Full details on Page 3
EDITORIAL Welcome to Issue 2 of The Provincial Lite. In this issue we reveal the Province’s 2025 Festival Jewel – and explain how you can get yours. Most Lodges and Chapters take a summer break, but that doesn’t mean that we switch off completely. “Once a Mason, always a Mason”, is our mantra – and many of us have been meeting socially, organising events and demonstrating the “true characteristic of every Freemason’s heart” by raising money for Charity. Read here about some of the great things you and your fellow Masons and Companions have been up to.
In this issue:
David Alexander is the Assistant Provincial Grand Master in charge of Education and Welfare. In this issue, he explains his role in detail and gives you an insight into many of the activities and initiatives in his area.
The 2025 Festival Jewel
110 Years for Norris and Barlow
Good Caribbean Company
A Test that might Save my Life
Pentangle’s D-Day Celebrations
Summer LOI—well, sort of!
Education and Welfare
Great Wall – and a Great Cause
The Heart of Kent Hospice
Disaster Strikes for John
Manor of Gillingham’s WW1 Trip
Caravanning – the Masonic way
Cupboard Love for Romney?
Ethelbert and Strode Park
St Lawrence Splashes Out Thanet Chapter Red Table
Kingsgate donates to Thanet Disabled Riding Centre The MCF and one Happy Lady
We are also looking for reporters and graphics designers. Anyone good at cartoons? If you are interested in helping, please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
A Fishy Catch for Lodge 31
The Early Years of Royal Arch A New Tool for Treasurers
I hope you enjoy reading the magazine.
Communications Team Contacts
MCC stands for Marylebone Cricket Club, doesn’t it? But there’s another MCC operating on our patch. Campbell Wilson explains all.
In the Communications Team we are constantly looking for ways in which we can project our fraternity in a positive manner. We have great social media sites and a website, which are ideal for promoting your Lodge’s and Chapter’s stories. If you have an inspiring story to tell, and need help to get it into the local media, please contact Phil Heath at: email@example.com.
John Ray 2
THE 2025 FESTIVAL JEWEL The Province of East Kent is pleased to announce the design of the 2025 Festival Jewel, as shown in this illustration.
You can obtain one of these Jewels by making either a single donation of at least £300 or by making regular donations totalling at least £300 over the course of the Festival. Honorific bars are available for differing levels of patronage: Vice Patron £600, Patron £1,000 and Grand Patron £1,500. You can set up a regular donation by completing and sending off the Direct Debit Form that was included in the East Kent 2025 Festival Brochure. The Brochure was posted in April to every member of the Province with a covering letter from the Provincial Grand Master. Further copies of the Direct Debit Form can be downloaded from the 2025 Festival Website, via this link: https://2025festival.co.uk/ documents/#
Alternatively, you can complete a single or regular donation form by following this link: https://mcf.org.uk/donate/?festivalId=15089. When you have accessed it, you can: 1. 2. 3. 4.
Select to make a single or regular donation. Select the Festival you would like to support (East Kent 2025), the amount you would like to donate, the frequency of the donation, the time period and then your personal details. Choose the option, if you wish, to Gift Aid the donation. Confirm the details.
You don’t have to order the Jewel – it will be supplied to you automatically, free of charge.
110 YEARS FOR NORRIS AND BARLOW Our Assistant Provincial Grand Masters are very active throughout the Province, each being responsible for an area of specialism and reporting to the Provincial Grand Master and his Deputy. From time to time they attend Lodges and Chapters to present Long Service Certificates, an aspect of the job that, they tell me, they particularly enjoy.
It’s not often that two brethren in the same Lodge are honoured at the same time, but that happened at The Lord Warden Lodge No.1096 at Walmer, near Deal, on the 21 st May, when Peter Norris and Ricky Barlow celebrated clocking up one hundred and ten years between them. APGM David Alexander was the lucky chap “on duty” that evening, accompanied by the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies Andy Stevens and an escorting team. Paul Gear reports: First to be honoured was Peter Norris, with 60 years in the Craft. Peter was born in London in February 1935 and was one of eight children. Like many of the children of his age in strategic or industrial areas, he and the family were evacuated, initially to Northampton, which was probably a little too close to the Midlands industrial bases, and from there to Nelson & Colne, a rural part of North East Lancashire in the shadow of Pendle Hill, famed for its dark tales of witches and ghouls.
Peter Norris receives his certificate from Assistant Provincial Grand Master David Alexander
After a brief interlude, when the worst of the danger was perceived to be past, the family returned to London. On the completion of his primary education, Peter won a scholarship to the London City Grammar School. Like all young men of his age he was eligible for National Service and was conscripted into the Army in the Royal Army Pay Corps. He later honed his entrepreneurial skills in sales, then in the employment consultancy business, placing Legal, Secretarial and Hospitality staff, initially in London but subsequently expanding into France and America. He has also been involved in in his own right in the Pub and Hotel trade.
Peter thanks the Lodge and the visitors
Peter has held an interest in horses and at one time owned a share in a racehorse - how much of it, and how successful the venture, you can best find out from him. Peter joined the Farriers Association Livery Company and applied himself to charitable work. Through his membership of Rotary, he became involved in the Greater London Disabled Association. He is a member of the Fleet Street Press Club and a Past President of the Licensed Victuallers of London and Deal. To round off the story, Peter became a Freemason in 1959 in the White Eagle Lodge No.4384, serving as its Master in 1968 and Secretary for twenty-five years thereafter. He was appointed to Grand Rank in 1985 and has for the past twelve years been a member of the Lord Warden Lodge. Next was Rick Barlow, with 50 years in the Craft. Rick’s family came from the Lancashire Mining community. His father was recruited in 1936 to assist in the development of the Kent Coalfields, and thus, from his Lancastrian background, young Rick briefly adopted the style of a “Man of Kent”. I say “briefly”, because, like Peter, Rick was evacuated, in his case from Deal, then part of the aptly named “Hellfire Corner”, where his mother ran a guest house, back to Bolton and his Lancastrian roots.
The training ship Arethusa
When he was just thirteen, young Rick enquired about joining the training ship Arethusa, then a facility for boys interested in a naval career. His mother, to her credit, allowed him to join. Having successfully navigated his way around the system (and survived), Rick joined the Royal Navy, making a career as a Gunnery Rating. It was during his time in the Royal Navy that he met and married the delightful Valerie. As a couple they quickly realised that long-range relations and the difficulties of service life were not for them, and so Rick left the Navy two years later in 1959. After working with Fords at Slough, it was back to Kent and the Coalfield. Sometime afterwards, Rick and Val started running a Post Office and News agency. A natural organiser, Rick became a National Council Member for Sub-Postmasters. Rick has always enjoyed sport, especially football swimming and golf. Val and shares his interest in Golf: they are both members of the Princes Club in Sandwich. In 1969 Rick made another momentous decision: to become a Freemason. He was initiated into the Lord Warden Lodge in 1969, was Master in 1979 and then a highly respected Director of Ceremonies, only stepping down from that office in April this year. He was appointed to Provincial Grand Rank in 1987 and has had two promotions since. He has put his organisational skills to good use as a member of the Deal Masonic Hall Committee.
