A charity that delivers life-saving blood, breast milk and pathology samples to hospitals at night has added a new motorbike to its fleet, thanks to Sheffield Freemasons

Due to a sizeable financial legacy left to Ivanhoe Lodge No. 1779, which is based in the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding, its members agreed to use a portion of the bequest to not only purchase a motorbike for Whiteknights Yorkshire Blood Bikes, but also to pay for its running costs for three years.

The bike – named ‘Ivanhoe’ – was officially handed over to the charity at a ceremony held at Tapton Hall in the city, where Ivanhoe Lodge meets.

Whiteknights Yorkshire Blood Bikes was co-started 10 years ago by biker Vic Siswick after noticing a lack of sample delivery provision at night while he was undergoing cancer treatment. It now has 60 volunteer riders, all advanced motorcyclists, who deliver urgent samples between 7pm and 7am, which are outside normal NHS hours.

One of those to benefit from the charity’s services is Ivanhoe Lodge member John Bulliman, whose life was saved three years ago by the delivery of an emergency unit of blood from his original bone marrow donor in the Midlands, to the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, where he was being treated for leukaemia and sepsis.

John Clague, from Ivanhoe Lodge, said: ‘Before deciding on making this donation we invited Whiteknights Yorkshire Blood Bikes chairman Andrew Foster to tell us about the work of the charity.

‘John was present and it was the first time Andrew had ever met a beneficiary of the service they provide. Subsequently, John has now done an interview for the charity to thank them for helping save his life. Following Andrew’s presentation the lodge voted unanimously to purchase ‘Ivanhoe’ and pay for its running costs for three years.

‘Charity is one of the three grand principles Freemasonry was founded on, and, thanks to this legacy, we are able to support the Whiteknights Yorkshire Blood Bikes and the selfless service they provide to the benefit of people across Yorkshire.'

Whiteknights Yorkshire Blood Bikes chairman Andrew Foster said: ‘We are truly grateful to the members of Ivanhoe Lodge for this wonderful donation. It’s a fantastic way to start the New Year.

‘I am also a Freemason, and was personally humbled by the level of support I received from the lodge when I was asked to give a presentation about our work.

‘This new bike takes our fleet of blood bikes to eight and means that we can respond to even more requests to transport samples, and that means hopefully saving more lives of people in Yorkshire. We have a terrific team of volunteer riders and Ivanhoe Lodge’s generosity is a massive boost for us.'

Friday, 07 December 2018 00:00

The launch of Solomon

Solomon the teacher: Fostering curiosity – developing understanding

The launch of Solomon, an online learning resource, is making daily advancement a reality in the Craft and Royal Arch

Sir David Wootton, Assistant Grand Master and Chairman of the Improvement Delivery Group, wrote in the last issue of FMT that the requirement to learn ritual by rote and then present it without any attempt at providing the most basic of context and understanding fails the candidate, because it overlooks the important messages that lie within.

Member surveys have highlighted learning as a major unmet need and a potential reason why members leave. Solomon has been created as an accessible online resource to stimulate interest and meet current and future needs.

WHO IS SOLOMON FOR?

Solomon will support the wants and needs of at least three groups:

  • Those who want to learn more about their masonry.
  • Those with programme planning or member development responsibilities in a lodge or chapter.
  •  Provincial or District Officers charged with promoting and providing learning resources and activities. 

Solomon will support personal inquiry or study, irrespective of experience or prior knowledge. It brings together material from many sources to help answer common questions and improve masonic knowledge and understanding. The online resource can be accessed on multiple platforms such as smartphones, tablets and computers and currently contains more than 350 items. 

Solomon is also designed to support the interests and requirements of lodges and chapters. The Lodge Mentor or Director of Ceremonies will be able to find material to help a member learn about or understand a topic or issue, or may introduce learning content into regular meetings. Solomon material comprises short ‘nuggets’, papers and demonstrations, as well as longer items for presentation and discussion. A regular presentation of these nuggets at meetings will stimulate a desire to learn more. 

