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.
A minibus and a car have been presented by the Province of Guernsey & Alderney, who raised around £23,000 to help the Women's Royal Voluntary Service celebrate its 60th anniversary in Guernsey.
The amount was achieved by a combination raised within the Province during the past year, a matched funding grant of £5,000 from the Grand Charity and deep trade discounts negotiated by a brother active in the commercial vehicle trade.
Provincial Grand Master David Hodgetts presented the keys to both the Hyundai automatic car for their Meals on Wheels service and a fully fitted-out 14-seater Renault minibus to Lorna Hooley, WRVS Bailiwick Organiser.
He praised the WRVS Meals on Wheels service, which provided nearly 400 meals each week for the elderly, sick and disabled, and ran two day centres which provide transport, meals and entertainment for 55 elderly people daily.
He said he knew that the vehicles will be well used and noted that a number of masons wives were members of the WRVS, which is active in all aspects of the community.
Lorna Hooley said that she was ‘absolutely thrilled and rather overwhelmed by the generous support from the masons’. She added that their vehicles were usually replaced, with difficulty, every five years, but their current minibus was a lot older. To have two replaced at the same time was great relief and she was grateful to have the cash from the old vehicles for which the masons had found buyers.
World Kickboxing Champion Drew Neale, of Vernon Lodge No. 560, has received his Grand Lodge Certificate from Worcestershire Provincial Grand Master Richard Goddard.
Last October Drew won the Scandinavian Open in the 82 and 84 kilogram events, was also successful in the team category and was nominated best fighter in the tournament.
He decided to follow up these successes by travelling to Italy in December to regain his World Championship, in which he was successful. He is now one of the few British sportsmen who can claim to be a British, European and World Champion!
As the PGM remarked: “This is a first for me – I have never presented a Grand Lodge Certificate to a world champion before!”