Rick Barlow receives his certificate from Assistant Provincial Grand Master David Alexander
Rick has also served his community with distinction through his love of sport and his ability to enthuse the local young people. He is a trusted swimming instructor. I believe the achievement of which he is most proud is his involvement with the Mini Marines football team over fourteen seasons in which the final competition matches were played at Wembley and his team were Champions once and runners up on five occasions. Back in 1977, Rick was attending a National Council meeting in London. Being keen to have a late-night drink, he was directed by a helpful member of the hotel staff to the “Shakespeare”, which had a late licence for a wedding. Having assured the party that he would pay his own way, he was admitted - and met a character “bashing away on the old Joanna”. After chance introductions, it transpired that the pianist was none other than Peter Norris! The two have remained good friends ever since.
Rick thanks the Worshipful Master, Officers and Brethren of the Lodge and the visitors for their best wishes
Andy Stevens reads the Citation from the Provincial Grand Master 8
GOOD FOOD, GOOD WINE, GOOD CARIBBEAN COMPANY Do you ever wake up, find yourself in a situation and wonder how on earth you got there? Graham Smith, a former Assistant Provincial Grand Master, had just that experience on the 22 nd April, when he found himself in Kingston, Jamaica, when he was about to be appointed as the first Junior Warden at the Consecration of the Epicurian Lodge No.9973. Hereâ€™s his report:
It all started in January 2018 when I invited Walter Horatio Scott QC, District Grand Master of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, to attend my Red Apron Lodge, the Shakespear Lodge No.99, which would be meeting in London on the evening following the Grand Lodge Investitures that April. Walter duly accepted the invitation. As for the meeting, it was pretty standard - no candidate, about fifteen minutes of business, and then champagne and a fine dinner. Well, we do tend to pride ourselves on our dining, and we do dine rather well! Walter clearly enjoyed our meeting. It was quite different from the regular working meetings in his District. Suitably impressed, he spent the journey back home busily planning a new Lodge inspired by the proceedings of No.99. Walter put his ideas to a meeting of his senior Grand Lodge Officers and they quickly warmed to it. The Lodge would meet three times a year. There would be no candidates, only joining members. Business would take about fifteen to twenty minutes. Members, joined by their ladies, would then proceed to a Champagne Reception followed by a Festive Board of fine dining with wine pairing and Port. There would no other Lodge in his District of twenty-six remotely like it! This February I was with Walter at the Cayman Lodge No.8153, where I have been a member for nearly twenty years. I asked him how he was getting on with his plans for the new Lodge. He confirmed that the United Grand Lodge of England had given its approval. 9
At the Consecration Meeting on the 22nd April. Walter Scott, DistGM is seated front centre. On his left is Tommy Smith, installed as DepDistGM on the 20th July. On his left is Graham Smith. At the back, between Tommy and Graham, is Dwight Reece, installed as DistGM on the 20 th July.
There were twenty-eight Founders and it was to be named, most aptly, the Epicurian Lodge No.9973. He also said that as I had “caused all this trouble” he would like me to be the Junior Warden in his team of Consecrating Officers. How could I refuse such an honour? So there I was, 4,500 miles from my Mother Lodge, Adam's No.158, wondering if I would be able to get my words right and whether the Festive Board would live up to Walter's expectations - bearing in mind that the usual Jamaican Festive Board is rice and beans with chicken, fish and local vegetables like okra, followed by rum and raisin ice cream, for JA$1000 - about £5.90! As it turned out, everyone got their words right and the Festive Board (at JA$13,500 - about £80) was superb. We were greeted with Mumm Champagne. The five courses comprised Gravlax with Feta Cheese; Westmoreland Shrimp; Melon Scotch Bonnet and Ginger Sorbet; Deboned Oxtail with Irish Potato Biscuit; and, lastly, a Crispy Fried Bread Pudding and Tia Maria Reduction. Each course was paired with excellent wines. In No.99 we use firing glasses and have two Port wagons that traverse the table. The Founders had bought firing glasses and I had acquired a beautiful antique Port wagon with decanters for the Lodge from an antique dealer on the internet. Only three Lodges in the District used firing glasses - now four. The Port wagon was much appreciated and quickly put into use! I am pleased to say that the whole Consecration Ceremony, Installation and Festive Board were a wonderful occasion, thoroughly enjoyed by all those present. 10
A SIMPLE TEST THAT COULD SAVE MY LIFE I read it on the East Kent Province’s Facebook page: “Prostate cancer is one of the biggest killers of men in the United Kingdom. If it is caught early enough, it is treatable and survival rates are extremely good. It is well worth having a simple PSA check to see if you have early signs of this silent killer”. There would be a session at the Maidstone Masonic Centre (MMC) on the 7 th September. Losing no time, I contacted the organiser, Kevin Kemp, and booked myself in. It would be a simple blood test – not the physical examination! I got to the MMC at about ten o’clock, in good time for my appointment at 10.25. Before signing in, I had a quick chat with Martin Ransom, Secretary of the Cornwallis East Kent Freemasons Charity (CEKFC). Martin told me that the Event was being hosted by the Millennium Lodge of Charity No.9730 and sponsored by the CEKFC. The Lodge, and the CEKFC, had long been aware of the dangers of prostate cancer the “silent killer” - and the importance of catching the disease in its early stages. A couple of years ago, the Lodge hosted its first PSA session. On that occasion, 250 tests were carried out: these identified eighteen men who required further testing – and four, after additional
tests, required immediate surgery. In effect, eighteen people had had their lives saved by attending and having the test.
Martin was pleased that today nearly 300 men had booked in for the test, of whom ten percent were non -Masons. He added that the CEKFC would be making the PSA session a biennial event, possibly at a different location in the county next time. I went to the reception area and was greeted by Wendy Hodgkinson of the Graham Fulford Charitable Trust (https://psatests.org.uk/) who were running the session. The Trust was set up by Graham Fulford to promote awareness of prostate cancer following the diagnosis of a close friend of his who had died aged fifty-eight and a close family member who had succumbed in 2007 after a valiant fight against that pernicious disease. Since 2004, together with their partners such as the CEKFC, the Trust had been involved in testing over 88,000 men and conducting over 127,000 tests [as of August 7th, 2019]. Consequently, there had been well over 1750 known cancers identified that otherwise might not have been discovered. Wendy gave me some forms to fill in, and a Lodge Charity Envelope – contributions to the £18.75 cost of my session being most welcome – and then showed me into the Centre’s Dining Room where the four phlebotomists, the very cheerful Amanda Johnson and her equally friendly colleagues, Elise, Kim and Shirley, were attending to us. Just as you do at a blood donor session, Amanda asked me which arm I would prefer (“hmm – let’s go for the right”), and then drew a small amount of my blood into a syringe. The sample was then bottled and labelled, ready to be taken away for analysis. I was told that I should receive the result within a week or two. All done very quickly and efficiently, in a relaxing environment. Thank you, team! Like all the others, I now await the result: hopefully good news. My son Andy also took the test. I asked him how he got on. “The whole process only took ten minutes – five minutes filling in consent forms, two minutes in a very small queue and then a nurse took a small sample of blood, just like when you have a blood test at your Doctors. I’d like to thank the East Kent Province for providing this screening test.”
