Congratulations to all those Monmouthshire Masons who received their first Provincial Appointment, first Passed Provincial Appointment or Promotion. All greatly deserved. These Provincial Appointments and Promotions to be made by the Rt Worshipful Provincial Grand Master at the Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge on the 28th October 2019.
A detailed listing of addresses of Brethren appointed and promoted will appear in the Monmouthshire Masonic Directory which will be circulated to all Lodges during September. Any amendments will be updated from the Provincial Office early in October.
Great end to the inter province clay shoot between Monmouthshire, Bristol and Wiltshire. Well done to the Province of Bristol for winning the three round competition with Monmouthshire a close second and Wiltshire a close third. Individual scores – Richard Keen 1st with 87/100. Bristol’s John Hemming coming joint 2nd with Monmouthshire’s Kevin Phillips shooting 84/100. Thanks go to Peter and Larry from the Province of Wiltshire for organising Sundays final round at Barbury Castle Shooting Ground in Wiltshire. Pictures include WBro Paul Burley (secretary of Monmouth Masonic Clay Shooting Association) presenting the winners shield to WBro John Hemmings (secretary of Bristol Masonic Clay Shooting Club) and a picture of the Bristol winning team. Look forward a rematch in the autumn.
Anyone interested in joining the Monmouthshire Masonic Clay Shooting Association should contact the secretary WBro Paul Burley at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wonderful 10 year celebration of Blue Lamp Lodge 9840. Huge thanks to WBro 324 Bob Jones for producing a fantastic booklet with the history of the Lodge& together with his wife Kaeren organising a fabulous celebration evening. £250 raised for charity. Great food & band. PGM/DPGM
The Monmouthshire demonstration team are performing a re-enactment of the original quarterly communication meeting in the Goose and Gridiron, at the forthcoming meeting of St Nicholas Lodge in the Province of Bristol. The date and time of the meeting is Saturday, 25th May at 1830hr. This is a rare chance to see this excellent (and slightly humorous) demonstration last performed in Monmouth as part of the tercentenary celebrations. Why not support Monmouthshire by arranging a lodge visit – please contact the St Nicholas treasurer Eric Sortwell if you wish to attend and dine as numbers are limited (email@example.com)
A Lovely afternoon yesterday at Newport Masonic Hall for ‘The Widows Spring Lunch’. A well attended event supported by Louise Triggs of the MCF ‘Advise and Support Team’. The PGM and and his wife, accompanied by the DPGM and his wife also supported this popular event organised by the ProvGAlm. A talk by the DPGM was both informative and interesting and gave a good insight into the various facets of his work as a serving police officer and was well received by all – thought there was a small disturbance resulting in the DPGM briefly detaining PGM in a light-hearted manner and to the amusement of all. The PGM was then released without further-a-do.
This hugely successful event raised £287, and was further enhanced by a donation of £250 from the Masonic Province of Monmouthshire for the Newport Masonic Ladies Club.
Photographs curtesy of the ProGAlm, W. Bro Vince White
I am extremely delighted to inform you that ‘Hospice of the Valleys’ has received a grant of £16,623 from the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) , and Hospice UK collaboration, the national charity for hospice care. The ‘Hospice of the Valleys’ is a specialist palliative care provider for patients across Blaenau Gwent. They will use the grant to create a 5-week programme that prepares carers/family members for the future when living with someone who has a dementia diagnosis. The programme will be multi-agency and will take an holistic approach to the dementia journey through the eyes of the carer. It will equip those family members/carers of people with a dementia diagnosis to carry on caring for their loved ones in the most appropriate and effective manner for that individual. The MCF is partnering with Hospice UK to develop and extend bereavement support services in hospices. Last year, the partnership funded nine grants and this year this has risen to 17 – with Monmouthshire receiving this substantial grant. Contributions from Freemasons to hospices have exceeded £13 million in England and Wales since 1984 and are continuing to increase at a rate of £600,000 a year.
Thank you again Brethren for your valuable contribution to this and all that you do to support Masonic charities.
