Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes explains why 2017 will be a unique opportunity to share masonic pride across the nation

As the masonic fraternity is a single, indivisible fellowship that is neither divided nor affected by local or national boundaries within our constitution, the word ‘united’ is extremely appropriate as we move forward to our three hundredth anniversary celebrations in 2017. Hence, Metropolitan Grand Lodge, the Provinces and Districts are united as part of one fellowship – that of the United Grand Lodge of England.

Celebration for all

So how should we be working together to plan the 2017 celebrations, remembering that this is just over four and a half years away? From the very outset, I want to make it clear that this is a celebration for every one of us – for the members throughout the English constitution, both here and in the Districts.

Celebrating three hundred years is a once in a lifetime event for us all, as is appropriately marking this wonderful achievement and, of course, being the first Grand Lodge to do so. We have seen two great events this summer – that of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games. Both these events proved highly successful and raised the morale and spirit of our nation. That is exactly what I want the members’ 2017 celebration to achieve for our united fraternity.

Planning ahead 

I am convinced that by working through the Metropolitan Grand Master and the Provincial and District Grand Masters we will encourage a large participation in this great occasion. Although there is much detail to be planned and to be communicated to you for your own planning, the main event will certainly include partners.

We are proud to be Freemasons and 2017 is a great opportunity to show that pride not only to our families and friends, but to the non-masonic community as well. To this end it will also be the natural culmination of the open public relations strategy we have embraced.

Published in UGLE

W Bro Geoff Crocker and Bro David Gale, of Nestor Lodge No. 8184, on their respective cruisers at the Queen's Jubilee Pageant.

Geoff's cruiser “Cymru” had his two families, each with three generations on board.

Following his successful restoration of the Royal Barge, Brian Todhunter of Tuscan Oak and Lamberthead Lodge No. 6387 (which meets in at Pemberton Masonic Hall, Wigan) has been awarded the Royal Victorian Medal (Silver) in the Queens Jubilee Honours list.

Brian has been selected for the award following his work in organising the restoration of the Royal Yacht Britannia’s Royal barge and escort boats, which were used by Her Majesty the Queen during the Thames River Pageant.

Queen Victoria established the Royal Victorian Medal in April 1896 as a reward for personal service to the Sovereign or the Royal Family, and as a mark of royal esteem. The Medal is conferred upon civilians and non-commissioned military personnel. Although the Medal is related to the Royal Victorian Order, it differs in appearance and in the way it is worn.

The Royal Victorian Medal is awarded in silver gilt (gold), silver and bronze - in most circumstances, the Silver Medal is awarded - and recipients are permitted to use the post-nominal RVM.

Brian said that he was 'surprised, but delighted' when he was informed of the award, and he is really looking forward to receiving it at Buckingham Palace later this year.

Friday, 14 September 2012 01:00

Diamond days

Whether sailing down the river, lighting a commemorative beacon or parading through a town centre, masonic lodges the length and breadth of Britain were out in force to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

A selection of the events can be seen in the gallery above.

 

 

Friday, 14 September 2012 01:00

Grand Secretary's column - Autumn 2012

With both Her Majesty The Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics, it has certainly been a memorable summer.

Since the last issue we have successfully released a new core leaflet. The title, What's It All About?, was inspired by our most frequently asked - and probably hardest to answer - question from non-masons. This is another milestone in our strategy for making people understand the relevance of Freemasonry in modern society which, in turn, will help both recruitment and retention. Do please look at the leaflet on our website. I think it is important to note that the leaflet is written in plain English for both the potential candidate as well as for all our families and friends.

It is a great 'myth buster'; showing that our values are based on integrity, kindness, honesty and fairness. Additionally, it talks about friendship, openness, giving, our purpose and how we all grow by our membership. Very different to anything we have done before, the leaflet has some outstanding black and white photography. Indeed, the initial distribution to London, the Provinces and Districts has proved so popular that we have already had to order another print run.