PSA: the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test is a blood test. When it is used with other tests, the PSA test can help doctors to diagnose prostate cancer. PSA is a protein made in the prostate gland. Some of this PSA leaks into the blood and can be measured in the PSA test. PSA levels can be higher due to common prostate problems such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or prostatitis. A raised level may sometimes be a sign of prostate cancer. The PSA test may help diagnose very early prostate cancer, before any symptoms develop.
Phlebotomists: people trained to draw blood from a patient (mostly from veins) for clinical or medical testing, transfusions, donations or research. Phlebotomists collect blood primarily by performing venipunctures, or, for collection of minute quantities of blood, finger sticks.
[Photos by Matt Jury]
PENTANGLE CHAPTERâ€™S ALMONER ATTENDS THE D-DAY CELEBRATIONS
Ian McLeod, Almoner of the Pentangle Chapter No.1174, and his wife, Ruth, were privileged to attend the D-Day Commemorations on 6th June this year. Ian joined The Black Watch in 1956, passed through the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst and served with the 1 st Battalion the Black Watch from 1958 to 1964, first in Cyprus and then at the School of Infantry in Warminster.
The 1st, 5th and 7th Battalions of The Black Watch took part in the Normandy landings from 7 th June 1944 as part of the 51st (Highland) Division which subsequently fought through Germany, ending the war in Northern Germany. Codenamed Operation Overlord, also known as D-Day, the battle began on June 6th 1944, when some 156,000 American, British and Canadian forces landed on five beaches along a fifty-
mile stretch of the heavily fortified coast of Franceâ€™s Normandy region.
The 5th Battalion the Black Watch – the Angus battalion, comprising some 800 to 1000 Officers and men – were there at the beginning. They weren’t in with the first wave: it was closer to the evening.
They were followed by the two other battalions of the Black Watch – the 1st and the 7th – which were part of the famous 51st Highland Division. By that stage in the war the Black Watch would have had 15
members from across the UK. A dwindling number of veterans remains to give first-hand accounts of what it was like to be involved in this most ambitious and dangerous wartime operation; however, their stories of bravery and sacrifice live on within the regimentâ€™s history and the knowledge of the soldiers who followed. Most of the veterans sailed in the MV Boudicca from Southampton to Normandy for the 75 th anniversary commemorations. Ian and Ruth reached Normandy more informally on a cruise down the River Seine from Paris to Honfleur in the MS Seine Princess.
Ian says, â€œSo many memories remain from such a short trip: the Pegasus Bridge, where one could see the
precise locations at which the three Horsa gliders had made their night-time landings; the beach at Arromanches, with some parts of the Mulberry harbour still in place; and Sword Beach, where a contingent of Westminster Dragoons were now holding a quiet ceremony of remembrance.
â€œThere were services in Bayeux Cathedral and at the British Military Cemetery. Most abidingly, I recall the road from the cathedral to the cemetery, lined with cheering French people of all ages as the veterans passed by in their wheelchairs; and not to forget the kindness of Prince Charles, Colonel-inChief of The Black Watch, who recognised the only Red Hackle* who seemed to have been present, and stopped to have a chat.â€?
* to learn about the origins of the Red Hackle, click here: https://www.electricscotland.com/history/scotreg/bwatch/ bw17.htm
Mick Smith writes: Two prospective Candidates, and a meal at a local pub?
An offer too good to miss. Brother Zak Khan of Maidstoneâ€™s Fleur de Lis Lodge No.8969 thought so and organised the event. Twenty masons, young and younger, met at The Plough, Langley, in place of the usual summer LOI meeting, for a fantastic meal and a couple (?) of beers.
The two prospective Candidates joined in the fun and learned what Freemasonry was all about â€“ Friendship, Charity and helping each other. We look forward to their joining the Lodge one day.
EDUCATION AND WELFARE East Kent Province’s four Assistant Provincial Grand Masters have specific areas of responsibility and report directly to the Provincial Grand Master. This extract from the Province’s Organisational Chart shows how the responsibilities are allocated:
The Education and Welfare Support Group’s raison d’être is the wellbeing of our membership. Our colleagues in the Membership Support Group suggest that the annual retention figures make encouraging reading and thus the Education and Welfare Support Group hope that in some measure their efforts have had a beneficial effect on those statistics. The Education and Welfare Group covers Mentoring, Education and the work of the Almoner.
Mentoring Here’s a quotation from the United Grand Lodge of England: "Mentoring underpins the retention of the brethren. It encourages them to become active members of their Lodges and to serve as Ambassadors for Freemasonry." Personal Masonic development is at the very heart of Freemasonry. It promotes the life-long development of every member by providing informed and accessible supporting material, and by recommending the most effective personal mentoring arrangements. The role of a new Mason's Personal Mentor is to act as his guide, leader and coach, enabling him to undertake his journey successfully and without undue delay. Indeed, it is the Personal Men20
tor's responsibility to explain the workings, traditions and structure of our institution; to lift the veil of allegory and reveal the meaning behind our symbols. This will enable the new Mason to enjoy and understand the organisation he has recently joined. Last year UGLE and East Kent Province launched the Members Pathway. You might remember seeing a booklet outlining the whole process from initial interest to initiation and explaining the means of achieving success. It was quite rightly weighted towards recruitment, the role of the Membership Officer being key. The responsibilities of the Membership Officer and the Mentor are inextricably linked, of course, and our emphasis this year is on the individual needs and requirements of the Lodge Mentor and his team of personal Mentors. Our Provincial Grand Mentor Mark Costelloe and his team of Mentoring coordinators invite you, your personal Mentors and, importantly, your mentees to join them at one of our 2019 Autumn Mentoring Seminars: Saturday 19th October at the Dover Masonic Centre Saturday 26th October at the Maidstone Masonic Centre. Each seminar will cover several topics, including the expectations of the new Mason and whether we as Mentors and as an organisation are meeting those expectations. We are in a period of great change within our Fraternity. We need to move with the times and involve our newest members in decisions that will ultimately determine our future. Please actively encourage them to attend and participate. Light refreshments will be available, so it is important to register your attendance on the form in the Mentoring section of the Your Province portal. You can access the portal using the following link: https:// yourprovince.org/yp2/ In September our Provincial Grand Mentor Mark Costelloe will be launching a challenge to all Master Masons and above within the Province of East Kent. He invites you to test your Masonic knowledge by taking part in a Provincial Mentors Quiz. What do you have to do? Simply deduce the masonic phrase from the clues given: for example, S.O.W.T.L.F would mean Step Off With The Left Foot. Easy? Letâ€™s see, shall we. There are thirty answers to get!
The lucky winner drawn from the correct entries will receive a beautiful food hamper delivered to his home address in time for Christmas.
