Herefordshire Freemasons have a new Provincial Grand Master. Michael Holland was recently installed into that office at the Three Counties Hotel, Hereford, by the Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes and his team from Grand Lodge in London, in front of 271 local Freemasons and visitors

Afterwards, Michael Holland installed his Deputy Graham King. Herefordshire is the smallest Province in the mainland, but is active and vibrant with 15 Lodges and just under 600 members. Although small, it punches well above its weight in support of local and national charities.

The recent vacancy was caused by the death earlier this year of the Rev'd David Bowen, who had held the office of Provincial Grand Master since 2013. He is greatly missed and made a substantial contribution to local Freemasonry; however, the members feel confident that there will be further progress and development under his very experienced successor.

The Province is to fund a memorial to the Rev'd David in the Booth Chapel of Hereford Cathedral, which is to be refurbished to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the Canonisation of St Thomas Cantilupe. This will further demonstrate the close and historical relationship local Freemasonry enjoys with the Cathedral.

Following his installation, Michael said: 'It is a privilege to lead the masonic Province of Herefordshire, and I am grateful for the support and kindness I have received from our members and also those in neighbouring provinces and beyond.'

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. 

“England Expects Every Man will do his Duty”. Those were the immortal words of Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson in his message to the officers and ratings of the British navy assembled off Cape Trafalgar on the 21st October 1805 and just prior to the historic sea battle that was to follow when the Spanish and French fleets were decimated

To this day the significance of the epic battle still faithfully exists aboard HMS Victory, Nelson’s flagship, the oldest commissioned warship in the world and when the Battle of Trafalgar is celebrated annually in true naval fashion.

Come late October 2019, not only was Trafalgar Day celebrated aboard HMS Victory, but White Ensigns were also adorning the walls of Derby Masonic Hall, headquarters of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Derbyshire. Celebrations of a masonic and naval nature were also afoot there.

The occasion was of dual importance, celebrating Derbyshire Freemasonry’s own considerable activity in the community and, of course, Trafalgar Day. What better than for the Province’s own Grand Charity to honour a Royal Navy connection by making a combined presentation of £5,000 to the five Sea Cadet organisations in Derbyshire – they were from Derby, Chesterfield, Burton-on-Trent, Long Eaton and Buxton.

In his opening warm welcoming words to guests at which the Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire, the Lord Mayor of Derby and two distinguished retired naval officers: Admiral Sir Trevor Soar and Commander Jonty Powis were also present, the Provincial Grand Master Steven Varley paid particular tribute to the Sea Cadets present and to their organisation. He said there were parallels with Freemasonry whereby good people were helped to become even better and to develop self-reliance as part of a wider family.

In welcoming Admiral Soar, the Provincial Grand Master stated that the Admiral had spent 37 years in the Royal Navy, commencing as a junior Midshipman, eventually reaching the rank of Admiral. He finally commanded the entire Royal Navy and Royal Marines, a force of 36,000 men and women. In addition he was a NATO maritime commander, having operational command of all ships and submarines drawn from 27 countries.

Pointing out that Britain’s wealth, prosperity and status as a nation on the world stage still owes much to the courage and skill of the crews of our fleet at Trafalgar and the leadership of Admiral and Freemason Lord Nelson. Commander Powis also drew attention to other famous naval Freemasons – Admiral Sir Sidney Smith and Admiral of The Fleet, Earl Jellicoe.

‘These celebrations are echoed in communities across the country and in which the Sea Cadets play an important role,’ continued Commander Powis, a veteran officer from the Falklands Conflict. He echoed aspects of the Provincial Grand Master’s words, whereby the Sea Cadets helped transform people and made good people better, adding they also helped engender a spirit of support for each other.

‘They are parts of the rich traditions and historic roots found in the organisations that come together today to celebrate Trafalgar Day,’ he concluded.

Freemasonry in Lincolnshire will take a higher profile next summer thanks to the decision to sponsor an Imp on the latest trail which will be launched in Lincoln – the same year as they embark on their 2025 Festival

The cost of the project will be shared with the Masonic Charitable Foundation. By a formal commitment to sponsorship, wheels will be soon in motion to decide how the Imp will be painted and where it will be sited. Moreover, it will be soon decided what information regarding Freemasonry will be included in a promotional leaflet and an app about the Imp trail.