We have another thought-provoking issue of Freemasonry Today for you all, including a fascinating interview with the Pro Grand Master, Peter Lowndes. He talks openly about what he has got out of Freemasonry as well as the responsibility of this key leadership role and his hopes for the Craft. Dr Roman Hovorka goes on the record to discuss the creation of an artificial pancreas - the result of medical research that has been funded by the Freemasons and which could transform the way children with Type 1 diabetes manage this chronic condition. We spend a day on the lake with the Masonic Fishing Charity in Northamptonshire to see how young people are finding new ways of interacting with the world. Finally, ex-soldiers and Freemasons Michael Allen and Sandy Sanders reveal the camaraderie they have found in becoming Chelsea Pensioners.

Nigel Brown
Grand Secretary

Letters to the editor - No. 20 Winter 2012

 

Valuing care 

 

Sir,

 

In reading the Grand Secretary’s column and hearing about the new Core Leaflet it occurred to me that Freemasonry is not just a charitable institution – a view held by the mundane world and many brethren alike. We all know that charity is the distinguishing characteristic of a Freemason’s heart and most apply this virtue without vaunting it. It is natural that the Craft should defend itself against the many unfair accusations made against it, but in doing so in public our charitable virtues should not be overstated. The Craft is far more than a charity.


Herbert Ewings, Septem Lodge, No. 5887 Surbiton, Surrey


 

Letters to the editor - No. 21 Spring 2013

 

Keeping up standards

 

Sir,

 

I read with great interest and agreement the correspondence from Herbert Ewings and Tom Carr in the winter 2012 edition and felt somehow that the two letters were intrinsically linked.


The view shared by brother Ewings that Freemasonry is more than just a charitable institution is perfectly true. There are several fundraising organisations available to join if that is your preference, with little or no application of character building, philosophy, discipline and order or quite the camaraderie and fellowship that we all enjoy. As brother Ewings states, charity in its true context is evidently practised in Freemasonry, but neither this – and certainly not mere fundraising – are its sole objectives.


Similarly, as brother Carr observes concerning the lowering of standards at some masonic gatherings, I too have been disappointed whilst attending lodges (fortunately in the minority) where less than gentlemanly behaviour has been exhibited by some members. Without wishing to be regarded as pompous or priggish, surely we can enjoy hearty good fun at our Festive Boards without compromising our ideals as men of honour. No, brother Carr, you are not alone in objecting to such behaviour.


Surely it is possible to keep our time-honoured traditions of gentlemanly behaviour within and without the lodge (which we are charged with in the First Degree ceremony), which provide such a pleasant oasis in our troubled world.


Philip Hamer, Lodge Semper Fidelis, No. 1254, Exeter, Devonshire


 

 

 

 

Published in UGLE
Friday, 14 September 2012 01:00

Diamond Jubilee Greetings

The Grand Master, MW Bro HRH The Duke of Kent, sent a message of congratulations to Her Majesty The Queen on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee on behalf of all members of United Grand Lodge of England.

Her Majesty's response to this message can be seen above.

Published in UGLE
Wednesday, 12 September 2012 19:00

Pro Grand Master's address - September 2012

QUARTERLY COMMUNICATION
12 September 2012
An address by the MW The Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes


Brethren,

It has been an exciting, if somewhat wet, summer throughout the country and I trust you have all come back refreshed for the new Masonic season.

I have just started the first of four regional business meetings with Provincial Grand Masters. Clearly this is an ideal opportunity to talk about the current initiatives we are all involved in and to share thoughts and ideas. Importantly, we are all united in our mutual commitment to recruit and retain the best people – men of quality.

As the Masonic fraternity is a single, indivisible fellowship which is neither divided nor affected by local or national boundaries within our Constitution, the word united is extremely appropriate – not only for what we are all doing together today – but especially as we move forward to our three hundredth anniversary celebrations in 2017. Hence Metropolitan Grand Lodge, the Provinces and Districts are united as part of one fellowship – that of the United Grand Lodge of England.

With this in mind, one of the agenda items on my regional business meetings covers how we want to be working together to plan the 2017 celebrations, remembering that this is just over four and a half years away. From the very outset, I want to make it clear that this is a celebration for every one of us – for the members throughout the English Constitution, both here and in the Districts.