Sincerely and Fraternally,
Provincial Grand Master
Tuesday 26 March 2019
Thousands of people across Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe whose lives have been devastated by Cyclone Idai will be given access to clean water, as well as tarpaulins, plastic sheets and other emergency supplies, thanks to a grant of £45,000 from the Masonic Charitable Foundation, the freemasons’ charity.
The money is being donated to Plan International UK which is working to help survivors, including young women and children, who are at particular risk.
The grant from the freemasons will provide jerry cans, water purification tablets and buckets to thousands of people who have lost everything and are at risk of potentially-deadly waterborne diseases.
Over 750 people have died in the three countries on the south-east coast of Africa with Mozambique suffering the highest human fatalities. As the death toll continues to rise, over 260,000 children have been affected in the country and at least 350,000 people are at risk from rising flood waters. In Malawi, close to a million people have been affected with nearly half a million being children.
Plan International UK is a member of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC). The DEC brings together 14 leading UK aid charities in times of crisis, to maximise the impact and help children and families who need it most.
The Masonic Charitable Foundation is funded by freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.
Ebbie Muhire (28) is sheltering at a church in southern Malawi with five family members including her youngest child, a three-year-old toddler.
“The challenges we are facing are mainly crowded and unpleasant sleeping areas and poor sanitation and hygiene facilities because our utensils were damaged in the rain and now we are all using same equipment.” Ebbie says. “The children, especially the young ones are at risk of getting sick.”
Tanya Barron, Chief Executive of Plan International UK said:
“We’re hugely grateful to the Masonic Charitable Foundation for supporting our disaster response in Southern Africa. This generous grant will make a big difference to thousands of people affected by this devastating cyclone and help get their lives back on track.”
Right Worshipful Brother Richard G Davies, Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Monmouthshire said:
“Cyclone Idai has devastated the lives of many thousands of people, with, as usual, women and children bearing the brunt of the suffering. I’m very pleased that the Masonic Charitable Foundation was able to move so quickly and provide funds for Plan International UK’s vital work at the heart of the disaster zone.”
THE PROVINCE OF MONMOUTHSHIRE HAS STRENGTHENED ITS RELATIONSHIP WITH THE NATIONAL GRAND LODGE OF ROMANIA, BY EXALTING THEIR GRAND MASTER AND GRAND SECRETARY AT THE HOMFRAY CHAPTER NO. 1562 MEETING ON 14TH MARCH 2019
Held at the recently refurbished Risca Masonic Hall, the Grand Master of the National Grand Lodge of Romania, Radu Balanesc, and the Grand Secretary, Catalin Tohaneanu, were exalted into Homfray Chapter by Third Grand Principal Gareth Jones OBE, who was ably assisted by Derek Thomas, Second Provincial Grand Principal, and Neil Mounter, Third Provincial Grand Principal.
The officers of the Chapter were exemplary in the ceremony – building on an already strong relationship – with the Province of Monmouthshire playing a key role in the introduction of the Mark degree and the Royal Arch into Romania.
Richard Davies, Grand Superintendent for Monmouthshire, remarked in his response: ‘This is a historical moment for Royal Arch masonry in Monmouthshire and Romania.’
There are 14,500 members in Romania and many are keen to expand their knowledge and enjoy being part of other degrees. Monmouthshire Companions are more than pleased to assist and appreciate the consideration of their Romanian friends for allowing them to be part of the establishment of the Royal Arch in their country.
The Striguil Chapter No. 2186 at Chepstow will be exalting 10 Romanian members at their next meeting, which will then bring the number of Romanian companions in Monmouthshire to 38.
At an emergency meeting of the Frederick Phillips Chapter 13 Romanian Brethren were exalted into the Holy Royal Arch. It was a spectacular occasion with much thought and effort put in to the preparation and execution of such an event. This is one of many exaltations that are planned within our Province as our Brethren from Romania are keen to enjoy the experience of being part of the ‘Supreme Degree’. We were very pleased to host them during their visit and everyone had an enjoyable time.
Worshipful Brother George Henry Reynolds has passed to the Grand Lodge above, although 100 years old he commanded respect and showed incredible enthusiasm as a Freemason. He was well known by many and will be sorely missed. Here he is pictured six months after being released as a Japanese Prisoner of War.
