A Message from the Provincial Grand Master
After a year of great concern and uncertainty, I do hope this message finds you and your loved ones in good health and looking forward to a return to some sort of normality again.
Although our Lodges have not been able to meet for a
major part of the last year, the Province of Herefordshire in conjunction with the Masonic Charitable Foundation, has been continuously engaged in providing charitable support to deserving causes.
Since January 2020, 46 applications have been approved for grants of over £77,000 to provide financial support to our members, families and widows. Likewise, over £170,000 has been donated to non-masonic Herefordshire charities
to assist them in their ongoing efforts throughout the pandemic. These include donations in aid of flood relief, veteran welfare, manufacturing scrubs for the NHS and care homes, transportation for doctors, healthcare workers and local communities, furnishing accommodation for abused women and children, donations to meal delivery services and foodbanks, support for carers, counselling and street pastors plus many other local charities that have found it difficult to raise the necessary funds during this difficult time.
I am truly proud of the way our members have responded in such a magnificent way and my thanks go to the Provincial Almoner and Charity Steward plus all the Lodge Almoners and Charity Stewards and to all those who have contributed in various ways throughout this difficult time.
I look forward to when we can once more host you at our Widows’ Luncheon and to meeting up in person again. With all good wishes and kindest personal regards.
RW Bro Michael T Holland
Provincial Grand Master Annual Sunday Lunch
Unfortunately, due to the Corona Virus Pandemic, there was no alternative than to cancel 2020 traditional Sunday lunch held in March.
With no immediate prospect of any significant relaxation of the current restrictions it’s clear that the 2021 lunch will not be held this March. However it is our wish not to cancel the 2021 lunch but to delay making a decision until later in the year just in case the current circumstances improve and the restrictions on numbers meeting indoors are relaxed. We will keep you updated and fingers crossed.
Similarly the Annual Cathedral Service, scheduled to be held on Sunday 13th June, may have to be held at a later date how- ever we will keep you updated once known.
Mobility Within the Province
Several years ago with the help of funding from the MCF the Province acquired a mobility scooter for use by one of our late Brethren. Subsequently the scooter has been passed on to a number of Brethren over the years as and when the need arose. W Bro Ege Parker recently took possession of the scooter and we are sure that Ege will soon be at ease with this new powerful steed between his legs
The Province has continued to assist its Brethren by recently purchasing an additional mobility scooter and chair from Heather Knight, widow of the late W Bro John Knight. It is believed that the acquisition of the chair will help to ease the burden of Brethren transporting their own chairs to and fro from meetings at Kyrle Street. With the cooperation of the Masonic Hall Company, the newly acquired chair will be permanently located at Kyrle Street solely for the use of those Brethren unable to bring their own chairs to meetings at the Masonic Hall.
The Mobility Scooter soon found a new home and has been recently delivered to Bro John Rees who currently has a need for one. A special thanks goes to W Bro John Mayo Evans for assisting the PGA W Bro Malcolm Davies in delivering the scooters and chair to their relevant locations.
The mobility chair will be located in the disabled toilet vestibule in Kyrle Street, which is on the left as you enter the Masonic Hall. Members who wish to take advantage of this wonderful facility are asked to call the Lodge Secretary of the Lodge/Chapter holding the meeting to ensure that the chair is available, (i.e not booked by another user) and to ensure the battery has been charged.
Eastnor Lodge just avoids Lockdown restrictions with Joint Presentation at Ledbury Primary School
Following what turned out to be the last regular meeting of Eastnor Lodge No. 751 before the Coronavirus emergency measures, Lodge members and guests were able to attend a Presentation at Ledbury Primary School in the furtherance of a Special Gardening Project at the school.
Eastnor’s Charity Steward, David Sparrey had previously responded to information from the Provincial Grand Secretary that the Province of Nottinghamshire was looking for a match funder for a donation they intended to make to the school for developing six raised growing beds and other resources to start this exciting ‘Learn as you Grow’ project.
A matching donation of £500 was approved by the Eastnor Brethren, making a grand total of £1,000 available for the project.
By a complete coincidence W Bro. Chris Burrow was on Representative duty at the Lodge meeting when the donation was approved and thus began this story.
Also, at the Meeting was Very Worshipful Brother Richard Davis, Past Deputy PGM (Notts) whose daughter Rachel Ussher is the Deputy Head teacher at Ledbury.
VW Bro Davis was attending to thank the lodge for its help.
Additionally, Chris Burrow then declared that his wife Rose had only recently retired after working at the school for many years.
The attendance for the proposed presentation was swelling!
The welcome from the School for the masonic group of six, was fantastic.
After tea with the Headteacher Julie Rees, a tour of the school and its facilities, we attended a full assembly in the school hall, before the joint presentation by David Sparrey and Richard Davis. The £1,000 was presented to nominated pupil Abbey Smith, herself a prolific fundraiser for the school.