Celebrating three hundred years is a once in a lifetime event for us all, as well as appropriately marking this wonderful achievement of reaching this significant milestone, and, of course, being the first Grand Lodge to do so.
We have seen two great events this summer – that of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games. Both these events proved highly successful and raised the morale and spirit of our Nation. That is exactly what I want the members’ 2017 celebration to achieve for our united fraternity.

I am convinced that by working through the Metropolitan Grand Master and the Provincial and District Grand Masters we will encourage a large participation in this great occasion. Although there is much detail to be planned and to be communicated to you for your own planning, the main event will certainly include partners.

Brethren, we are proud to be Freemasons and 2017 is a great opportunity to show that pride not only to our families and friends, but to the non-Masonic community as well. To this end it will also be the natural culmination of the open public relations strategy we have embraced.

I can tell you, even at this early stage, that the main event in June 2017 will be at the Excel Centre, near the Olympic Stadium. This is one of the few locations in the Country that has the necessary capacity and infrastructure to properly enable us to celebrate this once in a lifetime momentous event.

Published in Speeches

Local Community Groups and Charities in £176,000 Masonic Grant Giving to Mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

So far a total of more than £176,000 of an allotted £250,000 has been given to 93 local organisations by the Freemasons of Yorkshire, West Riding to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Speaking at a ceremony held at the Royal Armouries in Leeds attended by the Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Dr Ingrid Roscoe, John K Clayton, Provincial Grand Master of Yorkshire, West Riding, said: “We are proud to be able to mark this very special occasion, the sixtieth anniversary of Her Majesty’s reign in the this way and help those who work tirelessly for own communities.

“In the last 25 years the Province has given over £2.5 million to support local non-Masonic causes. Not a penny of that money came from the general public, it was all down to the members of the Province, their families and their friends.

“It is fitting that an organisation such as the Freemasons, which teaches and practices concern for people; care for the less fortunate and help for those in need, should mark the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty by making available these grants.”

The Lord Lieutenant said: “I am indebted to the Freemasons of Yorkshire, West Riding for their incredible generosity.

“We appreciate that in these tough and challenging economic times giving to charity may not be as high a priority as it once was. This is not the case with the Freemasons and your grants clearly demonstrate this.”

The following is a list of the recipients of Grants to July.

 

The Freemasons’ of Yorkshire, West Riding

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Masonic Grants

Grants To July 2012

BENEFICIARY

PURPOSE

GRANT

LOCATION

Highbury School, Rastrick

Improvement of School Hydrotherapy Pool

£30,000

Rastrick

Hepworth Brass Band

Purchase of new Instruments

£20,000

Huddersfield

Colne Valley Museum

Reception Shop and Café Area

£12,000

Huddersfield

Firefly Express Cancer Awareness and Support Foundation

Introduction of Second Mini Bus

£10,000

Doncaster

Rotherham Women’s Refuge

Garden Equipment and Bicycles

£10,000

Rotherham

Harrogate Hospital Radio, The Patients Channel

Replacement of Studio Desks

£9,000

Harrogate

Special Needs Objective Outreach Project (SNOOP)

Multi Sensory Room

£9,000

Bradford

Burnsall Village Hall

New Window and Stage Curtains

£5,000

Skipton

Norfolk Park School for Children with Special Needs

Special Needs Equipment

£5,000

Sheffield

Spen Valley Scouting

Towards Works

£5,000

Gomersal

Waves Day Care Centre

Funding for Development

£2,500

Slaithwaite

Doncaster School for the Deaf

Purchase Playground Equipment

£2,000

Doncaster

Gladiator Boxing Academy

Equipment

£2,000

Huddersfield

Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue

Equipment

£2,000

Ilkley

Knaresborough Community First Responders

Equipment

£1,800

Knaresborough

Disability Partnership Calderdale

Specialised IT Equipment for Visually impaired

£1,500

Halifax

Holly Bank Trust School

New Television's

£1,500

Mirfield

Weekend Care

Wish List

£1,500

Elland

N & W Yorks. Assoc. for Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus

Hold a workshop for Families with Children under Nine

£1,200

Leeds

Teenage & Young Adult Cancer Unit - St. James's Hospital

Hiring Disabled Lodges for a Weekend Retreat

£1,200

Leeds

Burton Leonard Playground Appeal

Originally Sept 11 & March 12 request.