At the meeting of the St Georges Lodge in Tredegar a very unusual meeting was held where three initiates were all members of the same family. Everyone had a wonderful evening and without a doubt this will be remembered as something special not only for the Lodge but the family also.
Hospital salutes Welsh support
For their strong support of the world-famous Eye Hospital in Jerusalem, the Templar knights of the Province were presented with a highly prized Award in January.
A senior representative of the Hospital travelled from London to Neath specifically in order to make the Award to the province at the Installation meeting of Castell Nedd Preceptory – a sparkling occasion at which the Eminent Preceptor, E Kt Mark Nicholls, installed his successor E Kt Lee Saunders in the chair.
The Great Sword Bearer of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem E Kt Jamie Ingham-Clark, (who is also a Trustee and member of the Board of the Hospital) praised the brethren of Wales for their generosity and he officially announced that the knights of our province had now exceeded the target that had been set for the achievement of a Swift Award.
He therefore expressed great pleasure at being able to present a heavy bronze sculpture of “A Swift in flight” to the Provincial Prior of Monmouth and South Wales, RE Kt Dr Paul Calderwood.
The Provincial Prior expressed the admiration of the brethren for the great work of the hospital (which is performed in one of the most troubled areas of the world) and he said how delighted and grateful the Brother Knights of Wales were to receive this beautiful mark of appreciation.
Fundraising for the hospital did not end at this point in the evening because subsequently the Provincial Prior was able to present the Hospital with a cheque for a further £1,000 and the new Eminent Preceptor of Castell Nedd Preceptory, E Kt Lee Saunders, presented it with another cheque for £150 – while an additional £160 was raised through the sale of hospital lapel badges
This hospital is the principal charity supported by the United Orders and it provides free treatment to men, women and children of all religions – in an area where eye problems are a major issue and where the rate of blindness is ten times higher than it is in the West.
The activity of the Order of Hospitallers in the 12th century, in having established a hospital in Jerusalem, is reflected today in the generous support given by the United Orders to the St John Eye Hospital Group based in Jerusalem.
The group runs hospitals at Jerusalem, Hebron and Gaza as well as a clinic and an outreach programme – all with a staff of more than 230 people and in 2015 it treats more than 125,000 patients each year.
What a lovely response from a distant visitor to our Province, it shows what an enjoyable fraternity we are.
‘Worshipful Master, Brother Wardens, Provincial Grand Master, Distinguished Brethren and Brethren All,
It has taken me 33 years to reach the Chair of King Solomon, which I did at the end of October last year. What soon became clear to me was that I should have done it sooner and for someone who has shied away from any form of public speaking – the Temple greetings and response to the Visitors toasts have been a real joy – according to my diary this is my 7th.
However tonight I do feel a little overawed by the occasion and indeed the illustrious company. I have an Official Provincial Visit this month myself. It is always an honour to be asked to respond, on behalf of the Visitors – but gosh tonight – what a wonderful ceremony and I do congratulate you Worshipful Master in taking that big step into the Chair of King Soloman, but within a Lodge that I am confident, will support you in all your lawful undertakings.
As Installing Master WBro Adrian, you Sir, were sublime and if you are free this coming Thursday 24th October in Gosport I have a small proposition to discuss with you later. ALL of the Officers have brought credit to this magnificient Lodge tonight and my heartest congratulations to you all and especially on the way that both the Addresses and Working Tools were presented, all were a true delight to listen too.
I had hoped to start this speech in Welsh and indeed spent some considerable time with Google and have to confess the sad result was only a ruptured tongue and now discovering that not everyone speaks Welsh anyway (Google 21.7%) – on that matter, hasn’t Welsh caught on as a language around here? Anyway as I failed in this noble tongue I thought the next best thing was to tell a story about Japanese as it sounds so similar to me.
On a visit to Japan, a brother was fortunate enough to be invited to a Lodge in Tokyo and at the Festive Board, the Official Visitor rather like myself this evening, stood up, bowed to the brethren, said KONICHEWA once to which the whole room bust into raptious applause and then sat down. A few days later our brother was in Yokoharma and was again invited to join a local Lodge, however this time he was asked to respond to the Visitors toast and when called by the Junior Warden stood up looked at the 3 tables in front of him, bowed saying KONICHEWA to each of them in turn – to his utter dismay, this met with total silence as he slumped down. Afterwards mortified at what he had done wrong he questioned his host, who just replied – you no worry, they just don’t like long speeches.
