13 December 2017
Order of Service to Masonry Citation for W Bro Keith Gilbert, PSGD
Bro Keith Gilbert was made a Mason in November, 1972, at the age of 27, in Radius Lodge, No. 5474, in London, and was installed as Master of Skelmersdale Lodge, No. 1380 in West Lancashire in 1984. He has at various times been a member of eight other Lodges and has served as Master of five of them. He was exalted into the Royal Arch in Bedeword Chapter, No. 7274 in Warwickshire in 1976, and served as First Principal of Harpenden Chapter, No. 4314 in Hertfordshire in 1995. He is, or has been, a member of three other Chapters. He remains active in Hertfordshire as Secretary of a Lodge, Scribe E of a Chapter and Immediate Past Master of the Province’s Lodge of Installed Masters.
Bro Gilbert was appointed a Provincial Grand Steward in Hertfordshire in 1995 and held various other offices in that Province before he became Provincial Grand Secretary in 2004. On relinquishing that office in 2011 he was appointed an Assistant Provincial Grand Master, holding that office for four years. Bro Gilbert holds the rank of Past Senior Grand Deacon in the Craft, and Past Grand Standard Bearer in the Royal Arch. He also served as a Grand Steward on the nomination of Globe Lodge, No. 23 in 2014.
In 2015 Bro Gilbert was appointed as the unpaid Team Leader for the Tercentenary Planning Committee, which reported direct to the Board of General Purposes. He was therefore directly responsible for coordinating all the Tercentenary events throughout the Provinces and Districts, as well as linking in and coordinating the requirements of our guests from the many Grand Lodges around the world, and masterminding and planning all administrative matters for the period 29th to 31st October 2017.
He selected and built up a team with great skill and they worked well with him. He planned everything well in advance and in great detail, endeavouring to ensure that nothing was missed. Initially he would spend about two days a week in the office, but that gradually increased until 2017 when he spent most working days at Freemasons’ Hall.
That all the Tercentenary events went so smoothly was down to the outstanding determination and dedication of Bro Gilbert over a three-year period of intense and detailed hard work. For ensuring the success of Grand Lodge’s Tercentenary celebrations, Bro Gilbert is awarded the Grand Master’s Order of Service to Masonry.
Watford Hospital thanks local lodge
Doctors, nurses and other staff from Bluebell ward at Watford Hospital have thanked Lodge of Light and Honour, No. 7894, Province of Hertfordshire, after it donated more than £400 of gifts to support patients staying on the ward.
Bluebell is a dedicated ward for frail and elderly patients who also have dementia. The gifts, which include puzzles and model kits, were donated by Charity Steward Martin Abrahams and lodge member Colin Stodel, a volunteer at the hospital.
Samantha Jones, chief executive of West Hertfordshire Hospitals, said: ‘Bluebell ward recently won a national award for the standard of care it provides to our patients, and donations like these help our team to keep their patients entertained and active.’
Kilimanjaro climb for children’s hospital
Dale Murphy, from Gorhambury Lodge, No. 8745, Province of Hertfordshire, is all set to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in February, raising vital funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
After hearing about a close friend’s baby daughter being diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, Dale accepted the challenge of raising more than £4,000 by climbing the highest free-standing mountain in the world.
Dale put his training to the test recently by taking part in the Mountain Trail Challenge, a 30-mile trek over the Brecon Beacons in Wales, completing the gruelling course in 10 hours 50 minutes. This raised an additional £100 from his lodge members, taking his current fundraising total to £3,000.
Hertfordshire launches appeal
The Province of Hertfordshire has launched its 2019 Festival Appeal for the RMTGB at a series of dedicated events. The five-year appeal will see the Province’s five thousand six hundred Freemasons aim towards a final Festival target of £3 million.
The donations will be used to fund the RMTGB’s core work of supporting around two thousand children and young people from masonic families in financial hardship each year, in addition to grants made through its Stepping Stones scheme. In Hertfordshire alone, more than one hundred and seventy children have been supported during the past five years.
Launching the appeal, Provincial Grand Master Paul Gower said: ‘I hope that the Freemasons of “Happy Hertfordshire” will produce a sum worthy of our Province, and so enable the RMTGB to continue its work of relieving hardship in the families of our less fortunate brethren.’
For more information about the 2019 Festival Appeal, go to www.rmtgb.org
Step change for Chelsea
Hertfordshire Freemasons have helped put a smile on the face of 10-year-old Chelsea, from Hatfield, who was born with cerebral palsy and has limited movement. Her grandfather had raised enough money to buy a frame to enable her to learn to walk, but despite the aid for her legs, Chelsea was unable to control the position of her head and upper body, making it awkward and painful to move.
Specialist charity DEMAND sought help from Hertfordshire masons, whose £1,000 donation enabled a bespoke head rest and shoulder brace to feature in the frame’s design, meaning Chelsea is now able to walk more easily.
