The evening, held at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham, marked the conclusion of a five-year Festival Appeal that included many successful initiatives – from a Provincial lottery, which raised £36,500, to the sale of a range of masonic-themed merchandise.
‘The brethren of Worcestershire, and their wives and partners, have dug so deeply and, through their tremendous support, made a real difference to the lives of so many children,’ said RMTGB president Mike Woodcock.
Those present at the event included the Provincial Grand Master for Worcestershire, Richard Goddard, and the Deputy Grand Master, Jonathan Spence. Guests were treated to a range of musical entertainment before the result was announced.
The cheque – part of a total donation of £36,000 over three years – was presented by incoming Bucks Provincial Grand Master Gordon Robertson, to help fund THINKBIG, a project supporting children in care. It will assist 10 A-Level students, who have no family support, in achieving their academic potential.
The Foundation, which is based at Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes, provides a mentor to help students complete their studies. It also offers internships, training in interview skills and business writing, as well as financial support.
Worcestershire Provincial Grand Master Richard Goddard joined the Lord Mayor of Birmingham and other dignitaries at the 10th Fun for Kids Day fair in May, presenting Robert Wilkinson, the fair’s owner, with a Certifi cate of Merit
Wilkinson offers use of the fair, plus ice creams, candyfloss and other delights, free of charge to some 500 disadvantaged local children, slowing the rides to allow the least able to enjoy an experience not normally available to them.
Started by the Kings Heath branch of the Worcestershire Associated Masonic Lodges in 2002, the fair has become highly valued by local special schools. Masons act as stewards, and raise funds for drinks and a St John’s ambulance.
The ceremony began with the dedication of a new lodge banner, followed by a talk tracing the Economy’s history. Former mayor David Sermon, a Past Master of the lodge, presented a copy of his book about the lodge, Men, Not Walls, Make the City, to the current mayor of Winchester.
Peter Small, the only member who also attended the 200th anniversary meeting, was given an engraved firing-glass to mark 50 years in masonry. Also present were Provincial Grand Master Michael Wilks, his Chaplain, the Reverend Bill Whitfield, and Director of Ceremonies Ian Preece.
The Province’s first organised charity event in support of its 2016 Festival saw The Shepherds Inn in Carlisle transformed to accommodate a central boxing ring, complete with ringside tables.
The evening included a fabulous Cumberland roast-beef dinner, followed by 14 bouts of amateur boxing, while Provincial Stewards ran a tote, an auction and a very successful raffle for the RMBI.
Repairs to the windows at the eastern end of the cathedral, known as the Lady Chapel, are costing more than £4 million. The medieval stained glass has been taken away for restoration, the stone work repaired and an outer layer of isothermal glass has been installed, but the costs still have to be covered. On the cathedral’s south side is a statue of Godfroi de Bouillon, erected by masons in 1890 for £35.
The Freemasons’ Grand Charity has also donated £5,000 each to Exeter and Salisbury cathedrals.
refurbish a vital infrared rescue camera.
Provincial Grand Master David Hodgetts explained he remembered when the Air Search organisation was set up and is delighted to be making a contribution towards the team’s high operating costs. CIAS chief officer Colin Ferbrache said the money would help towards the overall running costs, ‘which are now in the region of £85,000 a year’.
In the presence of the Provincial Grand Master of Nottinghamshire, Robin Wilson, and the Grand Master of Oklahoma, the ritual was a portrayal of the US ceremony based on the Scottish Rites. Conducted in two parts, the first in working dress, and the second in Native American dress, prayers were offered in the form of a chant in Choctaw, a language common to the tribes of Oklahoma.
The Northamptonshire & Huntingdonshire Provincial Grand Lodge meeting at St George's Avenue Northampton on Thursday 19th May proved to be a momentous occasion with a record number of members of the Province in attendance. This was undoubtedly due to the fact of it being the last such meeting to be presided over by RW Bro Barrie Hall as PGM. Bro Barrie had, earlier in year, announced that he was to retire at the end of June. There can be no doubt that the turnout at this meeting was a testimony to the affection with which he is held throughout the Province.
In his address the PGM reflected on the warmth and affection shown to him throughout the past six years and thanked his Executive and the whole membership for their support. He wished his successor, VW Bro Max Bayes every success for the future confident in the knowledge that the Province's happy approach to Masonry would continue. At his Installation by the Pro Grand Master on 27th July, RW Max Bayes commented that he will uniquely enjoy the support of no less than five of his Past PGM predecessors (RW Bros Peter Palmer, Richard Sandbach OSM, Brian Smith, Nicolas Hart and Barrie Hall).
Wiltshire Lodge of Agriculture No. 9090 has again organised the local Voices for Hospices event in support of the Dorothy House Hospice near Bath. The Concert raised £2,500 to which Provincial Grand Master Francis Wakem added a further £2,000 from the Provincial Charity Fund.
The concert was hosted by ITV West Country presenter Peter Rowell and featured the City of Bath Male Choir. The concert included specialist items by local young soprano Rhiannon Lambert and violinist Lizz Lipscombe
Voices for Hospices is a series of simultaneous concerts around the globe which takes place on World Hospice and Palliative Care Day every two years.