Watch out for the launch of this fun quiz - and be sure to return your answers by the closing date of Monday 4th November 2019. Don’t tell anyone, but, should you need inspiration, all of the answers can be found within the ‘Educational’ section of the Your Province portal accessed using this link: https://yourprovince.org/yp2/
Education The more we learn about Freemasonry, the deeper our interest and connection to our Brothers and Companions.
What drew you to Freemasonry? For many it is the search for an answer to a question about the unknown. This inquisitive interest drives us to seek answers and draws good men to Freemasonry. Our ceremonies support our newly initiated brother in answering questions about Freemasonry, about our universe and about ourselves. As we move through the three craft degrees, we discover more and realise that simple truth: the more we know, the more we know we do not know.
The more we know about our masonic history, the deeper our pride in our fraternity. The more we understand about our masonic ritual, the more we learn about ourselves. The joy of learning is deeply rooted in us all. Commit to your daily advancement in masonic knowledge. Relish the journey - and share your learning with Brethren and Companions in your Lodge and Chapter. This is our fraternity: together we have the pleasure and the privilege to use masonic education to build a deep interest and engagement in our fraternity for our Brethren and Companions both now and for generations to come.
From our first day as a Freemason, we are challenged to undertake a daily advancement in masonic knowledge. Have you diligently met this challenge? As Education Officer of East Kent, it is my duty and privilege to support Brethren and Companions across the Province to engage in their daily advancement in masonic knowledge. Our Provincial Education Welfare and Support team has built a repository of masonic education materials in the Your Province portal. If you haven’t registered for this, just do it! Therein you will find a range of materials that can enhance your interest in Freemasonry. You will find nuggets of masonic information that can be read out in open Lodge or Chapter, during Lodge or Chapter of Instruction and even at the Festive Board. Each document in the portal has come about by brethren across our Province sharing their masonic knowledge and research. This complements the Solomon portal recently published by the United Grand Lodge of England and which I would equally urge you to join.
As we move ahead, it is the intention of the Education, Welfare and Support Group to build further resources to support masonic education. Keep a watchful eye on the Your Province portal:
our next step is to produce short video nuggets and podcasts on masonic themes. Come with us on this journey. I would be delighted to hear from you about how you have encouraged masonic education in your Lodge or Chapter. Sharing these stories across the Province and beyond will help to make Freemasonry even more relevant for our members and help drive that search for an answer to the unknown that draws many to knock on the door “in a poor state of darkness”. 22
Pastoral Care It was two years ago that this Province introduced the Visiting Volunteer scheme and our nine Visiting Volunteers attended a refresher training day. The session was conducted by Mike Martin, the Provincial Engagement Manager at the Masonic Charitable Foundation. In addition to revalidating our training, it gave us the opportunity to provide feedback on good practice.
On 1st October 2019 we will be holding the annual Provincial Almoners meeting at The Maidstone Masonic Centre in Tovil. This year will see a strong representation from the Provincial Executive, including the Provincial Grand Master. We shall receive a talk from Ruth Lowe of Age UK on Loneliness. This is a very topical issue and is vitally important: apparently fifty percent of all people aged seventy-five and over live alone.
At the outset of the program to introduce Visiting Volunteers there were understandably some reservations on the part of our Craft Lodge Almoners as to how this new way of dealing with applications for support for our Masonic Family would work. Two years into this new system it has been seen that most of the reservations originally expressed have been cleared. We are most fortunate that those original eight Visiting Volunteers are still in post and providing a most valuable service to those in need of support and of course to the Lodge Almoners and Brethren who are identifying those needs in the first place.
Financial difficulties and poor physical health are two of the recognised factors that can lead to
loneliness and social isolation. Remember that the Masonic Charitable Foundation may be able to help with daily living expenses, supporting children in full time education and paying certain one-off expenses. It may also be able to assist with mobility equipment to enable someone to regain their
independence. A “save the date” note has already been sent out and a formal invitation to attend will be sent to all Craft Lodge Almoners in the near future.
Latest Statistics from the MCF on grants to masons and their families in the Province: Q1 1 April 2019 to 30 June 2019 Number 7 16 20 43
Amount £5,887 £39,997 £11,834 £57,718
Type of Grant Awarded Family and Education Financial Health Total
THE GREAT WALL – AND A GREAT CAUSE Gill Waltham, wife of former Assistant Provincial Grand Master Roger, has accepted the challenge of walking the Great Wall of China from the 5th to the 13th October to help raise money for Demelza House Children’s Hospice. Gill writes: Bringing up children and raising a healthy, happy family is hard work at the best of times. When a child is born with or develops a terminal condition, the emotional and physical impact affects the whole family and can be overwhelming. At Demelza, they focus on supporting each child, young person and family they work with to achieve the best possible life. As specialists in care for young people and family support, they will continue to use their outstanding knowledge, experience and expertise to help families enjoy their lives together. The work Demelza do is so important and a very worthy cause. It’s also a charity which is local to where I live. Trekking the Great Wall is not going to be easy have you seen the size of those steps? - but completing something like this as part of a group is a fantastic experience as everyone helps each other along the way. I had firsthand experience of this when I trekked in Nepal.
If you know me, you know I like a challenge and I am really looking forward to this one. If you’d like to sponsor me, please click on this link:
Gill Waltham at Cat Bells, Lake District
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/gillwaltham1 Thank you so much for your donation.
THE HEART OF KENT HOSPICE
Hall, Aylesford, was established in 1991. It provides exceptional care for people in Maidstone, Aylesford, Tonbridge, Malling and surrounding areas facing the challenge of living with a terminal illness. The Hospice has built an excellent reputation within the local community for its quality of care: this reputation has been further endorsed by the Care Quality Commission who gave the Hospice an overall rating of “Outstanding” following an inspection in February 2017. The Hospice cares for almost 1,500 patients and
Rodger Williams is a member of the Malling Centenary Lodge No.8068. A few weeks ago, Rodger posted a message on the Province of East Kent Facebook Site (the internal site) about the Heart of Kent Hospice. He said that he was aware that some Brethren did not know where the Hospice was located or what services it offered.
their families each year.
Its services cost
£4million a year to run, with over £3million raised through the generosity of the local community. Many Lodges and Chapters in the Province of East Kent are frequent or regular donors. In November 2017, for example, the Stanley
There was a popular misconception that a Hospice was where people went to end their days. This was not entirely true, for the Hospice offered many services apart from end-of-life care. As an Ambassador for the Hospice, his role was to tell people what the Hospice did and to explain where their donations went. Keen to find out more, we contacted Rodger. Here is what he had to say.