Solomon materials will complement material collected locally by Provinces and Districts and will guide and support them in the advancement of their learning.

WHAT WILL I FIND?

Solomon is devoted to the Craft and Royal Arch. It is organised into three categories:

  • Seek & Learn: for individual exploration or presentation.
  • Share & Encourage: for use by lodges and chapters.
  • Support & Promote: for Provinces and Districts. 

The first two categories have eight modules covering the Craft, the Royal Arch and more general areas, such as symbolism and history. This arrangement will enable users to focus and drill down to individual nuggets, papers and presentations. It will also help to confine the inquirer to those areas appropriate to his masonic progress.

Once registered, you can login and enrol in one or more modules and explore Solomon to your heart’s content. It is intuitive and has been designed to foster curiosity and draw you in to seek answers. You can use various search tools to find and refine your inquiry. You may then read or download as much or as little as you wish. With smartphone access, Solomon can readily provide an answer to a question at a Lodge of Instruction.

Solomon provides a range of interesting material that will complement or even replace a ceremony

HOW WILL SOLOMON BENEFIT A LODGE OF CHAPTER?

Solomon complements the Members Pathway and individual mentoring programmes. These encourage a personalised approach to development. This approach should be extended to develop the interest and enjoyment of all members, enabling them to benefit from a deeper understanding of our ritual and traditions. The result will be improved performance of ceremonies, better mentoring and greater confidence in explaining Freemasonry to others.

Solomon provides interesting and accessible material that, if well chosen and well delivered, will complement or even replace a ceremony. It is designed to be popular, boosting attendance and interest. Ideally, learning activities will become an appreciated and regular feature of lodge and chapter meetings.

A ‘nugget’ is a five to ten-minute item of interest that can be presented by a member. It will easily fit into a meeting; perhaps to set the scene, or to act as a conclusion, or even when the candidate retires. It is also suitable for personal study and can be a resource for lodge quizzes. It may also lead to a presentation that expands on a topic of interest.

While there may be some who feel there is no time at a meeting, it’s hoped that by making time for learning, the benefits will become clear and members will increasingly value time devoted to it. A well-organised lodge or chapter will have a programme that reflects the needs and interests of all its members, one which they enjoy and which encourages them to attend. Learning may also extend beyond the regular meeting to a Lodge of Instruction or special masonic events.

HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?

As the success of the UGLE Learning and Development programme depends on local support, the Programme Support Team wishes to work collaboratively with Craft and Royal Arch Provinces and Districts. Solomon therefore includes resources to support local development. 

In launching Solomon to Provinces, Stuart Hadler, the Programme Lead, emphasised the key importance of presenting and delivering material in an understandable and engaging way. This takes skill and so Provinces are being asked to identify suitable members to be presenters, to develop their skills and to promote their use. The skilled presenter will draw attendance and overcome the negative stereotype of the boring lecture. 

The team also wants to share good examples; these include specialist lodges and working with light blue clubs. A collaborative approach between the Craft and the Royal Arch is encouraged.

Solomon is still in its early stages and will expand in volume, range and diversity. There will always be a need to commission and source new and credible material and the team looks forward to receiving the views and suggestions of Solomon users. For able members eager to write material for inclusion, Solomon provides guidance on the style and other format requirements.

Early feedback on Solomon has been positive from new and experienced masons alike. David Pratt, Provincial Grand Master for Yorkshire, West Riding, remarked that the nuggets are ‘solid gold’, packed with interesting topics to educate even experienced Freemasons. ‘They are so easy to access and use. Any lodge member can lead the activity… I shall be strongly supporting and promoting the use of Solomon within my Province.’

