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The Official Journal of the United Grand Lodge of England

Number 40 - Winter 2017

VOTING FOR YOUR COMMUNITY

COOKING WITH SIGN LANGUAGE

THE LIFE OF A BRITISH MAHARAJA

Local charity awards p34

The kitchen apprentices p54

Duleep Singh in exile p63

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WELCOME

FROM THE GRAND SECRETARY hat a year that was - a year to look back on with a great sense of achievement and pride. The sheer number and variety of events held across Provinces and Districts is a testament to the vitality and relevance of Freemasonry today, and to your hard work. It has been a year when we have opened up Freemasons' Hall to a number of major events, including the unveiling of our VC Memorial, our Artist in Residence, Sky TV, two Open Days and two organ concerts. Not forgetting a Grand Ball, at which 2,000 or so revellers marvelled at the transformation of the Grand Temple and many other art deco rooms for a splendid night. It was also a year when other Sovereign Grand Lodges from around the globe celebrated with us the 300th anniversary of the formation of the world's first organised Grand Lodge, which was established in London in 1717. Indeed, we were greatly honoured that more than 130 Grand Masters from these Sovereign Grand Lodges travelled great distances, many with their wives, to be with us at the various events taking place from 29-31 October. All of which culminated in the spectacular celebration at London's Royal Albert Hall on 31 October.

A TIME TO REMEMBER How privileged we have been as Freemasons in the United Grand Lodge of England to have been part of such an important and influential organisation at this time; 2017 will long be remembered, and we must now

capitalise on this success as we move forward into the next 300 years. In this issue of Freemasonry Today, we feature the spectacle and fanfare at the Royal Albert Hall when the Grand Master was joined by more than 4,400 brethren for a very special meeting. A testimony to the enduring strength of Freemasonry, the event was a remarkable feat of organisation that saw members transported to a banquet held in Battersea, south London - all of which required some meticulous preparation and planning.

LOOKING AHEAD Yet amid the grand celebrations, the everyday business of Freemasonry continued. We report on this year's New and Young Masons Clubs Conference at the Severn Street Masonic Hall in Birmingham, which welcomed 100 new and young Freemasons from across the country. With attendees discussing ways to ensure the Craft's relevance in the 21st century, Provincial Grand Master for South Wales Gareth Jones emphasised the need for masonry to become more intertwined with everyday communities. As John Hamill explains in his 'Reflection' column this issue, it is our contribution to communities that will stand the test of time. While the central core of our membership may not make the headlines, they do keep Freemasonry alive by following its principles and tenets. In the process, they make a difference to their communities and ensure our legacy. I hope that you and your families have a wonderful festive season.

Willie Shackell Grand Secretary

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CONTENTS

FREEMAS@NRY The Board of Grand Lodge Publications Ray Reed, Robin Furber, Graham Rudd Publishing Director John Hamill Editor Luke Turton Editorial Panel Susan Henderson, John Jackson, Rachel Jones Published by August, a trading division of Publicis Limited for the United Grand Lodge of England, Freemasons' Hall, Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ Editorial Manager Susan Henderson editor@ugle.org.uk Freemasonry Today, Freemasons' Hall, Great Queen Street, London WC28 5AZ Advertising contact Square7 Media Ltd, 3 More London Riverside, London SE1 2RE Mark Toland 020 3283 4056 mark@square7media.co.uk Circulation 020 7395 9392 fmt@ugle.org.uk Masonic enquiries editor@ugle.org.uk www.ugle.org.uk 020 7831 9811 Printed by Wyndeham Roche © Grand Lodge Publications Ltd 2017. The opinions herein are those of the authors or persons interviewed only and do not reflect the views of Grand Lodge Publications Ltd, the United Grand Lodge of England or August, a trading division of Publicis Limited.

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GRAND SECRETARY Willie Shackell welcomes you to the winter issue

NEWS AND VIEWS

6

Masonic news from the Provinces and Districts

Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes and First Grand Principal HRH The Duke of Kent talkprogress and generosity

20

discusses the future of Freemasonry

MENUS MAKING CHANGE

54

Behind the scenes at a Greek restaurant in Blackburn

SENIOR SURFERS

26

59

Masonic funding is helping bridge the digital divide for older people less accustomed to mobile technology

Freemasons from all over the world come to London to celebrate the Tercentenary at the Royal Albert Hall

PATH TO SUCCESS

50

The New and Young Masons Oubs Conference 2017

offering job opportunities for deaf people

Long-standing Freemason and Second Grand Principal Russell Race discusses educating new Craft members

A DAY TO REMEMBER

45

creation of a masonic lodge

TALKING POINT

17

SENIOR INSIGHTS

OVERARCHING THEME

BATTLE CONTROLLERS How a First W arid War machine gun unit led to the

THE BLACK PRINCE

30

The low-down on the new Members' Pathway for

63

A history ofDuleep Singh, last Maharaja of the Sil<ll Empire and England-adopted Freemason

recruitment and new-member progression

BUILDING WITH SECURITY

33

The Masonic Mutual tailor-made insurance has grown to 140 members in just three years

EVERY VOTE COUNTS

LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

34

How the public nominated their most deserving charities for the MCF Community Awards grants PHOTOGRAPHY Cover: Chris Allerton Photography. This page: Chris Allerton Photography, Cristian Barnett, Laurie Fletcher, Tor Keene, Chris Terry, Tim White

freemasonrytoday.com

INTRODUCING THE GRAND

CHARITY UPDATE

41

A Tercentenary party like no other: glitz, glamour and a giant Scalextric at Freemasons' Hall

67

How Freemasons are helping out around the UK

73

Midsummer and midwinter memorabilia

LETTERS

74

Your opinions on the world of Freemasonry

REFLECTION

82

John Hamill on Freemasons serving the community

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NEWS AND VIEWS

NEWS AND VIEWS

You can keep up to date with all the latest news from around the country on our Twitter and Facebook pages

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Fashion forward at Freemasons' Hall Africa Fashion Week London came to Freemasons' Hall with an amazing splash of colour, along with more than 5,000 visitors, 42 catwalk designers and 60 exhibitors. The marbled hallways and vestibules of Freemasons' Hall played host

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to visitors browsing for Africamade and inspired jewellery, clothing and accessories. Attendees also enjoyed delicacies in the African food court before the catwalk shows, where around 15 different countries were represented.


NEWS AND VIEWS

Bikers head to Buckinghamshire for picnic bonanza As part of Freemasonry's celebrations,

Tercentenary

Buckinghamshire

masons

hosted a picnic for children and their teddy bears in July at Drayton Parslow Sports and Social Club. Travelling from as far away as Southampton, of Buckinghamshire

members

Motorcycle

Lodge,

No. 9926, and the South East chapter of the Widows Sons Masonic Bikers Association

arrived in a convoy to

Surrey support for Keith Palmer's family

join members of the newly formed Buckinghamshire

Classic Car Lodge,

No. 9945. They were joined by the Mayor of Milton Keynes, Councillor David Hopkins, and the Mayoress.

Taking the plunge for Brighton The headquarters of Sussex Freemasonry, a Grade II listed building at 25 Queens Road in Brighton, is in need of restoration and repair. Provincial Grand Master Chris Moore therefore put the wheels in motion for a fundraising initiative. The result was a sponsored parachute jump, with Chris leaping from a height of 12,000 feet at Skydive Headcorn in Kent. The parachute jump raised £20,000 to go towards the renovation.

An auction for a framed Charlton Athletic football shirt at a Surrey Masonic Sports Association (SMSA) Charity Golf Day held special significance. Brought along by event organiser David Eager's son Cliff, the shirt was a one-off design worn by all Charlton players for a league match following the death of Police Constable Keith Palmer, who was killed in the Westminster terrorist

attack in London in March 2017. Palmer had been a Charlton seasonticket holder for many years, and the shirt bore his police warrant number. The SMSA agreed to match the final auction figure, which was a £500 bid by Julian Whiteaker, after which Kevin and Beverley Field donated a further £250, bringing the total raised for Palmer's widow and young daughter to £1,500.

