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.
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.
News and Announcements from the Provincial Communications Officer.