A chance meeting in a flanders field

 

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John Mayo (second from right) of Vassar-Smith Lodge has just returned from Belgium where he attended the Passchendaele centenary commemorations. In a small cemetery near Ypres, he and his sister Margaret laid a wreath on the grave of their Great-uncle Jim. He was also the uncle of Jim (Vale of Castiard Lodge) and Phil Blatchly (also Vassar-Smith), said John.

When we arrived, there were a number of old cars parked outside, all proudly sporting the Welsh Dragon.  We thought no more of it, but after laying the wreath and about to walk around the rest of the cemetery, I noticed a chap who bore a startling resemblance to Bob Jones from just over the border in Monmouthshire. As we closed on each other, I realised it was Bob, together with Chris Evans, the Deputy PGM for Monmouthshire and Joe Price another Chepstow Past Master, all accompanied by their wives. Bob had driven his Morris Minor, Chris his Triumph Stag and Joes wife Sarah, an Alfa-Romeo.

Commenting on the photo, John said, Sadly, the lens appears to have distorted some of us around the waistline!

The cemetery was also the last resting place of the poet Hedd Wyn and BBC2 was present, filming for a programme to be broadcast this Saturday. HRH The Prince of Wales visited this grave the following day after the commemoration at Tyne Cot.

This article, written by W. Bro. John Mayo of the Province of Gloucestershire forwarded courtesy of W. Bro. Bob Jones.

3rd Annual car show a huge success

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What a fantastic show!! Over 200 exhibitors at the 3rd Annual Classic Vehicle show in Monmouthshire. We had it all, wonderful cars, wonderful weather and many visitors to view them. Exhibitors were free and it was only £5 per car to come and view them. All for local charities and good causes. We finished the day off with an evening event which included a Queen tribute band, the figures aren’t finalised yet but it is likely to be many thousands of pounds. Many thanks to all who participated and we look forward to seeing you next year. Not forgetting also, many thanks to all those who gave their time helping to organise such a wonderful day and evening.

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Light Blues club is up and running!

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A few pictures from the launch of the Monmouthshire Light Blues Club. The aim of the group is to promote active participation by its members in the full scope of Freemasonry by organising events which encourage all new and young Freemasons of Monmouthshire to meet, socialise and explore the inner meaning of the Craft.

Fundraising for the TLC hospital teddies is also high on their list and we wish them well with their endeavours.

A ‘new’ sword for the blue lamp lodge.

At the Installation of Blue Lamp Lodge on 25.5.17, the W.M. WBro. Ken Baker was unable to attend owing to ill health which resulted in the Lodge Secretary, WBro. R.M. Jones taking the Chair to install the Master Elect, WBro. D.W. Llewellyn.

Bro. Andy Goodall of the Beaufort Lodge, Swansea attended the meeting.   Bro. Goodall, a South Wales Police Dog Handler presented to the Lodge a Mounted Police Officers sabre of the former Oxford City Police to be used as a Tylers sword.

Bro Goodall is to become a joining member of Blue Lamp Lodge.

Attached  are photographs of WBro. Brian Bevan, Lodge Tyler with the sword, two pictures of the sword and a picture of WBro. D.W. Llewellyn, WBro. R.M. Jones and Bro. A. Goodall with the sword.

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This article courtesy of W. Bro. R.M.Jones

A masonic poem

Have you ever wondered what Masons do when we attend our Lodges?

We form a queue and parade into the Temple; you may well think we are all mental!!

The Worshipful Master is standing there and opens the Lodge with a humble prayer.

A ritual to perform is usually the norm, the lights go dim, a candidate is lead in, he is told a story, which some may say is a little gory.

About an ancient Brother called Hiram Abiff; who some say is a myth, but we know him as the widows son.

After the ceremony and the work is done the Master rises from the chair and we close the Lodge with solemn prayer.

Why not come and join us there?

Happy to meet, sorry to part and happy to meet again.

Written by W. Bro. Ray J. Jones Past Master of the Silurian and Isca Lodges

Monmouthshire Widows spring luncheon

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The Widows Spring Lunch was held at Newport Masonic Hall and was a great success. The event was hosted by the Provincial Grand Master and the guest speaker was Mr.Clive Hard, a retired physiotherapist who gave an informative and interesting talk on the benefits of gentle exercise which everyone found interesting and hopefully will benefit from. After the talk a lunch was served and the day continued with convivial conversation by all. £165 was raised for the Osteoporosis Charity and this was presented to Mr. Clive Hard.

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This article courtesy of W. Bro. Vince White.

