Celebrating 300 years

Eleven-year-old Clara Garavini has walked across Wales in aid of Teddies for Loving Care and raised over £2,000

Her three-day adventure took place over the May Bank Holiday weekend, beginning near Welshpool and ending at Claragh Bay near Aberystwyth on the coast. 

Clara was supported by her father Nick Garavini, Immediate Past Master of Longmynd Lodge No. 4877 in the Province of Shropshire, who planned the route and walked with her. A JustGiving page set up to raise funds has already seen Clara overtake her target of £2,000 and donations are still welcomed.

Nick said: 'This was a big undertaking for a girl who is, after all, still just eleven. Over £2,200 represents nearly half of Shropshire's annual spending on teddies for this wonderful charity.'

The walk itself was arduous, made more so by the appalling weather. 'We began in mist and were treated to some traditional Welsh Bank Holiday weather before enjoying glorious sunshine as we neared our destination,' said Nick.

Nevertheless, Clara was able to feel a real sense of achievement and to know that her walk will enable thousands of distressed children to receive some comfort at a time of need.

Lifelites Chief Executive Simone Enefer-Doy has left Freemasons' Hall to kick-start her 2,500 mile journey to 47 famous landmarks to raise awareness of Lifelites and £50,000 for the charity

Dubbed 'A Lift for Lifelites', Simone will see Freemasons in nearly every Province in England and Wales and will be stopping at landmarks such as Hadrian’s Wall, Angel of the North and Bletchley Park in vehicles including a classic Rolls Royce, a camper van, a four seater plane, an E Type Jaguar and even a zip wire.

Simone said: 'With the help of Freemasons and their vehicles around the country, I’m on a mission to raise the profile of our work and raise more funds to reach more children whose lives could be transformed by the technology we can provide.'

We'll be updating this page regularly, including images, as Simone continues on her epic quest.

Day 14 – Thursday 7 June

That's a wrap! Simone completed her 14 day challenge and finished in style on ThamesJet speedboat with guests including United Grand Lodge of England Chief Executive Dr David Staples. Her fundraising currently stands at over £103,000.

Day 13 – Wednesday 6 June

It's the penultimate day, starting with a trip to Bedfordshire at the Shuttleworth Collection. The next stop was Silverstone racetrack in Northamptonshire, which included completing a lap in a Jaguar, before driving this to Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire. The last trip was to the home, studios and gardens of former artist Henry Moore in Hertfordshire.

Day 12 – Tuesday 5 June

Day 12 took in journeys across Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. The first stop was Gordon Boswell Romany Museum in Lincolnshire before using two vehicles, a Hudson Straight Six Touring Sedan and a Range Rover, to Bressington Steam and Gardens in Norfolk. There was still time to grab lunch at Bury St Edmunds Abbey in Suffolk before a BMW took Simone to her final stop in Cambridgeshire, which included a punt on the River Cam.

Day 11 – Monday 4 June

Simone crammed in four locations to start the week, with a wide variety of vehicles used. The day started in Yorkshire Sculpture Park before driving a 1977 Bentley to the National Tramway Museum in Derbyshire. It was from here that Simone then picked up a DeLorean to take her to Newstead Abbey in Nottinghamshire before completing the day by driving a gold Rolls-Royce to Victoria Park in Leicestershire.

Day 10 – Sunday 3 June

The week concludes with trips to Northumberland, Durham and Yorkshire and East Riding, as well as the news that Simone had already hit her £50,000 target. Trips included the Millennium Bridge in Northumberland, the Angel of the North and a scenic drive across the Yorkshire Moors to Bolton Castle.

Day 9 – Saturday 2 June

Day nine saw visits to the Provinces of West Lancashire and Cumberland and Westmorland, with landmarks including Hadrian’s Wall in Cumbria and transport provided by a horse and cart.

Day 8 – Friday 1 June

Two Rolls-Royces helped provide the transport on day nine, with Simone starting at the Avoncroft Museum in Worcestershire, driving down to New Place in Warwickshire and then to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. There was still time to conclude the day by visiting Manchester Cathedral in East Lancashire.

