Alan Wright, Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies, received a certificate after reaching the milestone of 70 years service in Freemasonry

Alan was initiated into Bordesley Abbey Lodge No. 4495 on 24th October 1946, and was the first initiate after the ending of the Second World War.

Until recently, and at the age of 97, he was a very active member of his own lodge within the Province of Worcestershire and now lives in Boroughbridge in North Yorkshire.

The Provincial Grand Lodge of Sussex has been recognised in the Community Stars Awards after been nominated for Charity of the Year

It was a huge honour for the Province to have been nominated, with the nomination for the award itself coming from their local newspaper The Argus who hosts the awards, which recognise the outstanding achievements of men, women, children and organisations across Sussex.

Each year the public and the Argus nominate those who have made a considerable difference to the communities in which they live and how through their activities change people’s lives.

Maurice Adams, Assistant Provincial Grand Master for Sussex, commented: ‘Although we didn’t win, it was a real surprise to have been nominated and esteemed recognition for all the hard work that takes place across our province to raise money for such worthy causes.’

The awards citation read as follows: ‘The Freemasons have donated £38,000 in a big cash giveaway to six charities. The six were nominated by Freemasons and members of the public to receive a grant from the national charity, the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF). Groups helping the sick were among those to benefit; Rockinghorse Children’s Charity, Sussex MS Centre, Sussex Heart Charity, The Clock Tower Sanctuary for the homeless and the domestic abuse charity Rise.

‘Freemasons across the country observe the 300th anniversary of the United Grand Lodge of England and to celebrate the occasion they donated money to 300 charities across the country from a £3 million fund. Although the £38,000 was donated from the Masonic Charitable Foundation, the Sussex Freemasons also support a lot of local charities from their own pockets.’

Traditionally, the Provincial Grand Lodge of Sussex, in conjunction with the Editor of the Argus newspaper, present the final and emotional award – The Child of Courage – and this year the presentation was made by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master Martin Mitten.

Durham Freemasons have handed out a milestone 80,000 teddy bears to children who face emergency treatment in hospital

For more than a decade, Durham Freemasons have been supplying TLC teddies to A&E departments and walk in centres throughout the boundaries of the Province to help alleviate the distress of children attending hospital following what is normally a traumatic experience.

It also acts as a distraction and allows the person treating the child valuable time to carry out what they need to do, sometimes even treating the teddy first to show the child that everything will be OK. Children are also able to take the cuddly teddies home with them after they leave.

At a recent visit to North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust’s A&E Paediatric Department, the Provincial Grand Master for Durham, Eric Heaviside, accompanied by local Freemasons, met up with some of the nurses who use these bears on a daily basis. During the visit, they had the honour and privilege of presenting the 80,000th TLC teddy to a young girl admitted to the A&E at the time of the visit.

Freemason Duncan Maw, who has recently taken over the management of the initiative, said: 'All the A&E staff love the teddies as they can really help them carry out their vital work and all kids love teddies. It’s a simple and effective way to distract children from their illness and something we as a Province are extremely proud of being part of.'

Debbie Hall, Paediatrics Lead Nurse, Accident and Emergency at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, said: 'The children we see in our department are often very distressed and upset – these teddy bears really help us to calm them down and assess their needs as soon as possible.

'We are really grateful to Freemasons of Durham for donating so many of these toys bears over the last decade. It makes a real difference to all of the children who visit us, as well as the staff on the department.'

It’s been two years in the making, with the United Grand Lodge of England’s Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent, brought to life in a striking new bronze bust

Sculpted by Frances Segelman, it is life and a quarter size, with his eyes subtly picked out in blue. It was cast by Bronze Age in Limehouse.

Frances was first approached to sculpt HRH The Duke of Kent back in 2016 by then Grand Secretary Nigel Brown, to mark UGLE’s Tercentenary and his 50th anniversary as Grand Master. As a result, His Royal Highness sat for Frances on a number of occasions at both Kensington Palace and her studio in Wapping, London.

Frances Segelman has sculpted a wide variety of public figures including HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and HRH The Prince of Wales. Recent projects have included Boris Johnson, Joanna Lumley, Lord Julian Fellowes, Sir Derek Jacobi, Sir Steven Redgrave and Sergei Polunin.

The Grand Master’s sculpture can be seen on display in the Kent Room in Freemasons’ Hall.

Published in UGLE

An unusual turn of events has resulted in the Stroke Association becoming the recipients of a £1,000 donation from London Freemason Ted Jennings

Ted became an honorary member of his lodge 10 years ago, but forgot to cancel the standing order for his subscription – and now his oversight has benefited the Stroke Association in London to the tune of £1,000.

Trevor Sherman, Treasurer of Zetland Lodge No. 511, explained: ‘Ted had a balance of nearly £900 on his account so I asked him what he wanted to do with the money. Ted suffered a stroke himself a few years ago and is now unable to attend lodge meetings.

‘He was very grateful at the time for the support he got with his recovery from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Woolwich. Without hesitation Ted said he wanted to donate the money to charity and specifically, to the Stroke Association.’

The lodge topped Ted’s donation up to £1,000 and presented it to Heather Clifford, Community and Events Fundraiser for the London region of the Stroke Association.

In accepting the cheque, Heather commented: ‘Thank you for the generous donation to the Stroke Association. Please pass on my thanks to Ted Jennings for selecting to support our charity.

‘Thanks to supporters like yourselves we are able to continue our work providing vital services, campaigning for better care and investing in research to find better treatments for stroke.’

Heather gave a presentation to members of Zetland Lodge and their guests about the work of the Stroke Association. She explained that stroke continues to be one of the greatest health challenges of our time, and can happen to anyone at any time.

There are over 1.2 million stroke survivors in the UK with 100,000 strokes happening in the UK each year. Most strokes are preventable and having a heart test is really important because it helps people to know if they have high blood pressure or atrial fibrillation (AF), conditions which mean you're are at much greater risk of having a stroke.

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