To celebrate 300 years of Freemasonry, the Masonic Charitable Foundation is holding a public vote to decide how to spend £3 million of charity funding across England and Wales.
You don't have to be a Mason to vote!
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Over the past 30 years, The Freemasons' Grand Charity has developed a strong partnership with the British Red Cross, supporting their work both at home in the UK and around the world. Last year, following a grant to fund a new emergency vehicle in Sussex, The Grand Charity surpassed the £2 million mark in donations to the Red Cross. This milestone has been recognised by the Red Cross who have thanked Freemasons for their continued support.
Mike Adamson, Chief Executive, British Red Cross
Mike Adamson, Chief Executive at the Red Cross said:
"The partnership between The Freemasons’ Grand Charity and the British Red Cross highlights the impact two organisations with a shared focus and a drive for change can have on the lives of people in need.
The consistent support of the Freemasons has allowed us to plan and shape our services so we are able to live up to our promise ‘refusing to ignore people in crisis’ both in the UK, and abroad.
We are lucky to have such dedicated support, and I look forward to continuing our partnership."
Since 1984, The Freemasons’ Grand Charity has helped the Red Cross respond to a huge range of emergency situations across the globe, providing life-saving assistance to those affected by natural disaster. Most recently, £50,000 was donated to help the victims of the Nepal earthquake.
The Red Cross not only provides support to those facing disaster abroad but also to those affected by crises across the UK. In 2014, when large areas of the country experienced severe flooding, The Red Cross played a critical role in assisting those affected and The Grand Charity supported these relief efforts with a donation of £20,000.
The Grand Charity has also played an important role in funding the Red Cross’s Fire and Emergency Support Service since 2000 when £300,000 was awarded to fund the establishment of 10 services across the UK. Most recently, £48,000 was donated to fund a new emergency vehicle in West Sussex. To date, over £650,000 has been donated to the service, allowing the Red Cross to deploy 20 new emergency vehicles, train hundreds of volunteers and help over 90,000 people who have been affected by fire or other emergencies in the UK.
The Freemasons’ Grand Charity is proud of its partnership with the British Red Cross and to have reached this important milestone of over £2 million in funding.￼
On Saturday 7th June, De Rohan Lodge No 9670 held a very successful social evening where €550 was raised in support of the Service Dogs Malta Foundation. The event took place outdoors in the garden of the Masonic Hall at Villa Blye, by kind permission of the RW Master of Lodge St Andrew No 966 of the Scottish Constitition.
Entertainment was by "Malachai (The Englishman)" His first set was mainly country music and later on he came back to do hits mainly from the 50's and 60's. The Grand Inspector's lady, Dr Jaqui Porter, joined Malachai on stage for a few of the numbers. He introduced her by saying that he would be joined by a suprise guest artist who was even now circling the building on her broomstick and would land imminently!
The Masonic Hall at Villa Blye
An evening such is this is only successful due to the hard work of the organisers and their support team. The Worshipful Master, W Bro Bill Turnbull, thanked everyone who had attended for their generosity in supporting the evening and in particular those who had made a significant practical contribution:
- The ladies who had prepared the galaxy of wonderful food, including Carmen's amazing sweets.
- Bro Gary for acting as fund-raiser on the evening, running the raffle and the Chinese bingo. Also his able assistant, Bro Mark, a recent new member of Hospitalier's Lodge in the Sovereign Grand Lodge of Malta
- The Brethren of Lodge St Andrew for their hard work in preparing the garden of Villa Blye, which made a very pleasant venue.
- His Assistant Secretary, Bro Clive, for all his help in planning and preparing for the event.
Malachai & Jaqui on Stage
The RW Master of Lodge St Andrew welcomed everyone to Villa Blye. He thanked his team for their hard work in preparing the garden and hoped that there would be more similar events in the future. He made particular mention of the contribution of his Director of Ceremonies.
The Grand Inspector, VW Bro Lawrence Porter, appeared to have an enjoyable and relaxing evening with his main responsibility being the shuffling of the cards for the Chinese bingo.
€550 was an impressive sum to raise from such an event and De Rohan Lodge will add further to this amount from its own charitable funds.
Two of the Guide Dogs under training
Every year the air ambulance services in England and Wales save thousands of lives by providing rapid medical care in emergencies. Since 2007, Freemasons have donated more than £1.5 million in support, including this year’s grant of £192,000 from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity.
