Hereford Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre, established in 2011, has historically worked with women who have suffered rape or sexual abuse - however in May 2013 the centre secured funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner to extended the service to include men

Within the last year the centre has received 29 referrals for men, and the charity aims to raise an additional £22,400 per year to extend the counselling service to provide them with free, confidential and non-judgemental counselling sessions. Herefordshire Freemasons presented £800 to Lesley Caldicott, Independent Sexual Violence Advisor for Herefordshire, as their first ever donation to this charity, to support this counselling process.

Lesley emphasised the importance of such support to the local Freemasons present at the presentation, by stating that there is no other organisation in Herefordshire that offers men specialist counselling free of charge for rape and sexual abuse.

Freemasons warmly welcomed by Herefordshire Samaritans

While it is appreciated that members from individual masonic Lodges have supported Herefordshire Samaritans in the past, the recent £500 donation to refurbish the organisation’s vehicle, was the first support given by the central Herefordshire Masonic Charity Association

In the words of Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Herefordshire, this assistance should be maintained in the light of the invaluable work undertaken by the Samaritans, as exemplified by the 18,835 contacts made to the local branch in 2013. David Bowen was impressed by the fact that Herefordshire Samaritans was a self funded charity with no paid employees, everyone involved being a volunteer.

Dorian Lower, Branch Director of Herefordshire Samaritans situated in Berrington Street, warmly welcomed the Freemasons who attended with David Bowen, namely Mike Roff, Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Allan Lloyd and David Knowles, Provincial Grand Charity Steward. He expressed his great appreciation for such support and hoped that the link with between the local Freemasons and Herefordshire Samaritans Group would continue and prosper.

The annual pantomime presented at Brookfield School and Specialist College, Hereford, has received the support of Herefordshire Freemasons with a donation of over £700

The school, which provides specialist educational needs for over sixty Herefordshire youngsters, has received such support on three occasions, much to the approval and wishes of the Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire masons.

This year’s pantomime Treasure Island was organised through the national charity Happy Days by Anna Collum a senior member of the teaching staff at the school. The production was attended by the visiting Freemasons, David Bowen, Allan Lloyd, and David Knowles, Provincial Grand Charity Steward.

David Bowen was delighted to be able to visit the school, and remarked how well the pupils responded to the professionally presented pantomime performed by the visiting theatre company Magic of Theatre. He remarked that the performance truly proved magical for the pupils who obviously greatly enjoyed the production, and promised that he and his fellow Freemasons would continue to fully support such local charities.

The Freemasons' Grand Charity supported this charity with a donation of £20,000 in 2011.

provides specialist educational needs 

Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, said that it was a wonderful experience to be with the young children of the Hereford Deaf Children's Society during a most enjoyable musical afternoon led by Real Impact Music

With a donation of £500 to enable 25 children to attend a pantomime at The Courtyard later in the year, Herefordshire Freemasons are continuing to support this worthy local charity.

The Society’s Chairperson Tracy Caddick-Rudd, together with the assistance of a large number of volunteers, has recently organised Hereford Deaf Children Society visits to York, Weston-super-Mare and Disneyland Paris, much to the delight of up to 100 children who were involved.

Tracy emphasised that the only way to maintain such participation among the children was to receive the continued support of charitable organisations such as the Freemasons.

Also in attendance at the presentation was David Knowles, Provincial Grand Charity Steward of Herefordshire.

Meeting volunteers at the Newton Farm Community Association in Hereford to support their charitable work over Christmas and the New Year, local Freemasons greatly appreciated the level of commitment evident

Rev David Bowen, who had ministered to the people of this part of the city in the past, welcomed the opportunity to revisit Newton Farm and once again see how the community centre continues to positively assist in bringing the people of local neighbourhoods together.

Financial support was presented by Rev Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, to Audrey Pask, the long standing vice chair of Newton Farm Community Centre. This support was identified as help towards the cost of 50 Christmas Hampers being distributed, and the children’s presents received in Santa’s grotto thanks to Richard Johnson, chairman of the centre.

