Megan Baker House (MBH), a Herefordshire charity at Moreton Eye, near Leominster, is a centre of excellence in conductive education. It teaches problem-solving skills to people with physical disabilities and special educational needs. Many are from nearby counties, but some children – and more recently, adults – come from across the UK to attend classes.
As MBH does not receive any statutory funding, and does not charge for its services, local masons have maintained their support with donations from the Herefordshire Masonic Charity Association and Royal Edward Lodge. Julia Higgs, MBH volunteer organiser, emphasised that such sponsorship is essential to the charity and its outreach centres.
The Order of Service to Masonry is the highest honour the Grand Master can confer on any member of the Craft. Instituted in 1945, it is in the personal gift of the Grand Master, and is an acknowledgment of exceptional services to the Craft.
The Order is limited to 12 holders, confers no precedence on them, but entitles them to place the letters OSM after their names, preceding the initials of any other Masonic rank they may hold.
The Order is a neck decoration in the form of a Garter blue ribbon from which hangs the jewel of the Order.
At the Annual Investiture the Grand Master conferred the Order on W Bro Francis McCormick, PSGD. Resident in Rio de Janeiro, Bro McCormick was initiated in Royal Edward Lodge No. 5566 in 1952.
His exceptional service to the Craft has been principally in the field of external relations, particularly in maintaining good relations with the Grand Orient of Brazil and other Grand Lodges in South America.
At the Quarterly Communication on 12 June, the Pro Grand Master, on behalf of the Grand Master, invested two further recipients of the Order. RW Bro James V.L. Phillips began his Masonic career in 1952 in Travellers Lodge No. 6758, Accra and served the District of Ghana as District Grand Master and Grand Superintendent from 1988 to 1998.
When he took up those offices, Freemasonry in Ghana had been under attack, and the government had seized its properties.
Bro Phillips convinced the authorities of Freemasonry's loyalty to society and obedience to the laws of the state, secured the return of the properties, restored the good name of Freemasonry and increased his District by 11 Lodges and eight Chapters.
W Bro Major General Rudolph G.E. Green, CD, ADC, PDepGSwdB, became a Freemason in Moore Keys Lodge No. 251 9, Kingston, Jamaica, in 1959. He served as Deputy District Grand Master for Jamaica and the Cayman Islands from 1978 to 1988, since when he has been President of the District Board of General Purposes.
In addition to the Craft and Royal Arch, he holds high office in many other Masonic Orders.
A loyal, discreet and dependable adviser, blessed with an exhaustive knowledge of Freemasonry, backed by many years of experience, he has given service unstintingly not only within his own District, but is regarded as a valuable adviser in neighbouring Districts.