On the level in Peterborough
At a ceremony at the Peterborough City Rowing Club, a single scull boat funded by Freemasons was christened On the Level. Fitzwilliam Lodge, No. 2533, Province of Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire, raised almost £2,500 for the boat, which was named by Bob Beeton on behalf of the lodge. The club relies heavily on donations and each boat costs around £2,000, with the balance being used to supply oars.
At a boat naming ceremony held at the Peterborough City Rowing Club on a snowy Saturday morning on the 31 January 2015 WBro Bob Beeton, armed with the traditional bottle of champagne, named a single scull boat "On The Level.” The boat is for the benefit of the juniors at the Peterborough City Rowing Club.
Members of Fitzwilliam Lodge No 2533, who had raised the money for the boat during WBro Mike Marshall's year in the chair of King Solomon, gathered to enjoy the occasion.
The Chairman of the Peterborough City Rowing Club, John Canton, thanked the Brethren for their very generous donation.
Each boat costs in the region of £2,000. The total raised during the year amounted to £2,417.12. The balance will be used to supply oars for the boat. The Peterborough City Rowing Club is a registered charity and apart from subscriptions relies heavily on donations to fund it's operations.
The boat made its maiden voyage on the rowing course with the son of WBro Marshall at the helm.
The RMBI's origins on stage
Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire Province’s demonstration team has produced a play that portrays how the RMBI came to be. The wrangling between the Grand Master, The Duke of Sussex (who had decided on an annuity) and Dr Robert Crucefix (who wanted to provide an Asylum for Worthy, Aged and Distressed Freemasons) has been condensed into a play called ‘In the Beginning’.
The 50-minute drama covers a series of events over a 20-year period.
The Corby Masonic Players of Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire Province performed their latest pantomime, Dick Whittington, written and directed by Jack Summerfield. The cast included three ruling Masters of Corby lodges: William Glover (Lodge of Unity, No. 495), Scott Morton (Thistle and Rose Lodge, No. 6644) and Wayne Summerfield (Corbie Lodge, No. 9155). Dick Whittington is the Players’ sixth pantomime and was supported both on and off stage by family members.
£27,500 donation cuts cancer treatment waiting time
The Peterborough Cancer Treatment Appeal (PCTA) is a registered charity dedicated to fundraising for equipment used in the treatment and diagnosis of cancer for the Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which the trust would otherwise be unable to afford.
They were established in 1981 by the late Dennis Bracey, Medical Director of Peterborough Hospitals, and Dr Clement Brown, a visiting oncologist from Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge.
The achievement is an excellent example of what can be achieved by the collaborative efforts of a dedicated group of locals.
Lodges in Peterborough, led by W Bro Mervin Roberts, Charity Steward of Petriburg Lodge No. 8767, with assistance from the Provincial Grand Charity, have raised the magnificent sum of £27,500. This has helped cut cancer treatment waiting times in Peterborough and district.
PCTA had recently appealed for funds for a new computer-aided technique which improves the accuracy of radiotherapy treatment. This significant help has enabled them to complete their fundraising and have the equipment commissioned much earlier than would have otherwise been the case.
In a ceremony at the Peterborough Masonic Centre in December last year the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VW Bro Dr Vivian Thomas, presented the cheque to Keith Fisher, the Chairman of the PCTA.
Trust Secretary, Ron Douglas said: 'We launched the appeal with a target of £100,000. This tremendous donation represents over a quarter of the appeal and has quickly taken us over our target. Without it we would have taken much longer. This donation by local masons means we can immediately buy the equipment which will now be operational by January 2014. Without it patients of Peterborough and district might have had to travel as far afield as Liverpool for this specialist treatment. We - and I’m sure they - are very grateful.'
On Saturday 31st August 2013 a very special event took place in the History of the Province of Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire
On that day RW Bro Max Bayes, the Provincial Grand Master, dedicated the new Northampton Freemasons' Hall in the presence of over 200 brethren from across the Province.