Salisbury Cathedral packed for celebratory evensong service More than 1,000 Freemasons and their families attended Salisbury Cathedral in September for an evensong service marking the UGLE Tercentenary. Wiltshire Provincial Grand Master Philip Bullock welcomed civic leaders including Lord-Lieutenant

of Wiltshire Sarah

Rose Troughton and Wiltshire High Sheriff Lady Marland, who joined President of the Board of General Purposes Anthony Wilson and George Francis PAGM for a preservice lunch. The event was the culmination of two years' work by Stephen Bridge, who worked with Canon Precentor, Rev Tom Clammer, in organising the celebration.

freemasonrytoday.com

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NEWS AND VIEWS

Manx masons back breast cancer initiative Masonic teddy bears visited the National Memorial Arboretum

at

Alrewas in Cheshire in August, for a picnic in the woods to help raise money for the Manx Breast Cancer Support Group, backed by the Provincial Grand Lodge of the Isle of Man. More than 100 families attended the event, with many children bringing along teddies received through the

Hampshire & Isle of Wight PGM Mike Wilks visited the Tall Ships Youth Trust at Gunwharf Marina, Portsmouth, in July, and presented £22,000 donated to the charity by the Masonic Charitable Foundation. The donation will support young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET). Wilks talked to the young people who had recently arrived to start their

adventure and were looking forward to playing their part in assisting the crew, whatever the weather and sea conditions. CEO Richard Leaman explained, 'This bursary will allow us to get 50 NEET young people on board our vessels for sail training. We are immensely grateful to the Masonic Charitable Foundation for their generosity and support.'

Teddies for Loving Care initiative when they were in hospital. The picnic was organised by Rachel Corlett, Manx Breast Cancer Support Group's entrant for the Miss Isle of Man contest. 'The day formed part of the newly revamped Miss Isle of Man competition, which requires the individual contestants

to raise funds for their

nominated charity,' said Isle of Man PGM Keith Dalrymple. 'Rachel selected the Breast Cancer Support Group, which, with a little help from Manx

Honouring Cardiff's masonic history

Masons, has benefited to the tune of more than £30,000.'

A blue plaque has been unveiled at Cardiff Masonic Hall to mark 263 years of Freemasonry in the city. Hall Chairman Brian Langley (pictured, left) and South Wales PGM Gareth Jones took part in the unveiling in October, and the plaque sits above the hall's front doors. Records show the Corinthian Lodge, No. 226, was warranted in August 1754. In 1893, the United Methodist Church wanted to sell its Guildford Street building and relocate. Three lodges paid £4,500 for the site, and in 1894 The Cardiff Masonic Hall Company was incorporated.

On the bus with Sir Bobby Charlton Cheshire masons donated The Children's in September

Adventure

£55,000

for a 14-seat minibus,

and PGM Stephen

to

Farm Trust

Blank presented

Bobby Charlton. adapted

The minibus

to transport

disadvantaged

children

such as sports,

president

and music therapy.

8

and football

legend Sir

ill and

from north-

west England to participate

the keys of the vehicle to charity

has been

disabled,

in activities

animal care, arts, crafts

PGM Stephen Blank (seated, left) and Sir Bobby Charlton (seated, centre)


NEWS AND VIEWS

Travelling back to India Deputy Grand Master Jonathan Spence (pictured, below-right)

and Assistant

Grand Master Sir David Wootton visited India to meet with senior Freemasons. The country has four District Grand

X-ray machine donated to Ghana hospital

Lodges recognised by UGLE. The first is the District Grand Lodge of Madras, which was consecrated

in 1752. The

oldest still meeting in the District, consecrated

in 1786, is Lodge of

Perfect Unanimity, No. 150. The District

Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes (left) was present in September when the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) in Accra, Ghana, received a $42,000 X-ray machine from the District Grand Lodge of the country as part of Freemasonry's Tercentenary celebrations. The equipment will help in the effective treatment of all forms of kidney stones. Along with the Pro Grand Master, Ghana District Grand Master Isaac O Hood led a delegation in order to present the machine's documents to KBTH chief executive Dr Felix Anyah (right).

Shropshire marks Tercentenary at Shrewsbury Abbey

Grand Lodge of Bombay operates from Mumbai, and its first lodge was consecrated

in 1758. The District Grand

Lodge of Northern India has lodges in Delhi, Shimla, Jalandhar, Amritsar and Dalhousie. The District Grand Lodge of Bengal is based in Kolkata.

A Tercentenary celebration was held at Shrewsbury Abbey in October with choral evensong for the Province of Shropshire, led by PGM Peter Taylor. A procession of lodge banners began proceedings, with the Provincial sword, banner and standard placed before the high altar. Provincial Grand Chaplain Phil Niblock led the service, with a sermon from the Grand Chaplain, the Rev Canon Michael Wilson. Lessons were read by the PGM and Deputy PGM Roger Brentnall.

Public votes in Devonshire Eight Devonshire charities benefited from a series of special MCF Community Awards from Devonshire Freemasons after an unprecedented public vote, with 178,801 people in England and Wales participating. The MCF Community Awards are a major part ofUGLE's 300th anniversary celebrations. The Masonic Charitable Foundation is distributing £3 million to 300 charities across the country, with the public vote deciding on the level of awards, which range from £4,000 to £25,000. Presentations to the charities were made in September at a special ceremony in Plymouth by Provincial Grand Master Ian Kingsbury on behalf of the Masonic Charitable Foundation. Find out more about the thinking behind the MCF Community Awards on page 34

freemasonrytoday.com

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LOYALEXCHANGE During the spectacular events at the Royal Albert Hall, Deputy Grand Master Jonathan Spence read the text of a letter sent to Buckingham Palace May it please your Majesty, We, the representatives of over 200,000 Freemasons under the United Grand Lodge of England, most respectfully express our continuing loyalty to Your Majesty's Throne and Person in this, the 66th year of your long and distinguished reign. Today we celebrate the 300th anniversary of the foundation of the premier Grand Lodge and the 50th anniversary of the installation of His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent as our much loved and greatly respected Grand Master. We humbly thank God for preserving our Order and fervently pray His blessings on your Majesty, so that our loyal devotion to your Majesty may long continue. Given at the Royal Albert Hall this 31st day of October AD2017.

Her Majesty was pleased to reply in the following terms: Dear Mr Spence, The Queen has asked me to thank you for your kind letter of loyal greetings on behalf of the Representatives of the Freemasons under the United Grand Lodge of England, on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of the foundation of the premier Grand Lodge and the fiftieth anniversary of the installation of The Duke of Kent as your Grand Master, which are being celebrated on 31 October at the Royal Albert Hall. Her Majesty appreciated your thoughtfulness in writing as you did and, in return, has asked me to send her warm good wishes to you all for a most successful event. Yours sincerely,

Jonathan Spence, Deputy Grand Master

David Ryan, Director, Private Secretary's Office

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NEWS AND VIEWS

Warwickshire masons donate Shakespeare's desk and chair

Jurassic adventure in Dorset Dorset Freemasons, with the support of brethren across the country, have given more than 200 children a week-long Jurassic Coast Youth Adventure holiday. Conceived in Dorset, the Jurassic holiday project saw 122 children from schools in Dorset joined by a further 87 from 14 other Provinces - and also provided an opportunity

to commemorate

300 years of the United Grand Lodge of England. Assistant Grand Master Sir David

Freemasons of Warwickshire paraded in full regalia in the streets of Stratfordupon-Avon in August for the first time since 1929, joined by Mayor of Stratford, Councillor Victoria Alcock. The procession commenced at Shakespeare's Birthplace and proceeded through the town to Shakespeare's New Place museum, where they were greeted by the head of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Dr Diana Owen. A dedication was then given of Shakespeare's desk and chair, both of which were donated by UGLE and the Province of Warwickshire to mark their commitment to the Stratfordupon-Avon community. Warwickshire Provincial Grand Master David Macey formally handed over the desk and chair after the conclusion of the ceremony in the museum's gardens.

