A unique event took place on 22nd October 2018, as the Provinces of East and West Lancashire joined forces to create the fourth Chapter of the United Grand Lodge of England’s Universities Scheme
Palatine Chapter No. 2447, which is proud to have as honorary members the Grand Superintendents of both Provinces, Sir David Trippier and Tony Harrison, meets twice a year – once in East Lancashire and once in West Lancashire – and now has over 40 members from both Provinces.
This inaugural meeting of the Chapter worked an Installation Ceremony and then exalted into the Order three members from the Universities Scheme’s Craft lodge Old Mancunians’ with Mount Sinai No. 3140.
Over the past year, Manchester Freemasons have given £55,000 in donations to non-Masonic charitable organisations and on 3 May 2018 hosted a Giving Evening at Manchester Hall where cheques were presented to a number of exceptional organisations from Greater Manchester
The 109 attendees included Brethren, their guests and representatives from the good causes they have supported. The Provincial Grand Master of East Lancashire, Sir David Trippier, and The Lord Lieutenant for Greater Manchester, Warren Smith, were both in attendance.
Each of the organisations receiving donations had laid out a stand in the Goulburn Lodge Room and the evening began with the guests navigating their way around the room, learning about the amazing services they provide to the larger community, whilst enjoying the drinks reception and canapés.
The focus of the evening then turned to the Goulburn Dining Room, where the donations would be presented. As everyone made their way into the room, the Drum Corps of the Manchester Army Cadets demonstrated their new instruments that were bought for them earlier this year, with help from a grant from the East Lancashire Masonic Charity. This part of the evening was hosted by Stephen Thomson and Tony Stephenson, District Charity Stewards for the Manchester Districts.
The guests were formally welcomed by Chris Welton, Assistant Provincial Grand Master for Manchester Districts, and then Sir David Trippier spoke about the commitment Manchester masons have to supporting their local community and commended the achievements attained, often voluntarily, by the organisations they aim to help as Freemasons.
Warren Smith was then introduced to the podium and, describing Manchester masons as philanthropists, praised the valuable contribution they make to the community. A number of representatives from the organisations that received donations gave short talks on the difference the money they have received has made on the lives of people in their area.
The lodges and chapters were then invited to present their cheques to their beneficiaries and the following donations were made to:
- Friendship Lodge No. 44 presented to Blythe House Hospice
- Arkscroll Lodge No. 6594 and Ark Menorah Chapter No. 6594 presented to Bury Hospice
- Ashbury Lodge No. 1459 presented to Centrepoint
- Arkscroll Lodge No. 6594 and Ark Menorah Chapter No. 6594 presented to The Christie
- Felicity Lodge No. 4365 presented to Day Trippers
- Arkscroll Lodge No. 6594, Ark Menorah Chapter No. 6594 and Zion Menorah Lodge No. 1798 presented to The Federation of Jewish Services
- Ashbury Lodge No. 1459 presented to Mustard Tree
- Felicity Lodge No. 4365 presented to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital
- Friendship Lodge No. 44 presented to St Anne’s Hospice
- Zion Menorah Lodge No. 1798 and Ark Menorah Chapter No. 6594 presented to The Nicky Alliance Centre
- Ark Menorah Chapter No. 6594 presented to Wood Street Mission
The evening was closed by Chris Welton, who declared it to have been a great success and commended the hard work and dedication displayed by Stephen Thomson and Tony Stephenson in delivering this momentous event.
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.'
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.
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
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.
Victoria Cross heroes
East Lancashire PGM Sir David Trippier took the chair of his own lodge, East Lancashire Centurion Lodge, No. 2322, when he headed a Provincial deputation to commemorate 100 years since the beginning of the Great War.
The event highlighted the heroism of masons within the Province who were awarded the Victoria Cross (VC), and included an account of the origins and history of the VC by Essex mason Lt Col Mark Smith, curator at the Royal Artillery Museum.
Technology boost for the blind
Henshaws Society for Blind People has received a £50,000 grant from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity to support its assistive technology programme across its college and centres in Manchester, Merseyside, Harrogate, Knaresborough and Newcastle.
The society gives expert support and training to anyone affected by sight loss and other disabilities, and the grant will help to provide a wireless network at its college, as well as broadband in the community houses. The funds will also subsidise the salary of the assistive technology coordinator over three years. Henshaws’ chief executive, Nick Marr, said, ‘The support committed by The Freemasons’ Grand Charity will make a huge difference to the lives of our college students.’
Sir David Trippier, East Lancashire Provincial Grand Master, said, ‘I am delighted that we are supporting Henshaws. It is a wonderful college.’
Helping Freemasons and their dependants to access the financial, healthcare and family support available to them from the masonic charities, Freemasonry Cares was the subject of a joint forum meeting. It was presented by the Province of East Lancashire to almoners, charity stewards and invited guests, including the Grand Charity’s chief executive Laura Chapman, RMBI chairman James Newman and Ecclesholme RMBI home manager and warden Bev Niland.
Laura spoke of the financial and other help available to Freemasons and their dependants, while James presented the structure of the RMBI, including Festival funding, and offered assistance regarding accommodation in the homes should it be required. The event was supported by Provincial Grand Master Sir David Trippier.