All posts by Paul Burley

Monmouthshire Light Blues at New and Young Masons Conference in Leicester

On Saturday the 28th, September the Monmouthshire Light Blues Club’s Chairman, Gabriel Hilu, attended the New and Young Masons Conference in Leicester.

The event was well attended by representatives from all over the country and was attended by Grand Secretary. Chairman of the Monmouthshire Light Blues, Gabriel Hilu said, ‘I enjoyed the Lodge building, in particular the museum, it is a stunning place and well worth a visit for any mason. The lectures were interesting and instructive. The breakout sessions were highly valuable by providing a forum to brainstorm and exchange ideas for our clubs.’

Gabriel had the pleasure to meet the Grand Secretary. Photos attached.

Thank you.

Alex Bogdanov


Conference in full swing
Gabriel Hilu, proud to represent Monmouthshire

UGLE Press Release

17 September 2019


  • -The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) is launching a social media campaign to be the most featured venue as part of Open House London this weekend.
  • Members of the public are being encouraged to visit the home of Freemasonry in England and Wales and post their pictures on social media using the hashtag #OHLFMH.
  • Freemasons’ Hall welcomes over 200,000 visitors through its doors every year.
  • UGLE has 50K Facebook followers, 26K Twitter followers and 24K followers on Instagram.

With a thriving social media presence of over 100,000 followers across its platforms, the United Grand Lodge of England’s (UGLE) headquarters, Freemasons’ Hall, aims to be the most photographed venue across Open House London this weekend.

UGLE will be taking part in the world’s largest architecture festival Open House London on 21-22 September – offering visitors architectural tours, fun family activities and access to the Museum of Freemasonry. UGLE is also inviting members of the public to visit its stunning Art Deco building in the heart of Covent Garden and post their pictures on social media using the hashtag #OHLFMH.

Freemasons’ Hall stands on Great Queen Street on a site that has been used to hold meetings for Freemasons since 1775. The current building was opened in 1933 as a peace memorial to honour the thousands of Freemasons who fought and died during the First World War.

With 50,000 followers on Facebook, 26,000 followers on Twitter and 24,000 followers on Instagram, UGLE – as the governing body for Freemasonry in England and Wales – has a strong presence on social media, in addition to the proactive daily engagement from regional Freemasons around the country.

Dr David Staples, UGLE’s Chief Executive, said: “Freemasonry is one of the oldest social and charitable organisation in the world, so it makes sense for us to use our social media channels to engage with the public.

“We know people are curious about Freemasonry and our recently launched Discover Freemasonry short film, which explains who we are and what we do – as well as showcasing our unique history – has already been viewed more than 150,000 times across social media.

“These initiatives are only the start of our drive to show the public what modern Freemasonry really stands for – integrity, friendship, respect and charity. It is a little known fact that our membership, of more than 200,000 individuals across England and Wales, donated £48m to charity and over 5 million hours of volunteer work in 2018 alone. This a fact we are very proud of and our social media accounts showcase the stories behind these stats, with hundreds of posts a day from dedicated Freemasons.

“We look forward to welcoming visitors to Freemasons’ Hall throughout the year – but especially this weekend – and viewing the #OHLFMH posts, which will hopefully make us the most visited venue at Open House London this year.”

Discover Freemasonry video:


Argus ‘Health & Care Awards

On the 5th of September W.Bro. Vince White (ProvGAlm) along with
W.Bro. Des James, W.Bro. Phil Sefton and W.Bro. Andrew Crump, accompanied by W.Bro. Vince White’s wife Val (taking the place of W.Bro. Bob Jones who was unable to attend) represented Monmouthshire Freemasons at this years South Wales Argus ‘Health Care Awards’ – an evening attended by around 260 representatives of sponsors, with Monmouthshire Freemasons generously sponsoring this event.

The presentation of the “3rd Sector “Team of The Year” award was presented by W.Bro. Vince White to the winner, Mr.Ray Morrison of Bluebird Care. Ray has trained more than 1000 people including children, firemen, policemen,workplaces etc. to become dementia friends. He does this in his own time, and gets great pleasure sharing his knowledge alongside running a care agency of which he is extremely proud. The Monmouthshire team were proud to represent our province on such a splendid occasion.

The evening was a great success and very professionally organised. It was compared by journalist Mr.Rob Stokes with guest speaker Mr.Glyn Jones (Executive Director of Finance & Deputy Chief Executive NHS).


Monmouthshire Clay Shooting Team, 3rd in International Masonic Clay shooting competition.

