A Yorkshire scouting group has held a ceremony to launch a new boat named after a masonic magazine
Wharfedale Scout Sailing Centre was able to purchase four boats and a trailer, thanks to a £12,000 grant from the Freemasons Province of Yorkshire West Riding. And, to thank the organisation for its financial support, the scouts named one of their boats, White Rose, after the twice-yearly provincial publication.
The centre is a Royal Yachting Association recognised teaching establishment and activity centre administered primarily by the 3rd Bingley Sea Scouts, who are recognised by the Royal Navy.
The centre, located at Reva Reservoir, near Menston, is visited by scouts from all over the country who use the boats for their activities and courses.
The road trailer now enables young students completing their Duke of Edinburgh qualifications to take boats away on expeditions.
Roger Newhouse, Assistant Provincial Grand Master of Yorkshire, West Riding, said: 'We are delighted to be able to support the Wharfedale Scout Sailing Centre with this grant, which has enabled them to purchase four boats and a trailer.
'Each year, the Province of Yorkshire West Riding gives grants totalling £200,000, to organisations across the region, including youth groups, charities, churches and schools. It was a pleasure to attend the launch of ‘White Rose’ and see the equipment that the grant has helped purchase and we wish the sailing centre every success for the future.'
The grant was sponsored by the Lodge of Amity No. 4148, which meets in Baildon.
Freemasons of the Province of Cumberland and Westmorland presented a brand new, fully liveried, BMW R1200 RT-P motorcycle, to the North West Blood Bikes Lancs and Lakes charity, in memory of the late Russell Curwen on 16th July 2018
The event took place at Kendal Masonic Hall where 190 guests gathered to witness a very moving and memorable occasion. Russell was a rider for the charity who died in a crash in May 2018 whilst on duty delivering vital medical supplies to hospitals in the area.
Amongst those attending were Russell's parents, Pat Curwen and Ken Curwen, sister Susan Fiddler, brother Phil Curwen and uncle Terry Curwen. They were supported by members and friends of the North West Blood Bike Lancs and Lakes Charity, together with members from the Blood Bikes Cumbria Charity.
Lord Lieutenant of Cumbria, Claire Hensman, was also in attendance, together with former Lord Lieutenant Sir James Cropper and Lady Cropper. Following a short reception, during which the Lord Lieutenant of Cumbria was introduced to all present, the Provincial Grand Master of Cumberland and Westmorland Norman Thompson gave an address.
He said: 'On behalf of the Freemasons of Cumberland and Westmorland, I am delighted to be able to present this third fully equipped motorcycle to the North West Blood Bikes Lancs and Lakes charity. This third bike is named 'Russell', in memory of the Blood Bike Volunteer, Russell Curwen, who sadly lost his life whilst on duty with the charity.
'The Blood Bikers are unsung heroes, supporting the community at large and to whom we owe a great debt of gratitude. I am also delighted to announce that we will be funding the purchase of a fourth motor cycle, thus ensuring that the two Blood Bike charities covering the County of Cumbria, have both received two new bikes funded by members.'
The guests then gathered outside where the motorcycle received a blessing by Provincial Grand Chaplain Rev. Robert Friedrich Roeschlaub. The official presentation of the motorcycle was then carried out by Norman Thompson who handed over the keys to the Chairman of the North West Blood Bikes, Paul Brooks. One further presentation was made when Karen Carton, Assistant Area Manager - Central, presented Pat Curwen with a candle in memory of Russell, which had come all the way from the West Coast of Ireland, having been commissioned by the Blood Bikers fraternity.
Although Russell was not a mason himself, he was very much liked and loved by all who knew him and this presentation was a very poignant occasion, whilst at the same time recognising his commitment to the Blood Bikes charity as a volunteer rider.
This was the third motorcycle presented to the Blood Bikes charities by the Freemasons of the Province of Cumberland and Westmorland, which cost in excess of £18,000. The first was presented in 2017 to the Blood Bikes Cumbria in the north of the county as part of their Tercentenary celebrations. The second was presented in May 2018 to the North West Blood Bikes Lancs and Lakes at an annual meeting in Carlisle, just a few days after the tragic death of Russell.
In a letter of thanks to the Provincial Grand Master, Simon Hanson Fleet Manager and Volunteer Rider for the North West Blood Bikes, said: 'Your hospitality was second to none with an array of distinguished guests which meant the night was even more special and one that the family has been able to take comfort from at this difficult time.
'On behalf of the complete charity, I would again like to thank you for this superb donation and I can assure you it will make a tangible difference to the operation of our charity and enable us to provide the best support possible to the NHS and the 'local community' in South Cumbria who are the eventual recipients of our service.'
