News from Lodges December 2017
Exmoor Lodge hold Charity Presentation Evening
Minehead Masonic Hall was the venue for the Exmoor Lodge No 2390 Charity Presentation Evening, held on Thursday 21st December.
Worshipful Master, Garry Holman, now nearing the end of his second successive year as Master of Exmoor Lodge, was delighted to be able to celebrate another successful year by personally handing cash donations raised by the Lodge to representatives of his chosen local charities.
Garry’s principle charity for this year was Minehead’s Dementia Action Alliance, which was represented that evening by Ann Snelling, known to their charity as a ‘Community Champion’.
She was visibly taken aback by the sum of the Lodge cheque for £1000 handed to her by Garry.
Ann was previously unaware of the amount to be donated, thus followed an emotional explanation of its importance towards the delivery of their charitable work in Minehead.
Next, Garry presented a cheque for £250 to The Friends of the Seahorse Centre, Minehead, which is a day centre for adults with learning difficulties. The Centre was represented by Sandy Dunster who was ‘’chuffed to bits’’ to receive the cheque on their behalf from Exmoor Lodge. The money will be put towards providing the clients with educational and fun activities, including their Christmas party.
Once again, the nursing staff who work on the wards at Minehead Hospital were this year represented at the event by two of its nurses, Carol and Nicky, who accepted a Lodge cheque for £130 from Garry.
Exmoor Lodge helps to provide the ‘makings’ for tea and coffee for the staff on the wards at the hospital throughout the year. This has become something of a continuing Exmoor Lodge tradition ever since W. Bro John Lendon suggested the first such donation from the Lodge, made not only in thankful recognition of their work in general, but also for the exemplary way that they cared for his wife Marjorie as a patient at the hospital.
The brethren have been keen sponsors of this ‘tradition’ ever since.
The presentation evening was a fine success. Garry and the brethren of Exmoor Lodge would like to thank all those who have continued to support him and the Lodge’s functions throughout his two busy years as Master.
In all, throughout 2017, Exmoor Lodge has donated a total of £2680 to non-Masonic charities and £802 to allied Masonic charities.
W. Bro Garry and the brethren of Exmoor Lodge wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous 2018.
The photo shows the aforementioned recipients with W.M. Garry Holman,
L to R: Nurse Nicky, Ann Snelling, Nurse Carol and Sandy Dunster.
Bro. Andy Baird.
Exmoor Lodge 2390 Information Officer.
Bridgwater Lodges Donate to the Beacon Centre at Musgrove Park Hospital
Every year the three Bridgwater Lodges combine to donate to one special charity. This year it was Tynte Lodge that decided the charity, the Beacon Centre at Musgrove Hospital. This charity was chosen, as in recent years a number of members, or their wives, have been treated at the centre. Events were held throughout the year and donations of £200 was received from Admiral Blake Lodge, £600 from Perpetual Friendship Lodge, and, as it was Tynte Lodge choice, £3,200 from Tynte. Tony Saunter, Worshipful Master, Dai Wood, Charity Steward and Jeff Searle, chief photographer, attended the centre on Tuesday, 19th December and presented the cheque to Caroline Howard, Chief Administrator for the centre.
They make ‘em tough in Taunton!
SOLICITOR Kieran Hughes, a member of The Lodge of Unanimity & Sincerity No 261, has just completed the most extreme obstacle course on the planet - and paid $550 for the pleasure.
Mr Hughes, who works for Pardoes criminal law team in Taunton, pushed himself to the limit in the World's Toughest Mudder in Las Vegas. For those not in the know a ‘Mudder’ is a 10 - 12 mile mud and obstacle endurance event designed to test both mental and physical strength and he was among 1,500 competitors who beat the pain showing great stamina and fitness.
He warmed up for the challenge with a races in Cardiff and Clane, County Kildare in the fortnight before he flew out to America. It was his third extreme race in one season - he had previously completed a tough mudder and Europe's Toughest Mudder - winning him the Holy Grail Award.
After catching his breath, W.Bro Hughes said: "This really was an awesome experience and one I don’t think I will ever forget."
His boss, Pardoes' managing partner Guy Adams, also a 261 member, said: "As Kieran has demonstrated, our lawyers really don’t give up easily and they relish a challenge. Whether it’s a challenging run or race or a complex legal case, our lawyers are committed to achieving a successful result."
Forest of Mendip Lodge Christmas Lunch
The Forest of Mendip Lodge held their Christmas Lunch at Yatton on 3rd December. The brethren friends, family, children and two of our widows
all enjoyed a wonderful lunch followed by A raffle which raised £225 for Baytree Special School, plus carols and a visit by Father Christmas in his buggy, somebody had pinched the reindeer.
The photos show the brethren enjoying a chat, Father Christmas on his buggy and our D.C. showing off his flashing tie.
Ray Beckingham. L.I.O.
News from Lodges November 2017
Sir David Hugh Wootton travels UP from London to visit Somerset Masters
Sir David with the WM, PGM and the two lodge Wardens
Sir David Hugh Wootton, Assistant Grand Master of UGLE was the honoured guest of Somerset Masters 3746 at their meeting on November 7th 2017. Sir David was escorted into the Lodge by AsstGDC Jeff Bennett in due form and saluted with nine.
The WM, Frank Clarke, proffered the Gavel which was accepted, and, following a few amusing comments, returned. The business of the Lodge was conducted before Sir David addressed the brethren from the floor of the Lodge. He gave a most interesting and informative talk on the inner workings of the Grand Lodge and Freemasons Hall itself, reiterating some of the points he had made the previous evening at an informal get-together of the Adair Club” [see separate article – Ed].
He told the brethren “We are all volunteers. None of us have to be masons or do what we do. When we meet, there’s a purpose, whether it’s a masonic meeting, ritual, charity or a community project such as the Jurassic Coast Youth Adventure.” [see separate article – Ed] “Whatever it is, we want to do it well, and we do. As masons, the practice of every moral and social virtue is our moral code and is best illustrated in the Charge to the Initiate. It is a huge asset which will play increasingly well with younger generations for whom such things are sadly,
in short supply.”