In my thanks I must also mention all the members from Prince of Wales Lodges who have travelled here tonight and particularly my own Lodge 1705 in Gosport, Hampshire, I am sure I speak for them all, in bringing hearty, warm and fraternal greetings from each of them and indeed from my own Provincial Grand Master of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, Right Worshipful Bro Michael J. Wilkes. Hopefully the name check will be noted, as I need all the assistance I can get towards my dark blue.
On the subject of visits, 1705 are, I believe, leading the way in establishing an “alliance” of Prince of Wales Lodges and so far, we from Gosport, Hampshire have visited: Ipswich, Newcastle, Belfast, Jersey, Stow-on-the-Wold, Glasgow, Bradford, LLangelli, Bray, Sutton, and Bury, we have also made contact and had a visit from the Executive Officer of the new Aircraft Carrier HMS Prince of Wales which on completion is to be based in Portsmouth Dockyard, Portsmouth Harbour is the eastern boundary of Gosport.
As we keep saying this evening, you are all very welcome to come and visit us, it took just 2¼ hours to travel from deep south to deep South, there is no language barrier – good news for the other 78.3%, what I can promise is a welcome as warm as you have given us. It was so nice to see Adrian and Tony put themselves out to visit our motley crew at Wetherspoons last night.
Finally can I thank WBro Tony Charles, esteemed Secretary of our host Prince of Wales – Albert Edward and WBro Trevor Conduit from my own Lodge for all their hard work in making tonight happen, it is much appreciated by us all, and if it is not too late to wish everyone “A Happy New Year” – BLEWYDDYN NEWYDD DDA*. I hope we have the opportunity to visit again – assuming that Brexit doesn’t have any effect on border crossings. Seriously, tonight I have enjoyed myself immensely, and continued my daily advancement in masonic knowledge, this shared with making new friends, what more could you ask for! Thank you all again.
Brother Junior Warden, thank you for the warm and kindly way you proposed our toast and to each and every brother here, for staying awake long enough to listen it, you may now turn your hearing aids down and enjoy the rest of the evening – goodnight my Brothers.’
Celebrating all the hard work of 2018, Freemasons Lodges are reminding us of how great our supporters have been the past year (as always) and also how great they still are in this New Year
AEPOW Lodge have raised an incredible £1028.50 from their Ladies Night + other events, as well as The Armed Forces Lodge raising a fantastic £600 from their Ladies Festival!
Well done to you all – you have done an awesome job over 2018 and we are very grateful to have your support in 2019 ❤️
This article courtesy of W. Bro. Ayd Martin
How do you support a family that have been told that their two year old son has cancer? That’s a frightening position that we hope neither our families or friends ever have to consider. The Brethren of St Georges Lodge in Tredegar when told of such a situation did what St Georges always do, they raised a considerable sum to assist them in such trying time.
Pictured are the family receiving a cheque for the magnificent sum of £2000 which had been raised by the Brethren.
‘There but for the grace of God’
Last night at the Kennard Lodge Christmas Meeting the Worshipful Master Kelvin Bendon presented a cheque of £500 to Ieuan Hockaday, the captain of the Pontypool and District Schools under 11’s year group with players, parents and Lodge members all in attendance.
Last year’s team were the D.C. Thomas Cup Winners (Under 11’s Welsh Cup winners) and also winners of the Persse tournament in Italy and this year’s team are so far undefeated this season and hope to do the same.
The Worshipful Master and Lodge members wished all the boys luck for the remainder of the season and maybe we have some future Masons in the making!
The evening was a huge success with over £500 raised for local charities including £200 to the TLC (Teddies for Loving Care), supported by The Monmouthshire Light Blues Club giving comfort to those in The Children’s Assessment Unit at The Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport.
This article courtesy of W. Bro. Steve Price.