A group of intrepid Freemasons in the Province of Cumberland and Westmorland, supported by their family as well as their dogs, completed the Annual 'Cross Bay Walk', to raise money for the charity Northwest Blood Bikes
45 people signed up for the event, which was organised by Freemason Peter Caunce and his wife Debi. On an exceptionally hot and humid day on 8th July 2018, everyone completed the world famous trek across Morecambe Bay, led by The Queen's Guide to the Sands – the royally appointed guide to crossing the sands of Morecambe Bay – Cedric Robinson MBE.
Leading from the front and one of the first to finish was the Provincial Grand Master Norman Thompson, who afterwards said: 'That was one of the toughest walks across the Bay I've done, but it's been very worthwhile, especially in the knowledge that the Blood Bikes charity will benefit.'
This is the sixth year that Peter and Debi have organised the walk for the Province, helping them to raise in excess of £12,000 during that period for various local charities.
This year over £1,500 has been pledged so far for Northwest Blood Bikes, which may be used towards purchasing a motorcycle.
Over 50 Freemasons, comprising Worshipful Masters or their representatives, of 32 Somerset lodges, together with the Provincial Grand Master Stuart Hadler and his team, were well received by the people of Bridgwater as they paraded through the streets of the market town to celebrate of 250 years since the formation of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Somerset
The parade terminated at St Mary’s Church to be greeted by the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Somerset David Medlock and the Chairman of Sedgemoor District Council Cllr. Mike Creswell. Also in attendance were several leaders from various Masonic Orders: John Morgan - Provincial Grand Master of Mark Master Masons; David Nelson - District Grand Master of Royal & Select Masters; C. Trevor Cooper - Provincial Grand Supreme Ruler of the Order of the Secret Monitor and Ray Johnston-Smith - Inspector General of the Ancient & Accepted Rite (Rose Croix).
The Biennial Church Service, which included a congregation of about 250 members and their families, enjoyed music specially written by Martin Emslie to complement the theme of Past, Present and Future. Provincial Grand Lodge - The Past: was a history of the Province given by Peter Russell, John Townsend and Andrew Baird; Provincial Grand Lodge - The Present: was introduced by the Provincial Grand Orator Rev Jeremy Hellier and friends - in the form of an entertaining ‘talking heads’ discussion, and Provincial Grand Lodge - The Future: was a thought-provoking and pertinent address given by the Provincial Grand Chaplain, Robert Moore.
The offertory collection was donated to St Mary’s along with a £500 donation by the Provincial Grand Lodge, generously matched by Tynte Lodge No. 7994.
The entire occasion was overseen by Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies Chris Marchmont and his team, who said: 'I am delighted with the way things came together and would especially like to thank the Bridgwater lodges for all their support and practical assistance.'
A nautical charity that operates from Berwick to Hartlepool has received a new boat to assist in training its members and helping the community from Northumberland Freemasons
The Northumbria Unit of the Maritime Volunteer Service (MVS) received a new rigid inflatable boat aptly named 'Northumberland Freemason' at Newcastle’s Quayside after a £15,000 donation from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Northumberland.
A delegation of Freemasons came to watch the naming ceremony which included the Provincial Grand Master of Northumberland Ian Craigs, who christened the vessel with an appropriate bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale; right in sight of the iconic Tyne Bridge.
The organisation aims are to keep the UK’s maritime tradition alive by training and delivering practical seamanship and engineering skills.
Angela Carrington, Head of Unit for the Maritime Volunteer Service, said: 'This is a very generous gift to our charity from the Freemasons that will benefit our members and the community too. We will be using the boat on all of the region’s rivers so she will be a common sight from the Tweed to the Tees.
'She’s a very manoeuvrable craft making her ideal to train people in seamanship and boat handling skills. In turn, we will pass on these skills to help at community events all across the region. We are very grateful and will sail her with pride.'
Provincial Grand Master Ian Craigs said: 'All of our trustees agreed that this was a very worthwhile donation as the vessel is being used on the region’s waterways doing sterling community work. We are proud to be associated with MVS Northumbria and look forward to hearing more about the 'Northumberland Freemasons' good work.'
As part of its ongoing strategic plan to develop closer links with the media, the Provincial Grand Lodge of Sussex invited members of the local press to attend rehearsals, take photographs and witness the pre-meeting arrangements for their Annual Meeting in Worthing
Following a short public procession, the first in Sussex for a considerable number of years, local reporters were able to witness and photograph the entry of distinguished guests and the Provincial Executive into Provincial Grand Lodge – leaving before the opening of the meeting.
