The West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity (WLFC) were quick to respond with a £25,000 grant when the 5th Blackpool Scout Group made a grant application for help in replacing their ‘worn out’ minibus
Initially, Scout Leader George Binns was hoping that the charity could provide some of the cost to buy a replacement minibus, so was over the moon when the WLFC decided to provide the full cost of a replacement vehicle. West Lancashire Provincial Grand Master, Tony Harrison, officially handed over of the keys for the minibus to George Binns at Blackpool.
Tony was accompanied on his visit to the Blackpool Scouts by local Freemasons Derek Parkinson, Duncan Smith, Steve Kayne (CEO of the WLFC), Mark Matthews and John Turpin. Also, in attendance was John Barnett MBE, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, representing Lord Shuttleworth, the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire.
On presenting the new bus, which will be used by all the Scout Groups in Blackpool, including the Adventure Scouts, Tony Harrison said: ‘I am delighted that the Freemasons of West Lancashire are once again able to support the local Scout group as we have in the past, when funds were provided to enable the group to refurbish their Blackpool headquarters.
‘Freemasonry and the Scouting movement have much in common, especially the aim of making good people better. It could be said that where Scouting ends, Freemasonry begins.’
The Scout Association membership is made up of both boys and girls, whose ages range from six through to 18 years. During their membership they develop life skills, camaraderie and lifelong friendships.
This grant is one of three headline grants made this year by the WLFC. The other donations made are: £35,000 to St Vincent’s School for the Blind, Liverpool and £10,000 to Zoe’s Place, Baby Hospice, Liverpool.
A £20,000 donation from Yorkshire Freemasons is assisting the Yorkshire Air Ambulance to save even more lives
The money, which has come from Yorkshire West Riding Masonic Charities Limited, has been used by the organisation to purchase an additional pair of night vision goggles.
With up to one in 10 missions now taking place after dark, the grant will enable the pilots based at the Nostell Priory air support unit to fly to emergencies across the region – night and day.
To keep both of Yorkshire’s air ambulances in the air, the charity needs to raise £12,000 per day – the equivalent to £4.4 million per year – and Yorkshire’s two masonic provinces annually contribute to the flying costs.
In recognition of this on-going financial support, the helicopters carry the masonic emblem of the square and compasses on their fuselages.
David Pratt, the Provincial Grand Master of the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding – whose geographical area encompasses south Yorkshire, west Yorkshire and parts of north and east Yorkshire - said: 'We are incredibly lucky to be in a position where we can fund vital equipment for charities such as the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
'When we were told night vision goggles these were on their wish list, we immediately informed the charity that we would be delighted to purchase a set.
'It was superb to revisit the air support unit and hear from pilots and staff the difference this purchase will make, and in particular that further lives will no doubt be saved as a result.'
Steve Waudby, Chief Pilot from Yorkshire Air Ambulance, said: 'Once again we would like to say a big thank you to the Freemasons from the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding for their generosity.
'If it wasn’t for the continued support of organisations, individuals and businesses, we would not be able to provide the life-saving service that we do. These night vision goggles will make a huge difference to our operation.'
Six Yorkshire organisations will share a £123,000 'major grants' windfall from the region’s Freemasons
The financial donations – which range in value from £10,000 to £38,000 – will be presented to the recipients at the Province of Yorkshire West Riding’s annual meeting, being held at Harrogate’s Royal Hall on the afternoon of Tuesday, May 7.
Representatives from the six organisations will be presented with their individual cheques by their Provincial Grand Master, David Pratt, at the event which will be attended by hundreds of Freemasons from Yorkshire’s four counties and further afield. Those organisations receiving grants are:
- Martin House Children’s Hospice, based in Boston Spa, will receive £38,000 to buy a new specialist adapted vehicle to transport up to three children and a carer. It will also accommodate children in their increasingly more complex wheelchairs
- The Northwest Specialist Inclusive Learning Centre – Green Meadows School, Guiseley – has been awarded £25,000 to help create and equip an outdoor play facility
- Old Earth School, based in Elland, is being given £20,000 towards an all-weather sports pitch and running track for use by the school and the local community
- Bramley Elderly Action, based in Bramley, will receive £20,000 to enable them to replace their existing 18-year-old minibus ensuring that immobile elders able to get out and about
- Mission Trinity, based in Goole, is getting £10,000 to relocate and equip its food bank
- Paces Sheffield, based in Sheffield, will receive £10,000 to purchase a range of specialist school equipment, enabling children to develop their skills and confidence to achieve maximum levels of physical, social and emotional independence.
