Celebrating 300 years

The East Lancashire Masonic Charity has donated £50,000 to fund the Patient Information Zone in the new Diabetes Centre at the Manchester Hospitals Complex

The £50,000 donation will help make a difference to diabetes patients from across the North West of England. The donation, in support of Manchester Royal Infirmary Charity’s Diabetes Appeal, will help the hospital to relocate its Diabetes Centre into a more vibrant and spacious patient-friendly building and continue to be a leading centre for Diabetes care.

The Manchester Diabetes Centre is recognised around the world for its high-quality clinical care and cutting-edge, world leading research. It is one of the first dedicated diabetes centres in the UK, providing care to 4,000 patients across the North West each year.

The current Diabetes Centre is cramped and outdated, meaning the hospital’s medical professionals are unable to offer the breadth of treatment, research and care that they want to their patients.

The substantial donation will contribute towards the Charity’s Appeal to vastly improve the patients experience when being treated at the new Diabetes and Endocrinology Centre. Relocating to a larger facility will mean an increase of clinical capacity, reduction of waiting times and the ability to adapt the care to the diverse needs and lives of the hospital’s diabetic patients. This friendlier, less clinical environment, will also improve the quality of transition of care for young patients from child through to adult services, which is a major concern.

Maurice Watkins CBE, Chairman of Manchester Royal Infirmary Hospital Charity’s fundraising board, said: 'We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of the East Lancashire Freemasons. Our aim is to ensure that the Manchester Diabetes Centre continues to be a world-class facility, pioneering treatment and care for chronically ill patients in the North West and beyond. The Freemason’s support is invaluable in helping us to provide a brighter future for these patients and their families.'

The Appeal also plans to relocate the hospital’s Endocrinology Services to the new and purposely designed Diabetes facility. Currently, despite the close clinical connection of the two specialities, the hospital’s Endocrinology and Diabetes services are located in different areas of the hospital site. Housing the two linked services in one central location will ensure optimal patient care, clinical outcomes and patient experience.

Sir David Trippier, the Provincial Grand Master for East Lancashire, said: 'Freemasons are delighted to have provided vital financial support for the most worthy cause of Diabetes Care in the North West. Diabetes is an illness that has serious implications so we are keen to support this project which will ultimately benefit an immense number of people, from children to the elderly, for now and well into the future.'

The East Lancashire Masonic Charity (ELMC) has donated £25,000 to the Manchester Cathedral Chapter to assist in the funding of the choristers over the next five years

With support from East Lancashire Freemason, the Rev Richard Hawkins, an application was made which would enable the Chapter to continue contributing to the cost of choristers’ school fees at Chetham’s School of Music and support gifted children of less well off families in paying fees.

The donation will be split between choristers’ parents who are suffering hardship and unable to raise their element of the fees, and the Chapter’s annual contribution towards the fees of a child.

The President of the ELMC, and Provincial Grand Master of East Lancashire, Sir David Trippier was in attendance to speak to some of the choristers.

Provincial Grand Organist Chris Stokes and the Rev Richard Hawkins spoke to Sir David about how the money would be distributed and the effect it would have on supporting the Chapter over the coming years.

Freemasons' Hall in Manchester held its official open evening on 15th January 2018 to celebrate its multi million-pound refurbishment

The grand evening included a drinks reception, tour of the centre, speeches from key personnel and the unveiling of the new Masonic plaque to commemorate the opening evening.

Guests in attendance included the Provincial Grand Master for East Lancashire Sir David Trippier, accompanied by his wife Lady Trippier, and the Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes, who officially opened the new Masonic Centre.

The majority of the building now hosts spectacular weddings, events and business meetings. However, the Freemasons have retained dedicated accommodation located on the 3rd floor.

A memorial dedicated to the Freemasons that made the supreme sacrifice and lost their lives in World War II has also been re-homed within the centre. The memorial was moved from the ground floor hall of the building and features an eternal light above as a standing tribute and focal area within the establishment.