Provincial Grand Master for Devonshire RW Bro Ian Kingsbury
Presents a Cheque to the Devon Air Ambulance
Speaking about the donation Laura Chapman, Chief Executive of The Freemasons’ Grand Charity, said:
“A great many lives would be lost without the swift life-saving help provided by the air ambulance doctors and paramedics
This is why Freemasons are passionate about supporting the air ambulance services in England and Wales. Air ambulance charities are reliant on voluntary donations to operate, and we hope that our contributions will help them to continue saving lives in the future.”
Laura Chapman - Chief Executive of the Freemasons' Grand Charity
The following air ambulance charities are amongst those to receive funds:
- Cornwall Air Ambulance
- Devon Air Ambulance
- Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance
- Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance
- East Anglian Air Ambulance
- Essex and Hertfordshire Air Ambulance
- Great North Air Ambulance
- Great Western Air Ambulance Service
- Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance
- Kent, Sussex and Surrey Air Ambulance Trust
- Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance Charitable Trust
- London’s Air Ambulance
- Midlands Air Ambulance
- North West Air Ambulance
- Thames Valley and Chiltern Air AmbulanceWales Air Ambulance
- Wales Air Ambulance
- Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance
- Wiltshire Air Ambulance
- Yorkshire Air Ambulance
Metropolitan Grand Master RW Bro Russel Race
Presents a Cheque to the London Air Ambulance
As flooding continues to affect many areas of England and Wales causing widespread damage and disruption to many communities, the President of the Freemasons’ Grand Charity, Richard Hone QC has approved a £20,000 emergency grant for the British Red Cross in support of their UK flood relief efforts.
This emergency grant from the Freemasons’ Grand Charity is in addition to £30,000 already donated to support relief and recovery efforts in the badly hit area of Somerset. The Somerset Community Foundation received £28,500 and the Burnham-on-Sea Area Rescue Boat received £1,500.
Speaking about the donation, Richard Hone QC, President of the Grand Charity said: “As gale force winds, torrential rain, tidal surges and flooding continue to affect large areas of Britain, it is clear that people in the affected areas need urgent support. Freemasons care deeply about their local communities and we hope that this donation will assist many of the people whose lives have been devastated by this ongoing disaster.”
The British Red Cross have been providing a great deal of support in the affected areas by providing emergency shelters, food, first aid, advice and emotional support.
Simon Lewis, head of UK emergency planning and response at the British Red Cross, said: “Our teams of emergency response volunteers have been on a heightened state of alert to support any requests for help. The severe weather is set to continue so we will monitor the situation and are always ready to help when called upon.”
The Grand Charity is also working closely with Freemasons in the affected areas of England and Wales to establish the best way to offer further support. In parallel with support for wider relief efforts, the Freemasons’ Grand Charity will be assisting individual eligible Masons affected by events, and their dependants, through Masonic Relief Grants which are given to relieve hardship.
On Saturday December 14th we held our annual Christmas Dinner at the Masonic Hall which was somewhat noisier than usual!
We met up from 5:30pm onwards to enjoy a chat and a welcome drink with canapes. This was followed by the Christmas meal in which our Caterer and his staff had excelled themselves. There was pate on toast, followed by soup, then a magnificent Christmas buffet. Afterwards we had traditional Christmas pudding with custard, coffee and full-sized mince pies. It was all rounded off by a glass of port or Baileys. All this for only €22.50 represented excellent value.
Festive Dining Room
Entertainment was provided by the "Grand Inspector's Christmas Band". This is a group of traditional musicians who play together informally in a weekly session at the Grand Inspector's house. This year they formed themselve temporarily into a Christmas band with a folky flavour. In the 8-piece band were
- Guitars (3)
- English concertina
Everybody else was supplied with percussion instruments (tambourines, maraccas, bells, triangles etc.) and song sheets. The Christmas carols and songs were sung with great enthusiasm, including the medieval Latin choruses which were picked up quickly. Everyone entered into the spirit of the occasion.
The programme consisted of:
- Good King Wenceslas
- In the Bleak Midwinter
- Jingle Bells
- The Twelve Days of Christmas
- Silent Night
- Parvelus Nobis Nascitur
- While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night
- The Wren Boys
- The Twelve Days of Christmas (re-match)
- We Wish You a Merry Christmas
The "Twelve Days of Christmas" is not just a song for Christmas. It is a highly competitive team sport! A fierce battle was fought between the two teams and the "odds", although outnumbered, finally triumphed over the "evens". Their victory was much assisted by the Partridge in the Pear Tree (Master of the Lodge of St John and St Paul) and the Three French Hens (Senior Warden of De Rohan Lodge and First Principal of the Chapter.) However special credit must be given to the "evens"' excellent Two Turtle Doves (appropriately, manned by a very special recently-married couple).