Wykeham Lodge presented the Hospice with a cheque for £938. The Hospice is justly proud of the efficient way it spends the monies raised: 89p of every pound donated is spent on patient care. Rodger is very happy to give talks to Lodges and
You can contact him at rodg-
My involvement with the Hospice began back in 2011 after I was retired by the company I worked for. Unable to find other employment, I decided to do voluntary work in order to give something back to society. I approached several charities but got the same response from them all: “not recruiting”; “don’t need any more volunteers”. However, when I called in at the Heart of Mid Kent Hospice’s shop in King Street, Maidstone, and made enquiries about the Hospice, I was immediately offered a place working in the shop! After only three days there, I was again approached, and invited to become an Ambassador. I accepted, and the rest, as they say, is history. The Heart of Kent Hospice, located at Preston
Rodger Williams receiving the cheque from Steve Pilcher of the Stanley Wykeham Lodge No.6599 25
DISASTER STRIKES – BUT JOHN BATTLES ON In Issue 69 of The Provincial Magazine we ran a feature on Belvidere Lodge’s John MacCabe and his plans to take part in cycling events to raise money for the fight against Prostate Cancer, a major killer for men. Now, several months later, we have his Progress Report – but it’s not what we expected! Read on. Earlier this year, on learning that two close friends who are Masons had been diagnosed with Prostate
Cancer, I decided to do four cycle rides over the course of the summer to raise funds for Prostate Cancer UK.
The first was on the 1st June. Together with nineteen friends, I rode sixty-two miles along the Painters Trail which passes through the glorious countryside of the Essex and Suffolk border. The weather was nearly perfect for cycling – and, whilst there were a few challenging climbs, I completed the ride fairly comfortably: a thoroughly enjoyable day out on my bike.
My second ride, Football to Amsterdam, was in sharp contrast. It was organised by Prostate Cancer UK. There were twenty-three teams – thirteen cycling from London to Amsterdam (via Harwich) and ten from Yorkshire to Amsterdam (via Hull) – with approximately 350 riders in all. I was part of the twenty-onestrong “Cycle On You Spurs”. 26
We set off from the Velo Cycle Park at the Olympic Stadium just after 0900 hrs on the 7 th June and headed east through Stratford and Ilford for the eighty-two-mile ride to Harwich. It was not long before the rain started. We all got thoroughly soaked - but even worse was the very strong headwind that was driving into our faces all day. Fortunately, after a brief refreshment break at the fifty-six-mile stage, the rain stopped, and we enjoyed dry weather for the rest of the day.
There are several quite demanding climbs on this route, but I managed them all without too much concern. From Harwich we took the overnight ferry to the Hook of Holland. Following a fairly rough crossing with just a few hours’ sleep we were ready to start the second leg of the ride to Amsterdam. The heavy rain was back, but, this time, despite being absolutely soaked, we had the benefit of an incredibly strong tailwind through the very flat Dutch countryside and along the specially designed Cycle Paths that exist throughout the Netherlands. We were again fortunate that the rain stopped after about thirty miles, and we were able to complete the final thirty miles in dry weather. We rode in as a team to the finish at the Ajax Football Stadium and were rewarded with a glass of bubby and presented with a commemorative medal.
Saturday the 29th June was the date for my third cycle ride, also organised by Prostate Cancer UK. This
was “Le Grand Départ” – a 120-mile cycle ride around Brussels, following the first stage of this year’s Tour de France. Unfortunately, the day did not end too well for me.
Having travelled from Ebbsfleet by Eurostar on Friday, a party of 240 of us set off from the famous Grand Place in the heart of Brussels at 0700 hrs on Saturday for our epic ride. The weather was warm and sunny
with a gentle breeze as we headed for the Brussels suburbs.
As the day progressed the temperature rose to a maximum of 34C (93F). The course had a number of climbs, the most formidable of which was the iconic cobblestoned Muur in Geraardsbergen which we encountered after twenty-seven miles. This proved too tough for me and I only completed half of it, pushing my bike up the
remainder. However, I was delighted to complete the very next hill just two miles later, another difficult cobblestoned climb, the Bosberg. The very hot sunshine was affecting all the cyclists: like many others, I continued to progress at a very steady pace, coping reasonably well with the hills and the heat. There was terrific camarade-
rie among the riders, who gave assistance, support and encouragement to each other. We were all in this for the common cause - raising funds for Prostate Cancer UK.
However, a short distance before the third and final water stop at ninety miles, disaster struck for me.
Having swerved to avoid a drain, the front wheel of my bike hit a kerb and I took a very heavy fall. I was keen to remount and continue, but another
rider who had stopped to assist me, on seeing my plight, persuaded me not to. I am deeply indebted to him for his great kindness and unselfish act in depriving himself of the opportunity to complete the ride. He contacted the event organisers who arranged for medical assistance to be provided.
He also arranged for them to contact my wife who was waiting for me at the finish thirty miles down the road. Being very concerned for my wellbeing, he accompanied me to the hospital in the ambulance and stayed with me while I underwent scans and X-rays. These revealed that, in addition to severe grazing on my face, leg and arms, I had sustained five broken ribs and a cracked collarbone.
There was also evidence of some bruising to my lung which resulted in my being put into the Intensive Care Unit for observation. Fortunately, the possibility of a collapsed lung receded, and after two nights in hospital I was discharged into my wife’s care and we returned to England on Eurostar. I was deeply disappointed and frustrated at not having finished the event. The nature of my injuries meant I was not be able to participate in my fourth scheduled ride, the “Prudential RideLondonSurrey 100” on the 4th August.
There is absolutely no doubt that my cycling hel-
met, which was severely damaged, saved me from serious injury to my head. I make a plea to all of you who cycle to wear a helmet at all times. Remember the slogan “if you’ve got a brain, protect it!”.
I have made a slow but sure recovery. Although my right shoulder is still a bit sore and movement is slightly restricted, I am pleased to report that after eight weeks out of action I am now back in the saddle in preparation for my next cycle challenge in September. All things being equal, I should be fully recovered within another couple of months - which, keeping things in perspective, makes me considerably
more fortunate than those who are affected by Prostate Cancer. Finally, I would like to thank all those of you who sent Get Well messages and all who have kindly sponsored me. To date I have raised £8,450. If any of you have not yet done so and would now like to, it is still not too late. You can sponsor me using the following link: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-portal/fundraiserPage?pageId=982239
Postscript: You can’t keep a good man down! Here’s John at Waterloo, 6th September, just ten weeks after the crash.
MANOR OF GILLINGHAMâ€™S WW1 TRIP
Terry Perkins, Almoner of the Manor of Gillingham Lodge No.3983, writes: This is the tenth year of our annual trip to France and Belgium where we (Masons and our wives from many Lodges in the Medway area) visit places of interest - Cemeteries, Museums and Monuments - relating to the 1914-18 conflict. We used to go for the day, but it has now escalated to three days, so that we can better commemorate those soldiers who gave their today for our tomorrow.
Among the places we visited this year were the eighty-four-metre Tower, the Museum and the Trenches of Death at Diksmuide in Belgium, in memory of the Flemish soldiers who died in the War. We also visited the Tower and Museum at Corbie in France, a Memorial site to the Australians who gave their lives in the Battle of Amiens. The impressive underground Museum there was only finished last year: items are still being added even a hundred years on. For the last three years we've stayed at the HĂ´tel Lys in Halluin, near Lille. We have a Friday evening buffet there and a meal out at a nearby restaurant on the Saturday evening. Any surplus monies collected on the trip are donated to various Masonic Charities.
