Charity backing for neighbour scheme
The Royal Voluntary Service (formerly WRVS) has been awarded £50,000 by The Freemasons’ Grand Charity to fund the establishment of a county-wide Good Neighbours Scheme for older people in Herefordshire.
The project will support one hundred older vulnerable people at home, providing practical help and companionship and using trained volunteers. Herefordshire RVS will require an additional fifty volunteers, over and above their existing 500 volunteers, to promote this new venture. In the words of George Driver, RVS local Service Manager, the scheme will enable the elderly receiving this support 'to retain their independence, give them choice, provide them with the opportunity of involvement, and positively encourage a feeling of being valued.'
Speaking about the donation, the Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, The Rev David Bowen, said: 'The wellbeing of the older members of our local community is of real importance to Herefordshire Freemasons and we are therefore delighted to support the Royal Voluntary Service with this grant to establish the Good Neighbours Scheme in this county. In other areas around Britain such schemes have shown real benefits and positive outcomes. This scheme will enrich the lives of the older people in our county.'
Claire Print, Locality Manager RVS Herefordshire, emphasised that 'We are very grateful for this substantial support from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity to set up a vital Good Neighbours Scheme in Herefordshire. Good Neighbours volunteers will make a huge difference to the lives of older people who find getting out and about difficult. Knowing that there is a friendly face willing to help will have a real impact on the wellbeing of older people who use the service.'
The Freemasons’ Grand Charity is a grant-making charity dedicated to supporting people in need. The charity provides grants totalling about £8 million annually in areas of medical research, support for vulnerable people, youth opportunities, hospice services, air ambulances and disaster relief, as well as providing assistance to Freemasons and their dependants in financial need.
RW Bro the Rev David John Bowen was installed as the nineteenth Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Herefordshire on Monday 3rd June 2013
Except for a break of twelve years between 1836 and 1848, when no Provincial Grand Master was appointed, this otherwise continuous period of 260 years has witnessed Dukes, Lords, and Members of Parliament as Provincial Grand Masters for Herefordshire. The first and longest serving being Sir Thomas de Cornwall 1753-1789.
Rev David Bowen was installed by MW Bro Peter Lowndes, Pro Grand Master representing the Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent.
Rev Bowen’s first act as Provincial Grand Master was to appoint VW Bro Mike Roff as Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Herefordshire.
Herefordshire Freemasons held their annual church service at Hereford Cathedral Sunday 9th June.
Financial support for Air Ambulance throughout England and Wales has been maintained again this year by The Freemasons’ Grand Charity, taking the total awarded over the last five years to £1 million
Flying over 20,000 'mercy' missions every year, this vital national emergency service relies entirely on such voluntary donations and public fundraising.
Meeting at the Midlands Air Ambulance base at Strensham, which operates the service for Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire and the Welsh border, Herefordshire Freemasons were able to make a further donation on behalf of the Grand Charity. The contribution from local Freemasons, in addition to that from the Grand Charity, has totalled £54,000 over the past four years.
Such continued support has been acknowledged by the display of the masonic square and compass logo and the words 'Supported by Freemasons' on the distinctive red and yellow air ambulance helicopter.
The Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, the Rev David Bowen, and Mike Roff, Deputy ProvGM in charge, on their first visit to Strensham, were 'hugely impressed with the commitment and dedication of the Air Ambulance staff', and discussed at length the operational side of the service with helicopter pilot Tim Hutchins.
Michelle McCracken, a member of the fundraising team who organised the visit, expressed the gratitude of Midlands Air Ambulance to all Freemasons for their generous support.
Long service acknowledged
One of the first official duties of the newly installed Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, the RW Bro the Rev David Bowen, was to award Long Service Certificates to three Herefordshire masons who had completed fifty years membership in Freemasonry.
The men who received this honour at the Three Counties Hotel were Peter Like, of Loyal Hay Lodge No. 2382, John Poyner, of Coningsby Lodge No. 6383, and Stanley Davey, of Saint Peter’s Lodge No. 7368. All three masons are Past Provincial Grand Wardens. Rev David Bowen warmly congratulated the three recipients for their dedication, commitment and loyalty to Freemasonry in the Province of Herefordshire and beyond.
The Reverend David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master designate for Herefordshire, has kept his promise in ensuring that the Province remains a Guardian of the local Haven Breast Cancer Support Centre, with the presentation of a yearly donation on behalf of local masons.
In the presence of the national Haven Chief Executive, Pamela Healy OBE, David Bowen presented the Haven Manager Frankie Devereux with the customary £1,000 donation, as part of the annual financial support for this local charity.
David Bowen, who speaheaded the Province becoming a Guardian of the charity, is mindful of the fact that this vital service, freely available to breast cancer sufferers, is entirely dependent on charitable giving.
Pamela Healy celebrated the continued and significant support of the Freemasons with a timely reference to the quotation to be found on the illustrated Tree of Life displayed at the Hereford Haven Centre – 'Fear will take you a prisoner: hope will set you free' – by stating how such local support is crucial to the fulfilment of such hope and freedom.
The recently registered charity appeal “Robocap”, aimed at providing a `da Vinci’ surgical system which uses the latest state-of-the-art robotic technology treatment for prostate cancer, was officially launched at the delightful Herefordshire setting of How Caple Court. The event was organised by Fundraiser Howard Pitts, with a number of Herefordshire Masons in attendance.