The widows of Monmouthshire Masons enjoyed a delightful ‘Carols and Mince Pies’ morning at Newport Masonic Hall earlier this week. The meeting was extremely well attended by over 80 and they held a very successful raffle which raised funds for a day trip out next year. The PGM RW Bro. Richard G. Davies is pictured circulating among the tables and mentioned how pleased he was at the success of the gathering.
Growing Space tackles the problems of social exclusion often experienced by people with mental health problems and encourages them to see themselves in a positive and constructive light and to maximise their unlimited potential. We have seen so many examples of how self esteem and self worth is built among people who have been involved with the project. Growing Space concentrates upon each individual’s ability and not inability.”
At the Charles Lyne Installed Masters Lodge Installation meeting this evening, the Director of Ceremonies Cup was presented by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master. The criteria of qualifying for the cup is the most improved and best presented DC during the previous year. Pictured above is the (left to right, VW Bro. Christopher Evens DPGM, WBro. Glynn Williams of the Gwent Lodge and the Provincial DC WBro. John Judd.) It is an award that is greatly prized and is only awarded to those who have excelled during their year in office.
Below is a close up of the commemorative glass presented to W. Bro Glynn as the original silver trophy resides at Newport Masonic Hall.
What a happy evening. Last evening there was a celebration dinner following the Silurian Royal Arch meeting, celebrating the long service and dedication that W. Bro. Robert Arundel had given to the Province over the 19 years that he had been on the executive of both Provincial Grand Lodge and Provincial Grand Chapter. The evening was well attended and both he and his good lady wife Margaret appreciated their gifts. I’m sure he will continue to support the Province for the foreseeable future.
Pictured is the RW PGM Richard G. Davies making the presentations during a very appreciative speech concerning W. Bro. Roberts dedication to Freemasonry in this Province and beyond.
On this the 100th Anniversary of the Great War, The Armed Forces lodge 9875 in Newport, Monmouthshire have donated £500 to a military charity. Blind Veterans UK was founded in 1915 and the charity’s initial purpose was to help and support soldiers blinded in the First World War. But the organisation has gone on to support more than 35,000 blind veterans and their families, spanning the Second World War to recent conflicts including Iraq and Afghanistan.
For more than a century, the charity has been providing vital free training, rehabilitation, equipment and emotional support to blind and vision-impaired veterans no matter when they served or how they lost their sight.
Visit blindveterans.org.uk/support to learn more about the charity and how you can support its vital work today.
The Worshipful Master, W.Bro Clive Jones, himself a totally blind former Welsh Guardsman, was presented with a cheque for £500 by Rt.W.Bro Richard G Davis The Provincial Grand Master for Monmouthshire. at their closest meeting to the 100th Anniversary.
The donation of £500 will go towards helping those regain their confidence and independence whilst living with sight loss.
This donation is just one of many given to charities both locally and nationally as well as to individuals since the Armed Forces Lodge consecration in 2013.
The Monmouthshire Light Blues Club Chairman, Secretary and Communications Officer attended the 4th annual New and Young Masons Conference at Cardiff Masonic Hall on Saturday 27th October. The themes of the conference were standards, engagement and progression. With seventy delegates representing seventeen Clubs from England, Wales and Hong Kong, many ideas were shared and acquaintances made. The conference concluded with a triple Initiation Ceremony by the Universities Lodge No. 5461, with all three Mon. Light Blues Club attendees actively participating. Next year the conference will be hosted by the Leicester and Rutland Light Blues Club, and Monmouthshire will sure to be represented.
W Bro Huw Gallagher,
Secretary, Mon. Light Blues Club
Bro Paul Francis,
Chairman, Mon. Light Blues Club
The first of WBro George Reynolds’ 100th Birthday celebrations was held on Friday 20th July at Newport Masonic Hall. 160 Family and invited members of Monmouthshire Craft Lodges were present to mark this momentous occasion.
RtWBro Captain Sir Norman Lloyd Edwards accepted an invitation to attend as an Honorary member of the Armed Forces Lodge accompanied by a good number of Lodge members to present WBro George with an inscribed cut glass decanter to mark this landmark. Sir Norman, in his inimitable manner, spoke about Georges’ incredible war time experiences as well as his illustrious Masonic career.
