Celebrating 300 years

Jayne Torvill meets Nottingham masons

Ice-dancing celebrity Jayne Torvill OBE made a stop at the masonic stand when she visited the Great Central Railway in Ruddington for a day of fundraising to help local charity and adoption agency Faith in Families. Born locally in Clifton, the Olympic gold medallist (pictured above at the event) is a patron of the charity.

Local Freemasons organised the fundraiser in conjunction with the heritage railway, and the masonic stand was manned by members of South Notts Freemasons for Charity. The group meets at West Bridgford and was formed to raise funds for local good causes. 

Doctors endorse Devon first aid plan

Two doctors – both Freemasons – have endorsed the Province of Devonshire’s Masonic First Aid initiative. At a meeting of Lodge of Felicity, No. 5336, Plymouth, GP Dr Adrian Rogers received a cheque for £1,000 from consultant vascular surgeon Simon Ashley for the project. The initiative aims to provide readily accessible first aid equipment in locations across Devon, and forms part of the Province’s celebrations for the Tercentenary in 2017.

The reinterment of Richard III

The Province of Leicestershire and Rutland and the Grand Charity have donated £15,000 to Leicester Cathedral Charitable Trust for the reinterment of Richard III. The contribution went towards the £2.54 million appeal, which has funded a tomb and alterations to the cathedral, including a new chapel. 

David Monteith, Dean of Leicester Cathedral, said, ‘We were delighted to have had the support and interest of the Freemasons from the very start of this project on both a national and local level.’

Sharing the experience

Shine, a national charity that supports people with spina bifida and hydrocephalus, has received £35,000 from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity. The grant will fund a development coordinator to manage the Shine40Plus network, which helps people aged 40 and over who are affected by these conditions to make connections and to share their experiences and knowledge with one another. 

The Deputy Provincial Grand Master for Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire, Dr Vivian Thomas, said, ‘It is wonderful to be able to help bring people together, ensuring they receive the guidance and support they need to move into the next stage of their lives with happiness and a sense of belonging.’ 

Shine CEO Jackie Bland added, ‘This generous grant will fund the post for one year. This network is the first of its kind in the country to support older survivors of spina bifida and hydrocephalus.’

Published in The Grand Charity
Friday, 04 September 2015 01:00

Schola Regia Lodge No. 9105 double initiation

Lifetime friends

A double initiation has taken place in Schola Regia Lodge, No. 9105, Province of Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire. William Moore, the youngest son of lodge member Andy, and his lifetime friend Alexander Langford-Pollard, whose father Langford Smith is also in the lodge, have joined. 

The initiates are 18 years old and university undergraduates (William at Derby and Alexander at Sheffield), with William the youngest person ever to be initiated in the Province. Both play rugby for their respective universities and Peterborough Lions RUF, while also managing to find a place for Freemasonry in their busy lives.

United Engineers go nuclear

It was mud, glorious mud for members of United Engineers Lodge, No. 3862, when they completed the Nuclear Rush event. Covering 7.5 miles with more than 50 obstacles, the race is so named because it takes place around the site of a bunker at Brentwood in Essex, which was to have been used in the event of a nuclear war. 

The members joined a team of more than 200 people running for Blesma, The Limbless Veterans charity, and helped to raise over £11,000.

Air support for Manx motorcyclists

Each year, two helicopters are brought to the Isle of Man to provide emergency cover for riders during the Tourist Trophy (TT) and Manx Grand Prix (MGP) motorcycle races. Each event spans around two weeks, and another helicopter covers the four-day Southern 100 Races

For several years, a Grand Charity donation to Air Ambulances has been provided via the Province to update the race helicopters, known locally as AirMeds. This year £4,000 was passed on to Dr David Stevens, medical director of the Isle of Man Motorsport Medical Services, to assist in the purchase of a monitored defibrillator for each helicopter.    

Friday, 04 September 2015 01:00

New floor for Durham Cathedral's Great Kitchen

New Great Kitchen floor for Durham

A stone-laying ceremony has been held in the Great Kitchen of Durham Cathedral, during which the Dean Michael Sadgrove was presented with a cheque for £136,000 from the masonic community for the Open Treasure development project. Individual masons and lodges raised £121,000; £10,000 was donated by the Grand Charity; and £5,000 by Durham Benevolence.

Coleridge returns to Clevedon after 220 years

It was in October 1795 that Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the great Romantic poet, married Sarah Fricker at St Mary Redcliffe Church in Bristol and then brought her to Clevedon for their honeymoon. 

After 220 years, a member of the Coleridge family has returned to the town, this time in the form of the great poet’s four-times great grandson, Tim Coleridge, a mason. Tim was in Clevedon to visit Coleridge Lodge, No. 1750, the oldest lodge meeting at the local masonic hall, and named after Samuel Taylor Coleridge when it was founded in 1878. 

It was the first time that a member of the Coleridge family had visited the lodge during its 137-year history. Tim lives in Devon and was invited to the lodge by John Bennett, who was celebrating the 50th anniversary of his initiation into the lodge in 1965. 

Keeping Kirklees course accessible

The Kirklees Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Trust, which supports around 5,000 young people each year in pursuit of awards, has received a £20,000 grant from West Yorkshire masons. The grant was sponsored by Howley Lodge, No. 5012, which meets at Batley, and will be used to build a low-rope challenge course with a wheelchair-accessible path to allow access to the course and facilities at the Little Deer Wood site in Mirfield.  

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