What an honour!

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What a fine example of a Mason, W. Bro. John Judd of the St John’s Lodge has been honoured by Grand Lodge. He has been invested as an active Assistant Grand  Director of Ceremonies. Without doubt, an honour well deserved.

 

VC memorial stones unveiled at Grand Lodge

Copy and paste the link below in to your browser for a two minute film showing some of the highlights of the unveiling ceremony of the 63 stones laid in memory of the Freemasons who won the Victoria Cross.

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Goose and Gridiron Presentations

The Monmouthshire demonstration team who re enacted the first meeting held 300 yrs ago at the Goose & Gridiron. c79pg_awkaynzfq1

What a wonderful evening celebrating the origins of United Grand Lodge. The demonstration team will be performing around the Province over the next two months.

Director of Ceremonies Cup

At the Charles Lyne Lodge of Installed Masters meeting last Thursday, part of the itinerary was to present the Director of Ceremonies cup. This cup is awarded to the Lodge Director of Ceremonies who has shown excellence throughout the year within his Lodge and the after proceedings.

Below is pictured Worshipful Brother Paul Wadsworth who without doubt fully deserved the award.

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Pictured below is W. Bro. Paul flanked by the RW Provincial Grand Master, the Deputy provincial Grand Master and members of the St Johns Lodge

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Her W. Bro. Paul is being congratulated by W. Bro. John Judd, the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies and also a member of the St Johns Lodge.

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jasper tudor lodge maintain their reputation as charity champions!

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What a wonderful sum of money. The Jasper Tudor Lodge No. 4074, donated £4074 to the Monmouthshire 1997 trust fund which is dedicated to supporting local charities. Added to that was £425.30 raised in a raffle on the occasion of the Lodge Installation evening and a mysterious donation of 70 pence to make the total given a magnificent £4500. The funds were raised throughout the year by many different events. From raffles at Lodge meetings, guessing the weight of a pumpkin at the Provincial Grand Lodge meeting, a race night in May and a social evening in October, and a lottery bonus ball scheme but without doubt, the highest fundraiser was the event held in the Summer by the Maindee Martial Arts and Fitness Centre who raised many thousands of pounds towards helping young people achieve things that without the financial support of those around them they would never be able to do. As several Brethren are members of that group they were more than pleased to help the trust fund as well as their other good causes.

Pictured left to right

Deputy PGM Chris Evans (background) RWPGM Richard G Davies, Brother Aaron Gassor and W.Bro. Ben Waters.

Congratulations to the Lodge in general and all those who were instrumental in raising such a large sum of money to help those less fortunate than ourselves.

Anthony M. Halse

Monmouthshire masons travel to london

On Friday 10th February, Bro Andrew Price (The Armed Forces Lodge Charity Steward) was Installed into the Chair of Comrades Lodge 2740 (his mother lodge) at Freemasons Hall, Great Queen Street, London.

Comrades Lodge is a Lodge for serving or retired Warrant Officers and Senior ranks of the Guards Division.

There was massive support from Monmouthshire Masons, with over twenty making the trip to London, including The Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master and Deputy Provincial Grand Master.

Temple number 10 (the second largest temple in the building, which houses 23 temples), provided the stunning backdrop to a military style ceremony of West End workings.

The festive board was certainly one to remember with some fantastic speeches along with music accompaniment from three Scots Guards Pipers!

The pictures show:

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WBro Andy Price with his brother Steve, The Worshipful Master of Kennard Lodge 1258.

(Both Worshipful Masters of their Mother Lodges during the tercentenary year)

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The Comrades Lodge Painting

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WBro Andy Price with Rt WBro Richard Davies The Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master of Monmouthshire, WBro Chris Evans The Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Monmouthshire and WBro (Colonel) Bill Withers The Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

This article courtesy of W Bro. Steve Price.

A Glimpse of times past

 

This first paragraph is an extract taken from the Monmouthshire Merlin newspaper, in which the text has been updated to present day language. Reported 23rd April 1852

