smith, paracycling coach for Disability Sport Wales (DSW). 

DSW has helped to nurture many competitors and world-record holders as the organisation has developed and thrived with its athletes. The tricycle was provided by Roderick Hill Lodge, No. 8619, Chepstow, and lodge representative Vince White attended the presentation.

Eye-catching technology

State-of-the-art technology that works by tracking its user’s eye movement has been donated to Tŷ Hafan children’s hospice by award-winning charity Lifelites. The Eye Gaze technology, unveiled at the hospice in south Wales, means that all children – whatever their disability or illness – will have access to the benefits of technology.

Lifelites has been supported by funding from the Province of Monmouthshire and Thomas Cook Children’s Charity, among others. Monmouthshire PGM the Rev Malcolm Lane, a Lifelites trustee, said: ‘We know the money donated will be put to excellent use, providing specialist technology for children at the Lifelites project closest to our hearts here in south Wales.’

Published in Lifelites

Enthusiasm and commitment in Monmouthshire

In September, Monmouthshire Freemasons celebrated the conclusion of their 2013 Festival Appeal and a magnificent total of £1,219,414 for the RMTGB.

The Provincial Grand Master and Festival President, the Rev Malcolm Lane of the Welsh Province, launched the appeal just over five years ago. Malcolm, who also serves as a trustee of the RMTGB, congratulated his Province for their generosity and hard work. ‘I commend to you all the work of the RMTGB and in doing so I express on behalf of the Province my grateful thanks, bless you for your enthusiasm and commitment.’

After the total sum was revealed by RMTGB Chief Executive Les Hutchinson, the charity’s President Mike Woodcock expressed his heartfelt thanks to the one thousand three hundred members of the Province and their families during a passionate address in which he recalled his own childhood holidays in Monmouthshire.

The brethren of Monmouthshire and their families raised £1,002,013 towards the appeal – a remarkable achievement for a Province of only thirty lodges. Metropolitan Grand Lodge and other Provinces and Districts added a further £200,000.

The Festival event, held at the Celtic Manor Resort, was attended by Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes. More than four hundred guests enjoyed an evening of entertainment including Welsh harpist Sian Williams, the Only Boys Aloud choir (finalists of Britain’s Got Talent), Abertillery Orpheus Male Choir and soloist Robert Knight. Also in attendance was David Davies, Conservative MP for Monmouth.

‘Bless you for your enthusiasm and commitment.’ Rev Malcolm Lane 

Published in RMTGB
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