We all owe a special thanks to our wonderful social secretary Maggie Roberts (six geese a-laying) for organising the Christmas Dinner. A massive amount of work goes into running this kind of event: planning, advertising, invitations to widows, table plans, place names, table decorations, collecting and paying monies, raffle prizes, the raffle itself etc. etc. All this was done by Maggie, ably assisted by her husband Terry, the Secretary of the Masonic Hall Committee.
Seasons greetings to all!
On Friday, 8th November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan known locally as Typhoon Yolanda struck the east coastal provinces of Samar and Leyte. It then headed west, sweeping through six central Philippine islands. It was the strongest storm ever to make landfall, and one of the most powerful ever recorded, with reports of winds over 190mph which caused widespread damage.
Millions of people have been affected; amongst these are those already left homeless by the earthquake that struck in mid-October. It is estimated that 10,000 people have been killed. Many towns have been affected by the typhoon; Tacloban, Leyte Province, largely flattened by a massive storm surge; Guiuan, Samar Province with a population of 40,000 has been destroyed; assessments in the far north of Cebu Province, had shown that some towns had suffered 80-90% damage and Baco, a city of 35,000 people in Oriental Mindoro Province was 80% under water.
On 11th November 2013, the President of The Freemasons’ Grand Charity approved an emergency grant of £50,000 to the British Red Cross to provide immediate disaster relief across the region for much needed Hygiene Kits for 8,500 families.
An online fundraising page has also been setup by The Grand Charity for the benefit of the Philippines Disaster Relief Chest. Brethren can make private donations online using a Debit or Credit card from: http://everydayhero.co.uk/event/E0129C
The Assistant Grand Master
At the Meeting of the Lodge of St John and St Paul No 349 on 7th October 2013, the Brethren elected the Assistant Grand Master, RW Bro David Kenneth Williamson, an Honorary Member. Bro David has responsibility for Overseas Lodges not in a District and in this capactity has visited the Lodge on several occasions. His last visit was in February 2013 when he invested the new Grand Inspector with his chain of office.
It is a great honour to have such a distinguished Brother as an Honorary Member of one of our Lodges. In his response to the news of his election, the Assistant Grand Master wrote:
Please would you convey my thanks and appreciation to the Worshipful Master and Brethren of the Lodge and say that I look forward to continuing my long association with Malta in general and “J&P” in particular!
With best wishes to you and all at "J&P"
Brethren had a very enjoyable evening at Ars Discendi Lodge No 6 of the Sovereign Grand Lodge of Malta at their first meeting of the new Masonic season on September 11th 2013.
There was a good representation from De Rohan Lodge among the visitors with their Master-Elect accompanied by three other Brethren. Visiting is a great tradition in Freemasonry and it's good to see it in operation here in Malta.
On Saturday 7th September, the Lodge of St John and St Paul organised a party to join the boat trip to the Blue Lagoon, Comino on the Captain Morgan pleasure boat "Europa II".
The €35 ticket included lunch and unlimited drinks from the bar all day. It also included a small donation to charity of €5.
We met at the Ferries and embarked at 9:30am, returning to dock tired but relaxed at 6:00pm.
Caves at Rdum tal-Madonna
It was slightly disappointing to have fewer participants than at the same event last year but we made a friendly and intimate group and all got on like the proverbial house on fire. The weather was glorious and the swimming in the Blue Lagoon was excellent. A thoroughly enjoyable experience.
The Blue Lagoon from Comino
Our Social Secretary will be making enquiries into the possibility of organising either a Sunset Cruise or a BBQ cruise for next Summer, so "Watch this Space"!
Brother Secretary & Madam Social Secretary Enjoying the Sunshine
This was the first time the Lodge of St John and St Paul No 349 had held a summer barbecue on the rocky shore of Marsamxett Harbour, just beneath the Valletta Masonic Hall.
The event was set up and run, including all the cooking, by our Caterer with help from the ever-smiling Martha.
It was a warm evening, but a bit overcast so, even though a few had brought their swimming gear, no-one ventured into the water! However the evening went with a swing with all our Lodges and Chapter being represented as well as some additional guests. Convivial conversation continued long into the evening.
It is hoped that this will become an annual event and that next year some of us will take the plunge!
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