The United Grand Lodge of England celebrated its Tercentenary in October 2017 and the official opening is a reflection on how Freemasons have adapted throughout the years, taking on a much more contemporary direction.

More than 500 Freemasons, friends and family members attended a service in September celebrating the Tercentenary of the United Grand Lodge of England at Manchester Cathedral

The old medieval parish church of Manchester was a fitting venue for such a historic event.

The service encompassed everything that Freemasonry is about – openness, multi-faith and multiculturalism – all bound together by a common interest. The congregation received readings in both Hebrew and English, and heartfelt prayers were delivered by brethren of the Province.

During the service, there was a collection for the mission and aims of the cathedral, which was subsequently blessed by a Cathedral Canon.

May 2017 saw a tragic violent incident in Manchester that killed 22 and injured a further 250 people. The people in the city pulled together to do all that they could to help, this togetherness launched a number of appeals to provide aid, comfort and support for those affected by the bomb

The Manchester Tattoo Community launched its own appeal called the Manchester Bee Appeal, which centred around tattooer’s doing a stylised bee tattoo for £50 with all the proceeds going to the appeal fund. Many studios across Manchester decided to get involved. The involvement spread to the other big cities in the north west of England, including Liverpool.

Stephen Crane and Alexander Jorge Perez of Wavertree Gateacre Queensway Lodge No. 2294, based in the Province of West Lancashire, are both involved in the tattoo industry and have four tattoo studios and a tattoo equipment supply company, so when one of their tattooer’s approached them and said can they get involved and do their bit, they both jumped at the chance.

Tattoo crews from two of their studios - Alan’s Tattoo based in Moreton on the Wirral and 13 Ink Tattoo based in the centre of Liverpool, donated their time, including the reception staff wives and girlfriends, for free. Steve and Jorge funded all the materials that would be needed to perform the work, so that all proceeds could be donated.

The appeal was advertised through social media and the teams spent two days doing all the work. The general public were fantastic and eager to donate a patch of skin and £50 towards the appeal which raised a massive £5,480.

The cheque for £5,480 was handed over to Peter Hegarty, who travelled over from the Province of East Lancashire to attend the installation meeting of Wavertree Gateacre Queensway Lodge which meets in Hope Street, Liverpool.

Peter received the cheque in his capacity as Salford District Chairman. He commented: 'I give a big thank you to all those involved - a real team effort for a worthy cause.'

The following day Peter passed the cheque to the East Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, who are assisting with the coordination of donations as Manchester is in its geographical area.

A fund set up by East Lancashire Freemasons in response to the Manchester attack has currently raised over £100,000

With generous donations from both Provinces and individuals across the country, it will go towards helping those affected by the shocking terrorist attack which took place at the Manchester Arena on Monday May 22nd.

The fund was opened by the Provincial Grand Lodge of East Lancashire’s charity, who commented: 'Freemasons in East Lancashire will have woken up on the morning of the May 23rd to hear the tragic news of the terrorist attack on Manchester, the city which has and always will be, the heart and historic home of our Province. There will be a desire in the coming days and weeks to want to do something to demonstrate our support and contribute in some way.

'With that in mind, the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master Sir David Trippier has decided that our own East Lancashire Masonic Charity should be the focal point of any masonic giving, which in due course will then be directed to the most appropriate cause for those affected.'

The charity have been inundated with queries from Freemasons who wish to plead their support and if you would like to donate, please click here

Published in More News

County council honours local masons

The great work of Freemasons from the Provinces of East and West Lancashire has been praised by Lancashire County Council at a specially organised reception at County Hall, Preston.

Cllr Margaret Brindle, Lancashire County Council chairman, welcomed masonic representatives from across the county and thanked them ‘for the voluntary, charitable and fundraising work done throughout Lancashire to support a range of important and needy causes’.

East Lancashire festival triumph

East Lancashire masons held an end-of-Festival banquet at Bolton Wanderers’ Macron Stadium to celebrate raising more than £2.6 million for the RMBI. Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes and Bolton’s mayor, Cllr Carole Swarbrick, attended.