A suburban home in Croxley Green, near Watford in Hertfordshire, has for years been a mecca for families from miles around as W Bro Dave Edwards festoons the whole of his house with Christmas lights
This November Dave, a longtime member of Croxley Green Lodge No. 8636, moved into the limelight himself, as he was first selected by Heart Radio someone who has made a significant contribution to the local Hertfordshire community. Then he saw the switching on of his own lights recorded for all to see on Channel Five television.
There is no doubt among the thousands who have visited his home in Lancing Way that the award was well deserved. Over the years Dave’s lights have not only brought pleasure but have contributed tens of thousands of pounds to numerous charities. Indeed, since he first started in 1978 Dave has raised more than £60,000.
This festive season, however, not only did he see his own lights switched on – he was also chosen to switch on the whole of the Christmas lights in Watford.
'When you think of all the important people who live in and around Watford, I really felt very proud,' Dave said. 'But I was just as proud when we had 700 people outside my own home for our big switch on!'
His all-lit-up home will be featured on Channel Five television at 9pm on December 19th.
Hertfordshire Lodge of the Legion No. 9827, based in Cheshunt, ensures that as many war memorials as possible throughout Hertfordshire have a poppy wreath laid on Remembrance Sunday each year
In all, members of the lodge lay more than 60 wreaths each year. The first wreath-laying ceremony for this year took place at the Liberator Memorial, by Lt Ellis Way, Cheshunt, on November 2. This was attended by civic leaders, local MPs and councillors, in addition to the Royal British Legion, USAF guard of honour and a three-gun salute from USAF Mildenhall, along with the new Hertfordshire Provincial Grand Master Paul Gower, who laid the wreath on behalf of the Lodge and numerous brethren.
On the 12th August 1944, what was then the small town of Cheshunt was saved from a catastrophic disaster that would have cost many of the local citizens their lives.
An American B24 'Liberator' aircraft from the 392nd Bomber Command, based in Wendling, Norfolk, on route to Germany was involved in a mid air incident above the town.
The aircraft, under the command of Lt John D. Ellis, fell from the sky and was steered away from Cheshunt, crash landing just outside the town. The B24 Bomber was fully laden and exploded on impact, killing all ten crew members on board.
The memorial was constructed and unveiled on the 22nd January 2011 at Lieutenant Ellis Way, named after Lt John D. Ellis, through the tireless work and commitment of Ernie Havis a veteran and Royal British Legion local representative.
At a ceremony on the 12th August this year two flagpoles with the Union flag and Stars and Stripes were erected and dedicated to the site by Col Travis A. Willis, USAF Air Attaché from USA.
The Lodge of Legion is instrumental in ensuring that the ten crew members are honoured each year.
In their 50th anniversary year the members of Ashwell Lodge No. 4074 in Hertfordshire have raised a magnificent £15,000 which is being donated in equal share to a local children’s hospice and the Masonic Samaritan Fund
This generous donation has been raised through a variety of events including raffles and ladies' nights.
The Worshipful Master, W Bro Don Edwards explained: 'It took two minutes for our members to decide to support the Masonic Samaritan Fund. A Brother was recently supported by the Fund and he was greatly helped so we wished to take this opportunity to give something back.'
Richard Douglas, MSF Chief Executive said: 'On behalf of the Fund I am delighted to accept this very generous donation from the members of Ashwell Lodge which is gratefully received and will be faithfully applied in support of those in need of health and care support. In recognition of this generous donation I am delighted to present to Don Edwards the Lodge’s Grand Patron certificate.'
The generous £7,500 donation from Ashwell Lodge will enable the Masonic Samaritan Fund to restore five people’s sight after cataracts surgery or fund a lifesaving pacemaker.
Pro Grand Master family connection
Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes was taken on a journey into his masonic lineage when he visited Berkhampstead Lodge, No. 504, in Hertfordshire, in which his great-grandfather, William Lowndes, was Master in 1893. A trawl through the lodge’s records by its Secretary Brian Meager revealed several documents and photographs that referred to the Pro Grand Master’s ancestor. The documents were copied and bound in a folder, which Brian presented to Peter Lowndes, who was made an honorary member of the lodge.
Masonic gift from 1883
Nearly 800 Hertfordshire masons and their families attended the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban for a service of thanksgiving and the rededication of a pulpit, a gift from English Freemasons in 1883. Most of the original funding for the carved stone pulpit came from the Province of Hertfordshire and three lodges in particular – Watford, No. 404, Gladsmuir, No. 1385, and Halsey, No. 1479.
Its £6,000 restoration, under the guidance of Hertfordshire Provincial Grand Orator and Cathedral Clerk of the Works, George Laverick, was made possible by many lodge donations, as well as three other local orders: Knights Templar, Rose Croix and Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia.
At the service, Provincial Grand Master Colin Harris and Dean the Very Rev Jeﬀrey John both referred to the relationship between the Abbey and Hertfordshire Provincial Grand Stewards’ Lodge, No. 8984, which regularly assists at major Abbey events. The restored pulpit is situated in the crossing of the cathedral, under the great Norman Tower.