CARAVANNING – THE MASONIC WAY I always thought that MCC stood for the Marylebone Cricket Club. Not any longer! Campbell Wilson of the Lodge of Freedom No.77 knows that it stands for the Masonic Caravan Club. Campbell and his wife Keren have been caravanners for many years. Some time ago they read a small article in Freemasonry Today about a Masonic club dedicated to that popular leisure activity. Curious to find out more, they discovered that the nearest group to Kent was the South West Section, which held rallies in Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset. They duly joined, attended a Dorset Rally, and soon were able to join a newly established South East Section, chaired by Bill Leppard from Burgess Hill, West Sussex.
A South West Section Rally – but I Spy an Invicta flag!
The Club (whose full title is the Masonic Caravan Club of England and Wales) is open to any Freemason in good standing belonging to a Lodge recognised by the United Grand Lodge of England; to any widow or bereaved partner of a Freemason; and to any non-mason sponsored by a Freemason who is a paid-up member of the Club. The South West Section hold four Rallies a year; the South East run two plus an International Rally, in France. They have a “meet and greet” on the first evening or a bacon butty and coffee the following morning. Sunday lunch is usually held at a local pub or at a Masonic Hall if there is room. Members are invited to visit local Places of Interest, but they are welcome to do as much or as little as they wish. “The difference between this and any other club,” says Campbell, “is that we are all like-minded people.” Membership of the Masonic Caravan Club of England and Wales costs £10 per annum: see www.mccew.com for further details. The Club’s National Rally this year was held at Stratford-uponAvon from the 11th to the 16th September and was fully booked. The next South East Section Rally is at Wallingford in Oxfordshire from the 9th to the 15th October. For a Booking Form and other information, visit the Section’s website at www.mccew.com/SERegion
Serious stuff, this caravanning lark – except when it’s not! Here’s Campbell at a Fancy-Dress Event. Now, what does S&C stand for again?
PROPOSED NATIONAL MASONIC VEHICLE ASSOCIATION (NMVA)
The celebrations marking our Tercentenary may be gently fading from our daily consciousness, but there have been some interesting developments as a result, including more cooperation between Provinces. Peter Hughes (pictured) of the Jasper Lodge No.3934 in Stoke-on-Trent has been active in promoting interest in motoring generally and classic vehicles in particular, and is now championing the proposal for a national association of Motoring Lodges and Clubs. During the Tercentenary Year, 2017, many Classic Car Runs were arranged all over the country to showcase Freemasonry and the high ideals and standards we all strive for. Non-Freemasons enjoyed the Events as well, and the long-established Masonic Classic Vehicles Club was relaunched in that year as the Square Wheels Club (www.squarewheels.org). The Club’s mission is “to encourage, engage and unite current and future members through a superb lineup of national and international classic vehicle events scheduled throughout the season and to attend many of the major shows around the U.K.”. The next logical development was to found a Lodge whose passion would be Classic Vehicles – and in 2018 the Square Wheels Lodge No.9966 was consecrated (http://sqwlodge.org.uk). Peter Hughes is the current Master Elect. The Lodge is based in Warwick, close to the centre of the British car industry in England. There have been Vehicle/Motoring based Lodges and Provincial clubs for many years, all operating happily but independently. The aim now is to have a national forum to represent and provide mutual support for these existing units as well as for the many new Lodges all over the country now popping up.
In its Mission Statement, the proposed National Masonic Vehicle Association (NMVA) reckons that some 3,300 Freemasons own a Classic Car. The Statement outlines the benefits of coordination. The ability to draw on those Lodges and Club memberships could achieve for example: • •
an annual conference a regular magazine which could also act as point of common contact and interest and expand to a for sale and wanted section a means of organising and promoting regional cluster meetings and events as well as national meetings and special events
There has been considerable interest from many Provinces - from West Wales to Lincolnshire and from Surrey to Yorkshire – but there’s scope for much more. If you are interested and would like more information, please contact Peter Hughes on 07715 783413.
Have a look at this brand new eleven-minute video from The United Grand Lodge of England explaining in broad terms the purpose and methodology of Freemasonry. Good to see that our former Provincial Grand Master Geoffrey Dearing puts in an appearance. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stLrTAyOFh4&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR0FO4BwD1JsLDNuO_ZsU-jpGuMjPZSaWjtd58kFU5kWQM5FMlIo6xoEC0 35
CUPBOARD LOVE FOR ROMNEY? The Romney Marsh Day Centre (http://rmdc.org.uk) supports older people within the local community to remain independent and live in their own homes for as long as they choose. It can provide a range of tailored services to meet individual needs and wishes. It offers “a relaxed, friendly and informal social environment with an attractive choice of recreational and leisure activities to choose from”. Like most charities, the Centre could always do with more cash, and its makeshift cupboards for arts and crafts and other recreational materials were certainly in need of replacement. Step up, Desmond Bidwell, Master of the Romney Marsh Lodge No.4743. Hearing of the Centre’s needs, the Lodge set about raising the funds for new cupboards, and at a ceremony on the 21 st August Desmond presented a cheque for £1000 to Jon Wilson, Chief Executive Officer of the Romney Marsh Day Centre.
Desmond Bidwell (left) presents the cheque to Jon Wilson
Click on this video link to see Matt Jury interviewing Desmond and Jon: https://youtu.be/idz35vlNf-k Thanking the Lodge, Jon Wilson said, “Romney Marsh Day Centre is very grateful for the support of the Masonic Centre Dymchurch for funding new arts and crafts and activities storage cupboards which will allow us to better support those who enjoy creativity and social opportunities in our Centre. We have some very creative people who enjoy coming together to paint, draw and create and this will really improve our service, from our makeshift cupboards we have at the moment. We are extremely thankful for this investment to support people who come to our Charity” . 36
ETHELBERT AND THE STRODE PARK FOUNDATION Founded in 1946, Strode Park Foundation (www.strodepark.org.uk) is a Kent charity, providing vital care and support services for children and adults with a range of disabilities. The Foundation’s aim is to meet all levels of need; from those requiring a small amount of home care to maintain their independence, to supporting individuals with more complex disabilities requiring neurorehabilitation or 24-hour nursing residential care. Members of the Foundation believe in independence, well-being and choice, and promote these ideals throughout their care services, enabling people to live life the way they choose. Ernest “Mac” Miller, Master of the Ethelbert Lodge No.2099 at Herne Bay, is well aware of the good work that the Foundation does. Mac and his wife Marian decided that the money raised at Marian’s Ladies Night on the 20th April should go to the Foundation, and on the 27th June they presented a cheque for £800 to Karen Jeal, Fundraising, Marketing and PR Manager.
(L-R) Karen Jeal, Kevin Claringbold (Charity Steward), Marian and “Mac” Miller
ST LAWRENCE SPLASHES OUT There are many ways of measuring success – and to end your year as Master of your Lodge with a series of donations to charities is definitely one of them. James Ross stepped down as Master of the Saint Lawrence Lodge No.3350 in Ramsgate, Kent on the 25 th April 2019, taking on the role of Charity Steward. Four weeks later, at a meeting at the Ramsgate Masonic Centre on the 25th May, the Lodge donated a total of £2,500 to four charities. The money had been raised during James’s year by means of collections, donations and various fundraising events. Highlights included garden parties and Sunday lunches, where friends and families were invited to come along and join in the fun.