The Headteacher involved our group in a storytelling session with Eastnor WM Stuart Jones taking a leading part in this fun session. Even the school dog ‘Bailey’ took part.
The whole visit was a great illustration of the part that local Freemasonry can and should play in the community.
Had we been a week or so later in arranging this, it could not have happened in this form.
Chris finally did it!
Having a father who lost most of his hair in his late 20’s I have been very fearful of going bald for many years. However, at 42 thankfully my hair continues to grow healthily.
With many people scared of contracting coronavirus, and the lockdown stop on all our various gatherings, I decided to do something that scared me – on purpose! Hence I set a up my fundraising “HoltysHeadShaveForCharity” on Justgiving as a personal effort to raise some sponsorship to assist Herefordshire NHS Trust Covid Support Team, Holy Trinity Church Whitecross and the 2020 Herefordshire Festival for the Masonic Charitable Foundation.
I am so pleased to have raised £1,000 to split equally between the three great causes.
I offer my sincere and grateful thanks to everyone who has supported me in my fundraising efforts, and in other ways during this time. I know that the three beneficiaries will be truly grateful.
My wish for each and every one of you is that you stay safe and healthy, and I look forward to a time when we can all meet again in person and share our experiences.
Tablets for the Hospital
Coronavirus patients at Hereford County Hospital who are not permitted visitors are set to benefit following a generous donation from the Hereford Masonic community.
The group, which has been keen to assist Wye Valley NHS Trust and help patients at the County Hospital, presented staff with four Samsung Galaxy A tablets to enable patients being treated at the hospital to stay in touch with loved ones.
Local Freemason and Chairman of the Caeruleum Club,Tommy Santillo, said “The Caeruleum Club was launched this year to support young Freemasons within Herefordshire and we’re delighted to be able to help local people stay in touch with their friends and relatives during these unprecedented times. We do hope that patients will continue to benefit from them beyond the current pandemic”
Pictured: Local Freemason and Caeruleum Club Committee member, Harry Fellowes, handing over the tablets to Wye Valley NHS Trust Fundraising Manager Katie Farmer
Rebecca Thanks Dean Waterfield
As previously reported Rebecca, a junior doctor at Southampton’s ICU had her bicycle stolen whilst on night shift. However, following the swift action of Dean Waterfield’s WhatsApp group who agreed that this young NHS angel shall go to work on her bicycle. They quickly agreed to replace it.
Rebecca said that she was very grateful to Dean Waterfield for their prompt support. She now has her new bicycle, which she is proudly displaying here.
Herefordshire Freemasons support – For The Love Of Scrubs
Herefordshire Free Masons support “For the love for scrubs” by donating £2700. Which will buy enough raw materials to this industrious group of volunteers to make 180 sets of scrubs, scrub caps, headbands and laundry bags for the Wye Valley Trust healthcare workers, together with Nurses from GP practices. The Herefordshire group is organised by Davina Diamond via a Facebook group called “For The Love of Scrubs”
Donations for the group can be made via GoFundMe
Davina wrote on her fund raising site – Thank you so much for all your kind donations, it has been amazing to see everyone come together at this unprecedented time to help in whatever way they can and these funds are really helping us to get items to our healthcare workers that they so desperately need.
Caeruleum Club Help struggling Animal Charity
The Caeruleum Club have made a donation of £333.34 to Hereford and Worcester Animal Rescue (HWAR).
It came to the attention of the Caeruleum Club that the Hereford & Worcester Animal Rescue centre have suffered greatly due to Covid-19; with their shops being their main source of revenue now closed until further notice. The unshakeable monthly costs to keep all the animals in their care healthy and well, is rapidly draining their funds, The Club felt we should offer some financial assistance.
The founder of HWAR, Carol Smith sent an email accepting the donation and said:
“Thank you all so much, we are very very grateful for your support it means a lot. The dogs are all safe and well thanks to people like you giving us the means to carry on, again our grateful thanks to you and your fellow members“
Zoom Meetings Take off in the Province
With all the self isolating taking place Lodges are finding new ways of communicating. Arrow Lodge have set up a Lodge zoom site, whereas the Ross community one encompasses all Lodges and Chapters in the Ross area. How are you keeping in touch with your Brethren? Let us know by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
Dean Waterfield Rides into Action
Dean Waterfield 8089
Dean Waterfield’s WhatsApp group sprang into action over the Easter weekend when they found out that a young doctor had her bicycle stolen whilst she was on night shift in ICU. Rebecca a junior doctor who had previously worked in a GP surgery, had been seconded onto ICU to support the staff at Southampton’s busy hospital during the Covid-19 crisis.
Following a gruelling night shift on ICU Rebecca left the hospital shattered, only to be devastated to find that the chain she used to secure her bicycle had been cut and her bicycle stolen. The journey home took significantly longer that her normal 10 min bike ride to work.