Freemasons in Harrogate and Ripon have turned to flower power to help celebrate key milestones in the fraternity's

history. Three floral

displays - located on Harrogate's Montpellier Hill, within the Valley Gardens and in Ripon's Spa Gardens - have been created by Harrogate Borough Council's Parks and Environmental Services Department to mark the 300th anniversary of UGLE and the bicentenary of the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding. The official unveiling of the

Wootton and Dorset's Provincial Grand Master, Richard Merritt,

flowerbeds, which contain 7,500

watched the children dragon-boat

plants - arranged to resemble the

racing and raft-building

masonic symbol of the square and

at the

Weymouth and Portland National

compasses and the White Rose of

Sailing Academy. At Osmington, they

York - was performed

witnessed activities such as abseiling,

of Harrogate Borough, Cllr Anne

archery, a sensory trail and a beach walk.

by the Mayor

Jones, Mayor of Ripon Cllr Pauline

fencing, Aeroball, the giant swing, (centre-left)

New Director for the Library and Museum of Freemasonry The Library and Museum of Freemasonry is pleased to welcome Dr Vicky Carroll as its new Director. Carroll, who started at the end of November, replaces Diane Clements when she retires in December. Carroll has most recently been working for the City of London Corporation as the Principal Curator of Keats House in Hampstead and as the Head of the Guildhall Art Gallery. She has also managed London's William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow, leading the delivery of its Heritage Lottery Fund-assisted redevelopment in 201113. 'I am looking forward to this new challenge, building on the recent successful re-display of these wonderful Designated collections so that we can engage with an everwider audience,' Carroll said.

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Harrogate and Ripon turn over a new leaf

Mayor Victoria Alcock with the chair and desk

McHardy and Provincial Grand Master David Pratt.


NEWS AND VIEWS ~

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Medal honour for Dean Classic 300 reaches Land's End The latest Classic 300 run saw the 'travelling gavel' cross the River Tamar, arriving safely in Saltash to begin the Cornish leg in August. The idea for the Classic 300 event was conceived by the Masonic Classic Vehicle Club as part of the United Grand Lodge of England's Tercentenary celebrations.

A series of 15 non-competitive classic car runs took place in England and Wales in 2017. Before embarking on the 120-mile-plus coastal trail to Land's End, the travelling gavel, fashioned from a Jaguar 'con-rod', was formally handed over by Freemason John Cole to Cornwall PGM Stephen Pearn.

Dean Faulkner from the Isle of Sheppey Lodge, No. 6769, has been awarded the British Empire Medal as part of the Queen's 2017 Birthday Honours list. Dean, chairman of Sheerness Freemasons, has been an active St John Ambulance member for more than 40 years, and is the bandmaster of the Sheppey St John Ambulance Band. With the band, Dean has organised parades throughout the country and beyond, most recently in Ypres, Belgium, as part of the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele. His wife, Claire, is a Serving Sister of The Order of St John, and also runs the cadet division.

Picnic aids 3,000 distressed children South Wales Freemasons held a Teddy Bears' Picnic at St Lythans, near Wenvoe, to celebrate 300 years of

Metropolitan launches Fire Brigade appeal

Freemasonry and raise money for the Teddies for Loving Care (TLC) Appeal. More than 3,000 distressed children

At the annual London Grand Rank investiture of Metropolitan Grand Lodge, the Metropolitan Grand Master Sir Michael Snyder announced the launch of a £2.5 million appeal to purchase two extended high-rise aerial vehicles for London Fire Brigade. Sir Michael welcomed a party from London's fire and rescue service into the Grand Temple, led by Steve Apter, the brigade's Director of Safety and Assurance, and Dr Fiona Twycross, chair of the London Fire and Emergency

freemasonrytoday.com

Planning Authority, to receive the first instalment of £375,000. The lifts are in addition to extra resources for extendedheight aerial vehicles requested by the Commissioner as part of a mayoral review into the brigade's resources. The lifts will be branded 'Donated by Metropolitan Masonic Charity' and will be mobilised across London and used for fighting fires and effecting rescues. 'They can reach 22-24 floors - far higher than anything we currently have in service,' said Apter.

and their families will be helped by the £4,000 raised at the event. The picnic will help to provide TLC Teddies to A&E hospitals in South Wales, including Noah's Ark Children's Hospital.

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NEWS AND VIEWS

Time for reflection in Memorial Wood Thanks to Leicestershire & Rutland Freemasons, Leicestershire County Council and The Woodland Trust, an area of Bradgate Park, near Leicestershire, has been dedicated to quiet reflection. Known as the Memorial Wood, it was officially opened in October by Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes, with more than 200 people watching as he unveiled a bronze plaque at the entrance, followed by a short dedication by the Grand Chaplain, the Rev Canon Michael Wilson. Provincial Grand Master David Hagger then called upon Peter Osborne, chairman of the Bradgate Park Trust, to formally accept the Memorial Wood into the care of the trustees.

Manchester Cathedral celebrates Freemasonry More than 500 Freemasons, friends and family members attended a service in

Lifelites brings innovation to Isle of Man hospice

September celebrating

the Tercentenary

of the United Grand Lodge of England at Manchester Cathedral. The old medieval parish church of Manchester was a fitting venue for such a historic event. The service encompassed

Thanks to the generosity of Freemasons on the Isle of Man, Lifelites has been able to deliver innovative technology to Rebecca House Children's Hospice on the island. The Province has pledged to cover the entire cost of the package, which includes accessible, cuttingedge technology, as well as training and technical support services. The technology will transform the time children spend at the hospice, enabling them to play games, be creative with art and music, control something and communicate with others. With the funding covering the next four years, this is the first time that children at the Isle of Man hospice have been able to use this type of technology.

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that Freemasonry multi-faith

everything

is about - openness,

and multiculturalism

bound together The congregation

- all

by a common interest. received readings in

both Hebrew and English, and heartfelt prayers were delivered by brethren of the Province. During the service, there was a collection for the mission and aims of the cathedral, which was subsequently blessed by a Cathedral Canon.

New livery lodge in ship-shape The first lodge meeting to be held on board a ship, in this case the HQS Wellington, was held by the newly formed Wellington Livery Masters Lodge, No. 6991 - the only 'floating lodge' in the UK. The HQS Wellington is a well-known London landmark, permanently moored on the north bank of the River Thames on Victoria Embankment, near the Temple. It is the home of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners, one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. For this inaugural meeting, a talk about the links between Freemasonry and the Livery was given by Assistant Grand Master Sir David Wootton. The guest of honour was Metropolitan Grand Master Sir Michael Snyder.


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SENIOR INSIGHTS

FIFTY YEARS OF SERVICE First Grand Principal HRH The Duke of Kent and Pro First Grand Principal Peter Lowndes recognise the progress that is being made in the Royal Arch was delighted to be able to appoint and promote so many of you to celebrate my 50 years as First Grand Principal. This, of course, is in recognition for all you have done for the Royal Arch - but it is also, you may not be surprised to hear, in expectation of further services. Although smaller than the Craft, there is no doubt that the Royal Arch holds a very warm and special place in our affections. Over the course of the last 50 years we have adapted our ritual to make it easier to understand, to remove some of the anomalies and to ensure a greater involvement from the companions. I am very pleased to see the progress that has been made. While this year has been a great celebration for the Craft, I have no doubt that we too will benefit from the great success it has achieved, and I know that there are measures in hand that will ensure that Freemasonry has a prominent place in society for many years to come. Companions, I am greatly encouraged by all that I have seen this year and I thank you all for all of your hard work.

First Grand Principal HRH The Duke of Kent

freemasonrytoday.com

C

ompanions, I had the privilege of speaking at the Royal Albert Hall about the 50 years' service our Grand Master had given to the United Grand Lodge of England. Those of you who were there, or have seen that remarkable event online, might have noticed that what I said seemed to go down reasonably well. That took no account of the fact that the job of First Grand Principal and Grand Master run concurrently, and therefore any mathematician could work out that the First Grand Principal has also been head of our order for the same 50 years. I mentioned it as a remarkable achievement; it is even more remarkable when you look at it in that light.