(L-R): Eve Willis (4th Broadstairs Scout Group), Demi Beavis-Roadknight (Dementia UK), James Ross, Jane Brook (East Kent Mencap), and Jan Fletcher (Stroke Association)
At the meeting in the main Lodge Room, Eve Willis from the 170-strong 4th Broadstairs Scout Group received £500 towards the repair of the Group’s scout hut.
Jane Brook from East Kent Mencap, a charity doing great work bringing out the full potential of those with mental disorders, received £500. Jan Fletcher of the Stroke Association also received £500. The Association’s cause was very close to James’s heart, as his young son-in-law had been badly affected by a stroke. 38
Demi Beavis-Roadnight, representing Dementia UK, the charity helping those affected by that awful disease, received £1000. As well as expressing their thanks for the donations, the recipients wanted to learn a little more about Freemasonry. Les Wills, Lodge Secretary, gave a short talk, and he and James answered questions and helped dispel some of the myths surrounding the fraternity. Freemasons nationally were the biggest givers to charity apart from the National Lottery. They donated to both national and local causes. Currently the Lodge was focussing on the East Kent Province’s 2025 Festival, a campaign that was hoping to raise at least £3.5 million for charity over the next six years. And the reaction of the audience? They repeated their thanks. Freemasons, they said, should spread the word more vigorously about all the good work they were doing!
REPORTING FOR CHAPTER?
The Communications Officer for HRA is looking for a Companion who would be interested in acting as a freelance reporter, taking some photos and writing a short report at some events during the year.
Email Chris Sanford at firstname.lastname@example.org
THANET CHAPTER 429 HOSTS A RED TABLE MEETING On the 11th June, Thanet Chapter No.429 hosted a highly successful Red Table meeting at the Temple in St Luke’s Avenue, Ramsgate. The Principals and other members of the Chapter had put in a great deal of effort to organise the event for Craft Masons, including Fellow Crafts, to learn more about the Holy Royal Arch. The MEZ, James Close, welcomed everyone present, particularly the fourteen Craft members who had come along to learn more about the Order. Many Companions from the Thanet Chapter were also there, looking splendid in their crimson and blue regalia.
A ‘Red Table’ meeting takes the form of three short presentations followed by a question and answer session, which in total last for approximately one hour, after which there is the opportunity for further discussion both at the bar and the Festive Board. The seating is usually arranged to allow Craft Masons and Royal Arch Companions to dine and talk together. The meeting started with each Chapter Officer providing an eloquent explanation of his role and position
in the Chapter, together with an outline of its historic representation.
The room then ‘sizzled’ with anticipation as the MEZ introduced the 2nd Provincial Grand Principal, Clive Manuel, who with his normal panache held the audience spellbound during his talk about the origins of the Holy Royal Arch. Clive then handed over to John Baker, the 3 rd Provincial Grand Principal, who outlined the structure of modern-day Royal Arch Masonry and the indissoluble link between the Holy Royal Arch and Craft. 40
The two speakers then conducted a question and answer session, during which several interesting points were raised. The Craft Masons present ranged from a young Fellow Craft to a Provincial Grand Lodge Officer, all of whom found the evening very informative.
The meeting ended with the MEZ thanking everybody for making the evening such a success and encouraging everyone to make use of the bar. The Festive Board took the form of an excellent buffet meal, which maintained the casual atmosphere and allowed Companions and Master Masons to mix together, which stimulated further discussion about the HRA.
[Information supplied by Chris Sanford]
KINGSGATE LODGE DONATE £1000 TO THANET DISABLED RIDING CENTRE Peter Dickinson, Charity Steward of the Kingsgate Lodge No.4882, writes: For over forty years, Thanet Disabled Riding Centre has provided a horse-riding experience for children with special needs. You only have to see the joy on the faces of the children to realise what a contribution the Centre makes to their wellbeing. The stables and ménage area are situated in the tranquil grounds of Maurice House in Broadstairs. All the staff are volunteers, and the horses have been donated, but it still costs over £100 a day to fund its operation. With capital projects included, the charity costs a staggering £40,000 a year to run. There is a modest income from schools and there used to be a regular flow of donations from local companies and organisations, but in the last financial year these began to dry up, and the Centre had to burrow deep into its capital. Nora Setterfield, who founded the Centre, admitted that, after having recently reinstated the ménage area and surrounding fencing, she only had enough funds to keep going for another six months. There wasn’t enough left to paint the fencing, so that would have to wait. On hearing of the Centre’s plight, the Kingsgate Lodge No.4882 were stirred into action. Kingsgate is a Dining Lodge and does not hold raffles at its Festive Board, but, following an impassioned appeal from Charity Steward Peter Dickinson, generous donations were collected after the proceedings had finished and £500 was raised in quick time. The Lodge’s General Purposes Committee agreed to match the donations from the Lodge’s Benevolent
Fund, and on Monday 8th July the Lodge’s Master, Jim Kerr, accompanied by Peter Dickinson, presented Nora with a cheque for £1000. Jim promised that the Lodge would help again in the future, and Peter said he was determined to publicise the plight of that worthy charity.
If you think your Lodge of Chapter can help, please visit the Thanet Disabled Riding Centre’s website at http://www.tdrc.org.uk/support-us/4579490748 or email email@example.com or visit the centre at Maurice House, Callis Court Road, Broadstairs, Kent CT10 3AH
One of the “stars” of the presentation!
THE MCF - AND ONE HAPPY LADY As I’m sure you know, our Provincial Grand
and agreed that this would help her to enjoy our family holiday as much as my daughter and I would.
Master Neil Johnstone launched the Province’s 2025 Festival Appeal this April. The Province is hoping to raise £3,500,000 for the Masonic
Unknown to me, the Brother approached the Lodge Almoner, Alan Snellings, who set the procedure in motion for a grant to enable us to purchase a mobility scooter through the Masonic Charitable Foundation. I only found this out later, thanks to a phone call from the MCF.
Charitable Foundation (MCF). Here is just one example of how your generosity can help our fellow Masons and their families. Alan Woodcock, Master of the City of Rochester Lodge No.7941, writes:
After a short while, having gone through the required process, we were successful in applying for a grant to purchase the scooter. The picture above shows Barbara on her first day out with it. What a massive difference it made to the day, and how it has transformed her outlook on life! From being confined to home, she is now able to go out with us and we can take trips as a family, something that was previously a struggle, as she used to become very tired and prone to fall. Dear Brethren, please note: this could have only been achieved by the generous donation from Brethren like yourselves across the country. It makes the East Kent Province’s 2025 Festival Appeal especially important, for, without the Masonic Charity Foundation, many people like Barbara would not be able to benefit in terms of independence, health and wellbeing.
Please do what you can to support the 2025 Festival, to enable the works of the MCF to continue.