Rebecca’s partner Abi, is the daughter of Tony Orton a member of Dean Waterfield. Tony informed the Brethren of the incident via the Lodge’s WhatsApp group. Appalled by what had happened the Brethren rallied round and within the short space of a morning had agreed to replace Rebecca’s bicycle. Hopefully straight after the Easter weekend Rebecca will be able to purchase a new bicycle, so that she will be able to get to work in a reasonable time in future.
Pete White – Delivers Doctors
Vaga Lodge 3146
Pete White is a mason and a member of Herefordshire 4×4 Response https://www.herefordshire4x4response.org/ They are a self-funded group of just over 50 4×4 owners providing backup in adverse weather conditions to the local community. During the heavy snow conditions in March 2018 the group provided transport for the NHS, ferrying doctors and nurses from their homes to the hospital and back. More recently they have helped evacuate nursing homes and transport care staff during the floods. Now with the onset of, COVID-19, they have been approached by Taurus to help transport doctors on home visits to sick patients for assessment. Pete is one of five at the moment working from 10am to 6.30pm Monday to Friday carrying out this essential and potentially lifesaving work. The group are spread all over the county. Peter is currently driving a doctor around seeing patients, helping with PPE and keeping the car clean, and stocked. Other duties include delivering vital PPE to surgeries around the county.
Please help Herefordshire 4×4 Response by donating to their JustGivingPage
The Summer Jobs Despite Covid-19
A Mason in St Peter’s Lodge 7368
I built a 3 wheeled kit car called a Pembleton with my son, which we finished in 2008. We have taken it on many road trips and rallies both nationally and abroad. This is us at Prescott hill climb a few months after it was finished.
This picture is from last year’s Welsh National Rally (which I entered with my proposer), we won the 3 wheeler class, but unfortunately this year’s race in May has been postponed due to covid-19.
At this time of the year I go through the same ritual of getting the car ready for its MOT and carrying out maintenance and upgrades I have been planning over the winter. This time I want to get the bodywork cut back to a really brilliant shine, cutting through the patina that is forming. This basically involves autosol and old rags and hand polishing every square inch of the body. From a distance it looks good
But when you get close up, it is a different story!
The other jobs I want to sort out are changing the rear wheel to a radial tyre, fabricating some replacement headlamp / indicator brackets, fixing a mobile phone holder, making a foot well secure storage box and putting two skin patches on the rear hoop to strengthen the body tub.!
So far, I am about 10 hours into the clean-up and only finished the bonnet, both wings and one side of the aero screen skirt. But it is looking good.
Looking ahead to when we are back to getting out and about, I have picked up a copy of a 1962 Shell shilling guide to Herefordshire, which I will be using as a route planner for a St Peters drive and picnic. I am keen to see what, after almost 60 years is unchanged. That’s it for now, I will update you on my progress over the coming weeks and hope to see you all soon.
Camping With A Difference
Tony Neave – Royal Edward Lodge 892
At the end of March, following a message on instagram and Facebook, it became apparent that a group of campervan & camping enthusiasts were still going to have their weekend camping trip BUT at home. The idea had first been formulated by a dad wanting a nice way to entertain his children during ‘lock down’ but to also to raise some funds for NHS charities.
The basic idea was to camp, at home, in the garden or on the driveway in whatever ‘rig’ you usually used. Instead of paying a campsite pitch fee – donate some money via a just giving page (link below) to the NHS charity. Share pictures of the home ‘camp site’ with the #Greatbritishcampout hashtag on social media.
As is the way with ‘great ideas’ it was taken up by many, shared, tweeted and messaged over a few days on social media. The idea to raise a few hundred pounds quickly became surpassed by the enthusiasm of campers wanting to take part. The event took place on the Saturday 04 April 2020 and had raised in excess of £90k.
The BBC gave the following description: Curated by a family from Nottinghamshire, the Great British Campout first started as a way to keep their kids entertained, but has since developed to a nationwide initiative to raise money for NHS Charities Together.
The first campout took place on Saturday 4 April 2020, with live entertainment such as music and yoga streaming through Facebook.
To take part in the next Great British Campout, donations of £2 or more can be made through its JustGiving page, which has impressively raised over £90,000 in total so far.
Get your tents pitched this Easter weekend, join in the fun and, to make a donation, visit the Just Giving Page
Campers are doing it again for the Easter weekend. Join the fun and help continue to raise funds for a current and worthy cause.
Great British Campout for NHS staff Facebook Page
Community Spirt & Dancing in the Street
Bro Chris Barrett Delphis Lodge 7769
The President of the Light Blues club Chris Barrett has been out helping his local community by encouraging the residents of Kenilworth Close, in the Belmont area of Hereford to come together by helping the less able to do their shopping and also bring a smile to the children.
Events have included daily dancing in the street at 11am, putting teddies in the windows of the houses in the close for the children to count during their daily exercise. This week saw Micky Mouse arrive in the Close to entertain the children, whilst still maintaining social distancing.
The full story can be seen on the Hereford Times web site