“We all sense a steady move to greater openness. The Sky TV programmes, publicity in the right way for our charitable and community activities, the square and compasses painted on the side of the Dorset & Somerset and Great Western Air Ambulances and the wearing of regalia in public are all moves in the right
Click on image for gallery
Many Provinces have ‘New and Young Masons’ Clubs such as your Adair Club, some of whose members I met informally with last evening. These clubs are an excellent way for those newer to masonry to get to know other newbies, and build essential camaraderie. It is about creating our future, which is in our hands and which we are doing. The figures already show that this is working. In many areas there is a discernible shift in the trend of the numbers, and there will be more. Brethren – we can do this!”
A lively question and answer session followed, with a number of suggestions being taken on board by Sir David who concluded by saying that he had enjoyed his visit to Somerset and thanked the brethren for their generous hospitality.
The Festive Board following the meeting was most entertaining with the WM, inadvertently stating that the AsstGM had travelled UP from London. He was immediately corrected by the brethren, however Sir David continued the theme with constant references to DOWN to London, which was of course hilariously continued by the PGM, Stuart Hadler. To commemorate his visit to Somerset Sir David was presented with a bottle of Somerset’s finest 20 year old Cider Brandy by the WM Frank Clarke.
Photos © PGL Somerset
Forest of Mendip show off their new home and give support to the Blood Bikes
The Forest of Mendip members held a Sunday lunch at their new Venue in Yatton, to show wives partners and friends their new meeting place.
A goodly number attended and a happy and successful event was enjoyed by all, including a short talk about the Lodge room and Freemasonry in general.
During his year in Office as Worshipful Master of the Forest of Mendip Lodge W.Bro Ian Drewitt held events and raffles, from this he was able to present a cheque for £1,700.to the Blood Bikes who assist hospitals with delivering items needed in medical emergencies, they also work in conjunction with the Air Ambulance. In the photo on the left is Ian Angell Charity Steward, In the Centre is Steve Brooks, Blond Biker and on right Ian Drewitt. The Charity are very grateful for the support the Forest of Mendip have given them.
Ray Beckingham L.I.O.
Admiral Blake Lodge donates £1750 for new Heart Monitor
Money was raised through a number of activities including coffee mornings, horse racing and even a skydive! Peter, along with Stewart Morgan, the Charity Steward for Admiral Blake Lodge, handed over the donation to Kristina Renshaw, the junior sister on Dunkery Ward at a cheque presentation on Wednesday, 1st November. Kristina, when receiving the cheque said; “We are so grateful to the Admiral Blake Lodge for their very generous donation which will go towards buying a new cardiac monitor for the ward, the machine monitors all the vitals of our patients and it is also transportable which means if a patient needs to go for the scan then we can still monitor them while they are on their way which is important. Thank you to everyone who took part in raising the money.”
Pictured are (l-r); Kristina Renshaw (Junior Sister), Helen Needs (Staff Nurse), Tash Wolfe (Stroke Practitioner), Dr Mailk Hussain (Consultant Physician) and Peter Wall (Worshipful Master, Admiral Blake Lodge)
Story by Stewart Morgan, Charity Steward Admiral Blake Lodge, Bridgwater
Grand Master of Victoria, Australia visits St Alphege Lodge
On arrival, MW Bro Don was taken on a quick tour of the building by the Lodge Junior Warden, Bro Sam Jimenez and was extremely impressed with the Museum in the vaults.
The Grand Master of Victoria then witnessed an Initiation Ceremony in Royal Cumberland Workings, of 21 year old Quirijn Lukas Vermeire from Belgium, a final year student of Electrical Engineering at Bath University. The Ritual being performed to an exemplary standard by our experienced Worshipful Master, W Bro Neil Hawes.
As a matter of courtesy, MW Bro Reynolds was greeted with Eleven, a first for any Director of Ceremonies in St Alphege Lodge, who much to his own relief, managed to keep count!
By a strange coincidence, there was another visiting Brother from Victoria, Australia and one from the United States, reinforcing the message that, Masonry being universal, spreads its branches over the habitable globe.
All in all, a most enjoyable occasion which will no doubt leave a lasting impression on our new Initiate.
Story by David Hogg, St Alphege Lodge DC
News from Lodges October 2017
LES LILLYWHITE - 50 YEARS OF LOYAL SERVICE
W Bro Les Lillywhite was proud and honoured to receive a Certificate acknowledging his 50 years of loyal service to Royal Somerset Lodge and Somerset Freemasonry. On Thursday 12th October, at the Installation Meeting of the Lodge, RWB Stuart Hadler awarded Les his Certificate after a well researched and enjoyable “This is Your Life” presentation encompassing Les’ many achievements. The presentation was enjoyed by all present; W Bro Les was the perfect recipient of this well-deserved honour.
PERPETUAL FRIENDSHIP TAKE ON THE “SOMERSET THREE PEAKS” FOR CHARITY
Saturday 1st July saw four members of Perpetual Friendship Lodge No. 135 take on the epic challenge of walking 27 miles and climbing over 1500 meters (higher than Ben Nevis) in blistering temperatures. The temperature was not the only thing blistering during this 10hour hike to Dunkery Beacon on Exmoor, Lype Hill on the Brendons and Will’s Neck on the Quantocks.
Richard Winter, James Roberts, Craig Boothroyd and Matthew Redman took on this challenge in the Tercentenary Year. With donations from fellow Masons, friends and match funding from the Somerset Masonic Charity they will be able to present a cheque for £3,000 to the Somerset based charity “Help the Child” at the Bridgwater Lodges’ Social and Cheque Presentation evening. The participants would like to thank all those who supported them financially. Special mention must go to Gary Thomas and Ali McPhail for joining in the training sessions as well as Peter Wall and Robin Back who provided transport and much needed refreshment on the day.
The photograph shows our intrepid walkers and support crew enjoying a well-deserved pint of Will’s Neck at the end of their journey.
News from Lodges September 2017
QUEEN’S COLLEGE TAUNTON LODGE No.6988 PRESENTS £4,300 TO TAUNTON ASSOCIATION FOR THE HOMELESS AT COMMUNITY OPEN DAY
Saturday 30th September saw dozens of people attend Taunton Masonic Centre for a Community Open Day to celebrate the 300th Anniversary of the formation of the United Grand Lodge of England. To mark this historic occasion, the Mayor of Taunton Cllr. Hazell Prior-Sankey and her Consort attended. Her first duty was to cut a large cake especially baked for the occasion, watched over by APGM WBro Ben Batley; WBro Richard Parrish, Prov G Mentor and WBro Geoff Dolling, PAGDC, current Wm of Queen’s Lodge.