£1,000

Harrogate

Castle Hill School

Part Cost of Acheeva Learning Station

£1,000

Huddersfield

Dearne Big Band & Barnsley Youth Jazz Association

Part Cost of Musical Instruments

£1,000

Barnsley

Dewsbury Collegians

Repainting of Rehearsal Rooms

£1,000

Dewsbury

Farsley Fairfield Primary School

Towards Works

£1,000

Leeds

Farsley Farfield Primary School

Donation to Mini Bus

£1,000

Leeds

Idle Juniors Football Club

Kit and Safety Folding Goal Posts

£1,000

Idle

JASP Pupil Referral Unit

Short Break Holidays

£1,000

Doncaster

Newman School

Part Cost of Portable Stage

£1,000

Rotherham

Parish Church of St Michael and All Angels

Contribution to Sound System (Community List)

£1,000

Dewsbury

Rawmarsh Children’s Centre

Development of a Play Area

£1,000

Rotherham

Ripon Citizens Advice Bureau

Refurbishment and New IT Equipment

£1,000

Ripon

The Principle Trust

Part Cost of Decking and Ramp for Wheelchairs

£1,000

Baildon

BENEFICIARY

PURPOSE

GRANT

LOCATION

The Maurice Jagger Centre

Part Cost of New Mini Bus

£1,000

Halifax

Todmorden in Bloom

Replace Benches

£1,000

Todmorden

Northridge Community School

Purchase Specialist Play Equipment

£850

Doncaster

Holy Trinity Primary School

Equipment for a Child

£800

Ossett

Parson House Outdoor Pursuits Centre

Donation to Mini Bus

£800

Sheffield

The Samaritans Rotherham

Two Easy Chairs

£800

Rotherham

Ivanhoe Centre Conisbrough

CCTV System

£775

Conisborough

8th Keighley Scout Group

Purchase Two Tents

£750

Keighley

Addingham Civic Society

Football Field & Playground

£750

Ilkley

British Wado-Ryu Karate Union

Part Cost of Practice Mats

£750

Doncaster

Pro Socker Pumas Under 15s

New Kit for Under 15's Team

£750

Sheffield

Rotherham Town under 11 Football team

Kit and Equipment

£750

Rotherham

Saddleworth School Angling Club

Restock Fish

£750

Saddleworth

St Andrews Child Contact Centre

Purchase of Settees

£750

Sheffield

Tadcaster Community Swimming Pool

New Defribulator

£750

Tadcaster

Guiseley in Bloom

Part cost of Six Commemorative Trees to mark the Diamond Jubilee

£650

Leeds

393 Club

Mess Tent for Annual Summer Camp in August

£500

Sheffield

Aireborough Voluntary Services

Part Cost of Computer & Software

£500

Otley

Almscliffe Tennis & Bowling Club

Contribution to Bowling Green Machinery

£500

Harrogate

Association of Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus

Part Cost of Educational Weekend

£500

Otley

Carers' Resource

New Equipment

£500

Ripon

MAKOR

Leeds Jewish International Performing Arts Festival

£500

Leeds

The Forest School

Part Cost of Gardening Equipment and Materials

£500

Knaresborough

Heckmondwike Town Junior Football Club

Under 12's Football Kit & Training Equipment

£500

Heckmondwike

Holmbridge Cricket Club

Equipment from Wish List

£500

Holmfirth

Home Start, Young Mums

Equipment

£500

Huddersfield

Kirkheaton Scouts and Guides

Contribution to New Windows for Scout Premises

£500

Huddersfield

Languages Sheffield

Contribution to Newsletter & Website Production

£500

Sheffield

Lock Lane under 10s AFC

New Strip for Under 10's Team

£500

Pontefract

Lydgate Special School

Part Cost of Holiday Equipment

£500

Holmfirth

Mediquip for Kids

To Complete Art Work at Calderdale Royal Hospital

£500

Halifax

Newsome Panthers ARLFC

Part Cost of New Kitchen

£500

Huddersfield

North Gawber Colliery Football Club

Contribution to Kit and Equipment

£500

Barnsley

OPAL

Contribution to Mini Bus Hire for Shopping

£500

Leeds

Open Country

Part Cost of Allotment Equipment and Tools

£500

Harrogate

Razzmatazz

Part Cost of Sound System

£500

Barnsley

Ripon YMCA

Grant towards Portable Stage Lighting