To access Solomon, go to https://solomon.ugle.org.uk

Published in UGLE

Spa Lodge No. 7609 in the North Yorkshire town of Harrogate has celebrated its Diamond Jubilee by planting trees at RHS Harlow Carr, at a ceremony attended by leading regional civic and masonic figures

In celebration of its consecration, the lodge also donated an oak bench sited in the Lakeside Garden area, overlooking the Queen Mother’s Memorial Lake, and the newly-planted trees.

These trees form part of a new woodland area, which acknowledges Her Majesty the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy Project, which is designed to create a network of forest conservation schemes throughout the 53 nations of the Commonwealth, with Harlow Carr forming part of what was the ancient Forest of Knaresborough.

A successful application was also made to the Provincial Grand Master’s Fund, which funded an oak information lectern, together with a graphic board, part of which is in braille.

The Deputy Lord Lieutenant for North Yorkshire, Simon Mackaness, and David Pratt, the Provincial Grand Master of Yorkshire, West Riding, ceremonially planted an Acacia tree, whilst The Mayor of the Borough of Harrogate, Councillor Bernard Bateman, and Stephen Brown, Master of The Spa Lodge, planted a Red Oak tree.

The Lodge – which was founded in 1958 – is so named following a likening to the springs in Harrogate and the 'SPAW' mineral springs in Spa Belgium, and has a logo which features three heraldic emblems representing medicinal springs or watering places.

More than 800 cancer patients will receive therapy or counselling, following a grant of £60,000 to Cavendish Cancer Care from Yorkshire, West Riding Freemasons

The grant will be used to fund a new Assessor, who will put together personalised care plans to help those with a cancer diagnosis deal with the physical and emotional consequences of cancer, and the treatments that are prescribed.

Every year, 30,000 people in Yorkshire are diagnosed with cancer, and 320,000 in England and Wales, where there are currently over 2.1 million people living with the condition.

Cavendish Cancer Care supports people living with cancer in Yorkshire and their loved ones, offering complementary therapies such as counselling, massage and acupuncture.

Assessors are the first point of contact at the centre and form a fundamental part of the support process. The Assessor will talk through a person’s concerns and will help them to decide on treatments. At the end of a client’s course of therapy, they will undertake a review and will re-refer clients if they feel they would benefit from more Cavendish support, or refer them onto other services. As well as supporting patients, Cavendish also offers support to their carers and loved ones, including their children who can use the centre’s specialised young people’s service.

Carly Honeycombe was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at the age of 26, and visited Cavendish alongside her chemotherapy for sessions of reflexology and healing. 'My sessions were all about me and keeping my body as healthy as possible through this process,' Carly says.

'They helped me get through it. I don’t think people realise how valuable Cavendish is. I wasn’t picking between Cavendish and somewhere else to go for respite and rejuvenation. It’s invaluable because there’s nothing else like it.'

The grant from Yorkshire, West Riding Freemasons, comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.

A family support room has been officially opened on Byland Ward at Harrogate District Hospital, thanks to generous donations from local Freemasons and the Friends of Harrogate Hospital and Community Charity

The Masons Suite was officially opened by the Provincial Grand Master of Yorkshire, West Riding David Pratt following a £25,000 major grant from the Provincial Grand Master’s Fund, and £5,000 from the Friends of Harrogate Hospital and Community Charity.

The new Suite will improve patient experience on Byland Ward for patients, including those with dementia and learning disabilities. It includes reminiscence features and mood lighting and will provide a comforting non-clinical environment to patients.

Tammy Gotts, Matron, who has co-ordinated the efforts to open to the Masons Suite, said: 'The project has been two years in the making and we are delighted that the Masons Suite is now open.

'Our huge thanks go to the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding and the Friends of Harrogate Hospital and Community Charity, for their generous donations. Without them, the project would not have been possible. The Suite will improve the experience of staying in hospital for the patients on the ward.'

David Pratt said: 'It was my absolute honour to officially open the Masons Suite within Harrogate District Hospital’s Byland Ward.