Later, in the Temple, Dr Jim Virjee of Queen’s College Taunton Lodge No. 6988 (Queen’s Lodge) presented £4,300 to Justin Roxburgh CEO of Taunton Association for the Homeless. £3,300 was raised by Queen’s Lodge and £1,000 was donated by the Province under ‘matched funding’. Dr Jim, as the previous Master of the Lodge, was instrumental in raising funds for this worthwhile cause. This is a charity which the School, Queen’s College and the Lodge have supported previously.
In the presentation photo – pictured left to right: Justin Roxburgh (Chief Executive Officer of TAH); Ben Batley (Assistant PGM); The Mayor of Taunton Deane Cllr. Hazell Prior-Sankey, Joanna Hallett (Mayor’s consort), Geoffrey Dolling (Current Wm of Queen’s Lodge) and Dr. Jim Virjee (IPM Queen’s Lodge).
After nearly 50 years having their regular meetings at the School, Queen’s Lodge was required in 2002 to transfer to other premises finally settling at Taunton Masonic Centre in 2004. It is interesting to see a plaque commemorating the purchase of the Masonic Centre which records Arthur Haslam, a former Headmaster of Queen’s College (a Methodist Foundation) and member of Lodge 261 as one of the original Trustees having also contributed to its purchase. Why interesting? Because the building was bought 29th September 1909 while QCT Lodge 6988 was not formed until 1950!
Tivoli Lodge Awarded Third Ashlar
At the Installation meeting on Saturday 16th September 2017 Danny Kennedy was installed into the Chair of King Solomon as WM. He is pictured below with his Wardens and the Installing Master.
Following the ceremony, a sumptuous five course lunch was heartily enjoyed by around 90 Brethren and their Partners.
Ray Baines, representing the Provincial Grand Master, was kept busy presenting the Lodge with its 3rd Ashlar as well as a Grand Lodge Certificate to the latest Initiate Mark Allison.
Charity Fayre at Weston-super-Mare
As part of our Tercentenary celebrations and to raise the profile of Freemasonry in the local community, all seven Craft Lodges meeting at the Masonic Centre at Weston-Super-Mare got together to organise a Charity Fayre.
It was held on Saturday 23rd September when over £20,000 was donated in money and equipment to many charities and youth organisations. The local Mayor Cllr Jos Holder and John Penrose, Member of Parliament, were present.
Pictured are John Penrose and Jos Holder with W Bro Peter Butcher, Past Master of Wessex Lodge, presenting a cheque for £3,000 to Weston Sea Cadets.
At the grand opening they were given rides in a parade of classic cars through the town. Afterwards the cars were placed on show outside the Masonic Hall and proved a great attraction.
All in all the day was a notable success with many members of the public attending enjoying free tea and coffee.
First Forest of Mendip Lodge Installation at Yatton
WM Gary Currell with the Installing Master Mark Carter and The R.W. Provincial Grand Master
The Forest of Mendip Lodge completed moving everything from Rickford to Yatton over the summer break.
The brethren started the new season with a very successful Installation meeting of Bro Gary Currell who was installed by W.Bro Mark Carter, a goodly number of brethren attended the Installation including the Provincial Grand Master R.W.Bro Stuart Hadler, who took the chair after being welcomed to say a few words about our move to Yatton, the evening ended with an excellent meal and everyone went home feeling fully satisfied with the way everything went smoothly in our new venue.
All of the Officers had new collars which we purchased with a kind donation and we also purchased a Tercentenary jewel for our Masters Collar.
Ray Beckingham L.I.O.
The master’s collar resplendent with a Tercentenary Jewel
The brethren enjoying a splendid festive board in their new location
Tercentenary Celebrations in Nailsea
On Saturday 16th September the name of the Nailsea Masonic Centre was changed for the evening to ‘The Goose and Gridiron’ whilst we celebrated the Tercentenary.
A wonderful banquet, as near to the meal offered in 1717 at the original venue, consisting of rabbit with pickles and freshly baked bread, tasty venison (oh, dear!) with potatoes in red wine, was all served in big open pots with garden root vegetables.
An abundance of cheeses, fruits and bread with bottomless flagons of wine, were also prepared and served by the in house caterer Sam and her staff, and finished off with jugs of port served by Eve and her bar staff.
The evening started in the Temple with a very interesting and informative talk from our guest speaker W.Bro Keith Gilbert PSGD PGSwd, International co-ordinator of the Tercentenary Planning for UGLE, a massive undertaking,
so we were very pleased that he could spare us some time from his busy schedule. We also had the pleasure of the company of R.W.Bro Stuart C.A .Hadler, the Provincial Grand Master, and the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W.Bro Martin C. Slocombe. The whole event was managed and superbly organised by W.Bro Simon Eden and Mrs Cheryl Eden, both Directors and joint Managers of the Nailsea Masonic Centre. The amount of work they both put in to ensure its success was outstanding.
It all made for a wonderful evening, great company, first class venue, excellent speaker and a celebration not to be forgotten for a long time.
John W Wyatt. Estune Secretary
Chips Rafferty – Photographer.
Corinthian Pillar Lodge 7552 Receives Fourth Ashlar
The WM and members of the Corinthian Pillar Lodge 7552 were delighted to receive Worshipful Brother David Madden PAGDC, Provincial Charity Steward, at their regular meeting on Friday 15th September 2017 at the Masonic Hall, Yeovil, to present the lodge with its fourth Ashlar.
The lodge has so far raised £34,590 towards the 2020 festival and is now on its way to raise the remaining £13,500 needed for the fifth Ashlar.
David thanked the WM and congratulated the Lodge Charity Steward, WBro John Warnes, for his the excellent work in raising funds to achieve the Ashlar. He then went on to remind the brethren of how much the Province has benefited from the Grand Charity donations and how important it is to raise the same amount from the festival to put back into the Charity fund. He also encouraged members who haven’t already done so to set up a small regular monthly payment to help build up our contributions to the festival and for future Ashlars.
WBro D J Marpole PPrGSwdB
St Luke’s Lodge visits St Luke’s Lodge
St Luke’s Lodge (Ipswich) and the visitors from Bath.