 The Masonic Festival: Monmouthshire Provincial Grand Lodge Meeting. Newport witnessed a very interesting spectacle on Wednesday, on the occasion of the provincial gathering of the brethren of this mystic bond.” Flags, emblazoned with Masonic emblems, with the banners of England and other nations, spanned High-street, from the Freemasons Hall, to the opposite house, and were also extended across the commencement of Stow-hill. Indeed, the principal parts of the town generally wore a gala appearance and the vessels in the port hoisted their colours, whilst the mellow-toned bells of St. Woollos rang out enlivening peals in honour of the occasion. The Freemasons Hall, High Street, where the Silurian Lodge met, was very tastefully decorated for the occasion, under the direction of Brother David Blackwood. Above the chair we observed an elegantly formed evergreen crown, into which were weaved, very tastefully, the early flowers of the season. The vice chair was surmounted by a chastely formed plume of feathers, with the Prince of Wales’s motto – “Ich Dien” or “I serve” and a scroll immediately underneath, with the words – “Audi, vide, tact,” or “Hear, see, and be silent.” Tasteful wreaths were also suspended over the various chairs, and around the room, the whole producing a beautiful and harmonious effect. The Brethren were indebted to Brother Thomas Powell, Esq., The Gaer, Brother Lyne, Brother Nicholas, and O. Morgan, Esq. M.P. for the lavish supply of flowers and evergreens, with which the lodge-room was decorated.  

(The article continues, but this extract gives us a clear picture of 19th century Provincial activities).

This article submitted by Bro. Ralph Collins

A new year message from the provincial grand master

Dear Brethren
As we step into 2017 , we prepare to celebrate our Tercentenary , ( the first 300 years of Leadership by a Grand Master ) and we also prepare to move into the next 300 years . We have much to look forward to this year and I sincerely trust that every Member of the Province will be able to take part in at least one of the celebratory events ; many of you hopefully several . In fact , I fully anticipate that the first 6 months of the year will be dominated by celebration and events supporting our historic and prestigious past .
Whilst we do this , the Grand Principles upon which our Order is founded – ” Brotherly love relief and truth ” – remain as relevant today as they did 300 years ago . In more modern language they may be stated to be ” integrity , honesty , fairness , kindness and tolerance ” , but whatever the wording , the message within it provides the perfect and continuing foundation for our future.
In due time , through the course of the year , we must begin to address more serious issues , most notably Membership and Buildings , but in the short term why don’t we just concentrate on enjoying ourselves – ” enjoying the moment ” – in the celebration of 300 years  of Freemasonry as we know it today . We are fully entitled to do that for all that we and those who have gone before us have achieved : both for ourselves , our local communities and for the world at large .
Finally , let us all be proud to remember that we are ” Monmouthshire Masons ” and , as such , proud to be part of a very close knit family and community . I wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year.
Yours sincerely and fraternally
Richard G Davies
Provincial Grand Master .

Christmas readings and carols

Throughout the Province many Lodges enjoyed festive meetings. Below are two such Lodges, Isca and the Lodge of Friendship. The Isca Lodge were fortunate to have 85 attend the event and they raised the magnificent sum of almost £500 for local charities.

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Perhaps next year we can have even more photos as I know of at least five other lodges who held  such events.

 

A family affair at chepstow masonic hall

On Sunday 11th December Chepstow Masonic Hall held its annual Christmas Carol Service.

The service was held in the temple with W Bro Canon Arthur Edwards taking the service. Which was made up of carols, readings and prayers.

One reading was done by two of W Bro Adrian Cullimore’s(Worshipful Master of Striguil Lodge) grandchildren, Daniel & Aimee Pritchard aged 9 & 5 respectively. Aimee stole the show by putting her reading on the lectern then having to stand on tip toe to read which Aimee did very well. At the end of the service the question was asked of ‘Bampy’ where do you sit? The photograph shows, W Bro Adrian Cullimore sat with his two daughters Rachel Pritchard and Anne-Marie Powell along with grandchildren Alex Pritchard and Jacob Powell.

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After the service everybody moved downstairs and enjoyed a wonderful 4 course Sunday/Christmas lunch and mince pies.

The widows of the Lodge were invited with some attending and enjoying the occasion.

The afternoon was topped off with the arrival of Father Christmas and gifts were given to all the children.

With thanks to W Bro. Bob Jones for organising a most successful afternoon.

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This article courtesy of W. Bro. Adrian Cullimore.

 

Monmouthshire Widows, Carols and mince pies morning

Although the event was well promoted by all the Almoners and especially as I made a point in my initial letter to them asking that they especially invite all the Widows from the smaller local groups, numbers were down on previous years. A number of incidents on the day prevented a few Ladies attending and of course the very cold weather leading up to the event put some Ladies off.

Having said all that, the day was a great success and the first of this sort to be hosted by our new Provincial Grand Master Rt. W. Bro. Richard G. Davies. Our PGM did the rounds of all the tables and chatted to all the ladies. They enjoyed meeting him and said how much they looked forward to these meetings. The Ladies were in good voice and Bro. David James (Abergavenny) provided the music which was greatly appreciated. 