£500

Ripon

Rotherham District Explorer Scouts

Equipment for all weather Camping

£500

Rotherham

Rotherham Freeliners Angling Association

Equipment

£500

Rotherham

Sewing Club @ The Miners

Sewing Machines

£500

Barnsley

Sheffield Scout Sailing

To Replace Safety Equipment

£500

Sheffield

St. Peters Church Thrybergh

Redevelopment Room into Meeting Room

£500

Rotherham

BENEFICIARY

PURPOSE

GRANT

LOCATION

Whiston Junior and infant School Friends Association

Part Cost of Out Door Play Area and Equipment

£500

Rotherham

Boroughbridge & District Community Care

Photocopier and Desk

£400

Ripon

Idle and Thackley Theatre Group

Part Cost of New Stage Lighting

£400

Bradford

St. Joseph's Court Leopold & West Garth Residents Association

Financial Help with Coach Hire

£400

Dinnington

The Royal British Legion (Band) Skipton

Band Instruments

£400

Skipton

Castleford Male Voice Choir

Wish List

£300

Pontefract

Kirkheaton United Church

Part Cost of Portable IT Equipment

£300

Huddersfield

Wilf Ward Family Trust

Contribution to New Kitchen Equipment

£300

Leeds

Blenheim Court Care Centre

Donation for Outings

£250

Sheffield

Holmfirth Town Football Club

Contribution to Under 10's & 11's Equipment

£250

Holmfirth

Huddersfield Heart Start

Cardiac Trainer

£250

Huddersfield

Millhouse Junior and Infant School

Part Cost of New PA System for Choir Concerts

£250

Barnsley

Penistone Ladies Choir

Part Cost of New Electronic Keyboard

£250

Barnsley

Sheffield Parent Carer Forum

Part Cost of Computer & Software

£250

Sheffield

Todmorden Talking Newspaper

Memory Sticks

£250

Todmorden

Charles St Community Centre

Radio Receivers and Microphones

£100

Mexborough

Parson Cross Community Development Forum

Contribution to Therapeutic Art Class

£100

Sheffield

Roundway Tenants & Residents Association

Part Cost of New Crockery

£100

Holmfirth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL TO JULY 2012

£175,925

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, 13 June 2012 01:30

Pro Grand Master's address - June 2012

QUARTERLY COMMUNICATION
13 June 2012
An address by the MW The Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes

Brethren,

I am pleased that we have had the opportunity today of acknowledging and celebrating, as Freemasons, the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen. Our association with members of the Royal family over the years has always been of great importance to us, not least the privilege of His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent being our Grand Master.

We have already heard the address on ‘Royal Jubilees and Loyal Freemasons’ and most enjoyable it was, and also we have called off Grand Lodge for the Annual General Meeting of the Grand Charity. I feel that is quite sufficient for one day and I suspect you will be relieved to hear that you won’t be being detained by a further address by me.

So before welcoming our distinguished visitors it only remains for me to wish you all an enjoyable summer.

Published in Speeches
Wednesday, 13 June 2012 01:00

Jubilee flotilla on the Thames

A thousand boats gathered on the Thames on Sunday 3 June, in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

It was the largest flotilla in modern times with rowing boats, working boats and pleasure vessels of all shapes and sizes. The flotilla stretched for more than 12 miles, and proved extremely popular – with three boats applying for every place. Among the boats chosen was Knot Arf, owned by Andrew Bernstein, immediate past commodore of the Thames Motor Yacht Club and Master of London-based Lodge of Enterprise No. 6494.

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