Back Row (L to R). W. Bro Mike Haswell, W. Bro Willie Fergus (WM), W. Bro Julian May – all St Luke’s Bath – W. Bro Malcolm Toogood (WM) – Elizabethan – W. Bro David Gill – St Luke’s Bath.
Front Row. W. Bro Ron Calthorpe (WM) – St Luke’s Ipswich – in the centre with his Senior Warden (L) and Junior Warden (R).
On Wednesday 13 September W. Bro Willie Fergus, WM of St Luke’s Lodge (No. 6540), accompanied by three of his Brethren and also by W. Bro Malcolm Toogood, WM Elizabethan Lodge (No. 7296), travelled more than 200 miles to pay a fraternal visit to St Luke’s Lodge (No. 225) in Ipswich, Province of Suffolk. This was in return for fraternal visits that the Ipswich Brethren had previously made to Bath in 2013 and 2016 – the latter occasion being when a large contingent of 15 Brethren had taken part in the visit !
From the moment that the Bath visitors arrived at Ipswich Masonic Hall, an impressive 19th Century Grade 2 listed building, at 5:00pm to when we left at just after 11:00pm, the warmth of the masonic welcome, friendship and hospitality shown to us by the WM and Brethren of St Luke’s Lodge Ipswich was superb.
The Meeting itself included a high quality 2nd Degree ceremony and also ballot for a total of four candidates to join St Luke’s Lodge (Ipswich), which was consecrated in 1785 and is an Antient or Atholl Lodge. This was followed by an excellent 4 course festive board with plenty of lively conversation and laughter, where we discovered that St Luke’s Lodge (Ipswich) Brethren take pride in singing their responses whenever taking wine and also to some of the formal Toasts – needless to say the Bath visitors rose to the challenge of singing responses to the Toasts proposed to us, but fell somewhat flat on some of the musical chords involved!
The evening ended in fine spirit and with the fraternal bonds between Bath and Ipswich well and truly strengthened. It is now hoped that St Luke’s Lodge (Ipswich) will visit Bath again in the not too distant future.
David Gill, Lodge Information Officer, St Luke’s Lodge (No. 6540)
The Three Worshipful Masters.
W. Bro Willie Fergus WM (St Luke’s Bath), W. Bro Ron Calthorpe WM (St Luke’s Ipswich), W. Bro Malcolm Toogood WM (Elizabethan Lodge).
Double Medals for Freemasons at Bristol Dragon Boat Race
PGL Somerset 'Blues Bros' with PGL Bristol 'Initiates
Freemasons had a double reason to celebrate at the annual Bristol Dragon Boat Race which took place on Saturday September 2nd in Bristol’s historic docks. Vale of Brislington’s Dafty Oars took the silver medal while PGL Somerset’s entry The Blues Brothers grabbed the bronze. The race, the proceeds of which are donated mainly to the Charity ‘See Change’ (formerly Julian House, which offers support to homeless people) is open to any charity or organisation that can raise a team and the appropriate entrance fee.
Each team consists of 16 rowers and a drummer and the masonic entries were Vale of Brislington’s Dafty Oars, PGL Somerset’s Blues Brothers and PGL Bristol’s Initiates 1 and Initiates 2. In all there were 12 entries taking part with four initial heats based on the fastest time, followed by a ‘first past the post’ semi-final and final. One of the highlights of the afternoon was a special race between PGL Somerset and PGL Bristol. Last year Somerset won this highly coveted trophy and Bristol, determined to regain it this year fielded not one but two teams! It was a close-run race with Bristol just pipping Somerset to the post. The PGM for Somerset Stuart Hadler presented the PGM for Bristol Alan Vaughn with the trophy and said that he looked forward to winning it back next year! Winners of this year’s main event were the Naughty Ninjas.
Why not ask your lodge to field a team at next year’s event. An entry fee of only £365 gets you the use of a purpose built ‘Dragon Boat’, a pitch in the quayside and some first class entertainment. Contact David Roberts (Vale of Brislington) at email@example.com
Dafty Oars - prepare for the race
Team PGL Somerset 'The Blues Bros'
PGL Somerset V PGL Bristol
Dafty Oars - Yellow Boat in action
Stuart Hadler Presents Alan Vaughn with the Inter-Province Trophy
News from Lodges August 2017
As a joint celebration of the UGLE tercentenary and also the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Lodge of Agriculture 1199, the following events are being held over the weekend of 1st-3rd September.
Weekend of Celebrations – Pavilion in the Gardens of Yatton Masonic Hall
Friday Evening 1st September – Wine, Cider & Beer Festival - £8 with tickets sold in advance (details)
- 19 Real Ales
- 9 Ciders
- Range inclusive of Red, White & Rose Wines and Prosecco
Saturday Evening 2nd September – Medieval Night - £25 with tickets sold in advance (details)
- Medieval Banquet
- Entertained by Professional Actors
Sunday Afternoon 3rd September – Jazz, Wine, Cider & Beer Festival - £10 with tickets sold in advance (details)
- Panama Jazz Band
- Festival as per Friday
Further details can be obtained from the events contact Steve Collings firstname.lastname@example.org
These events follow on from the previous successful occasions:
Saturday 8th April – Ladies Wine Tasting.
45 ladies from both The Lodge of Agriculture and the community, came together to join in the fun and promote the events for 2017.
The Ladies selected the wine over a buffet, made notes, of which wines were selected for the main event in September.
Also, during the evening, brief talk about the work of The Lodge of Agriculture, Province, Grand Lodge and International Freemasonry, which was very well received.
Saturday 20th May – Community Dinner
A Gourmet Dinner was held to not only present cheques and Equipment to local organisations, but allow the representatives to discuss their organisation and what our donations will be used for:
Cleeve, Claverham and Yatton Scouts - £500 of Equipment
Yatton Youth Club - £750 combined from Lodge of Agriculture and George Norman Mark Lodge towards major refurbishment of building
Ups & Downs - £1000 towards the running of the charity
Yatton Rugby Club - £750 towards defibrillator and Under 17’s Rugby Tour
Yatton Judo – Donation for Crash Mat to be provided later in the year.
