A delegation of Cheshire Freemasons attended local charity Charles Thompson’s Mission to present them with cheque for £14,000 towards their work helping men and women who are homeless, poor and needy out of poverty

Mission Manager Bernie Frost was delighted to meet the volunteers who ‘chose’ to sleep out on a very cold night last year in an effort to raise awareness of homelessness and poverty, as well as help raise much-needed funds for the Mission.

Those sleeping out included 14 members of Bohemian Chapter No. 3294 and Combermere Lodge No. 605 plus two of their wives. Their collective efforts raised £12,600 through sponsorship, which was topped up by a donation of £1,400 from the Cheshire Freemasons Charity.

Cheshire’s Deputy Provincial Grand Master David Dyson said: 'What the members have done is incredible, not just in raising funds, but also to highlight the issue of homelessness and the human story that sits behind it. The men and women who slept out will be the first to say they ‘chose’ to do so, yet sadly many don’t have the ‘choice’, they sleep out all the time. 

'The Charles Thompson’s Mission is a great charity doing an incredible job and one we have supported for some time. It is clear to see the positive effect the work they do has on those in need.’

More than a memory

The written records generated by masonic lodges and chapters can give revealing insights into the masonic people, places and events of an era that would otherwise be lost

When a lodge or chapter ceases to meet and is erased, the lodge is asked to return its records (usually via the Provincial or Metropolitan office) and they are sent to Great Queen Street, where the archives team at the Library and Museum ensure that the records are preserved. Materials are cleaned, sorted, repackaged and catalogued to safeguard the legacy of the lodge.

The Library and Museum has recently created a display for Albert Coveney Lodge, No. 3519, which met in Birkenhead in the Province of Cheshire, revealing the history of the lodge from creation to its erasure in February 2013. The lodge was formed in 1911 and was named after the Provincial Senior Grand Warden Albert Coveney (1846-1912). Coveney had become a Freemason in Combermere Lodge, No. 605, in 1874 and worked for the local brewery. He was a member of several lodges in the Province. 

The records include a complete set of minutes together with declaration books, attendance books and summons to its important meetings. Lodge minutes sometimes reveal objects that have since been lost. At the end of the First World War, the lodge produced a memorial tablet with a Roll of Honour listing members who had served and the lodge’s two casualties. The tablet was unveiled in 1921 but is now known only from a photograph. 

Published in Features

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