A raffle was held which raised £165.00 which will be put to good use for the benefit of the group.

A photograph is worth a hundred words but unfortunately we do not have one. We were all enjoying ourselves so much, no-one remembered to take one.

This article submitted by W. Bro. Vince White.

armed forces ladies festival a great success

The Brethren and their Ladies of the Armed Forces Lodge enjoyed a very successful evening at the St Mellons Golf Club last Saturday. The evening went very well with 90 attending. Particularly successful was the raffle, there were over 70 raffle prizes which included a good selection of bottles and many other nice prizes including a couple of spa days. A total of £1200 was raised on the night which no doubt will be gratefully received and faithfully applied by the two charities who will benefit from the event. The monies will be shared equally between  St David’s Hospice Care and Help For Heroes. The ladies song was sung by W. Bro. Mark Pearce in his own inimitable way.

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Congratulations to W. Bro. Adrian Martin and his wife Janet for their successful effort in raising such a magnificent sum.

RMBI Albert Edward Annual Christmas Fayre 2016

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The Christmas Fayre opened this year to beautiful weather. The Grotto looked outstanding and we are keeping the fireside themed area throughout the Christmas period for Residents and their Relatives to spend time together. Phil Aubrey was the man in red and the children flocked in to receive their free sweeties and balloons. There was so much for the children to do from ‘ Play your Cards Right’ with Henry Caylor of Croeso Lodge no 8377 to painting Christmas Decorations and plates with Dotty Spotty Pottery to my children’s favourites the Tombola and the mystery boxes.

Our volunteers were out in force, the Colonnade Club sent Nicholas Evans who took up post on the cake stall and John Evans who manned the Tombola. Gaby our volunteer and Jaki a past employee both gave up their time to ensure that the Fayre was a great success. Taking on the mantle from the late Mr Munn were great friends of his Gordon and Christine Schumack of Penarth Lodge 4113. They brought some wonderful cakes and even worked on the stall helping us to reach our fantastic total.

The atmosphere was joyful staff and volunteers donned Christmas jumpers and everyone had lots of fun. We had numerous outside traders who enjoyed the day with us and our residents relished the chance to do a little bit of Christmas shopping. Peter Williams and the diaries committee were on hand raising further money for the home, selling various Masonic items and demonstrating their app. Not only that but as they did in the summer the wives of the Diaries Committee also collected the money on the door. Everyone welcomed the new TLC bear initiative and many were sold on the day.

The Mayor of Porthcawl Cllr Robert Lee and Mayoress Mrs Ann Lee were on hand to draw the raffle. The town council are firm supporters of the Home and we are evening hosting a Town Council meeting here on the 8th of December and the Mayors Christmas Party on the 4th. We thank them for their continued support.

After all expenses the raffle raised £985 and the on the day takings were £1731.31 therefore a grand total of £2716.31was raised. Despite the raffle takings being down on last year we are pleased to report an increase in the on the day takings.

A big thank you must go out to all those who contributed from residents, to staff, to families, friends and the local community we were well supported by all.

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This article by Rebecca Timms,

Business administrator .

 

Annual Gala dinner and raffle

 What a successful evening (yet again). All Lodges donated some magnificent prizes and the Brethren of the Province supported our annual raffle with great enthusiasm. Over £6000 was raised which will go to the 1997 trust fund for local charities and good causes. The evening was most enjoyable with 100 dining and dancing until late, it was good to see so many having fun and enjoying each others company.

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Monmouthshire Masonic Clay Shooting Association

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The Monmouthshire Masonic Clay Shooting Association appear to have settled quite well with regular shoots around the Province and are also representing Monmouthshire at inter provincial shoots. Here are a few of them enjoying a gathering at Keepers Lodge near Chepstow.

They are always looking for new members so if you feel the inclination please let me know and I will forward you the relevant details.

What a memorable occasion for the Province of Monmouthshire

On October 24th the Province of Monmouthshire was fortunate to have the installation of a new Provincial Grand Master and Most Excellent Grand Superintendent for the Holy Royal Arch in the person of RW Bro. Richard G. Davies. The last occasion this happened on the same day was over 75 years ago.

It was an extremely successful day and although an early start for many the day went as smoothly as could have been envisaged. Many thanks have been circulated and a letter of thanks has been received by the Province from the Pro Grand Master (Also the Pro First Grand Principal) who mentioned that the welcome he and his party from London received was very warm and the efficiency and decorum of both meetings were very impressive and was a tribute to those involved in the days organisation.