The purpose-built functional modern premises, in addition to providing an excellent Provincial Headquarters, offers flexible accommodation for the meetings of local lodges with facilities for up to three concurrent events, or a single major function, and catering for up to 300 members. Like the sectional lodge room the large separate dining room can be divided, to enable up to two Festive Boards to be catered for at a one time.
In his address the PGM commented that the day was the culmination of a long period of planning followed by much hard work by a considerable number of brethren. He commented that he was grateful to all the input, but a small number had made very significant contributions which he was pleased to reward with promotions.
One in particular, W Bro Barry Howard, who negotiated the purchase of the premises, project-managed the whole building programme and oversaw the disposal of the previous premises at St George's Avenue, was promoted to Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden and was then awarded the Provincial Grand Master's Certificate of Merit. In making the award RW Bro Max Bayes said that without Barry Howard's constant support throughout the months following completion of the purchase the project could not have been achieved on time.
As a final item on the meeting agenda W Bro Jim Parker, the Chairman of the Hall Management Committee, paid tribute to the leadership of the Provincial Grand Master. He also announced that, in appreciation of this, the Management Committee had decided that the main Lodge room would be known as the 'Max Bayes Room'. The very obviously surprised PGM thanked the Management Committee for the singular honour and again paid tribute to all who had contributed to such an excellent outcome over what had been a difficult period with many hurdles to be overcome. The rapturous applause by all present gave witness to the appreciation of all the members present for what had been achieved in providing a premises that would serve Freemasonry in the Province for many years to come.
Silverstone lodge revs up
Believed to be the first motorsport-related lodge under the United Grand Lodge of England, Silverstone Lodge, No. 9877, has been launched by Max Bayes, Provincial Grand Master of Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire.
The lodge will meet at Silverstone on four Friday evenings each year, to coincide with race weekends: the Vintage Sports-Car Club Pomeroy Trophy in February, the Silverstone Classic in July, the British Superbike Championship in October and the Walter Hayes Trophy in November.
The first Master is Dermot Bambridge, whose involvement in motorsport includes working for Goodyear Racing’s Formula 1 Team, Silverstone Circuit and the World Superbikes organisation. ‘One of the charities we will support is the Grand Prix Mechanics Charitable Trust,’ said Dermot. ‘We were delighted to receive a letter from three-times Formula 1 World Champion, Sir Jackie Stewart, founder of the charity, wishing us every success.’
On Thursday 2 May, RW Bro Max Bayes, Provincial Grand Master for Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire, along with the Mayor of Wellingborough, attended a ceremony to mark the beginning of work on the extension to Palmer Court at Hatton Avenue in Wellingborough.
The Masonic Housing Association is building eleven one-bedroom flats suitable for couples and including a guest room. The new flats are scheduled to be available for occupation in early 2014. This project will contribute to meeting urgent, affordable housing needs, especially for older people.
The flats are all self-contained, with a living room, kitchen and bathroom. Accommodation is under one roof, with one protected main entrance door for security, but each resident has a front door to his or her own flat within the scheme. Personal safety and security is of paramount importance to elderly people, so every scheme has a resident Scheme Manager and emergency call system.
Half of the tenancy allocations will be to nominees of the Local Authority and half to the Association's waiting list.
The Scheme Manager of the existing Palmer Court, Jill Lett, said, 'This scheme is much needed in Wellingborough where there is a shortage of quality accommodation to suit the needs of older couples.'
The project is being financed entirely by the Association without any grant or public subsidy, although it does not normally develop and build new schemes. Formed in 1975, it is a registered Housing Association and already has 180 flats in five different Provinces.
For further information about the Masonic Housing Association and / or Palmer Court, please contact Stuart Henderson, Director MHA, on 07833 452977 or 01844 344960
Code cracking at Bletchley Park
A party of more than 90 brethren and their wives from the Province of Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire visited Bletchley Park, the home of the wartime codebreakers. They were given a tour of the site and saw an Enigma machine, used by the Germans during the Second World War to encipher messages, as well as the ‘Bombe’, an electro-mechanical machine used by the British to break the code of the secret messages.