PGM Sir David Trippier said that despite one of the worst economic depressions since the war, which had hit the region hard, the amount raised per capita was much higher than during the previous Festival. Entertainment on the night was provided by the Opera Boys, guitarist Neil Smith and the band of the Lancashire Fusiliers.

Festive appeals total tops £8m

The closing months of 2015 saw the conclusion of two successful Festival Appeals from Bedfordshire and East Lancashire Freemasons. Both Provinces held special events to celebrate raising more than £1.5 million for the RMTGB and over £2.5 million for the RMBI, respectively. 

Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes attended both events along with the Presidents and Chief Executives of the charities, Mike Woodcock and Les Hutchinson for the RMTGB, and James Newman and David Innes for the RMBI.

The funds raised by Bedfordshire and East Lancashire bring the total raised for the central masonic charities through 2015 Festival Appeals to a staggering £8.2 million.

Published in Freemasonry Cares

Forget-Me-Not charity set up by Freemason brothers to help the homeless

The adjective term of a ‘down and out’ person relates to a person being without money, a job, or a place to live, in fact quite destitute. This form of destitution is clearly apparent and seen on many of the UK city centre streets, under many highways and by-ways. The term ‘objective’ relates to ‘a thing aimed at or sought a goal’, conjoin these two terms and in this case is where the needy become quite literally, served by some good.

Ezra McGowan of Hand and Heart Lodge No. 4109 and his brother Nathan, a former Freemason in a London lodge but soon to be a joining member of a West Lancashire lodge, through their travels have seen many situations in our city streets and in particular Manchester, Peterborough and London where people were and clearly still are, just living in tents and makeshift cardboard box homes or just sleeping rough and in fact quite destitute and many through no fault of their own.

Two years ago, Ezra along with his brother took an objective decision to try to support these unfortunate individuals and to give some support by way of warm food, warm clothing and in the really destitute circumstances what Ezra refers to as crisis packs which contain, a hat, gloves, sandwich, drink and male or female specific toiletries. Ezra initially purchased what he refers to as a burger van which he had inspected and passed by the authorities for distribution of hot soup and other food.

Between the brothers, they then set up trailers for use in the Manchester, Peterborough and London areas which is where they distribute today. They proudly display the square and compass on their trailers and on their hats, of which they are frequently asked about their significance to which Ezra responds it’s about helping others and helping people to realise themselves.

When Ezra was asked for his reasons and his experiences for their work, he said: 'I have been blessed in life with family and business; I have also been privileged to have the total enjoyment of support from within Freemasonry.' Ezra refers to his lodge as a wonderful friendly experience and he said it’s time he and his brother gave something back into society and he saw the homeless and those very much less fortunate people as a way to do exactly that.   

Ezra’s experiences transmit quite a stark vivid realisation of what it is actually like to be in such a social disposition that affects all are all faiths. He estimates in his own experience that there are less than five women to every 50 males. There can be threatening situations and sees people having to move from location to location. He said that in one recent scenario a man and wife had lost their home, business and everything associated with family and were living in a derelict shop doorway – this is why he helps.

The brothers also assist in supplying provisions to local shelter homes and an outreach men’s home in Salford, Manchester and more recently supported both the local Women’s Institute and PROBUS meetings at Urmston Masonic Hall in providing coffee, tea, biscuits and chocolates.    

Currently self-funded, Ezra along with his brother have recently set up a registered charity, numbered 1164359 which is called The Forget-Me-Not Trust and hope that any further donations they can obtain will assist those who are in dire need. They have a website too which is: http://theforgetmenottrust.org.uk

At a recent Hand and Heart Lodge Christmas ladies to dine evening, a presentation of £50 was donated towards the charity and a forget-me-not raffle raised a further £110 with a further donation of £20 from a very moved lady, Ezra responded by thanking the lodge members and their ladies for such fine support saying he was most humbled and quite taken by the support and said that the donation will go such a long way in feeding a lot of people on these forthcoming, cold winter nights.    

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