RtWBro Richard G. Davies, Provincial Grand Master, commented that “it was most appropriate for Sir Norman to make the presentation on behalf of the Province and I know that it meant a great deal to WBro George. All of us would wish to add our congratulations to a wonderful active Mason still acting as Tyler at the age of 100. I would not be surprised if this was a unique occasion.”
VW Bro Chris Evans, Deputy Provincial Grand Master and Mandated Officer to the Armed Forces Lodge, had sent his apologies as he was away raising money for Masonic Charities participating in the Monte Carlo or Bust Rally, and said that “I hold George in the highest esteem, he is someone who I continue to admire and is a fantastic role model to us all. I offer him the heartiest of congratulations on his 100th Birthday”.
On Sunday the 22nd July, The Jasper Tudor Lodge (Georges mother Lodge) held a sumptuous buffet lunch where a short film of WBro George when he was interviewed by VW Bro Chris Evans giving detail of his time in the war and his experiences as a Japanese prisoner of war was presented by WBro’s Tony Charles and Paul Burley. WBro. Jonathan Roberts then gave a presentation giving dates and ages that George had been during his illustrious Masonic career. RWBro David Powell (The PGM of the Mark degree) then presented WBro George with a 100 year certificate issued by the Grand Master. WBro Nigel Roberts then read a letter from RWBro Richard Davies congratulating George on his achievement. The afternoon was finished off by George presenting the Tyler’s toast in his own inimitable way. This can be viewed on you tube by clicking on the link below.
The afternoon was a great success and the 100 who attended all enjoyed what must be a unique gathering.
Below is a photograph taken at AEPOWC, Strawberry Tea this year. The photo is of W. Bro. Vince White presenting cheques from our lodges to Mrs. Alison Aberdeen (Manager AEPOWC) and to his left is W.Bro. Alan Gardener (Chairman of the Friends of AEPOWC) and Assistant PGM of South Wales Province. The Friends of AEPOWC were delighted to receive so many cheques from our Province and the secretary will be writing to our lodge secretaries to thank them for these donations.
Pictured are, W. Bro. Kelvin on the left, his cousin Val centre and Franca from St David’s Hospice on the right when they presented a cheque for £1015 to St Davids.
Most of the monies raised came from the sales of a five track CD. The words of the title track “No More” were written by Val in memory of her late husband Graham Brettell who was nursed at home by St David’s Hospice (CD’s are available from Kelvin at Timpson’s, Austin Friars). After reading the words of a poem written by Val, it inspired Kelvin to write the music for the track, which is performed touchingly by Michael Cornford. Hopefully the song will give some comfort to those who have lost loved ones.
The rest of the money raised came from the sale of various prints of the “The Chartist Mural” which Kelvin sells consistently in aid of local charities.
Around 80 Ladies including 12 Lodge Almoners attended the event which was hosted by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master. VW Bro. Chris Evans. There was a talk entitled “Travelling the World” which was given by the Provincial Grand Almoner, W. Bro. Vince White along with a PowerPoint slide show of pictures. The raffle raised £363.00 which was given to the Newport Ladies Group. A good time was had by one and all. Also, as the Province is celebrating 200 years of Monmouthshire Freemasonry on 1st June this year, it has been decided by the executive to donate to the Newport Masonic Ladies Club as a one off gesture the sum of £250.00 for them to use for the benefit of their members.
Friday 20th April saw twenty-three Monmouthshire Light Blues Club members attend the Llantarnam Lodge on a Fraternal Visit for a Ceremony of Initiation. This was the first Fraternal Visit by the Club in its inaugural year, and the Club was rewarded with a superb Initiation Ceremony led by the Worshipful Master and his Officers. The Club was supported by the presence of the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Richard G. Davies.
A long weekend trip organised by WBro Mark Woodhouse of Silurian Lodge together with the above Brethren made a fraternal visit to Royal Sussex Lodge No 491 Province of Jersey on the occasion of their Installation Meeting and in particular to meet with former Chaplin of Silurian Lodge Bro Rev’d Michael Phillips who is now Chaplian of The Royal Sussex Lodge since his move from Cwmbran to take up a Crown appointment of Rector of St Peters Church St Helier.