'The grant application to financially support this initiative was made by Knaresborough Priory Lodge, and in the coming years it will help provide comfort and to countless people from the Harrogate district and beyond.

'In Harrogate and Knaresborough there are seven lodges, and all are active within the community. It is through to the generosity of our members that we are able to fund initiatives such as this family support room with the hospital.'

A Yorkshire scouting group has held a ceremony to launch a new boat named after a masonic magazine

Wharfedale Scout Sailing Centre was able to purchase four boats and a trailer, thanks to a £12,000 grant from the Freemasons Province of Yorkshire West Riding. And, to thank the organisation for its financial support, the scouts named one of their boats, White Rose, after the twice-yearly provincial publication.

The centre is a Royal Yachting Association recognised teaching establishment and activity centre administered primarily by the 3rd Bingley Sea Scouts, who are recognised by the Royal Navy.

The centre, located at Reva Reservoir, near Menston, is visited by scouts from all over the country who use the boats for their activities and courses.  

The road trailer now enables young students completing their Duke of Edinburgh qualifications to take boats away on expeditions.

Roger Newhouse,  Assistant Provincial Grand Master of Yorkshire, West Riding, said: 'We are delighted to be able to support the Wharfedale Scout Sailing Centre with this grant, which has enabled them to purchase four boats and a trailer.

'Each year, the Province of Yorkshire West Riding gives grants totalling £200,000, to organisations across the region, including youth groups, charities, churches and schools. It was a pleasure to attend the launch of ‘White Rose’ and see the equipment that the grant has helped purchase and we wish the sailing centre every success for the future.'

The grant was sponsored by the Lodge of Amity No. 4148, which meets in Baildon.

Chelsea Lodge stalwart Freddie Davies compered a musical extravaganza at a Northern Masonic Variety show, which raised £10,860 for the West Yorkshire Mark Benevolent Fund

Bradfordians Lodge No. 9886 Past Master Sir David Wootton, UGLE Assistant Grand Master, attended with Yorkshire, West Riding Provincial Grand Master David Pratt at Bradford Grammar School along with Bradford Lord Mayor Clr Abid Hussain and West Yorks Lord Lieutenant Dame Ingrid Roscoe.

Artistes included internationally acclaimed vocalist Gordon Cree and electric violinist Lauren Hinds, who both produced outstanding virtuoso performances.

Three members of Wakefield Lodge No. 495, in the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding, received a warm welcome attending a meeting of St. George’s Lodge No. 85 under the Grand Lodge Alpina of Switzerland, on 26th April 2018

Lance Milburn, Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden, Gary Parker, Assistant Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, and Andrew Wakefield, Worshipful Master of Wakefield Lodge, attended a ceremony of Initiation in the town of Morges on Lake Geneva.

St. George’s Lodge is one of only four lodges meeting under the Swiss Constitution that works in the English language, using Emulation Ritual. The lodge was consecrated in 2013 to meet the masonic needs of the ex-pat community in the Lausanne region.

The meeting was truly an international affair. The Worshipful Master of the lodge Jean-Pierre Dousset is French/Swiss, the Senior Warden Mustafa Taskale is Turkish, the Junior Warden Peter Steiner is German and the Director of Ceremonies Frank Fowlie is Canadian.

There were other brethren present from across Euorpe including Switzerland, Russia and the UK.

David Pratt, Provincial Grand Master of Yorkshire, West Riding, was a special guest at the consecration of the Britannic Lodge of Madeira No. 134 under the Grand Lodge of Portugal (Legal)

The consecration was held on 17th March 2018 at the O Lagar Restaurant in Câmara de Lobos by the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge (Legal) of Portugal  Julio Meirinhos, with around 70 brethren in attendance including visitors from local lodges, the Portuguese mainland, United Grand Lodge of England, Grande Loge Nationale Française, Regular Grand Lodge of Serbia and Grand Lodge of India.  This was followed by a sumptuous celebration banquet of local delicacies and wine where the brethren were joined by their families and friends.