Well we are home from our very first international shoot, eighteen provinces, six countries and one hundred and twenty three shooters gathered on a day where the weather was kind and stayed dry. Breakfast rolls with tea/coffee began the day at registration and by 9:30am. everyone was assembled on the patio for a welcome address by the Chairman, Brian Saidman, photo’s having been taken of the assembled group a short safety talk delivered by the Secretary Roger Wilkes and everyone went of their respective stands for the “Shotgun Start”.  Doveridge staff must be congratulated here as the whole day went off without a hitch, no technical problems and everyone was back in the club house by 1:45pm. where lunch was served.  Score cards were checked and verified and for this we must thank Doveridge’s excellent computer scoring system which checked and double checked our arithmetic, some excellent scores were recorded with the first five cards showing 95, 91, 91, 90 and 89. However there were also some in the mid thirties with most between 45 and 75.

The international competition was won by England with a collective score of 369  second was Scotland with 324 and in third place Wales with 310. High Gun for England was Dan Bishop (Hants/I of W) on 95  High Gun for India was Unnikrishnan Kodoth 73, High Gun for Ireland Richard Dennison 67, High Gun Jersey Jack Handby 77,  High Gun Scotland Tom Galasham 84 and High Gun Wales Scott Morgan 90.  The Guest Junior Score was Joe Dodds (West Lanc’s) 60, Guest Ladies Score Sadie Center (Scotland) 79 and Male Guest Richard Baker (Met GL) 92.  Lady Freemason High Gun Kath Wright (West Lanc’s) 49 Veteran Freemason Dave Smith (West Lanc’s) 92 and Masonic High Gun Dan Bishop (Hant’s/I of W) 95. In closing the Chairman thanked everyone for their support and hoped that they all had a wonderful experience and a very safe journey home. PCO

L-R Bob”Jack”Daw, Andrew Beese, Kevin Phillips, Martin Price, Scott Morgan, Paul Burley, Chris Evans

11-year-old reformed chocoholic donates savings to charity – rewarded with limited-edition Newport County poster

Young Will Davies, Son of WBro Dan Davies, WM of Lodge of Friendship, recently gave up sweets to raise money and awareness for Dreams and Wishes. Young Will raised a phenomenal £260 and also assisted WBro Kelvin Reddicliffe in a recent lodge auction by holding a framed South Wales Argus Newport County v Manchester City FA Cup fifth round poster. On the night WBro Kelvin could see Will really wanted his dad to put in the highest bid. In the end it went for £130-but not to Will. Seeing the disappointment in Will face WBro Kelvin recently rewarded Will with another limited edition framed poster in recognition of his achievement and help at a recent lodge auction. (Picture: Will Davies receives the Newport County FA Cup fifth round poster from Kelvin Reddicliffe (left) – with dad Dan). PCO

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Hogs Head Classic and Vintage Show

I am excited to list the auction items for this weekend Hogs Head Classic and Vintage Show and evening extravaganza. All items have been kindly donated by Lodges, Brethren and their friends. Please support these auction items to the best of your ability. If you are unable to attend, WBro. Roger Thompson has kindly agreed to accept maximum bids for any of the items on offer and will gladly bid on a Brothers behalf, up to their agreed limit. WBro. will accept these offers by email at
Looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the Classic and Vintage Show on Saturday with your family and friends.

It is not too late to turn up on the day and show off you classic. PCO

Auction Prizes
Ryan Beech of Anthemion Auctions of Cardiff (as featured on “ Flog It “) will be the auctioneer on the evening has generously offered his services to support our charity.

The Auction will take place at the Hogs Head on the evening of the 13th of July.

1. A heavy-duty picnic bench donated by Abergavenny sawmills
St. John’s Julian Tod

2. Builder’s bag of barn dried logs, can be delivered within the Province of Monmouthshire. (Old county of Gwent) St. John’s Clive Francis

3. Half a Welsh lamb butchered to the winning bidder’s preference, supplied by Mathews Butchers of Newbridge, Islwyn Lodge Les Evans

4. A case of (6) quality white wines David Llewellyn Collect on night

5. Three days’ self-catered stay in a riverside cottage in Llanwyrtyd Wells. Adjacent to the river Irfon, this Victorian cottage sleeps a maximum of four, with a double bed up narrow, rustic stairs and a large bed-settee in the living area, with a downstairs toilet & an upstairs bathroom. Flexible dates & to be arranged with the owner Prince of Wales Chapter Peter Buckingham

6. Day out and tour of the Morgan Factory for 1 or 2 persons. On an agreed date, if one person, the winning bidder will be collected within Monmouthshire in a Morgan sports car & driven to the Morgan Motor Company in Malvern for a guided tour and museum visit. Or, if for two persons, the winning bidders will meet at the factory for the tour to commence.
St Mellonius Paul Harris