Earlier this year, I was discussing our golden wedding anniversary with a fellow Brother. I
mentioned to him that we were going to hire a mobility scooter to assist my wife Barbara, who was confined to our house and garden owing to her dementia and arthritic joints in her legs,
A FISHY CATCH FOR LODGE 31 Roger Gabriel, Secretary of the United Industrious Lodge No.31, writes: The Masonic Fishing Charity’s aim is to bring an interactive fishing and countryside experience to people with special needs. It achieves this by running fishing events, both coarse and fly, and inviting participants with special needs to come and join in. This includes anyone over eleven with mental or physical disabilities; the disadvantaged; or those who have suffered trauma.
Gerald Lee of the United Industrious Lodge No.31 presents Pat Todd with a cheque for £500 to go towards supporting the Masonic Fishing Charity
The Charity provides: a fisherman or helper for every participant, usually on a one-to-one basis. lunch for all participants, helpers and fishermen. Lunch usually comprises barbecued burgers, sausages and maybe some fresh trout at fly fishing events! a ‘Certificate of Achievement’ for all participants. medals for Biggest Fish, Best Caster, Best Retriever etc. Risk Assessments and Health & Safety Instructions for participating organisations or individuals Health and Safety instruction to all helpers and fishermen. A qualified First Aider Some game fish caught may be kept by the participants. For other reports on our activities, see our website at http://unitedindustrious31.org.uk/news/ 45
“IN THE BEGINNING” A GLIMPSE OF THE EARLY YEARS OF ROYAL ARCH FREEMASONRY Two years ago, we were celebrating the 300th anniversary of modern Craft Freemasonry. There was much talk also about the ancient origins of Freemasonry - but those origins are shrouded in the mists of time. As with Craft, so is there is a debate as to the origins of the Holy Royal Arch, or “Chapter”. The debate is not helped by the scarcity of surviving evidence. What we do know is that the Royal Arch was active in London, York and Dublin by the late 1730’s – and one or two Chapters from that era are still alive and kicking. Cana Chapter No.116, based at Colne in
Lancashire, has practised continuously since the 1730’s and is the second oldest Chapter in England. It was officially warranted in 1769.
What was Chapter like in those early days?
Curious to find out, Clive Manuel, East Kent’s 2nd Provincial Grand Principal, teamed up with Dennis Fordham of Invicta Chapter No.709 to research the subject, and soon made contact with Eddie Forkgen and others at Cana Chapter. What they discovered formed the basis of a Royal Arch ritual demonstration, which they decided to launch at a recent meeting of the East Kent Provincial Grand Stewards Chapter No.5866.
The Provincial Grand Stewards Chapter was opened by the Principals (the 1 st Principal being the Deputy Grand Superintendent David Kershaw) in the presence of The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent Neil Johnstone and a host of guests from both East Kent and other Provinces. After business had been transacted, the Chapter was closed, and the demonstration team took their places within the temple.
The demonstration was a mixture of narration interspersed with short demonstrations of parts of the ritual. The four narrators read from a script, rather than memorise the words and possibly forget something important. Props comprised pull up banners showing illustrations of some of Cana’s regalia; facsimiles of aprons worn by some cast members; and a recreation of their tracing board.
The demonstration lasted about thirty-five minutes and concentrated on the closing Ritual, but in time the team may expand on this.
There was much interest and discussion at the Festive Board that followed. Chris Sanford, the East Kent Province’s Marketing and Communications Officer, said he hoped the demonstration would be available soon so that the whole Province could have a chance to see it.
Clive pointed out that the performance could not have gone ahead without the dedication of the demonstration team and the kind assistance from Cana Chapter. He had to obtain approval from the Province of East Lancashire, Cana Chapter and its Companions for the script and consent to deliver it. He also needed permission to include
reproductions of examples and illustrations of certain of Cana Chapter’s early regalia and of the tracing board. “I confess waiting for that consent was a somewhat nerveracking time”.
A NEW TOOL FOR LODGE AND CHAPTER TREASURERS Some of us are born accountants. Numbers, fractions, percentages and equations are no problem. These are the chaps who migrate to the challenging task of Lodge or Chapter Treasurer with consummate ease. But what about the rest of us? Do you balk at the idea of juggling subscriptions, expenses, grants, dues and all the other paraphernalia of the Treasurer’s job? And – be honest: do you have trouble understanding the balance sheets that are sent to you as an ordinary member? More to the point, what do you do if you feel obliged to take on the role of Treasurer because no one else in your Lodge or Chapter has volunteered? Relax – help is at hand. Malcolm Drummond is Secretary of the Bounds Green Lodge No.4406 and was for some years Treasurer of the Lodge of Instruction. He too had had trouble dealing with the intricacies of Masonic finance. Feeling that something had to be done to make his life easier, he devised an Excel spreadsheet, and, using his Lodge Treasurer as a guinea pig, enhanced it so that it would be able to deal with all Lodge finances and be fully compliant with the requirements in the Book of Constitutions. Malcolm attended a Seminar for Treasurers at Great Queen Street. The Metropolitan Grand Secretary saw it and asked for a copy. He had a good look at it, recommended a few tweaks and suggested taking it to the next level by making it available to all Treasurers. He is very happy to promote it at all future Treasurers’ Seminars. The software is designed for the novice Treasurer without a finance background. It enables him to track all income and expenditure and will also generate a set of accounts for his Auditors to examine. The Income and Expenditure accounts are fully amendable via the setup screen. Features include: • Dining Fees • Monthly Payments for subscriptions and/or Dining • Donations • Payment Request Forms • Standing Order Forms • Almoner’s Fund • Special Fund (for any fund the Lodge/Chapter is saving for, e.g. 2025 Festival) • Current Account • Charity Account • Investment Account and much more. 48
The software is suitable for any Lodge or Chapter with up to 100 members and 117 guests and comes with an explanatory booklet. Over 300 Lodges and Chapters worldwide are using the software currently. Malcolm has received many words of appreciation from happy Treasurers, among them:
“Well done for your hard work and thanks for sharing it among fellow Masons. “I have just opened the spreadsheet and it is precisely what I have been hoping for! Many thanks from a very relieved Treasurer. “Nice bit of software. This is so easy to understand. “This is a wonderful thing you have done here and may have just saved my life.”
If you would like a copy, send a cheque for £10 payable to “Metropolitan Masonic Charity” together with your name, Lodge/Chapter Name and Number and email address to: For the attention of Miss Carole Hunt Metropolitan Grand Lodge Office PO Box 29055 London WC2B 5UN The software, with a unique password, will then be emailed to you. For further information, contact Carole on 0207 539 2935.
THE COMMUNICATIONS TEAM The East Kent Province’s Communications Team, headed by Richard Wingett, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, is here to help keep you informed about activities and events in the Province and to facilitate effective communication between Lodges, Chapters and the general public.
Website and Mailing Services Manager
Press and Media Manager
Social Media Manager
Provincial and Editorial Manager
Chapter Media Manager:
And finally, Brethren and Companions: a reminder that the members-only portal “Your Province” – a.k.a. YP2 – is the principal source of information for all Craft and Royal Arch Freemasons in East Kent. This secure website is full of interesting material that will support all Master Masons and Companions irrespective of experience or rank. To register, please follow the link https://yourprovince.org/yp2
A digital publication from the Province of East Kent Freemasons