Provincial Grand Master David Pratt, said: 'It is an absolute honour to be able to present these six different, yet equally deserving, organisations with their grants, and I look forward to doing so at our Provincial Grand Lodge annual meeting in Harrogate.
'This money has all been raised by individual Freemasons from throughout our Province and I am extremely grateful for their generosity and continued support of one of our three grand principles, namely charity.
'Charity is, and always has been, at the heart of Freemasonry, and it will continue to be so for as long as our ancient and honourable institution exists.'
Sarah Smith from Martin House said: 'We are delighted to receive the support of the Freemasons, and this vehicle will make a huge difference to us. It will enable us to take children and young people on more trips and outings, helping them to enjoy more activities and make precious memories during their stays at Martin House.'
Berkshire Freemasons have made a generous donation of £6,400 to provide medical monitors to treat young children at Royal Berkshire Hospital
The funds will enable the Children’s' Wards in Royal Berkshire Hospital to purchase eight new monitors. This donation enables the two wards to have monitors are every bed as opposed to be eight short for monitoring every child. The monitors measure heart rates and oxygen levels.
The donation amounted to £6,400 and when combined with the toys donated to the children’s' wards at Christmas meant the total donated in the last four months is more than £11,000. This donation was made via the Berkshire Masonic Charity, which was set up to support good causes as well as the wider masonic family within the Province of Berkshire.
Susan Timperley, Matron for Paediatrics and Neonates, said: 'We are, as always, extremely grateful to the Berkshire Freemasons for their very generous donations. It doesn't matter if it's a toy, game or piece of medical equipment like these monitors, they all go to improving the stay of youngsters on our wards and make a big contribution to the work we do here.'
Anthony Howlett-Bolton, Provincial Grand Master of Berkshire, said: 'When we dropped off the Christmas gifts, we were talking to staff on the wards and asked 'What more can we do to help?' They mentioned how useful it would be to have monitors at every bed, so we decided to support a funding bid to the Berkshire Masonic Charity which, after careful consideration, supported the application.
'It was a pleasure to visit the hospital, talk to staff and see how these monitors work and how they are such a valuable piece of equipment to will greatly assist the staff on the wards.'
Cubit Club, a highly successful new venture set up by the Provincial Grand Lodge of Worcestershire, is giving young and new Freemasons a chance to socialise with their fellow members from across the Province and attend events specifically designed to widen their knowledge of Freemasonry
The club was put together by two well experienced members, Paul Wong and Richard Macey, and was an immediate success. Applications flooded in from all parts of the Province, with membership now nearing 200 and continuing to grow.
Robert Vaughan, Provincial Grand Master of Worcestershire, said: ‘The Cubit Club was designed to make new Freemasons feel very welcome and it is working – we are delighted.’
A special Cubit tie has proved popular and enables members to recognise fellow ‘Cubiters’ when visiting lodges.
The bringing together of young minds has given the club a tremendous impetus and ideas are never in short supply. Alongside from visits to such places as Grand Lodge and the Jerusalem Lodge to sample the Bristol Workings, Classes of Instruction are being formed and all manner of social events are being planned.
Two club promotions have also raised substantial funds for Worcestershire Province’s five-year Festival 2022 campaign. Festival Ale was created by a Worcestershire brewery and has so far sold around 5,000 bottles.
Furthermore, 'Cubit Installation Gin' has exceeded all expectations. The club sent a bottle to all Installations across the Province to raffle and more than £10,000 has been raised for the festival.
A socially responsible programme of benefit for the community ranks highly among ventures planned for the autumn.
Local charities gathered at Freemasons’ Hall in Leicester on 6th April 2019 to tell their story and receive generous donations from lodges, chapters and the Leicestershire & Rutland Masonic Charity Association
The Provincial Grand Master of Leicestershire & Rutland David Hagger opened proceedings by welcoming everyone and introducing the assembled charities to the work of the Leicestershire & Rutland Masonic Charity Association in the community.
The first guest to be introduced was the Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire, Michael Kapur OBE, who was not only present to receive £1,000 for his Charity Award for Young People, but to also assist in presenting donations to other well deserving organisations. Michael said: ‘This award scheme helps to shine a light on our brave young people in Leicestershire.’
The Hinckley based SNIPS (Special Needs Integration Project) received £2,000 to aid their mission of providing Saturday sessions, Summer play schemes and residential breaks for children with special needs. Phil Hall of SNIPS said: ‘This donation will go towards supporting the children and help us achieve our funding targets.’