The history of Freemasonry in Madeira goes back to 1767, and Britannic Lodge of Madeira No. 3683 was a lodge under UGLE which was consecrated in Funchal, the capital of Madeira, in 1913. The lodge moved to London in 1935 after Freemasonry had been banned in Portugal, and handed in its warrant after its last meeting in 2006.  It wasn’t until 2009 that a new lodge, Zarco Lodge No. 71, was consecrated under the Grand Lodge of Portugal (Legal) – 74 years after the ban.

The new Britannic Lodge of Madeira’s founders are mainly expats, and the lodge will work in English using Emulation Ritual and meet four times a year at the Masonic Hall in central Funchal. The lodge’s badge pays tribute to its predecessor with a similar design and they have adopted the former lodge’s motto: ‘Labor Omnia Vincit’ ('Work conquers all').

David Pratt’s involvement came about from both a passion for Madeira and an inquisitive nature to discover more about the former UGLE lodge, Britannic Lodge of Madeira No. 3683 at the request of the founders.

David said: ‘The history is fascinating and I've managed to track down some of the former members who are delighted that a new lodge bearing that distinguished name is being formed. I’ve been the ‘go-between’ to research information about the former UGLE Lodge.

'The consecration was a wonderful event, and it’s fascinating that a number of the former members of the UGLE lodge travel to Madeira on holiday frequently and had no knowledge of the local masonic activity.

‘I pay tribute to the founders from UGLE lodges who are keen to promote Freemasonry as full participating  members of the family of the four lodges now on the Island. Ed Barrow, Past Provincial Junior Grand Deacon (East Lancashire), the Founding Master, and Stuart Condliffe, Past Provincial Assistant Grand Superintendent of Works (Cheshire), the Founding Secretary, have worked tirelessly to create the new lodge. Octavio Sousa of the Grand Lodge (Legal) of Portugal also provided excellent support and guidance to bring about this momentous achievement.’

The lodge welcomes visitors from UGLE – please remember to contact the Grand Chancellor’s Office before visiting any foreign Grand Lodges.

Published in International

Disabled people supported by a Harrogate charity will be able to step into a whole new world, thanks to Yorkshire Freemasons

In a bid to equip customers for independent living, Disability Action Yorkshire is turning to virtual reality to help train and prepare them for a host of everyday life experiences, including supermarket shopping and travelling by public transport. 

Members of the town’s Spa Lodge No. 7609 secured a grant of £2,000 from the Provincial Grand Master’s Fund, which has been used for the charity’s Virtual Independence Project to purchase a Garmin spherical camera, Oculus Go virtual reality headset and a new laptop computer to edit the recorded footage. 

Disability Action Yorkshire Chief Executive Jackie Snape said: 'Thanks to the Spa Lodge nominating us for this generous grant, our training sessions for customers will be totally revolutionised.

'Whilst many are keen to live as independently as possible, the reality is that some people have had little or no experience of everyday life – our Virtual Independence Project will change all that.

'Our customers will be able to experience what it is like to travel on a bus independently, travel around a busy shopping centre or supermarket, or prepare and cook a simple meal. The aim is that once people have gained confidence in a virtual setting they will then go to try new experiences in daily life.'

Doug Mills, Spa Lodge Charity Steward, said: 'Charity is one of the three grand principles of Freemasonry and I’m delighted that we have been able to support Disability Action Yorkshire in kick-starting their Virtual Independence Project. 

'With the camera, the charity will now be able to develop a series of 360-degree videos, which will help train and prepare customers keen to explore new experiences. I tried the headset on myself, and whilst it was great fun I could see a real benefit for those who lack confidence in undertaking simple tasks which, to them, can seem like major obstacles. 

'The visit to Disability Action Yorkshire’s Claro Road residential care home proved to be a very satisfying experience, particularly in the knowledge that Freemasons in the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding have provided financial support to the wider community.'

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