David Bowen, who was accompanied by the Provincial Grand Charity Steward David Knowles, expressed gratitude to the people of Newton Farm for the warmth of their welcome, and the privilege of being able to support such a worthy local enterprise. He praised the dedication of all involved in the non profit making charity with special reference to the 24 volunteers, and looked forward to the forthcoming planned renovation of the immediate area.

Ian Talboys of Delphis Lodge No. 7769 in Hereford, has long admired the staunch work of Linda Bishop in her support of St Michael’s Hospice

Ian has known Linda for many years through their involvement with the local Scout movement and has had the pleasure of walking many miles with her in the Black Mountains.

Linda recently completed her Beating Boundaries Challenge Hike, the first ever complete walk around the county boundary of Herefordshire, to raise money especially for the new Complementary Therapy Suite at Bartestree.

With the £14.5 million new build at St Michael’s Hospice due for completion in June 2014, as projected by Head of Fundraising Ruth Denison, visiting Herefordshire Freemasons recently took the opportunity of viewing its progress while presenting their annual donation.

A donation of £2,809 from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity was presented to Ruth Denison during the visit, with an additional £1,000 from Hereford’s Delphis Lodge being ring-fenced for the provision of the state of the art Complementary Therapy Suite.

Since 1984, £10.5 million has been donated to hospices across England and Wales by The Freemasons’ Grand Charity.

Speaking about the donation, Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire said: 'Every year Freemasons all over the country work together to provide funding for hospice services.

'The care provided by our local hospice is exceptional, but financial support is fundamental to ensuring a continued good service. We recognise the vital role the hospice plays within our community here in Herefordshire, and that is why we are so happy and committed to maintain our support.'

According to the Haven’s manager, Frankie Devereux, the 'hugely successful' Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Hereford, 'culminated in a most welcomed and substantial donation of £5,800.00 from the Freemasons'

Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, in presenting this latest donation, spoke highly of the truly supportive work undertaken at the Haven in Hereford. He emphasised the continued support of Freemasons, being fully aware that the success of the Haven’s work depended entirely upon charitable giving. Herefordshire Province of Freemasons has been a Guardian of the Haven since 2011.

In attendance at the presentation, undertaking his first official duty, was Edward Lord, the newly appointed National Director of Fundraising and Development for the Breast Cancer Havens in Hereford, Leeds and London. As a senior mason himself, he welcomed the support given by both local Freemasons and The Freemasons’ Grand Charity. He praised Herefordshire Masons for the continued support received over recent years.

This year’s annual masonic donation to the Haven included specific giving from Royal Edward Lodge No. 892, Palladian Lodge No. 120 and Delphis Lodge No. 7769 in Herefordshire, and the Herefordshire Masonic Charity Association. This local support was match funded by The Freemasons’ Grand Charity.

A suitable horse

Riding for the Disabled Centre at Holme Lacy, Hereford, is searching for a suitable new horse. The previous occupant of the now empty stable was Gypsy, a horse sponsored by the Freemasons of Herefordshire

Freemasons wish to continue their two decade support of the centre, and recently donated £2,600 towards the purchase of a replacement horse. The original horse they sponsored was aptly named Mason.

The annual minimum cost of maintenance for each of the 13 horses stabled at Hereford RDA is £1,500. Like all centres, Hereford RDA depends on local financial and physical support in order to provide the much appreciated quality service of compassion and care.

The centre provides 250 sessions per week for their disabled clients. One such client is Nick Jones, now aged 35, who first attended the centre at Holme Lacy when aged six: he is now an Ambassador, voluntarily representing the centre at all public occasions.

The newly appointed manager, Lisa Millman, who has been at the centre for the past 21 years, warmly welcomed the Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire the Rev David Bowen, and the Provincial Grand Charity Steward David Knowles. Lisa emphasised that as a charity, volunteers as well as financial donations are required. She is to contact the fifteen masonic lodges in Herefordshire seeking such physical support.