'Freemasonrywill have a place in societyfor many years to come' HRH The Duke of Kent

Pro First Grand Principal Peter Lowndes

17


SENIOR INSIGHTS

EXTRAORDINARY WORK Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes salutes the generosity of Freemasons who have helped to support good causes all across the world n June, the Grand Master unveiled a plaque on the outside of Freemasons' Hall, erected by the time immemorial lodges, and he was then declared their Worshipful Master at a splendid ceremony at Mansion House. This was particularly appropriate as, 100 years ago, his great uncle and godfather, the Duke of Connaught, had received a similar honour. The other Rulers and Past Rulers have covered cathedral services commemorating our Tercentenary from St David's in West Wales to Norwich in the east, and from Salisbury and Exeter in the south to Durham in the north, with many in between. You have then arranged dinners, a race meeting, car rallies, choral events and concerts, family fun days and fossil digs - all of which were splendidly organised.

STERLING EFFORTS I was privileged to visit our Districts in the Eastern Archipelago and Sri Lanka, witnessing first-hand the charitable work that they have been involved with. In Kuala Lumpur I visited the site of what I believe will be a splendid new home for the elderly. In Sri Lanka, the District has raised funds to bring drinking water to an outlying village and three schools in that area. Together with the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF), they are also supporting the relief efforts following the flooding caused by the unprecedented May monsoon. These felt like short trips compared with those of our Assistant Grand Master, whom I feared was in danger of meeting himself coming back as he flew to Buenos Aires on 4 August for a meeting of our District of South America, Southern Division, and then on to Chile for talks with their Grand Master, before flying back to Heathrow on 8 August for onward travel to our District of Madras in Chennai. It is humbling to witness your splendid efforts in support of Freemasonry. I have mentioned the Districts, but there has also been extraordinary work carried out in all the Provinces. In June, I mentioned the phenomenal response you made to the Manchester bombing and Grenfell Tower fire in London. I can confirm that East Lancashire gave the Red Cross in Manchester more than £226,000 for the victims and that the Metropolitan Grand Lodge gave £100,000 to the Grenfell Tower Appeal - thank you for your generosity. And well done, North Wales, whose Festival with the RMGTB raised £3.1 million at £899 per member.

18

Thank you for your efforts with the MCF grants and public vote. I can report that more than 150,000 votes were cast across UGLE for the 300 charities to be awarded grants, and most of these votes - more than 80% were from the general public. I know that the MCF has scrutinised these votes and has announced its award recipients. Congratulations to all involved in the MCF for this splendid initiative. The project would not have been as successful without the exhaustive use of all social-media outlets, but I must here issue a caution on its use. Last year, we issued a very comprehensive instruction on the use, values and dangers of social media. One of the key points made was that you should ensure that anyone who you post images of on one of these sites should have agreed to be pictured. Yes, we need to be open and we want to promote our activities, but we must protect our members' wishes. A little bit of common sense goes a long way.


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FIRST PERSON

Having helped oversee the establishment of the Metropolitan Grand Lodge, Second Grand Principal Russell Race now wants to give Craft members enough time to understand the Royal Arch

PAUSE FOR THOUGHT What have you taken from your professional career? I did an economics degree at Liverpool and worked initially for British Steel, then for an administrative body looking after the fishing industry. When I was 24, I went into the City as an investment analyst. I was there for the rest of my working life, for the last 20 years in corporate finance, and retired in my early 50s. I found my enjoyment was in building good working relationships, and ultimately friendships, with colleagues and clients which, on the corporate side, is crucial. I had around 30 clients and if you did a good job for them, they would not seek to move somewhere else for a quarter per cent on a deal. And relationships take us into Freemasonry. It's all

20

about working with people, interacting with them and enjoying their company.

When did you find out about Freemasonry? I was born in Gloucester, and the first 12 years of my life were spent there. My father joined a lodge just after the war and he went into the Chair in 1956, two years before we moved to Kent, where he became a founder of what became my mother lodge in Rochester. Lodges had a big social calendar and as a teenager I went to many lodge events with my parents. When I came back from university at 21, and was still living in Kent, my father said to me, 'Well, you know something about masonry and you've met many members of ~


21


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the lodge, so if you're interested in joining, let me know.' It was a very smart psychological move. Many fathers might have said, 'Well, I've got you down to join at the next meeting, now you're back in the area,' but mine didn't. I took about two years, got settled in a job, and then said, 'I'd like to join.' It was very much my decision, rather than feeling any obligation to join.

Did joining the Royal Arch feel like a natural progression? I was 29 when I joined the Royal Arch, again in the local chapter in East Kent. I didn't go into it with any preconceptions and I loved the ceremony from day one - despite being on the receiving end of all three lectures on the evening of my exaltation! In those days, the Royal Arch was considered the completion of the Third Degree, which is now an area of debate. But you could also just say it was seen as the natural progression from the Craft, which is something we rightly still emphasise. The pressure on chapters was rather less in the 1960s and 1970s, because our numbers were higher than they are today, albeit beginning to level out. Chapters were thriving with 30 or 40 members, but it's when you get below critical mass of 20 to 15 that you suddenly start thinking, 'What do we do?' It's only at this late stage that many chapters try to re-establish links with the mother Craft lodge, which may be too late. Why did you become involved in Metropolitan? As a member of London lodges and chapters, I was aware that Metropolitan was being set up as a separate entity, but my move to London was a complete shot out of the blue. As East Kent Deputy Provincial Grand Master, I had met the Pro Grand Master Lord Northampton for the first time at a dinner. A little later, Rex Thorne asked me out to lunch in Long Acre, and when I arrived Lord Northampton was with him. To my surprise, he asked me to move up to London to become the first Deputy Metropolitan Grand Master. I took some time to think about it because it was a new job and I knew the time commitment would be substantial. I asked the opinion of a few close friends who were unconnected with London, and they all said the same: 'You can't say no. It's a great

freemasonrytoday.com

With his masonic origins in East Kent, Russell has risen through the ranks

opportunity.' Which indeed it was, but the workload proved to be quite heavy as well.

How did you feel leaving Metropolitan to become Second Grand Principal? I think I made it known to people over time that Royal Arch is one of my great loves. Having completed six years as Metropolitan Deputy Grand Master and six years as Metropolitan Grand Master and Grand Superintendent, I knew it wasn't a job I was going to do forever. I had a meeting with Peter Lowndes, who asked how I would feel about taking the position of Second Grand Principal, as George Francis was retiring. I paused slightly but, on this occasion, I didn't ask for time to think about it, I said, 'Yes, I'd love to do it.' The best things in life come unexpectedly, don't they? For my successor as Metropolitan Grand Master, Sir Michael Snyder, the intention is to perform the role in a slightly different way, which I am sure is right. It was important in the early days of Metropolitan Grand Lodge for the rulers to be seen to be out visiting lodges and chapters on a regular basis and to be visible to all London masons. I was able to do that, but it wasn't something that necessarily ~

23


FIRST PERSON

needed to be carried on at the same pitch, because London now has a firmly established base and identity.

What have you inherited from your predecessor in the Royal Arch? I think one of the important things that George Francis brought to the job was being visible to companions all around the country, visiting widely in the Provinces and London. There is no substitute for hearing people's views first-hand. Additionally, he was a keen promoter of making the ritual more dramatic and understandable for all participants. What I would say is that we now need a slight pause for breath to allow the changes to sink in. We have a number of initiatives going on, following on from the ritual change a few years ago, and we have to get these embedded within each Province. Although there may be minor adjustments, I don't envisage radical changes in the near term. We should continue to celebrate the great diversity of ritual practice within the Royal Arch. In lodges where there is no active Royal Arch representative, or the Secretary's not particularly keen on our order, the young mason coming through may have no awareness of the Royal Arch at all. Why should he be deprived of that experience? We need to ensure that all masons have the opportunity to join. I'm not saying you're an incomplete mason if you've not come into the Royal Arch, but rather that your breadth of understanding is not as full as it might be. Imagine when somebody's interviewed for initiation and saying to them, 'You are beginning an exciting four-stage journey.' If you can get that message across on day one, it's far easier than going to them after they've done their Third Degree and saying, 'Oh, by the way, there's another step and here's a leaflet about it.' Even if, on a flat Craft membership, we can increase the conversion rate to 45% or 50% across the board, rather than current rate in the high thirties, that in itself will take up our membership to more acceptable levels.