Day 7 – Thursday 31 May

At the halfway point, Simone made trips to Cheshire, Shropshire and Herefordshire – starting out at the Georgian Hall Dunham Massey, then heading to the RAF Museum Cosford in a custom built Rewaco Bike and finally, to Arthur’s Stone.

Day 6 – Wednesday 30 May

Day six was solely focused in North Wales where Simone took on the challenge of the fastest zip wire in the world. This was then followed by making the journey to Chester in a six month old blue McLaren Spider and flanked by the Widows’ Sons motorcyclists and Blood Bike volunteers.

Day 5 – Tuesday 29 May

Day five was a journey across the borders for Simone as she ventured to Oxfordshire before heading west to Monmouthshire and continued to South Wales and West Wales. Landmarks included Radcliffe Camera in Oxford, Caerleon Amphitheatre in Newport, the Donald Gordon theatre in Cardiff and ending the day in the county town of Carmarthen to meet the Provincial Grand Lodge of West Wales.

Day 4 – Monday 28 May

Simone began day four by driving an Aston Martin DB9 to the Grand Pier in Weston-super-Mare with help from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Somerset. A 1928 MG Riley saloon then took Simone to her next port of call, Clifton Suspension Bridge where the Provincial Grand Lodge of Bristol had a 1966 Austin Mini Cooper waiting to take her to Caen Hill Locks. It was here that Simone met representatives from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Wiltshire, before the final stop of the day saw her clock up the miles to Shaw House in Berkshire to be greeted by members of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Berkshire.

Day 3 – Sunday 27 May

Day three involved journeys to Dorset, Devon and Cornwall. It started with a visit to Lulworth Cove in Dorset to be met by members from the Provincial Grand Lodge in a yellow camper van and to receive a donation of £2,000. Simone then ventured to Buckfast Abbey to receive a donation of £5,000 from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Devonshire before departing in a classic Rover to head to Lanhydrock House and Garden in Cornwall, where she received another donation of £1,750.

Day 2 – Saturday 26 May

Simone took to the sky for day two, meeting a representative from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Hampshire and Isle of Wight who drove her to Southampton to board a flight to Jersey, to meet members of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Guernsey and Alderney.

Day 1 – Friday 25 May

Simone has begun her challenge, leaving in a taxi escorted by a fleet of Widows Sons motorcyclists. This is the start of her 14 day road trip with a difference, using a variety of unusual and extraordinary forms of transport.

The next destination for Friday was Richmond Park where Simone was met by representatives from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Middlesex after arriving in a Porsche 550 Spyder. Further destinations included Guildford Cathedral, where Simone was met by a Noddy car, and Brighton Royal Pavilion, where the Provincial Grand Lodge of Sussex made a donation of £5,000.

Lifelites has a package of their magical technology at every children’s hospice across the British Isles and their work is entirely funded by donations. Through the journey they are seeking to raise £50,000 – that’s the cost of one of their projects for four years.

You can sponsor Simone by clicking here

Published in Lifelites

Clive Jones, a blind former soldier and Freemason, has been awarded Honorary Townsman of Market Drayton

Market Drayton, a small market town in north Shropshire, thrives on the contribution made to its community life by many of its citizens. The Town Council has the right to bestow the award of ‘Honorary Townsman’ upon those whose accomplishments are considered to be outstanding and therefore worthy of this prestigious accolade.

Due to his unselfish and constantly successful dedication to charity and the local community in which he lives, Clive was presented with the accolade of Honorary Townsman at the Town Hall reception on 8th March 2018. He received the honour from the Town Mayor counsellor M Erwin and enjoyed the evening with his wife Stephanie and their three children, as well as friends from St Mary’s Lodge No. 8373 in the Province of Shropshire.

Clive, originally from the village of Rogiet in South East Wales, was the founding Almoner at the concecration of Armed Forces Lodge No. 9875 in the Province of Monmouthshire on 18th January 2013. It was a very proud moment in his masonic career, and it's now that Clive finds himself as Worshipful Master of the lodge. Clive is also the current Worshipful Master of St Mary’s Lodge.