Tynte Lodge assists Ups and Downs
With help from the Provincial “Match Funding” initiative Tynte Lodge presented a cheque for £750 to the Ups and Downs Charity at Westonzoyland. Ups and Downs are a local group that cater for the needs of Downs Syndrome children and their families, Assistance starts as soon as a family is aware that their child is to be born with this syndrome and continues throughout the life of the child with advice and up-to-date information.
The photograph shows Tony Saunter, the Worshipful Master of Tynte presenting the cheque to Jacqueline, finance director for the Charity.
News from Lodges July 2017
Estune Lodge assist at Tough as Nails Charity Assault Course
The ”Tough as Nails" (TAN) annual Nailsea Charity Assault course recently took place which was organised by Estune's Mark Raby, who is also the local Police Sergeant. Estune Lodge members including the Assist PGM Martin Slocombe, assisted as part of the TAN team alongside the local police and Army contingent. This year the event raised £500 for the Fight for Freddy operation fund, £200 Royal Marines fund & about £1300 for the Tough As Nails local charity fund for the youth Shelter in Nailsea.
Members of Estune Lodge acted as stewards for the day wearing the new Masonic regalia!
Tynte Lodge Make Presentation to Elliot’s Touch Charity
W. Bro Chris Marchmont PrGDC presenting a cheque to Elliot’s Parents, Paul and Donna Stevens
Tynte Lodge 7994 have recently donated £750 from their benevolent fund with match funding from the province to the Elliot’s Touch charity which was set up in memory of a little boy called Elliot who died nearly 3 years ago of cardiomyopathy & mitochondrial disease (similar to Charlie Gard who has been in the news recently and very sadly also passed away).
Elliot’s story begins with his birth on the 26th January 2014. Elliot was a beautiful blue eyed boy who was always so happy and contented with a smile for all who met him. He was so wanted and loved and his mummy and daddy, Donna and Paul enjoyed ten wonderful months with him until their lives were changed forever when he became seriously ill on the 15th of November 2014.
The 15th started as a normal Saturday for Elliot but by midday it was obvious he was unwell and as a precaution Donna took him to Taunton’s Musgrove Park Hospital where his condition deteriorated rapidly and he suffered several cardiac arrests in a matter of hours, being only saved on each occasion by the tenacity of paediatric consultants who soon realised that they were unable to cope with his condition and they called in help from Bristol Children’s Hospital. An ambulance was despatched from Bristol and Elliot was transferred to the paediatric intensive care unit at the children’s hospital but before the ambulance left for Bristol the seriousness of Elliot’s illness was made very clear by the senior consultant accompanying him in the ambulance who warned that there was a chance he would not survive the journey. Donna and Paul made the trip to Bristol a little way behind the ambulance and on arrival were relieved to find Elliot had survived. Shortly after his admission doctors diagnosed Elliot as suffering from dilated cardiomyopathy, a very serious condition in one so young.
In the days and weeks which followed there were some signs of improvement but despite intense drug therapy and the very best efforts of so many dedicated and skilful people Elliot’s overall condition continued to deteriorate and Donna and Paul were told his only chance of survival was a heart transplant which could only be performed at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) in London. More devastating news was to follow when they were told that acceptance on the transplant list was and still is not automatic and that Elliot would need to go through a rigorous assessment process to gauge his suitability for transplant. There followed a very harrowing period of intense consultation between both hospitals, Donna and Paul prior to GOSH agreeing to take Elliot for full assessment.
Elliot was to spend his first Christmas at Bristol Children’s Hospital but by that time his condition had further deteriorated to the point where the cardiomyopathy had so affected the efficiency of his heart it could barely sustain his life, requiring surgeons to perform open heart surgical procedures in an attempt to improve his heart function. Despite the partial success of these procedures Elliot continued to deteriorate and heart specialists decided to use an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine to rest his heart allowing time for natural recovery assisted by drug therapy. The ECMO machine assists heart and lung functions by taking blood from the child’s body, artificially removing the carbon dioxide, then re-oxygenating the red cells and returning the blood to the body.
Surgeons at Bristol attached Elliot to the ECMO machine and were able to stabilise his condition but maintaining that stability required great skill on the part of doctor and nurses tasked with his care and with operating the ECMO on which his very survival depended. This was a very distressing time for Donna and Paul who not only had to witness the results of the almost brutal surgery necessary to attach the ECMO directly to Elliot’s heart but also had to cope with the minute by minute changes in his vital signs and the intensive activity of medical staff responding to multiple alarms generated by monitoring and automatic drug administering equipment. There were times, throughout his time in hospital, when Elliot was receiving drugs from 18+ automatic infusers continued .
On new year’s eve 2014 paediatric heart specialists at Great Ormond Street agreed to take Elliot for final in-patient transplant assessment which provided Donna and Paul with reason to be hopeful for his survival. Elliot’s total reliance on the ECMO machine complicated his transfer to London so arrangements had to be made for an ECMO equipped ambulance, at that time the only one in the country, to be driven from Leicester’s Glenfield hospital to Bristol to pick him up for onward transfer to GOSH. On the morning of new year’s day 2015 the ambulance duly arrived at Bristol and Elliot was successfully transferred into it and delivered to GOSH without complication with the exception that the streets of London were closed for the Lord Mayor’s new year parade requiring the ambulance to become part of it in order to get to GOSH — Elliot’s one claim to fame.
Within a days of arriving at GOSH Elliot was taken off the ECMO, which is only considered as a short term solution, and attached to a left ventricular assist device (LVAD). The LVAD effectively takes the place of the left ventricle by continuously taking blood from it and moving it to the aorta, which then delivers oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. The tubes carrying Elliot’s blood to and from the LVAD can be quite clearly seen in some of the pictures. The device is often referred to as a bridge to transplant but Elliot was still a little way from being considered suitable for transplant. The LVAD did however give time for the assessment to take place and shortly before his first birthday he was placed on the transplant list despite there being some signs of mitochondrial disease in his heart tissue.
At this time things appeared to be going better, even though Elliot was still very poorly, the swelling of his left ventricle seemed to be to be shrinking and his heart function showed signs of improvement. This did not last however and Elliot was to suffer several strokes as a result of blood clots caused by the LVAD, which is a known risk associated with use of these devices. Whilst he appeared to be suffering some paralysis scans showed no significant effect on his brain but with the risk of further strokes together with the slight improvements in heart function it was concluded that Elliot would be less at risk if he were taken off the LVAD. So with further invasive surgery the LVAD was disconnected and for some while Elliot was stable, even breathing without the need for the ventilator which he had been relying on for most of his time in hospital.