As far as distinguished guests were concerned, there was a plethora of high ranking Brethren/Companions from many Provinces, some had travelled great distances to be with us and we appreciate their efforts which no doubt enriched our day. The amount of visitors not only recognises the respect Monmouthshire has from other Provinces but emphasises the links we have with others who are prepared to give their time to ensure meetings such as ours are a success.

As we have enjoyed many years conjoined leadership from the Rev. Malcolm C. G. Lane, no doubt the Province will continue to move forward under the leadership and guidance of RW Bro./MEGS Richard G. Davies.

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The day belonged to the Province. We all start by joining a Lodge and then considering our next progression. The Royal Arch is where we should complete our ‘masonic journey’ although there are many steps in between. October the 24th will no doubt be remembered by all who attended as a highlight of Freemasonry within Monmouthshire in both degrees for many years to come.

 

Striguil Lodge continue to support local charities

Striguil Lodge recently donated £500 to St. Pierre Ward at Chepstow Community Hospital.  The Ward is predominantly for Dementia patients, and the money donated will be used to decorate the Ward dining room, and assist in creating a relaxation hub for patients and their familes.

This donation was in addition to a donation of £700 made earlier this year to the Severn View Residential Home, Chepstow, to assist in the creation of a Dementia friendly garden.

The Worshipful Master and his wife Diane have organised a number of fund raising events over the past few months, including Brunch with the Master, cooked by Diane, Race Nights, and in particular an Afternoon Tea at Portskewett Church Hall in July. The Afternoon Tea was the brainchild of Mrs Diane Cullimore, wife of Striguil Lodge Worshipful Master, WBro Adrian Cullimore. Diane baked all the cakes and savouries for the tea at which the sum of £250 was raised.

Pictured left to right in the attached photograph are: Kate Clark, Acting Ward Manager, Michelle Palfrey, OT Technician, Emma Giles – Staff Nurse, WBro Adrian Cullimore and Diane Cullimore.

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This article courtesy of W. Bro. Mike Knight.

 

£1000 for Ty Hafan from red cross of constantine

The Masonic and Military Order of the Red Cross of Constantine, South Wales and Monmouthshire Division makes £1000.00 Charity Donation to Tŷ Hafan Children’s Hospice

SOME BACK GROUND

In 2015 the Masonic and Military Order of the Red Cross of Constantine celebrated its 150th Anniversary with a Family Church Service at Lincoln Cathedral on Saturday 9th September, which was attended by over 800 Knights and their wives/partners, followed by luncheon at the Lincoln County Showground. The Grand Sovereign, M.Ill.Kt. Graham Leslie Flight, G.C.C. in recognition of and to further commemorate the Sesqui-centenary announced that it was his wish to make a substantial donation from The Grand Sovereign’s Care for Children Fund, which had been established a few years earlier by one of his predecessors, principally for the benefit of sick or disadvantaged children who needed support.

 Leading up to the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the Order, the members in England, Wales and the Divisions overseas were encouraged to financially support the Care for Children Fund with donations to boost the reserves.  Resulting from these collective efforts, it was decided that each Division within the Order would be invited to nominate a children’s hospice from within in their region to receive a donation from the Care for Children Fund: the Hospice nominated by the Division of South Wales and Monmouthshire was Tŷ Hafan, based in Sully, near Barry.  Such was the level of response to the Sesqui-centenary appeal that The Order was able to issue a cheque for £1000.00 to each of its 33 Divisions for onward presentation to a nominated children’s hospice, whilst still holding something in reserve.

 The cheques were distributed to Intendants-General at their Annual Conference held at Mark Masons Hall London on 12th October 2016, where The Division of South Wales and Monmouthshire received its cheque for £1,000. 00.  This was formally presented to Diane Stringer, Corporate & Community Administrator & Care Liaison Officer for Tŷ Hafan on the 24th October 2016 by R. Ill. Kt. Graham S. Gubb, Intendant-General (Divisional Head of Order) of the Red Cross of Constantine South Wales and Monmouthshire Division, he was accompanied by Ill. Kt. Ronald Slater, Deputy Intendant General and members of the Divisional executive  

 This article courtesy of  Nigel L. Angell, Divisional Recorder, South Wales and Monmouthshire.

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Ill.Kts. Roy Williams Divisional Treasurer, John Steward, Divisional Marshal, Mrs. Diane Stringer, for Tŷ Hafan, R.Ill.Kt. Graham Gubb, Intendant-General, Ill. Kt.Ron Slater, Deputy Intendant-General, also present was Ill.Kt. Nigel Angell, JP., Divisional Recorder