The Provincial Grand Master Christopher Moore said: 'Sussex Freemasons are very much part of our local communities and long may that continue. Although Freemasons have been an open and transparent organisation for some time, there are still many misconceptions.
'Part of our plan is to become more open about our activities, our charitable work and how we support our local communities. This can only help to explain the part we, as an organisation with a long and distinguished history, play in modern society.'
The positive press story has generated a great interest in Sussex Freemasonry, resulting in their membership team receiving a number of enquiries. The article can be viewed here.
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.
The University Lodge of Chester No. 4477 and the Association of Medical, University & Legal Lodges (AMULL) have recognised Connor Elliman for his outstanding contribution and commitment to Performing Arts over his three years of study at the University of Chester
Connor was delighted to receive an award for academic and artistic excellence at level 6 and equally pleased to learn that the award is complimented with a cheque to support his progression and help him through his Masters year.
The award was presented by Professor Andrew Thomas, Worshipful Master of the University Lodge of Chester, at the University’s Valedictory Prize-Giving held on 9th June 2018.
Professor Thomas said: 'It was a fabulous evening and Connor is a worthy recipient of the award. During his time at the University he has shown complete dedication to do well and it’s great to see this is paying off.'
Stephen Blank, Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Cheshire, said: 'The AMULL’s Student Prize-Giving programme is a great example of Freemasonry working hard for the wider community, in this case in higher education. I would like to congratulate Connor for his achievements to date and wish him well with his future studies.'
The President of AMULL, David Williamson, said: 'We congratulate Connor on his outstanding achievements and are thrilled that the University Lodge of Chester has awarded him this prize in recognition of this.'
Supported by AMULL, this activity is part of a five year commitment to support excellence in achievement by outstanding individuals.
A blue plaque, commemorating the life and works of Derbyshire Freemason Dr John Hollis Pigot, who was recognised for reviving Freemasonry in Derby, is now on display
The first recorded Freemasons lodge in Derbyshire was founded in 1732 and met at the Virgins Inn in Derby market place. As was customary in those days when lodges typically took the name if the establishment they met at, the Virgins Inn Lodge No. 104 came into being.
It was founded in 1732, only 15 years after the formation of the first Grand Lodge in London in 1717 and remained in existence for 44 years. It was formally erased in 1777 but became the springboard for Tyrian Lodge No. 253 which was founded in 1785 and is now the oldest remaining lodge in Derbyshire.
Dr Pigot was a founding member of Tyrian Lodge and its first Worshipful Master, a role in which he served for four years. He was also a founding member of the Derby Philosophical Society.
Derbyshire Freemasons are proud to see this commemorative plaque appear at the site of Dr Pigot’s former house, believed to be the first such plaque known to have been placed on an historic site marking the life and achievements of a Freemason anywhere in England.
The plaque was formally unveiled by Steven Varley, Provincial Grand Master for Derbyshire, accompanied by members of the Derby Civic Society, a local councillor and the Mayor for Derby.
Freemasons in Hampshire have formed a new lodge for those involved or interested in air travel as it attempts to attract members
It is the latest specialist lodge in the province following the creation of a Scouting lodge, football lodge, rugby lodge, sailing lodge and two motorsports lodges, which are proving highly popular.
The Samuel Cody Aviation Lodge No. 9953 – named after the early 19th century flying pioneer - meets in Bordon. Among its number are members and former members of the RAF, members and former members of civil aviation and ground crew, those from air traffic control as well as aeroplane enthusiasts.
It is run in the same way as any other lodge and its first master is Roger Bricknell who spent 25 years as a Concorde flight engineer – clocking up 14,000 flying hours.
Roger said: 'After the success of the other specialist lodges it became clear that there was enough interest to form a ‘flying’ lodge. There were many Freemasons from Hampshire and further afield who were keen to help.
'We do the same things as in other lodges, but just have a shared interest which makes meetings even more enjoyable.'
Mike Wilks, the Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Hampshire and Isle of Wight, consecrated the lodge. He said: 'We are using various methods to increase membership in the province and specialist lodges have proved a great way of doing it.
'Samuel Cody was a Wild West showman who became a flying pioneer and made the first ever flight in the UK in Farnborough in 1908. His name was a great choice and the lodge has got off to a flying start with interest from around the province and beyond.'
One of the new lodge’s members is Bernard Brown, well into his 90s, a world renowned air traffic controller who, amongst his achievements, is credited with the requirement that all pilots must be able to converse in English.