In July 2016, Clive was informed of his success in becoming a finalist in the Pride of Shropshire Awards in the Courage category. He was also informed that he had also been chosen as a finalist in the Soldiering On Awards in the Inspiration category, where he celebrated this achievement at a Champagne and Canopy reception at the House of Lords in February 2017.

In September 2017, Clive was informed of his nomination and success in becoming a finalist in the Fundraising category at the Pride of Britain awards, after raising more than £76,000 for charity.

Upon being award Honorary Townsman, Clive was presented with a medal which has a picture of a buttercross on it, which is a memorial to commemorate the great fire of Market Drayton which happened in 1651. It also has the spire of St Mary’s Church on it which is a central point of the market town.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018 13:30

Modern masons: Dave Stubbs

With a bit of ritual, special outfits and a strong sense of camaraderie, northern soul is a music and dance passion that perfectly complements Dave Stubbs’ Freemasonry

Like so many, he first came to the genre as a teenager in his local youth club, drawn to the soul music and its athletic dance style.

Northern soul fashion is dictated by the need for practicality, with loose-fitting clothes such as baggy Oxford trousers, Ben Sherman-style shirts and sports vests the accepted uniform of devotees. Dave looks every inch the genuine article in Wrangler Blue Bell jeans, a check shirt and a flat cap. The only incongruity in his outfit is the masonic ring on his right hand.

As a member of Salopian Lodge of Charity, No. 117, Dave balances his time between northern soul and Freemasonry. ‘My great grandfather was a Freemason, so it has always interested me,’ he explains.

Dave soon introduced his brethren to the belting world of northern soul. Every month, he organises a northern soul night at the masonic hall on Crewe Street, Shrewsbury, the proceeds of which go towards maintaining a World War I memorial.

It’s not just members who benefit from Dave’s musical interest. ‘My wife Polly is a Freemason and a northern soul fan too, so it’s close to both of our hearts,’ says Dave. ‘It’s not surprising that so many people who enjoy northern soul are Freemasons too. I find the two interests very complementary.’

Such is the adrenaline rush of the northern soul all-nighter that often, Dave returns home at 7.30 am only to head back out to an all-dayer by noon. ‘It becomes a lifestyle,’ says Dave. ‘Just like Freemasonry, it’s not about money, and it’s not about connections. It’s about camaraderie, and living in a way that makes you feel good.’

What does the Tercentenary mean to you?

‘The Tercentenary has been well celebrated in the Province of Shropshire. Crucially, it has really put Freemasonry in the public eye and raised awareness of our enduring support for local charities.’

Published in Features

Shropshire Freemasons celebrated the United Grand Lodge of England's Tercentenary with a magnificent Choral Evensong in Shrewsbury Abbey on Sunday 1st October

With over 300 people in attendance, the banners of the Province were paraded into the Abbey and the brethren were invited to wear full regalia for the service. The event was held in the presence of Provincial Grand Master RW Bro Peter Taylor, his Deputy Roger Pemberton and many distinguished guests.

A procession of banners from the province lodges began proceedings with a pageant of colour and ceremony, with the Provincial Sword, Banner and Standard holding pride of place before the High Altar.

The sermon was preached by the Grand Chaplain Revd Canon Michael Wilson, and the service conducted by the Provincial Grand Chaplain Revd Phil Niblock.

The Abbey's great organ was also played by W Bro Jeremy Lund and as proceedings ended, it was agreed by all those in attendance that the Evensong was a memorable way to mark 300 years of Freemasonry.

Saturday, 17 September 2016 14:51

Bargain Hunters on the loose in Shropshire

Brethren who settle down for a little early evening TV before dressing up and setting off to lodge should not snooze off over the coming weeks or months, or they may miss a television special

Shropshire's W Bros Allan Caswell and Colin Bolton form the Red Team in an unmissable episode of Bargain Hunt. The pair are members of Caer Caradoc Lodge 6346 in Church Stretton.