Holmes Lodge No. 4656 from Leicester donated £3,000, split between Wishes 4Kids, Jakin Pregnancy Care and Counselling and Alex’s Wishes.
The Rainbows Hospice for Children & Young People were represented by Gary Farnfield and Dee Sissons to receive a donation of £8,318. Gary said: ‘We would like to say a huge thank you to the Freemasons’ for their continued support of Rainbows.’
Noel Manby, the Grand Superintendent of the Leicestershire & Rutland Royal Arch Freemasons, was on hand to present £3,700 to local charities including Bloodwise, Hope Against Cancer, Mesothelioma UK, and Shopmobility Melton Mowbray.
To round off the event, David Hagger said: ‘Freemasons are proud to support you, the workers and volunteers who give up your time to help those in need within our local community.’
The Blackpool Opera House Theatre, in the winter gardens, was the grand setting for a spectacular ‘night with the stars’ to raise £14,141 for the West Lancashire MCF 2021 Festival and a further £5,000 for the charity Care after Combat
West Lancashire’s Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison, together with his wife Maureen, were joined by Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) Chief Executive David Innes and his wife, Annemarie. Local civic leaders, including the Mayor and Mayoress of Blackpool, Councillor Gary Coleman and his wife Councillor Debbie Coleman, were joined by over 1,000 Freemasons along with their partners and members of the public, to enjoy the show which was hosted by comedian Jim Davidson.
Among the stars performing were Freddie ‘Parrot Face’ Davies, star of Opportunity Knocks and vocalists Emilie Jasmine and Adam Lacey, who sang songs from Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables. Lynn Fox also performed many hits from the 60's before the Chorley Croft and Culcheth Pipe Band closed the first half of the show.
In the second half, over 90 members of the George Formby Society performed some of their famous songs, Meet the Folkers then entertained the audience with traditional Irish folk music and comedian Mick Miller closed the show to thunderous applause.
At the end of the performance Jim Davidson thanked the audience for supporting his charity – Care after Combat – with a wonderful cheque for £5,000.
The West Lancashire MCF 2021 Festival Vice President David Winder expressed his thanks to the organisers, performers and audience. He revealed that the show had raised £14,141 for the Festival.
After the show, Tony and Maureen Harrison hosted a reception at Blackpool Masonic Club, where the Mayor and Mayoress, were also given a tour of the lodge rooms.
In what was a moving and emotional Especial meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Surrey on 6th April 2019, fellow Freemasons honoured the life and work of Derek W. Barr MBE, a Past Deputy Provincial Grand Master, by renaming a temple at the Nutfield Masonic Centre in Redhill, Surrey, in his name
The meeting was to honour a well-respected Surrey Freemason who died on 8th September 2018. Derek served on the Provincial Executive for 16 years, initially as an Assistant Provincial Grand Master and more recently as the Deputy Provincial Grand Master. He was also active in many of the alternative and progressive orders including: The Holy Royal Arch, Mark Masons, Royal Ark Mariners, Knights Templar, Knights of Malta, Royal & Select Masters and the Allied Masonic Degrees achieving distinguished ranks in all.
Of Derek’s many masonic achievements, the one he was most proud of was being the instigator for introducing Teddies For Loving Care (TLC) into the Province of Surrey. It was his passion to raise funds in the Province for this worthwhile charity benefiting young anxious children as they were admitted to hospital A&E. He took great pride in knowing that the anxiety of parents and their child across Surrey were greatly eased by the gift of a teddy bear.
As a young man, Derek was employed by Fairfield Halls, Croydon, where he rose from the role of theatre management trainee to the rank of CEO. Along with organising innumerable theatre productions, concerts, and exhibitions, he was honoured to meet an enviable list of celebrities during his 40-year career.
When asked who were amongst his favorite personalities, he would always reply: 'Bette Davis, a truly lovely and inspirational woman'. More recently, he would amuse friends with a tale of fearing for his safety when the theatre was invaded by a stampede of young girls eager to see the boyband JLS.
In 2010, Derek was flabbergasted to be awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for his services to Music and the Arts.
At the Especial meeting, the Provincial Grand Master of Surrey Ian Chandler spoke about all the charitable work done in the county by Derek. He noted that those who had attended the last night of the Croydon Proms at the Fairfield Halls may know that Derek, as Chairman, was the driving force behind the yearly concert in aid of local charities and deserving causes.
In a moving ceremony attended by Derek’s family, friends and fellow Surrey Freemasons, a portrait and plaque were unveiled and a commemorative scroll was present to his wife Sandra. Lodge members also donated a cheque to further advance TLC in Surrey in Derek’s name, in recognition of a man greatly respected by all.