7. A bottle of Chase gin bottled and labelled for the Special Air Service
Terry Pickering Collect on night

8. A bottle of 2007 Late Bottled Vintage Port bottled and labelled for the Special Air Service
Regiment Roger Thompson Collect on Night

9. Two tickets to the Morgan Lodge event at the Morgan Motor Company’s premises at Malvern on Saturday 16th November 2019. Themed ‘An evening of Nostalgia’ and WWII Concert Party
‘The Trench Raiders’ with stories, songs and sing-a-long. Period dress optional.
St Mellonius Paul Harris

10. A 375cl bottle of Wray and Nephew over-proof full-strength white Jamaican rum
Myrddin Jones Collect on night

11. A rare Large ALDI “Kevin the Carrot” Christmas soft Display Advertisement aid
St Georges (Les Evans) Collect on night

12. A Hog Roast for 50-persons donated by Happy Hog Caterers. Extra numbers can be catered for by separate negotiation Happy Hog Caterers

13. An antique oak three cut-glass decanter tantalus with a secret compartment with playing cards
Phil Williams Collect on night

14. A bottle of Chateau de Beaulon Grande Fine Cognac, still in its original packaging
Fred Roberts (Myrddin Jones ) Collect on night

15. A bottle of Croft Port 1963 Vintage Myrddin Jones Collect on night

16. A Seiko Kinetic Direct Drive gentleman’s wristwatch, boxed with papers
Loyal Monmouth – Collect on night (Colin Cowles)

17. Six Horse Riding Lessons for A Child at Smugglers Equestrian centre, Man-Moel,Nr Blackwood.
St Georges Lodge Les Evans

18. An Ingersoll Gems 100m water-resistant quartz date just gentleman’s wristwatch, boxed with papers Loyal Monmouth Collect on night (Colin Cowles)

19. Three pieces of “ScrapArt”: WW1 Fighter Biplane, Ford 3000 tractor and a Steam Traction engine manufactured by a local artist Julian Tod Collect on night

20. A professional framed family portrait to be taken at Anton Attard’s photography studio
Marshfield, Near Cardiff. St. Mellonius TBA with Anton Attard

21. A bottle of Glenfarclas 12yr old Single Malt Whisky bottled and labelled for the Special Air
Service. Ayd Martin Collect on night

22. A pencil-drawing of the winning bidder’s favourite building or residence (house, village scene, etc)
to be arranged at mutual agreement with the artist.
Jasper Tudor Graham Murphy

23. A unique opportunity to acquire a ‘Original Robert Taylor’ 14”x11” Ink Drawing depicting a
Leopard in a tree. Robert’s works have drawn crowds in the international arena since the early
1980s. He has exhibited throughout the US and Canada, Australia, Japan and in Europe. His paintings hang in many of the world’s great aviation museums, adorn boardrooms, offices and homes, and his limited edition prints are avidly collected all around the world.
Hilton Willott (Roderick Hill) Collect on night

24. A days Salmon or trout fishing on the Lower Llangibby beat of the river Usk for two people (must be taken on a Friday) The beat runs for a mile and a half, on both banks and is regarded as one
of the prime fishing beats on the river Usk. The day includes the services of the Ghillie, supply
of fishing rods, reels, flies, waders and a packed lunch. Full instruction can be given if required. The recipient will be responsible for obtaining a NATURAL RESOURCES WALES FISHING LICENCE The day will be arranged mutually between the recipient & the Fishery Ghillie. The Salmon season 3rd March to 17th October. Brown trout 3rd March to 30th September
Brian Williams

UGLE’s Grand Master, The Duke of Kent, unveils Victoria Cross Remembrance Stone at Freemasons’ Hall

In honour of all English Freemasons awarded the prestigious Victoria Cross (VC), the United Grand Lodge of England’s (UGLE) Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent, unveiled a unique Victoria Cross Remembrance Stone at Freemasons’ Hall on 27th June 2019.

The Remembrance Stone was commissioned in 2016 by Granville Angell to commemorate all English Freemasons who were awarded the Victoria Cross. The VC is the highest award for gallantry that can be conferred on a member of the British Armed Forces and since its introduction in 1856, more than 200 Freemasons have been awarded the Victoria Cross – making up an astonishing 14% of all recipients.

You can read the full article online here.

June Provincial Newsletter

The latest edition of the June Monmouthshire news letter has just been emailed out. If you do not receive a copy and would like to be included in the email list please send you preferred email address, lodge number and masonic rank to

Newport Masonic Hall Lift Fund Receives a Boost

WBro Bob Tanswell (Chief Adept of the Sociatas Rosicruciana in Anglia) was pleased to present WBro Ivor Morgan (Chairman of NEWPORT Masonic Hall) with cheques from the ‘Operatives’, Sociatas Rosicruciana in Anglia; Cardiff Castle Assemblage – totalling £1000. This sum has been generously matched by a kind Brother of both SRIA and Grand Assemblage making a total donation of £2000. Further funds of £140 where donated from the April raffle of Cardiff Castle Assemblage, contributing to a generous total of £2140, with further pledges of the proceeds from the next few raffles also going towards the lift.