Rev David Bowen expressed how the quality of life of the individuals who attended the centre would diminish should the centre become non-viable – for some clients the visit to Hereford RDA was their only 'outdoor' activity. He promised continued support on behalf of Herefordshire Freemasons. The most recent donation had been match funded by The Freemasons’ Grand Charity.

The Cobalt medical charity, now approaching its 50th anniversary, supports patients with cancer across Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire

At present, the charity is working with Wye Valley NHS Trust to set up a state of the art Breast Cancer Digital Screening and Biopsy Assessment Centre at Hereford County Hospital. With sufficient funding this project could be realised by the end of the current year.

Mel Bolton, Service Delivery Manager at Hereford Hospital, recently met with representatives of Herefordshire Freemasons, who are continuing in their support of the Cobalt Appeal, and toured the designated hospital area which will accommodate the new facilities. They were accompanied by Sian Syddall, Community Fundraiser for Herefordshire Cobalt Appeal.

In presenting the latest donation, the Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, Rev David Bowen, praised the work of the charity and the financial support given to the Cobalt Unit by the people of the county. He was pleased to be informed that the realisation of this latest project would make it unnecessary for patients to travel to Bromsgrove and Cheltenham to access these services.

Sian Syddall said: 'One in eight women in Herefordshire will be affected by breast cancer at some stage in their lifetime. We want to ensure that all women across the county have access to the best possible screening and follow-up, close to home and loved ones. New digital breast screening equipment for the county will undoubtedly play a vital role in the detection of breast cancer and help to save more lives. On behalf of the women in Herefordshire we would like to extend our sincere thanks to Herefordshire Freemasons for their generous support of our important local appeal.'

The Provincial Grand Master wishes to place on record the invaluable contribution made by fellow Freemason, Allan Lloyd together with his wife Angela, who have campaigned for the past decade for the provision of comprehensive cancer treatment at Hereford Hospital, of which access to digital mammography is an integral part.

A further development to be initiated by the Cobalt Charity will be the provision of a Mobile Digital Mammogram Unit serving the five market towns in the county.

 

Vitruvian Lodge is the second oldest active lodge of Freemasons in Herefordshire, having been founded in 1813

The consecration meeting of Vitruvian Lodge No. 338 had been held in the School Room, now St Mary’s Hall, Ross-on-Wye, on 6th August 1813, when John Tristram, a local builder, was installed as Worshipful Master of the lodge. The other lodge officers recorded at the time were William Hooper, John Collins, Francisco Knowles, Samuel Brookes, John White, John Rudge, Robert Evans, Uriah Delahay and Thomas Morgan.

The lodge initially met in the King’s Head Inn, the former home of the 'Man of Ross' John Kyrle. The present masonic hall building, situated just below the Royal Hotel, the site of the former British and Foreign School, has been its meeting place since 1928.

The original 1813 minute mook and by-laws are still in existence. However, records indicate that an earlier but short-lived lodge was active in Ross between May 1764 and April 1783, and which held its meetings mainly at the Swan and Falcon.

The Bicentenary Festival of Vitruvian Lodge was held at The Chase Hotel on the 3rd September 2013, with Thomas Maguire as Worshipful Master. The lodge history was presented by Worshipful Brother Martin Thorne, and an oration was delivered by the Provincial Grand Chaplain Worshipful Brother Edward Dilley.

At the festival, the Right Worshipful Brother the Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, dedicated and presented the splendid new bicentenary banner to the lodge. It is fitting that Rev David Bowen, initiated into Freemasonry in Vitruvian Lodge in 1983, and appointed to the highest office of the Province of Herefordshire earlier this year, should lead the celebrations of the bicentenary of his mother lodge.

To commemorate the bicentenary, the brethren of Vitruvian Lodge have donated over £16,000 to local charities aimed at assisting young people in particular.

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