Over 700 Freemasons packed the magnificent Grand Temple at Freemasons’ Hall to witness a world first creation of a new lodge for young Freemasons – Essex Cornerstone Lodge No. 9968
A number of years ago, the Essex Cornerstone Club committee started to think about the formation of a new lodge, specifically for young Freemasons. They had a dream of what its purpose would be and what it might achieve. There followed a long period of planning and preparation and as time went by and progress was made, the realisation dawned that the lodge really would become a reality.
From then on, the excitement and anticipation built and reached their peak on Saturday 2nd March 2019 – the day Essex Cornerstone Lodge was Consecrated. The Grand Temple was the stage for this special occasion with over 700 Freemasons from across the English Constitution travelling to witness the ceremony.
The sponsoring lodge, Essex Provincial Grand Stewards' Lodge No. 8665, started the proceedings by opening the meeting. UGLE’s Assistant Grand Master, Sir David Wootton, and the Provincial Grand Master of Essex, Rodney Bass OBE, were then welcomed into the Grand Temple to rapturous applause.
The main event, the Consecration ceremony, was beautifully and memorably delivered by Rodney Bass, who commented: ‘This new lodge will encourage and support young Freemasons in their journey, providing a gathering place for young masons to increase their masonic knowledge and experience, and enabling Cornerstone Club Members to maintain strong relationships.’
The Founders of the lodge were presented to the Provincial Grand Master and reminded of their obligation to support and nurture their new lodge and uphold the values of Freemasonry for future generations.
Following this, those below the rank of Installed Master retired from the Temple which amounted to over 300 members. That included many from over 15 new and young masons’ clubs across England, who came to show their support and demonstrate the very essence of new and young Freemasons.
The Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Essex, Paul Reeves, then installed the Primus Master, Elliott Chevin, who went on to invest his officers. The Address to members was delivered by Sir David Wootton.
The Essex Cornerstone Lodge then presented a cheque for £2,022 to the Essex Festival 2022, making them Vice Patrons of the Festival.
The Provincial Grand Master then presented the lodge with a set of gavels, commissioned from an acacia tree from his own grounds. Following the meeting, a spectacular Festive Board was held for nearly 600 Freemasons where they experienced a musical treat including trumpeters, a string quartet playing modern music, and a unique performance of the Masters’ Song performed by a female singer acapella.
The members were also able to interact with a live photo mosaic display by uploading photos from the day and evening. The photos came alive culminating in a large mosaic of the Cornerstone Lodge crest, which provided a magnificent background to the banquet capturing memories of the historic event.
Perhaps the most unexpected part of the evening was when the waiters pouring coffee began to bang on the tables, then their coffee pots and they miraculously turned into a most impressive drumming act. Not only that, all 600 diners were given their own drum kit and in unison, joined together and delighted in a memorable and incredibly fun act.
Over 720 Leicestershire & Rutland Freemasons and guests attended their eagerly awaited Sportsman’s Dinner on 21st March 2019, with former England cricketer Phil Tufnell the guest speaker, and helped to raise over £70,000 to support the Leicestershire & Rutland 2022 Festival and the Masonic Charitable Foundation
The event was held at the Leicester Tigers rugby ground on Welford Road and hosted by Roger Dakin, former England Hockey goalkeeper, with attendees enjoying an evening of fun and entertainment in support of the 2022 Festival.
The evening began with convivial drinks served in the Legends VIP and Final Whistle bars before being seated ready for the entertainment to begin. Roger Dakin delighted the audience with his famed jokes and stories throughout the night.
Aside from an entertaining evening, the more serious side was to raise money for worthy causes, which began with silent auctions for many items of signed sporting memorabilia and relaxing events for family and friends.
A live auction was held, with lots including a holiday to Antigua, tickets to the Monaco Grand Prix and a painting by artist Ben Mosley, with former England Test Cricketer Ed Giddins stepping into the hot seat as the auctioneer.
England and Middlesex left-arm spin bowler Phil Tufnell then took to the stage to recount some of his more famed sporting events throughout the course of his career as a sportsman, and then subsequently his foray into television on shows such as Question of Sport, Strictly Come Dancing and his reign as King of the Jungle on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.
The evening was a huge success, with over £70,000 being raised, which included the proceeds of the live and silent auctions.
David Hagger, Provincial Grand Master of Leicestershire & Rutland, said: ‘I would like to praise and thank the organisers of this event, to raise over £70,000 in support of such worthy causes is a testimony to the generosity of all who attended.’