WBro. John Dallimore is honoured with MBE in Queens Birthday Honours List

I am delighted to announce that WBro. John Dallimore of St Gabriel Lodge (No.9711) and the High-Performance Manager for the WTSF, has been honoured in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, being made a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE). WBro. John has been involved in the sport of Target Shooting for over 50 years, for the first 20 years as an athlete, representing Wales and GB, and thereafter playing a leading role as Wales Team Manager for over 30 years. When Sport Wales identified Shooting as a leading medal winning sport in Wales, WBro. John was instrumental in setting up the structure to ensure that the funding received from Sport Wales was used to greatest effect in terms of the number of Commonwealth Games medals won in shooting events and developing athletes to reach their full potential, across the country. This reached an all-time high with the latest Commonwealth Games 2018 at Gold Coast, Australia, where Shooting was top of the Medal Table, across all Sport in Wales, with 2 Gold, 2 Silver and 1 Bronze medal won. Representing 20% of the total Gold medals won by Wales. The facilities created for our Sport at High Performance level at Sports Wales National Centre at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff, are second to none, ensuring that our athletes have the optimum conditions to train under. These were made possible by WBro. John’s determination and drive. WBro. John is passionate about his sport, to the degree that it is not restricted to target shooting within Wales and is well known to give his time freely to those other Home Country Teams that seek to gain advice from his experience. WBro. John is President of the Commonwealth Shooting Federation (European Division) and can be proud of his achievements, having overseen the start-up of the Commonwealth Federation (ED) and presiding over Wales successfully hosting the event in 2017. This was the first time in the Commonwealth European programme, that the event hosted Athletes and Para Athletes side by side in competition; a world-wide first. WBro. John , is also Chair of his local club, Torfaen, which is the most successful club in Wales, winning the Wales and Monmouthshire league on a regular basis and successfully forging links with the wider community and particularly the Schools and Scouts in Wales. The Masonic Province of Monmouthshire and Welsh Shooting are proud of John’s achievements. It is extremely rare for such an honour to be bestowed on an individual involved with our Sport.

AEPOWC Strawberry Tea.

The recent Albert Edward Prince of Wales Court annual strawberry tea 2019 saw individual Lodges of the Province of Monmouthshire donated a total of £1250.00 which was a great achievement for our province and raised the profile of Monmouthshire with “The Friends of The Albert Edward Prince of Wales Court” committee. 
Vince White
Provincial Grand Almoner

50 years to the day!

A special event took place in the Province of Monmouthshire at the recent meeting of the Albert Edward Prince of Wales Lodge no. 1429. The ceremony for the evening was undertaken by the Worshipful Master, W.Bro. Keri Phillips who initiated Mr Kenneth Coppard assisted by the officers of the Lodge, in what was a first class ceremony with an excellent initiate. This was followed by the presentation of a 50 year certificate to W.Bro.Colin Biggs on what was the 50th anniversary of his initiation into the Lodge – to the day. A 50 year certificate, signed by the Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Monmouthshire, R.W.Bro Richard G Davies, was presented to W.Bro. Biggs by the Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master of the Province of Monmouthshire, W.Bro Robert Arundel.

Provincial Promotion list 2019/2020

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.

Monmouthshire, Bristol and Wiltshire Clay Shooting Series ends its first championship with a great day out in Wiltshire.

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

The winning team
The winners shield

Monmouthshire Demonstration Team ‘Goose and Gridiron’ to visit Bristol

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 (

Widows Spring Lunch

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

‘Hospice of the Valleys’ has received a grant of £16,623 from the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF)

Dear Brethren,

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

Monmouthshire Freemasons contribution to the Masonic Charitable Foundation helps victims of southern African cyclone

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.”

Tropical Cyclone Idai made landfall near the port city of Beira late last Thursday and slowly moved inland over the weekend, carving a trail of destruction across central Mozambqiue. The storm brought heavy rainfall and wind gusts of up to 105 miles per hour to the region, where dry conditions gave way to massive flooding. Plan International, in coordination with the national governments, local partners and other humanitarian organisations, is prioritising the needs of affected families to ensure that have access to food, shelter, clean water and sanitation. We supported the search and rescue of people trapped in flooded parts of Buzi district. Together with our partner AJOAGO, in the last four days our boats have rescued more than 800 people, transferring them from the roofs of buildings and trees to safe shelters for people displaced by the floods.