Russell serves as one of the rulers of the Holy Royal Arch in England and Wales

'We should continue to celebrate the great diversity of ritual practice within the Royal Arch' 24

Do you see your role as ambassador or enforcer? Gareth Jones, the Third Grand Principal, and I are certainly ambassadors. I think it's about communicating to Superintendents and their Deputies, as well as to all companions, that we're here to help and guide them in the right direction. I sense a strong desire for consistency across the piece, and that has to come from Supreme Grand Chapter. A Province or a private chapter can't take effective decisions about the direction in which they are going unless they have the proper information to start with. I think it's quite compelling if you say to a Grand Superintendent that these initiatives are available, they've worked in other Provinces - look at the results, maybe there are lessons for you. I mentioned before about taking a slight pause, giving yourself the time to think. I saw a very good demonstration in Freemasons' Hall some years ago. At various stages in the ceremony they stopped and said, 'Right, we're about to do this. Somebody tell me why we do it this way.' And the members hadn't thought about it. They were just hearing the words. That was in a Craft lodge, but the moral applies equally to the Royal Arch. Every now and again it behoves us all to stop and think, 'What do the words mean? Why do we do what we do, for example, in terms of choreography of the ritual?' I would like to reverse the trend in numbers, which we are beginning to do in some areas, but I believe that will only come through companions having a better understanding, and with it greater enjoyment of our unique order.


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2017 TERCENTENARY

26


2017 TERCENTENARY

T

he Tercentenary celebrations reached their peak on 31 October, when more than 4,400 brethren attended an especial meeting of the Grand Lodge at London's Royal Albert Hall. In addition to brethren from overseas Districts, there were more than 130 Grand Masters from all parts of the world - the largest gathering of Grand Masters ever to have been held. These visitors and guests from other Grand Lodges met at Freemasons' Hall on 30 October, where they were welcomed by and introduced to HRH The Duke of Kent, with many presenting gifts to mark the Tercentenary. These were displayed in the Library and Museum. Later that evening, guests attended a reception at Mansion House, official residence of The Lord Mayor of London, Dr Andrew Parmley. Those able to get tickets for the Royal Albert Hall will long remember this special event. Proceedings began when Grand Lodge was opened and called off in a side room. Following the fanfare, the

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Grand Master entered the Queen's Box to huge applause, accompanied by HRH Prince Michael of Kent. The visiting Grand Masters were then introduced, while their location and Grand Lodge seals were gradually added to a map of the world projected on two large screens. As it was an especial meeting, there was no formal business, and entertainment was provided by actors Sir Derek Jacobi, Samantha Bond and Sanjeev Bhaskar, with screen projections exemplifying the principles, tenets and values of Freemasonry. The performance gave insight into Freemasonry's history over the last 300 years with reference to the famous men who have graced it with their presence. Those who organised this memorable performance deserve great thanks. At the end of the evening, the Grand Master was processed onto the stage. The Deputy Grand Master read out a message of loyal greeting sent to Her Majesty The Queen, and the response received. With ~

(Opposite) Sir Derek Jacobi on stage; (clockwise from below left) Grand Masters from all parts of the world come to meet HRH The Duke of Kent; Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes (right) and Grand Secretary Willie Shackell greet HRH Prince Michael of Kent (left); the Queen's Box at the Royal Albert Hall

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2017 TERCENTENARY

The replica of Soane's Ark; re-enactment of the coming together of the Grand Lodge; guests attending the live broadcast at Freemasons' Hall; dinner at the Grand Connaught Rooms

28

the assistance of the Grand Chaplain, the replica of Sir John Soane's Ark of the Masonic Covenant was dedicated. The Pro Grand Master congratulated the Grand Master on his 50th anniversary in that role and thanked him for his service. In response, the brethren rose and gave the Grand Master a prolonged standing ovation. He was clearly touched. The Grand Master was then processed out of Royal Albert Hall with his Grand Officers. Afterwards, nearly 2,000 attendees were bussed through London's rush-hour traffic to Battersea Evolution for a reception and banquet, which will be long remembered. The activity at the Royal Albert Hall was streamed online to the Grand Temple at Freemasons' Hall, where nearly 1,000 brethren and ladies (including the wives of our official guests) were able to watch the ceremonies. They then attended a special dinner in the Grand Connaught Rooms chaired by Earl Cadogan, who was assisted by senior members of the Metropolitan Grand Lodge of London. It was a remarkable occasion, and all who were involved in organising it are due our grateful thanks for such a fitting celebration of the Tercentenary of the first Grand Lodge in the world.


2017 TERCENTENARY

Proceedings about to begin at the Royal Albert Hall; the Grand Master addressing the audience; guests at Battersea Evolution; the procession of Grand Officers leaves the Hall

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29


IMPROVEMENT DELIVERY GROUP

FOLLOWING IN THEIR

FOOTSTEPS The Members' Pathway offers a structured route to help lodges in the recruitment and progression of new members

I

n the Spring2017 issue of FreemasonryToday,Sir David Wootton, Chairman of the ImprovementDelivery Group (IDG),reported on the developmentand launch of the Members'Pathway- a series of steps for lodges and members to follow to attract,introduce and encouragenew members while retaining and addingvalue to the existing membership.

WHY HAVE A PATHWAY?

HOW WILL IT WORK?

For some time, there has been concern as to how to address recruitment and retention In Freemasonry In order to stem the decllne In membership and meet the long-term needs of the Craft and the Royal Arch.

Every lodge member shares a responslblllty for Introducing members, helplng In retention by making the new recruit feel welcome and then supporting them.

Evidence from successful lodges reveals there is good reason for optimism on Freemasonry's future. There are many suitable men who would be attracted to joining if they knew more about it. The evidence also suggests that lasting and committed membership is most likely to be achieved when: Applicants and candidates are carefully screened to ensure they meet the qualifications for membership Both the lodge and the candidate make their expectations clear to each other There is a good match between the lodge and the candidate Both parties work at meeting each other's expectations

30

The Members' Pathway has been created to help a lodge plan for its future and to take a man who is interested in Freemasonry, but not yet a member, on a journey to becoming a committed Master Mason. The pathway draws upon the experiences of many strong and healthy lodges across the Constitution.

Each of the 11steps on the Members' Pathway is set out in the diagram opposite. Further information is available in the Members' Pathway leaflet, which you'll have seen on the front cover of this issue. In addition, comprehensive support material will be provided to Provincial Membership Officers and Provincial Grand Mentors to roll out via local workshops. It contains a brief summary that will also be made available to all members in the country. Alongside these packages, the IDG will make the Pathway available via TeamApp on smartphones and tablets. This will not only be an effective communication channel for Pathway delivery but also for other updates on membership developments and initiatives.


IMPROVEMENT DELIVERY GROUP

THE PATHWAY 1. Lodge planning

2. Identifying prospective candidates 3. Approaching prospective candidates

'The Members' Pathway has been created to help a lodge plan for its future and to take a man who is interested in Freemasonry on a journey to becoming a Master Mason'

4. Responding to enquiries from potential candidates

5. Preparing the prospective candidate for interview

6. Interviewing the applicant WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? 7. Preparing the candidate for Initiation

8. Supporting the new Freemason 9. Introducing the Royal Arch 10. Retaining our members

11. Retrieving our members

freemason rytoday.co

The Communications Team at UGLE has developed an Information portal that wlll present together a number of Important resources from the IDG, Including the Members' Pathway, the Masonic Halls' Gulde and, In the near future, supporting education and training Information. The new Members' Pathway was formally approved in October 2017, and marks a further innovation in the structured and targeted way the IDG hopes to approach its key objectives in the future. The IDG commends the Members' Pathway to all Freemasons and recommends its implementation across all Provinces and Districts as well as Metropolitan, given the importance of this key area to the long-term well-being of Freemasonry.