Over the weekend of the 28th February 2015 Elliot suffered a series of setbacks, including contracting sepsis and his heart function began to deteriorate once again. Doctors informed Donna and Paul that Elliot’s only hope was for him to be put back on the LVAD which would require further surgery but that carrying out the procedure with him so poorly was not without risk. Donna and Paul duly gave their consent and on the 2nd of March Elliot was successfully re-attached to the LVAD during his fifth four hour open heart operation. He returned to the intensive care ward which had been his home since arriving at GOSH on new year’s day and all seemed under control until sometime during the night when his condition worsened and he passed away despite the efforts of some of the best doctors in the world.
Donna and Paul were devastated at the loss of their beautiful little boy, having been at his side every day during his almost four months in hospital they had been in awe of the resilience and sheer determination to live of their brave hero. It was at this time they vowed to form a charity in Elliot’s name with the aim of raising funding to research and raise awareness of cardiomyopathy in children and mitochondrial disease , a possible cause of cardiomyopathy for which there is currently no cure, in the hope that one day other children will not have to suffer in the way Elliot did. True to their word Elliot’s Touch was formed in June of 2015 with the help and under the umbrella of the Somerset Community Foundation. In its first year Elliot’s Touch raised in excess of £40,000 as a result of Donna and Paul’s dedication and the help of an army of family, friends and complete strangers.
More details can be found at https://www.elliotstouch.org
Severn Lodge Receive Ashlar Number Four
On Saturday 22nd July APGM W. Bro Martin Slocombe presented the 4th ashlar to W. Bro Neil Pimm (charity steward, centre) and WM W.Bro Steve Wilson in recognition of £24,710.45p donated so far by the 38 members of Severn lodge to the 2020 festival appeal.
Vivary Lodge Make Presentation to Air Ambulance
The sum of £475 was raised when members, wives and partners of Vivary Lodge attended a Christmas Gathering, at the home of the then Master, Chris George and his wife Rachel
The cheque for this was recently handed to Tina Viksna, the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance fund raising manager, by Alwyn Clegg and Bhuvnesh Bhalla, the father in law of the host and the Lodge Treasurer respectively.
Tina said that she and her colleagues are grateful for the continued and generous support of Vivary and other Masonic lodges to ensure a much valued service can continue to save lives.
This contribution is a precursor to a presentation of £15,000 being made by the Provincial Grand Master at Henstridge airfield, the air ambulance base, in August as part of the Tercentenary Celebrations. This 300th celebration is also being celebrated with an Open Day at Taunton Masonic Hall on the 30th of September.
End of an Era at Rickford for Forest of Mendip Lodge
The members of the Forest of Mendip Lodge who attended the last ever meeting at Rickford
And guess what, when we move there will be no cow pats, no brown shoes and a Happy D.C. knowing that everyone has reached the Festive Board.
Many a brother has had to be towed out of the field before the race to our dining venue which have included the Burrington Village hall, The Burrington Inn, Coombe Lodge and other places including two stints at Blagdon Village Club.
Our last meeting was held on Friday 30th June with 75 members & visitors dining, it was a Happy meeting tinged with sadness, but because of rising costs for the upkeep of Rickford Chapel it was decided to move to Yatton.
The festive board was a very enjoyable and happy event, we had two raffles and we auctioned a print of the Lodge and a painting as memories of our time at Rickford, the magnificent amount of £850 was raised, for our Worshipful Masters Charity,"The Nolan Trust"
The Brethren of the Forest of Mendip would like to thank all of our visitors over the years who have supported us.and we would like to say please visit us at Yatton, we may have moved our Lodge meeting place but we are still the same band of Happy Forest of Mendip Masons The photo is of the members who attended the last meeting at Rickford.
Ray Beckingham. L.I.O.
A New Tenant at Taunton Masonic Hall
When clearing leaves in the car park of Taunton Masonic Hall the caretaker, Hayley Hunt, was surprised to discover a well camouflaged wild duck sitting on a clutch of eggs. Care has been taken not to disturb it and a bowl of clean water has been provided. Fingers remain crossed that the local cats do not detect her or that any ducklings fall prey to seagulls.
(It has been reported that W Bro Charlie Barker is undecided whether to charge the duck for parking or to propose any male ducklings as candidates for Richard Huish Lodge)
Gordano Lodge make charitable donations to Julian Trust and Freewheelers EVS
Two cheques for £600 each were presented to Vera Sanders of The Julian Trust and Mark Green representing Freewheelers EVS. The presentation of the two cheques took place at one of Gordano Lodges Sunday Lunches at Clevedon Masonic Hall on Sunday 11th of June.
The Julian Trust is also known as The Bristol night Shelter. It is open 5 nights a week throughout the year and over the Christmas period, where homeless people and rough sleepers are served dinner and breakfast. Such things as laundry and washing facilities are provide, and clean fresh clothing is provided where needed. Most nights they deal with between 80 and 100 "guests", double the number of five years ago when they averaged about 40 a night. In the winter, their services become more necessary in the cold weather. They receive no government or council funding and are totally dependent on charitable donations. Not all homeless people are down and outs, some have fallen on hard times through no fault of their own, and are trying hard to improve their lot. We in Freemasonry are fortunate enough to have the support of our Brethren if we fall on hard times, some people do not have that support and so are worthy of our help and support.
Freewheelers Emergency Volunteer Service is, as it says, a service provided to the National health service by volunteer bikers.
Most hospitals operate a daytime internal courier service to ferry diagnostic specimens, blood, notes, x-rays, frozen breast milk for premature babies and other medical equipment between themselves and other hospitals in the area.
But in the evening and at weekends and Bank holidays hospitals need to make other arrangements for those items that need to be transported there and then. Since 1990 Freewheelers EVS have provided a courier service to the NHS without any charge. Run entirely by volunteers, they deploy at least 3 motorbikes at the request of NHS units throughout week-nights, all weekends and Bank holidays including Christmas across our area, which stretches from Taunton to Thornbury, an across to Chippenham, Devizes, Frome and Glastonbury. Again a purely volunteer organisation receiving no government or council funding, and so dependant on charitable giving. In 2008, the volunteers were awarded the Queens Award for Voluntary Service, an award equivalent to an MBE and the highest honour that any voluntary group can be given.
