Celebrating 300 years

17 September 2012 - UPDATE: It has just been announced that 'The Queen has been graciously pleased, on the ocassion of Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee' to award Brian Todhunter with the Royal Victorian Medal (Silver) for 'Restoration of Her Majesty's Yacht Britannia's Royal Barge and Escort Boats'.

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Brian Todhunter, a member of Tuscan Oak and Lamberthead Lodge No.6387, will be on board the Royal Yacht Britannia's tender, the Britannia Royal Barge, transporting Her Majesty The Queen to the Royal Barge, the Spirit of Chartwell, for the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant this weekend.

Brian is a former Royal Navy engineer and a member of the Association of Royal Yachtsmen, having served on the Royal Yacht Britannia between 1975 and 1978.   Last November, at the Association's Annual General Meeting, he was asked to inspect the Britannia Royal Barge and an escort launch in order to get them both running. He quickly put together a team of ex-Royal Yachtsmen from the engineering branch, and, based in Leith, Scotland (Britannia's current home), they have worked tirelessly for the past seven months in order to recommission their engines and get the boats shipshape.  This has included extensive sea trials on the Firth of Forth in Force 4 winds - although he is not expecting anything quite so rough on the Thames!

The royal barge was used to transport The Queen and other members of the Royal Family to and from Britannia, until she was decommissioned in 1997.  Brian, who also served on HMS Hermes, said: “Its remarkable how well she ran after 15 years of idleness. We are all looking forward to carrying out Royal duty again - although probably for the last time”.

The Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, who is Patron of the Pageant, and the Duchess of Cornwall, will board the Britannia Royal Barge, at Chelsea Pier.  They will then be transported some eight hundred yards downstream to Cadogan Pier, where they will disembark and board the Royal Barge, the Spirit of Chartwell.  The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry will join them onboard.

The Britannia Royal Barge will then proudly escort the Royal Barge at the head of this spectacular pageant until the Royal party disembarks close to Blackfriars Bridge and boards HMS President, where they will watch the pageant go by. 

The Association of Royal Yachtsmen was founded in 1989 by Albert ‘Dixie’ Deane and is dedicated to bringing together many of the estimated 1,767 ‘Yotties’ who served on-board HMY Britannia between 14 January 1954 and 11 December 1997.  HM The Queen is Patron of the Association and the Duke of Edinburgh is its President.  Its headquarters are on the Royal Yacht Britannia, where many Yotties return annually for their working party week. Throughout this sociable week the Yotties work alongside Britannia’s maintenance crew to undertake a wide range of jobs throughout their old home. They also mix with visitors, who are enthralled by their stories of the 'good old days'.

Further information on the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant, which takes place on Sunday 3 June 2012, can be found on their website.

To mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding will make grants available up to £250,000 to non-masonic causes in its area

The Province was invited by the Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Dr Ingrid Roscoe, to become involved in the Diamond Jubilee. As the Province covers three Lord Lieutenancies, making grants that covered the entire vicinity was seen as an appropriate manner in which to mark the occasion.

Called the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Masonic Grants, £100,000 will be allocated to major grants and the rest will be for minor grants under £5,000. Provincial Grand Master John Clayton said, ‘It is fitting that an organisation such as the Freemasons, which instils a moral and ethical approach to life, should mark the occasion by making available these grants. In the past 25 years, the Province has given over £2.5m to support local non-masonic causes.’

Applications for grants, from recognised organisations, must have the support of a lodge or chapter in the Province.

To mark the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding will make available up to £250,000 in grants to non-Masonic causes within the geographical area covered by the Province. These will be called “The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Masonic Grants”.

£100,000 of the total will be allocated to major grants; the rest will be for minor grants under £5,000. John Clayton, the Provincial Grand Master in announcing the decision, said “It is fitting that an organisation such as the Freemasons, which instils a moral and ethical approach to life: and teaches and practices concern for people, care for the less fortunate and help for those in need, should mark the Diamond Jubilee of The Queen by making available these grants. In the last 25 years the Province has given over £2.5M to support local non-Masonic causes”.

Applications for grants, from recognised organisations, must have the support of a Lodge or Chapter in the Province, and will normally be for capital projects or to purchase equipment.  Eligibility for grants will be in line with the existing rules, consequently, applications will not be considered for revenue projects or to sponsor individuals.

Certificates to mark the Diamond Jubilee will be presented to recipients of the grants at an event to be held at the Royal Armouries in Leeds on 20 June 2012, where the major grants will be announced and awarded. It is hoped the Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Dr Ingrid M Roscoe will be present, or represented.

Freemasonry Today is honoured to be the fi rst publication to publish the new offi cial image of HM The Queen, although it is already on display at the Masonic Hall in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire. Permission has been authorised by Mike O’Keefe, Custodian of the Official Royal Image Library, a member of Ivel Lodge, No. 6846, which meets at Biggleswade. A framed copy of the photo was presented to Ivel Lodge Master Robert Lovesey – who is also Bedfordshire’s Grand Superintendent. At the time of that presentation, the only person who had received a print was Pope Benedict XVI, who had received his signed copy from the Queen during his Papal visit. Mike O’Keefe, who has been Custodian for 29 years, says the photograph – taken by Julian Calder – took place at Buckingham Palace in mid-March 2010.

Any lodge or Masonic Hall requiring a copy can contact the Custodian on 0845 634 5577 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or go to the website, www.royalimages.co.uk for further information

Published in UGLE
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