Filmed recently at Oswestry Showground, Allan and Colin were (possibly unwisely) given £300 and let loose on the best buys to be had, all under the watchful eye of expert John Cameron. In October they will see how their three purchases do at auction in Whitchurch. We are delighted to hear that if they make a profit, it will be donated to Shropshire's 2019 Grand Charity Festival. Slightly worryingly, however, no one seems very clear about whether the 2019 Festival is expected to pick up the tab if they make a loss!

Shropshire goes walk about

A band of walkers completed a 45-mile hike from the masonic hall at Constitution Hill, Wellington, to the masonic hall at Brand Lane, Ludlow, in Shropshire, in two 10-hour journeys.  

Deputy Provincial Grand Master Roger Pemberton, who had been on the walk, later travelled back to Ludlow for a meeting of the Lodge of the Marches, No. 611, where he received a cheque for £5,000 for the 2019 Festival Appeal in aid of The Freemasons’ Grand Charity, now part of the Masonic Charitable Foundation.

TalentAid, a new charitable venture funded by Freemasons, has come to the assistance of football-crazy youngster Daniel Stuart from Shropshire

A substantial grant from the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) will help fund costs such as kit and travel this season. Nine-year-old Dan, who is a pupil at Whitchurch Church of England Junior School, has played soccer since he was just four years old. While a member of Prees under VIIs he was spotted by talent scouts from Stoke, Manchester United and Aston Villa and had trials with these clubs, but opted to go on the books of Shrewsbury Town last year as a more practical choice.

Dan’s talent as a central midfielder has been appreciated by his coaches as he trains each week at the Shrewsbury College of Arts and Technology and the Sundorne Sports Village. So too has his temperament, which is pleasant and generous – he is often called on to assist younger players in their training.

Mother Mandy and grandfather Ron Ingall have been only too aware of the strain on the family that travelling to away games and training sessions have caused, and for a time it seemed as though Dan might have to set aside his dream of training to become a senior footballer. Fortunately, the newly formed MCF – the result of four national masonic charities combining into one – judged that Daniel’s case was worthy of their support, and approved the grant.

Jeremy Lund, spokesman for Shropshire’s Freemasons, was delighted with the news: 'Masonic charities support the young, the old, national and local causes, medical research, emergency services and much more. This is special, however, as Dan is one of the first young people in Shropshire to benefit from a TalentAid grant. We wish this talented and pleasant lad a bright future.'

The success of Light Blue Clubs around the country is soon to be repeated in Shropshire, with the launch of a club for new and particularly junior masons

An informal meeting for interested parties is scheduled for Thursday, 22nd September in a wine bar in Shrewsbury, with the promise 'Two bars, one speech and no raffle'! Those who choose to make an evening of it are invited to repair to the Indian restaurant next door after the meeting for an informal curry with the three senior masons who have been designated as the 'Three Wise Men' – not running the Club, but offering support and encouragement from the Province should this be required at any stage.

The interesting aspect of forming the new club has been the variety of different approaches that have been tried around the Provinces – who can be a member? Some have age limits, others specify below Provincial rank, others a period of time in masonry. In the case of Shropshire, it looks as though the club will be for masons below the Chair who have less than fifteen years experience in the Craft. However, the Club may also invite Associate Members to events (but not to vote or hold office) and these may include more senior masons as well as partners and in some cases friends who are interested in masonry.

Watch this space for more news – and we hope for the launch of a Twitter feed, Facebook page and even a website in the near future.

The Provincial Perambulator

Clive Jones, a Past Master from Shropshire, has walked 11 miles in aid of a masonic charity. The former Welsh Guardsman lost his sight in an off-duty assault, and heard that brethren from his lodge, St Mary’s, No. 8373, were walking from Whitchurch to Market Drayton as part of a series of walks connecting all the lodges of Shropshire. 

Dubbed the ‘Provincial Perambulations’, the walks are designed to raise funds for Shropshire’s Grand Charity Festival over the next few years, and will culminate in a final ‘grand walk’ from Shrewsbury to Great Queen Street, London in 2019.

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