The monies raised by Gordano Lodge were "match funded" by Somerset Province, which was mentioned to the recipients at the presentation and they both expressed their gratitude not only to Gordano Lodge, but to Somerset Province as well. They also enjoyed their lunches.
Being one of the smaller Lodges, large amounts of money are hard to come by, but the money was raised by holding several "open" Sunday lunches which included an open invitation to our widows and relatives, and by the generosity of the Brethren of Gordano Lodge 6244.
W Bro Brian S. Clayton WM
Gordano Lodge 6244
Elizabethan Lodge raise more than £3800 for Youth Orchestra Charity
The members of Elizabethan Lodge of Bath Freemasons have raised £3884 for OpenUp Music, the Bristol-based charity responsible for the creation of The South West Open Youth Orchestra (SWOYO), the first disabled-led regional youth orchestra in the country.
OpenUp Music exists to help young disabled musicians to play a musical instrument, to develop their musicianship, and to experience the joy of performing as part of an orchestra for the very first time. Their Musical Director, Doug Bott, who conducted the concert, said afterwards:
"The South-West Open Youth Orchestra was delighted to give its Bath Fringe Festival debut at Bath Masonic Hall. Live performance is such an essential part of development for all young musicians and it was a joy to bring our music to life in such an historic and beautiful venue. We are extremely grateful to the Elizabethan Lodge for making us so welcome and for their generous donation to this, the UK's only regional disabled-led youth orchestra."
The money had been raised by the Lodge over the previous eighteen months through raffles at their regular meetings, generous donations from friends and colleagues, and fundraising events including the Lodge’s annual Ladies Festival at Cumberwell Golf Club in April.
The cheque was presented to one of the musicians, Ben Pollard, by the Master of Elizabethan Lodge, Malcolm Toogood, at the end of their Festival Fringe concert on Thursday 8th June 2017. The concert was also filmed live by the BBC to be broadcast on Thursday 15th June as part of BBC Music Day 2017.
Front (left to right), Musicians:
Ben Pollard (with cheque)
Left Front - Barry Farrimond, Chief Executive OpenUp Music
Left Rear - Doug Bott, Musical Director OpenUp Music
Right - Malcolm Toogood, Elizabethan Lodge
£3000 for Weston-super-Mare Sea Cadets
This year Weston Sea Cadets will celebrate their 70th Birthday. Over 100 boys and girls, between 10 and 18 years of age, attend the twice weekly meetings where volunteer ex-Naval personnel provide guidance and training.
The £3000 donation from the Brethren of Wessex Lodge will help fund activities and provide equipment for the Cadets and assist with visits to the traditional Naval bases at Dartmouth, Plymouth and Portsmouth.
News from Lodges May 2017
Brother Malcolm Ness Initiated into Queen’s College Lodge
On 13th May Malcolm Ness was initiated into Queen’s College Lodge.
Another unique Queen’s ceremony very well received by our 30+ guests. It was an evening when all those doing floor work distinguished themselves.
The Initiation ceremony was carried out by WBro Jim Virjee, IPM, seen congratulating Bro Malcolm with Wm Geoff Dolling looking on. Dates for Malcolm’s initiation last year had to be postponed so our current Worshipful Master very thoughtfully invited WBro Jim to conduct the ceremony which included a demonstration of the ‘Masonic Chain’, resuming the Chair to continue the remainder of the business.
LIO Queen’s 6988
Queen’s College Lodge attend Tercentenary Ball
Fourteen brethren supported Worshipful Master Geoff Dolling and his wife, Sally, at the Somerset Provincial Ball on 13th May at the Webbington Hotel and Spa, Axbridge, held as part of the celebrations marking the Tercentenary of English Freemasonry. Among our number on the two tables we were privileged to have the company of the Deputy PGM, John Winston (an honorary member) his wife Lin and the Wm of Bovey Tracey Lodge 8698 (a regular guest) and his wife Jackie.
LIO Queen’s 6988
Teddies return to Paulton Hospital
During their year in the Chair of their respective Lodges they raised the required funds to provide a supply of the much loved teddies to the Hospital.
The teddies were presented in May and have already brought comfort to upset children attending the MIU.
In the photograph, from left to right, are: -
Kevin Chard, Helen Hunt; Minor Injuries Nurse, Bernice Drew; Radiographer, Tom Knight; Trainee Radiographer, Jill Flower; Minor Injuries Manager, Kelly Vaughan; Health Care Assistant Minor Injuries and Frank Silver.
Estune & Tyntesfield support “Tough as Nails”
The money has been donated to enable the youth of Nailsea to take part in a Charity Assault Course that will help in raising funds for the Nailsea Youth Shelter.
John Wyatt (Estune) & Dave Grounsell (Tyntesfield) stated they were pleased to support the event so as to help both the youth of Nailsea and the local Community at large.
Cheques we received by Julie Raby & Donna Jordan from Carpe Diem Boot Camp who run the event with help from the Nailsea Police Beat Team led by Sgt. Mark Raby.
Donna said “We really appreciate the support to enable the youth of Nailsea to take part in outdoor activities that raise much needed funds for local causes”.
The Members of Estune will also be stewarding at the event
News from Lodges March 2017
Queens College Lodge Installation
The passing of a resolution to remit a further £1,500 to Province for the 2020 Festival produced a fourth Ashlar from the pocket of Presiding Officer VW Deputy PGM John Winston, kept in case of need like the good Scout he is (was a District Commissioner!) and presented this to WBro Jim Wiltshire, Charity Steward, who had confirmed that the Provincial Match Funding Scheme agreed to contribute £1,000 to increase the amount shortly to be presented to the Taunton Association for the Homeless to nearly £4,500.
To a packed lodge and with Past PGM Stanley Hopkins looking on Wm Jim Virjee began the Extended Working Installation ceremony to install his successor, WBro Geoff Dolling. To say he was excellent was an understatement – he was superb! The commitment and effort which has characterised Jim’s twelve months in the Chair shone through the entire ceremony for which he justifiably received great credit.