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MASONIC BUILDINGS

COVER STORY Now protecting more than fl billion in assets, the Masonic Mutual has grown from three to 140 members in just three years. We find out how

I

nsurance is a major factor in financial planning for anyone running a business, association or property. It continues to be a major headache for those responsible for the management of masonic centres, not least finding the correct and most appropriate scheme at a reasonable cost. It was for these reasons that a small group with long experience in the insurance industry, who also happened to be Freemasons, came up with the idea of forming a Masonic Mutual to provide tailor-made insurance for those running masonic centres across the country. After a long period of discussion and fact finding, the organisation commenced trading in the summer of 2014. The initial and enduring focus for the Masonic Mutual is to provide to masonic centres around the UK the following cover: material damage to property and consequential loss; public and products liability; professional indemnity; directors and officers liability; charity trustees indemnity; trustee management liability; employers liability; fidelity; loss oflicence; equipment breakdown; money and assault; and personal accident. In the past, any lodges and chapter not meeting in a masonic centre would not have the benefit of protection for their assets or liabilities under the insurance policies covering the buildings where they met. In 2016, the service was therefore expanded to enable those lodges and chapters to become members of the Masonic Mutual to cover their insurance needs. Starting with four members in July 2014, numbers at the Masonic Mutual have grown to 140 members in the three years to July 2017. Members include Grand Lodge, masonic

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centres of all sizes, most of the masonic charities and a number of museums. As a result, the Masonic Mutual is protecting more than ÂŁ1 billion in masonic assets.

LASTING LEGACY With the original focus on property, claims have varied from damage caused by subsidence to that resulting from storms. Many centres employ staff, particularly on the catering side, meaning claims have also been filed for lifting injuries and slip/trip injuries in the catering areas. Slip/trip injuries can also happen to brethren and their guests, particularly when an unsecured square pavement carpet, for example, is laid on top of a polished floor. Almost inevitably in any insurance scheme, motor vehicles will figure, and a claim has been seen for damage from a collision by a third-party vehicle. We are often told to treat with caution anything we see in an advertisement. The line in the Masonic Mutual advertisement that it is 'run by Freemasons for the benefit of Freemasonry' is the truth. The board responsible for its management consists of Robin Furber, Quentin Humberstone, Geoffrey Dearing and Christopher Head. They draw no salaries, and as the organisation is a mutual, there are no shareholders requiring dividends - any surpluses are owned by the members and are used for the benefit of Freemasonry. Robin Furber, Chairman of Masonic Mutual, reports, 'We have recently announced the excellent results for the third year of operation. I am delighted to report the steady growth of the business as well as a very satisfactory underwriting result. We invite all masonic entities to ask us for a quote so that they might be able to share in the success of this enterprise.'

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2017 TERCENTENARY

34


2017 TERCENTENARY

In celebration of the Freemasons' Tercentenary year, the public was invited by the MCF to vote for their favourite charities. John Mccrohan, Head of Strategic Development & Special Projects at the MCF, explains the rationale behind this initiative

Tell us about your role ...

How do the grants work?

I support the CEO and Board to bring together the activities of the four legacy charities that were amalgamated into the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) to ensure they continue to meet the needs of both the masonic community and the wider community through our non-masonic grant-making. In January 2011, I started working for the Masonic Samaritan Fund, one of those four legacy charities, as Grants Director and Deputy CEO. I held the post until the consolidation of the MCF in April 2016, when I took on my current role. As well as respecting the legacy of the four charities, it's also my job to focus on the future and think about how we can do things differently - and better.

They were for either £4,000, £6,000, £15,000 or £25,000, depending on how many votes a charity got. The grants were spread across all of our Provinces, and we allocated either four, six or eight grants to each depending on size. London got 26 because of its size. It was important that the charities we supported were operating, and helping people, locally. We wanted the grants to reassure masons that the MCF is pushing money back to their communities, to see that the money they give doesn't get swallowed up in a black hole here in London. And, of course, we wanted to show that we apply good grant-making practice and observe good due diligence.

What are the Community Awards?

How did you decide who would qualify fora grant?

The full name is the MCF Community Awards Tercentenary Fund. These are 300 grants totalling £3 million that acknowledge the 300-year anniversary of UGLE. The Awards were created in part to raise MCF's profile within the masonic community, but also externally. This initiative was our first large-scale, public-facing activity, and was designed to let the wider public know about the good work that happens as a result of the generosity of the Freemasons. We typically spend up to £5 million a year supporting UK charities and responding to disasters and emergencies, both here and abroad. But to celebrate the Tercentenary, we wanted to do something in addition to that, which is where the idea for the £3 million Community Awards came from. We also wanted to celebrate the formation of the MCF.

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Firstly, I went to Provinces and said, 'We've got money for you, we'll be giving grants in your region, but we'd like you to tell us which charities are close to your heart.' We then asked each Province and Metropolitan Grand Lodge to compile a list of their chosen charities, filtered down to their allocated number. The shortlists came to us and we carried out initial due diligence to make sure charities were eligible, that they weren't already an active recipient of a grant, and so on. We then confirmed shortlists with the Provinces and Metropolitan Grand Lodge and began contacting charities, inviting them to formally apply for a grant. They still needed to complete an application, though by this stage they were guaranteed at least £4,000 - but could potentially get as much as £25,000 if they got the most votes. ~

35


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2017 TERCENTENARY

AROUND THE UK Four charities that have benefited from the Community Awards

What types of charities were nominated? We had charities in every sector - from financial hardship, social exclusion and disadvantage through to health and disability, education and employability. We had community centres, initiatives reducing isolation and loneliness for older people and complementary emergency services - things like blood bikes, for example, which take blood supplies around a county. And how did the general public phase of the vote work? People voted primarily online - we promoted the vote on our website, and through our social media and masonic contacts. Having spoken to some charities that had already worked with the public on that kind of scale, however, it became clear that to really make the voting work, we needed the charities themselves to lead the promotion - on their own social-media sites and during public events. To do this, we provided them with materials showing masonic iconography and branding that they could use. And, of course, the competitive element of 'more votes equals a bigger grant' really spurred them on. What were the responses like? We ended up with 177,801 votes, which really blew away our expectations. Almost 160,000 of those votes were made online, with another 18,000 cast at local events. After people voted, there was an optional short survey of just two questions. One asked if the initiative had improved the voter's opinion of Freemasonry. Some 57% of those who ~

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DORSET Social Exclusion and Disability: Veterans in Action ÂŁ25,000 Veterans in Action (VIA) helps armed service veterans who have suffered the effects of war or who have found the transition back to civilian life difficult. For the past six years, VIA has been organising walking expeditions that have needed support vehicles - Land Rovers and minibuses - which are now ageing and require maintenance. The funds from the MCF grant will be used to fund a new project called the Veterans Restorations Project, which aims to restore and upgrade the existing vehicles .

DURHAM Financial Hardship: Centrepoint North East ÂŁ6,000 Centrepoint is the UK's leading charity working with homeless people aged sixteen to twentyfive. It supports more than 9,000 people a year, 800 of whom are from the North East. The grant will be used for its Rent Deposit Guarantee Scheme (RDGS), which aims to increase the supply of affordable rented accommodation to disadvantaged sixteen- to twenty-five-year-aids and those at risk of homelessness. As part of their acceptance on to RDGS, the person agrees to save with Centrepoint so they can afford their own cash bond as and when they move tenancy. This will enable them to have a secure base from which to build their future.

37


2017 TERCENTENARY

AROUND THE UK

completed the survey - 36,000 people - said that it had improved their perception of Freemasonry. We believe that's pretty strong evidence that the initiative really worked.

What did you learn from the project? We'd never done anything like this before so we were all on a massive technological learning curve. We were very exposed, so the pressure was on - we only had six months to develop the project before it went live. We were still testing the voting pages, making sure the images were right and the copy was okay the day before launch. That was a bit stressful. It was all worth it when the charities, and public, told us they didn't realise we operated on this scale or supported so many people in this way. Given that raising this awareness was one of our key drivers, I think we've been really successful. Going forward, we'll be able to do something like this much more easily because all our building blocks are now in place. What happens next? We are going to monitor the projects throughout the 12 months that the grants last, and do a full evaluation at the end. We want to make sure that what we have done with this grant fund has made a real impact. In a year's time we'll go back and see what has worked, what hasn't worked so well and what lessons have been learned. We'll see how we can improve, if we do something like it again in future. FIND OUT MORE at mcf.org.uk/vote

38

EAST KENT Education and Employability: Romney Resource Centre ÂŁ4,000 Romney Resource Centre (RRC) was founded in 1999 and has developed a reputation as a centre of excellence, being the only provider of careers and skills advice, training, education and employment support in Romney Marsh for sixteen- to eighteen-year-olds and adults. Due to significant cutbacks in adult skills at the Skills Funding Agency, there is little furthereducation funding available for Romney Marsh communities - a critical situation if they are not able to upskill or attain updated qualifications. As a consequence, RRC is now seeking grant-funding support in order to continue its mission.