The Chairman of the appeal, Les Kinmond, introduced the three Consultant Urologists of Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire - Graham Sole, Biral Patel and Aloysius Okeke. They spoke with enthusiasm and commitment about this most advanced form of key hole surgery which offers surgeons superior 3D HD imagining and magnification, great precision and optimal performance of minimally invasive surgery, and reduced incidence of complications.
Such robotic assisted surgery is the fastest growing treatment for prostate cancer, a system which could also be developed for surgical work on the kidney and bladder.
35,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year in England and Wales. 800 local operations are carried out annually in the 3CCN area of Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and south Worcestershire.
Cllr Olwyn Barnett, Chairman Herefordshire Council, issued a rallying call to all Herefordshire Town Mayors elect, to support this major appeal. Cllr Brian Wilcox Mayor elect for Hereford city, had already indicated his wish to make Robocap his official charity during his term of office.
VW Bro The Reverend David Bowen, Deputy Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, welcomed the opportunity given to local Freemasons to be in the vanguard of this public appeal.
Allan Lloyd, campaigning for access to radiotherapy cancer treatment at Hereford, supported the opinion that such robotic surgery was “the biggest development in surgery over the last 50 years and of immeasurable benefit “.
The initial target of £400,000 would allow delivery and installation of the unit. The full cost of the robotic system is £1.6 million. It is probable that the site for this advanced form of surgery would be Cheltenham.
Manager Frankie Devereux has welcomed Freemasonry in Herefordshire as the latest Guardian of The Haven in St Owen Street, Hereford.
Entirely dependent on charitable giving, The Haven which provides, completely free of charge, support to those affected by breast cancer, invites individuals and corporate bodies to become Guardians by donating £1,000 a year.
VW Bro The Reverend David Bowen, is most anxious to maintain the long standing support of The Haven by Herefordshire Freemasons, and initiated this desire among Freemasons to become a Guardian. The Deputy Provincial Grand Master of the Masonic Province of Herefordshire is a true supporter of local charities and welcomes this opportunity to support The Haven on an annual basis.
Frankie Devereux welcomes visitors to The Haven Centre. Those visiting should note the following words written by a patient, which can be seen on the Centre’s colourful Tree of Life “Fear will take you a prisoner. Hope will set you free.”
The Haven, with the backing of its Guardians and the host of local supporters, will continue to give that fundamental hope to those who cross its threshold.
Mr. Graham Sole, Consultant Urologist at Hereford Acute Trust, meeting with local Freemasons, has welcomed the lead taken by Masons from Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and South Worcestershire in the launch of the “Robocap” appeal.
This is a newly Registered Charity set up to generate funds to purchase a 'da Vinci’ surgical system which uses the latest robotic technology to provide the most up to date and advanced form of treatment for prostate cancer. Approximately one thousand men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year in the three Shires.
Graham Sole speaking with Herefordshire Freemasons at Kyrle Street Hereford, supported the fact that such state-of-the-art robotic surgery will offer surgeons superior 3D HD imaging and magnification, with greater precision for the optimal performance of minimally invasive surgery, resulting in a quicker recovery and reduced incidence of complications.
The initial target of £400,000 would allow delivery and installation of such a unit at a location within the 3CCN area. The full cost of the robotic system is £1.6 million.
To date in excess of £100,000 has been raised following the lead taken by Freemasons from the three counties. Worshipful Brother David Sparrey of Eastnor Lodge Ledbury is a Fundraising Trustee of the Charity.
Very Worshipful Brother The Reverend David Bowen, Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Herefordshire, welcomed the opportunity given to local Freemasons to be in the vanguard of this public appeal, and ultimately achieving the appeal’s slogan “Taking surgery beyond the limits of the human hand” for local people.
As Founder Junior Warden and Master of the Lodge in 1963, Shotton Blench recollected with pride and pleasure his involvement during the early days of Delphis Lodge following his move to Hereford as a Metallurgist for Henry Wiggin. The Lodge Warrant, issued in March 1961, lists the names of 21 founder members, six of whom had moved to Hereford with Henry Wiggin & Co. Ltd.
Presiding at the Consecration in 1961 was Right Worshipful Brother Right Reverend Bishop E. W. Sara, Provincial Grand Master, the first Bishop of Ludlow. Appropriately, Very Worshipful Brother The Reverend David Bowen, Deputy Provincial Grand Master, presided at the Anniversary Lodge Meeting.
Worshipful Brother Paul Young presented members with a “Golden Jubilee” history of Delphis Lodge 1961 – 2011.
The presence of Worshipful Brother John Galt, Past Master of Lodge St John Kilwinning , Kirkentilloch, reminded the brethren of Delphis Lodge of their strong links with this Scottish Lodge.
Bowen took a special interest in the Haven’s ‘Guardian’ Programme – an invitation to individuals and corporate bodies to become Haven Guardians by donating £1,000 a year.
Healy stated that the success of this challenging programme could result in The Hereford Haven becoming fully self-supporting. The Haven is entirely dependent on charitable donations.
Further information on Breast Cancer Haven can be found on their website