Very generously, WBro Lionel Frewin decided to return his Past Masters Jewel to the Lodge recently and it gave him great pleasure when he was invited to present it formally to WBro Jim. From the hallmarks, Toye Kenning said it was originally made in 1954. Sadly the name of the original holder was erased before it was presented to Lionel in 1985. For posterity, his name along with that of WBro Jim are engraved on it this time.
After an excellent festive board and quite late into the evening, our VW Deputy PGM was to be found behind the bar under the watchful eye of WBro Peter Thomas!
A successful and memorable meeting for our many guests who clearly thoroughly enjoyed the occasion if the enthusiastic thanks are anything to go by.
A hugely successful Ladies Night for Connaught Lodge!
The venue for the night was Cameley Lodge, the function room was set-out with suitable party decorations and tables seating 12. The hotel provided a superb meal which was enjoyed by all and the Director of Ceremonies, Neil Arthur conducted proceedings in an excellent manner.
The Ladies all received a gift and a raffle raised £250, the proceeds of which will be presented to an Alzheimer's Charity, the Worshipful Masters chosen charity for the occasion.
Photographs taken during the event can be viewed on the Connaught Lodge website:
News from Lodges January 2017
Frome Lodges donate more Teddies!
The Teddies are a great comfort to the children who are sometimes understandably very stressed depending on their injuries. Linda Green, one of the Healthcare Assistants at Frome insists they are a vital ingredient in keeping the children calm, sometimes even the teddies themselves getting bandaged can be a very useful distraction!
The Teddy bear liaison for the Freemasons at Frome, John Collier feels that supporting the hospital is a rewarding and satisfying use of Masonic resources. It is estimated that around 250 teddies are handed out at Frome Hospital in any one year which also demonstrates what a busy unit it is and just how popular the teddies are!
Pictured are Linda Green from the hospital, along with John Collier (Lodge Almoner) and Chris Stilton (Worshipful Master) of Royal Somerset Lodge
Fairway Sunday Lunch
This year, on Sunday 29th January, Fairway paid a return visit to Cameley Lodge in Temple Cloud where the Members, their Partners and other non-Masonic Guests all enjoyed an excellent meal in very pleasant surroundings avoiding the below par weather around that day!
Fairway Lodge meets 4 times a year, three of those Meetings (in April, June and September) being preceded by Golf at various locations around Somerset. The Lodge also took over the responsibilities of the Somerset Masonic Golf Society some years ago and arranges all “Masonic Golf” within the Province (matches against other Provinces, PGMs Golf Day etc).
If you would like to know more about Masonic Golf in Somerset you can contact the Lodge Secretary, Iain Robertson email@example.com.
Pictured right is the Worshipful Master for 2017, W Bro Tony Guthrie with his partner, Jayne.
Tynte Burns Night
In keeping with tradition the haggis was piped in and addressed by W. Bro. Chris Marchmont (in his best Robbie Burn’s accent) before it was carved and then served along with the usual whiskey gravy.
Following the meal the guests were entertained by Bro. Ian Moore’s extremely amusing toast to the memory of Robbie Burns.
After the formalities a local trio provided musical accompaniment while everyone a relaxed social gathering.
Dai Wood (obviously a honorary Scotsman)
Information Officer, Tynte Lodge
Bath Masonic Hall Celebrates 150 Years
The assembled audience were treated to a humorous enactment of the opening of a Lodge by W Bro. John Townsend assisted by the Masters of the other six Bath Lodges W Bro. Malcolm Toogood then related a very interesting and informative talk on the history of Masonry in Bath with particular reference to the events leading up to the acquisition of the building. (Even the most enlightened of the audience learnt something new about this fine old building!).
The “formal” part of the evening was followed by a delicious buffet and a late night disco with tour Guides in attendance to provide our guests with the opportunity to explore the building and learn about its chequered past.
A full account of the evening can be found on the Old Theatre Royal Website. www.oldtheatreroyal.com
Phil Cottrell, WM Royal Albert Edward Lodge No. 906
Sir Thomas de Cheddre Presentation to Frenchay After Burns Children’s Unit
In part celebration of having served a second term as WM of Sir Thomas de Cheddre Lodge 9188, W. Bro. Geoff Adams stood in at our January Meeting while his successor took a well-earned break.In doing so he was able to arrange a small presentation to one of his and Sue’s favourite charities, the Frenchay After Burns (FAB) Children’s Club which aims to support and help children to recognise that their hopes and goals are still the same and achievable as any other child in spite of suffering from highly traumatic injuries.
To emphasise the work of the FAB Charity the brethren of 9188 received a talk from Mrs Cathy Marsh a nurse and FAB Trustee at the (now based) Bristol Children’s Burns Unit. Cathy was accompanied by her husband Nick who is also a Trustee. This was followed by a short presentation from Geoff and the donation of cheque for £700 by the Charity Steward, W. Bro. David Harris, on behalf of 9188.
During his second term as WM of Sir Thomas de Cheddre Lodge 9188, W. Bro. Geoff Adams (and his wife Susan) aimed to support two local charities; the Frenchay After Burns (FAB) Children’s Club and the Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary. Having presented a cheque for £700 to FAB in January, Geoff accompanied by W. Bro. Frank Kendall (Chaplain) presented a similar cheque to Holly Hedge at Barrow Gurney on the 27th February.
Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary was founded in 1982 by Pauline Leeson with the aim to provide a safe haven for cats and dogs until caring, permanent and responsible new owners can be found. It is an independent charity which relies on the generosity and goodwill of its supporters to meet its £475,000 annual running costs.
Pictured left is Pauline receiving the cheque from Geoff. Also in the photo left to right are Nicky Leeson (HH), Janet Temperton (HH), Pat Moon, Frank Kendall and Angela Millard (HH) with Susan, Winnie and Buddy in the foreground.
W.Bro Tony Schofield
Lodge Information Officer - 9188
Perpetual Friendship’s Warming Winter Wander
Perpetual Friendship enjoyed some pre-dinner Cocktails followed by a visit to a local Thai Restaurant.
The evening proved to be great success, as we all enjoyed some freshly prepared dishes with strong aromatic components and a spicy edge.
The evening was made that little bit more special; as we were joined by members of other Bridgwater lodges.
By coincidence, there just so happened to be a birthday celebration (always a good reason for the pre-dinner Mojitos).
We must also acknowledge the sturdy efforts of Charity Steward Matthew Redman who kindly organised another great evening.
Lodge Information Officer 135