WEST WALES Health and Disability: HUTS ÂŁ15,000 Now established for more than two decades, the Help Us To Survive (HUTS) Workshop supports individuals suffering with mental-health issues and learning disabilities across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire. The therapeutic arts-based centre currently has more than 100 active members attending its workshop. The MCF award will go towards maintaining a full-time qualified ceramics and silkscreen-printing support worker. They provide support for members to explore creativity, gain confidence and to reduce isolation and deprivation within the rural community.


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The MW The Grand Master has approved it as a pennanentjewel and it may therefore be won1 in perpetuity by qualified Brethren. Grand Officers will be encouraged to wear it during the period to the end of 2017 and may continue to do so thereafter.

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2017 TERCENTENARY

A SPECIAL INVITATION From flapper girls and casinos through to big band orchestras and silent discos, The Grand Ball was a night to remember for the guests coming to Freemasons' Hall

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41


2017 TERCENTENARY

0

n the evening of Saturday, 30 September 2017, more than 2,000 Freemasons, their families and guests braved the autumnal weather to attend The Grand Ball at Freemasons' Hall in Great Queen Street. A highlight of the Tercentenary social calendar, The Grand Ball was an opportunity for brethren of all ranks to enjoy a night of entertainment at UGLE's headquarters. Lodge rooms were transformed into music venues, bars and even a tea room. The Grand Temple was unrecognisable following the installation of the largest raised dance floor in the capital. Guests visiting from as far away as the US, Brazil, South Africa and Australia were treated to wine tasting, minigolf, arcade games, a giant Scalextric track and virtual-reality installations. The more active had a chance to dance to a

42

jazz orchestra in the Grand Temple and a ceilidh in the Old Boardroom. Those heading up to Lodge Room 9, which had been transformed into a 'rockaoke' venue, had the opportunity to sing along with a live rock band. Speciality gin, whisky and cognac bars, along with The Goose & Gridiron ale house, offered guests their favourite tipple, with more than 1,000 bottles of Champagne consumed by the end of the evening. Luckily, there was plentiful food available, including a seafood bar, world food stalls and an upmarket barbecue - all of which culminated in a breakfast served in time for the survivors' photograph at 2.30am. With an estimated 1,300 guests still partying the night away at 3am, the hardest part of the evening proved to be persuading them that it really was time to go as the doors were closing.


2017 TERCENTENARY

In a venue famed for its art deco architecture, it was a fitting moment in Freemasons' Hall when the Gatsby Girls took guests at The Grand Ball back to the 1920s with some Charleston dancing

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LODGE HISTORY

NOTFOR PARADES A model of ruthless efficiency, the Machine Gun Corps was only in existence for seven years. Paul Hooley charts its beginnings, endings and the creation of a masonic lodge

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A

s the First World War began, the tactical use of the machine gun was largely unappreciated. There was no coordinated training, and infantry and cavalry units were allocated two guns each. This was added to in November 1914 by the formation of the Motor Machine Gun Service, administered by the Royal Artillery, which consisted of motorcycle-mounted machine-gun batteries. However, a year of warfare on the Western Front highlighted the need for larger machine gun units crewed by specially selected and trained men. After much debate, this led to the formation of the Machine Gun Corps in October 1915. From the start, it was perceived as being an elite corps that drew many of the best men from infantry and cavalry regiments. This frequently aroused jealousy and resentment at all levels within the army. While machine gunners always attracted admiration, they were also viewed as being mavericks who, out of necessity, showed an independence of thought and action. Tony Ashworth in Trench Warfare, 1914-18:TheLive and Let Live System references 'a lance corporal in charge of a ~

45


LODGE HISTORY

Left: The consecration of Maguncor Lodge, September 1917 Below: A British machine-gun team in France, with the weapon mounted on a sidecar

'The lodge was named Maguncor after the telegraphic code word used for "machine gun corps" during the First World War'

gun in action who became detached from his superiors, would be the sole judge as to the best position for his gun, and when and where it should be fired'. Collectively known as the 'Suicide Club', they were always first in and last out of every action, as the moment a gun started up it became the target of every enemy weapon within range. Following its formation, brigade machine gun sections were transferred to the Machine Gun Corps, while its headquarters, together with a depot and training centre, were established at Belton Park near Grantham, Lincolnshire. It was from here that all new machine-gun companies were raised.

FRONTLINE FORCE Initially there were three branches to the corps - Infantry, Cavalry and Motor. In early 1916 a Heavy Section (renamed Heavy Branch that same year) was added, and the men of that branch crewed the first tanks at the Battle of the Somme. In 1917, the Heavy Branch separated from the Machine Gun Corps to become the Tank Corps - although some of the men continued to display the Machine Gun Corps insignia. The corps gained a reputation as a frontline force. Some 170,500 officers and others served with the corps, of whom 62,049 became casualties. Among those who died manning their guns in the Battle of Arras in May 1917 were my grandfather, Richard Foot, and his brother, Roland. They and a third brother, John, had joined the corps in late 1916,where they were issued with consecutive numbers, and they did their training at Grantham before being sent to the Western Front. While my grandfather and great uncles were undergoing their intensive training at Grantham, a group of officers were in

46

discussions with Brigadier-General Henry Cecil de la Montague Hill concerning the possibility of establishing a masonic lodge dedicated to the corps. The idea was approved, and this led to the formation and consecration of Maguncor Lodge, No. 3806, at the Guildhall, Grantham on 20 September 1917,with the brigadier general himself becoming the first Senior Warden. The lodge was named Maguncor after the telegraphic code word used for 'machine gun corps' during the First World War. Before the lodge was formed, 10 meetings were held in 1917 under the aegis of Grantham's long-established Doric Lodge. The Consecration ceremony was conducted by the Provincial Grand Master of Lincolnshire, the Earl of Yarborough. By the end of the lodge's first year, 72 candidates had been initiated and a further 48 officers had become joining members, raising the membership to 132. In August 1918, a large number ofMaguncor members were moved to Alnwick in Northumberland to form a Machine Gun Corps sub-depot. Because they were unable to attend meetings in Grantham, the Alnwick Lodge allowed members to meet at its premises. Then in early 1919,the Machine Gun Corps was moved to Shorncliffe in Kent. Again, this would have proved difficult for some to attend meetings, so with the help of Castle Lodge, which offered its premises, meetings were held at nearby Sandgate from October 1919 until January 1921. In early 1921,with the Machine Gun Corps being absorbed into various other corps, a decision was made to apply to the United Grand Lodge of England for Maguncor to become a London lodge. This was granted, and in August, the 45th Regular meeting was held in the old Freemasons' Hall on Great Queen Street. After the building of the current Freemasons' Hall on


LODGE HISTORY

TRAVEL ALL OVER

Left: A military recruitment poster Below: The Machine Gun Corps Memorial, also known as The Boy David, in London

THE

WORLD WITH

~ Membership of Maguncor was originally restricted to Machine

Palmer Huffam - as members. Another of Maguncor's members, Col William Musson, was awarded the George Medal for his bravery as a civilian in the Second World War. Lodge members of the Machine Gun Corps would have been unable to fire machine guns while wearing gloves, and this resulted in brethren of Maguncor Lodge not wearing gloves during their ceremonies. There are a number of other subtle differences in its ceremonies, including the use of the sword of the aforementioned Captain White, VC and the apron of Brigadier-General Noble Fleming Jenkins, seventh Master of the lodge, who died in 1927 after trying to save a woman from drowning at St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex. A solid-silver model of a Vickers gun is also displayed at each Festive Board. The Machine Gun Corps was disbanded in 1922 as a costcutting measure after just seven years. All of its operational records, its establishments and regimental orders were destroyed in a fire at its last headquarters at Shorncliffe in 1920. Not a single sheet of paper survived the fire, and even the partly written history of the corps was lost. In his book With a Machine Gun to Cambrai, machinegunner George Coppard wrote of the corps: 'No military pomp attended its birth or decease. It was not a famous regiment with glamour and whatnot, but a great fighting corps, born for war only and not for parades.'