Provincial Grand Master Dave Wheeler said: 'Sponsorship of an Imp was appropriate since the trail, being organised by the Lincoln Business Improvement Group (Lincoln BIG) was in support of St Barnabas Hospice. Freemasonry was a long-term supporter of the hospice movement both nationally and locally.'

Additionally, the sponsorship arrangement coincides with the first year of the 5-years Lincoln Festival.

Dave added: 'We were one of the earliest to commit to Imp sponsorship, and we have done so because we believe that people aren't generally aware of the financial support provided by Freemasonry to the broader community. It's time for us to share that story more widely, and as the statistics from earlier trails demonstrate, this is a high-profile way to do it.

'It's important to understand that Freemasons' charities gave almost £400,000 to good causes in Lincolnshire in 2018/19, a contribution to the millions donated by Freemasons nationally – more than £48m in 2018 alone – all from personal donations.

'The public will be able to see, through our donations and our work with the Masonic Charitable Foundation, that every year Freemasonry gives substantial sums of money to worthwhile causes in Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire, and North-East Lincolnshire.' 

The Imp trail gets its formal launch in the city on 4th July 2020 and will be 'open' until mid-September. After that, the Imps will be auctioned, with the funds being given to the Hospice.

Lincoln BIG Chief Executive Sarah Loftus said: 'We have discovered these types of trails have a substantial public appeal. They attract whole families, create fantastic photographic opportunities and do their bit in encouraging people to get out and about.'

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

Whilst on a visit to the House of Lords Ian Kingsbury, Provincial Grand Master for Devonshire Freemasons, was inspired by a presentation given by Steve Morton, Director of Development for the Exeter Royal Academy for Deaf Education

Outlining the Academy’s aims and development plans for the future academy, which is to be relocated to a new site in Exmouth, - Ian was inspired so much so that he came back to Devonshire with the desire to help those who are affected by this very difficult sensory disability. To this end, he approached the Devonshire Freemasons Benevolent Fund Committee for help, and they immediately responded by giving him a cheque for £5,000.

Following their visit to meet Steve Morton in October 2018 there has been an approach to the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) who have agreed further funding of £28,380 to equip a Multi-Sensory Immersive Space within the new centre in Exmouth, bringing the total donated to £33,380. 

Dr Reuben Ayres, Devonshire Provincial Grand Charity Steward, accompanied by Clive Eden, visited the Deaf Academy. Here they met up again with Steve Morton and Appeals Manager Sarah Shaw and presented them with a certificate denoting the £28,380 which is going to support the wonderful work undertaken by the Academy.

Exeter Royal Academy for Deaf Education has been located in Exeter for over 190 years and the current location is a property purchased many years ago which is no longer fit for the needs of the deaf students. The property and the land has now been sold and the proceeds will partially fund the new academy which is being been built with all the latest facilities available to the architects, to give the students what they really require.

All the students have additional needs, including multi-sensory disabilities, autism, epilepsy, and physical disabilities which is why, when designing the new building so much thought has gone into making each part of the facility user friendly. It is planned that completion of the new building will be by Easter 2020.

When presenting the certificate, Dr. Reuben Ayres said: ‘Young people all need us to be there to help them grow for the future, none more so than those with a lack of hearing who are denied the normal things that we take so much for granted in the world we live in.’

When receiving the certificate Steve Morton said: ‘We are extremely grateful for the ongoing support from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Devonshire and now the Masonic Charitable Foundation. Without the support of generous organisations like these we wouldn’t be able to change the lives of some of the most vulnerable Deaf young people in UK.

‘Our work helps young people, who have often been isolated in the past, to access education and opportunities for development which ultimately will enable them to have more independent lives. The immersive room is there to help those facing the greatest challenges to benefit from our work and Ian, Reuben and their fellow Freemasons have played a large part in making that a reality.’

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
Page 1 of 58

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