Gun Corps officers. After it disbanded in 1922, this was extended to serving officers of any army units, followed by ~ ex-serving officers, officers of other armed services and later to ;'l other ranks. Membership was opened to civilians in the 1960s. Maguncor Lodge is proud to have had two Victoria Crossil: holders - Captain William Allison White and Major James

FIND OUT MORE The author would like to thank Mike Porter of Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of London for his considerable help in preparing this article. Enquiries regarding Maguncor Lodge, which this year celebrated its centenary, can be sent to porter.mail@btinternet.com

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Masons' Hall on St James's Street. Thirteen members of Maguncor Lodge were killed during the ! war, and three more during the Second World War. The lodge ~ annually lays a wreath of poppies at the Machine Gun Corps ; Memorial at London's Hyde Park Corner, where the inscription ft;; on the main column reads: 'Erected to commemorate the ~ glorious heroes of the Machine Gun Corps who fell in the Great ~ War.' And then below, a quotation from the Book of Samuel: ~ 'Saul hath slain his thousands, but David his tens of thousands'. :,: ~

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47


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RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION

50


RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION

A CLUB FOR EVERYONE With the New and Young Masons Clubs Conference 2017 seeking to build on Freemasonry's foundations, Matthew Bowen meets the organiser, Dan Thomas, to see why the future is in safe hands

0

n 14 October 2017, the walls of the Severn Street Masonic Hall in Birmingham echoed with the sounds of progress. Within the ancient building, 100 new and young Freemasons from across the country gathered to discuss ways of ensuring the Craft's relevance in the 21st century. They were there for the annual New and Young Masons Clubs Conference (NYMCC). With more than 30 new and young masons clubs operating in Metropolitan and the Provinces, the annual conference - now in its third year - plays a vital role in inspiring change. This change can occur within clubs themselves by offering ideas and advice on best practice. It can also happen across Freemasonry as a whole by bringing new brethren face-to-face with some of the most senior masons in the country.

FRESH PERSPECTIVES The responsibility of hosting the event this year fell to The Five of Nine Club and its chairman, Dan Thomas. Dan joined St Peter's

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Lodge, No. 7334, in Warwickshire eight years ago, aged 27. As a young policeman, Dan finds that Freemasonry complements his life and he enjoys every challenge it brings. Attending the NYMCC in 2015 inspired him to share his enjoyment among his peers and launch The Five of Nine Club for new and young masons. 'I went to that conference just wanting to have a look at what was going on, and came away with so much information that, when we launched the club, it was like we had been given a two-year head start,' says Dan. 'These clubs are all about bringing young masons together. There may only be one young brother in a lodge within the Province, but by getting them involved in the club, they feel a wider sense of community.' Aside from pulling together to organise the NYMCC, The Five of Nine Club also arranges regular social activities that have so far included go-karting, paintballing and a brewery tour. 'The focus is on enjoyment,' explains Dan, with the hope being, he adds, that 'enjoyment translates into higher retention rates among junior masons.' ~

51


RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION

Recruitment and retention are equally important goals for masonic clubs, as reflected by the theme of this year's conference - 'Building and Maintaining the Foundations'. According to Five of Nine Club patron and Provincial Grand Master of Warwickshire David Macey, Dan and the club have excelled at both. 'We set Dan some fairly optimistic targets to hit within 18 months, and he smashed them in six,' he says. Though new and young masons clubs champion the views of a specific group of masons, the benefits they bring are being felt across the board. As David says, 'The club's energy and vitality is brilliantly infectious, not just within the youngsters they're influencing, but on us senior masons as well.' One of the senior masons present, Deputy Grand Master Jonathan Spence, delivered a keynote speech on how new and young masons clubs and the UGLE can work together. Dan was honoured when the Deputy Grand Master announced he'd like to attend. 'The fact that he wanted to give a talk shows how important new and young masons clubs are to Freemasonry, and recognises the phenomenal work being carried out by every club,' he says.

EVERYDAY FREEMASONRY Provincial Grand Master for South Wales and Deputy Chairman of the Improvement Delivery Group Gareth Jones also took the stage. He joined Freemasonry as a 26-year-old in the 1980s, and believes it is as relevant today as it has ever been. For Gareth, Freemasonry is 'a place away from the pressures of everyday life to sit quietly, reflect, learn and make daily advancements'. He spoke on the need for masonry to become more intertwined in communities, about the Improvement Delivery Group and on how Freemasonry must improve its reputation. 'Let's be frank - our image has traditionally been stuffy, middle-class and only for older people who can afford to join. It's these ways of thinking that we need

52

New, young and senior masons exchanged views at the conference

to get away from,' he said, praising efforts being made by the clubs to revitalise the Craft.

QUALITY CONTROL 'We talk about [the] reduction [of] membership over last two years,' Gareth adds, 'but this is a symptom rather than a problem in itself. The problem has been, to a growing extent, one of quality in how we have engaged with communities and the media, and the way we've brought people in and looked after them once they've joined. We've put in a lot of effort in the last few years to address those problems, and these clubs are proving to be an effective way of arresting the decline we've seen since the mid-nineties.' With the buzz around the new and young masons clubs, it would be easy to get carried away in the excitement. A key theme of the conference, however, was the importance of installing proper governance and setting clear objectives. David stressed at the conference that 'structure is imperative to channel enthusiasm and pass it on to others'. David led the conference into a breakout session on how to launch, manage and grow successful new and young masons clubs. Reflecting on the event and on his role as patron of The Five of Nine Club, David says, 'It sounds as if I'm being condescending when I say, from the bottom up, that we're learning so much from an age group we were in danger of neglecting.' With buy-in at such senior levels, Dan is confident this is just the start for new and young masons clubs, and expects to be attending conferences for years to come. 'Since last year's conference, there's been an unbelievable increase in numbers of clubs across the country,' he says. 'We've seen more recognition in Quarterly Communications and more senior support coming forward in support of the clubs.' FIND OUT MORE about clubs in your area at

new-and-young-masons-clubs.org.uk


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As the staff at the Parthenon restaurant busy themselves preparing Greek delicacies, they communicate in sign language. Matt Timms discovers how masonic funding is giving deaf people new opportunities and changing perceptions

L

ast year there was not a single Greek restaurant in Blackburn. So when the Parthenon flung its doors open in May, locals rejoiced that finally there was a place to enjoy some Mediterranean cuisine. Never one to do things by halves, Doug Alker, the man behind the place, brought over a chef from Greece, Greek waiters, and even a traditional Greek musical duo, complete with bouzouki (a traditional string instrument) and liberal use of the expression 'Opal' Chef Petros Tsilgkiriau claims his moussaka is 'perfect', while the staff hardly let a night slide without a spot of traditional dance. It's authentic Greek and shares much in common with any restaurant you

would find in the motherland. However, it also has one major difference - most of the people working here are deaf. Rather than bark orders at one another, the kitchen staff use British Sign Language, or BSL, to communicate in order to cook and prepare meals. All except Tsilgkiriau are deaf, and three of the workers have just started 18-month apprenticeships organised by the East Lancashire Deaf Society (ELDS) and funded by the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF). Statistics show that deaf people are 50% less likely to find employment, education or training than those who are not hard of hearing, due mainly to difficulties around communicating verbally. Approximately 71% ~


of the deaf community fail to achieve the government's target of five GCSEs, exacerbating the issue further. The £75,000 grant from the MCF will fully fund the Parthenon restaurant apprenticeship scheme three evenings a week for three years. It not only benefits the apprentices but improves perceptions of deaf people in Blackburn and beyond. With local businesses able to engage with the scheme, the hope is that it will open up employment opportunities for apprentices later in life.

CHANGING LIVES 'We've created a working model here for how the deaf should be treated,' says Alker, executive chair and managing director of the ELDS. 'It's a small-scale model, and all we need now is to expand. People should come in and see for themselves that this is how it can be done.' The restaurant is a self-supporting, not-for-profit social enterprise established by the ELDS. It joins 11 other apprenticeships, including nurseries and a home-solutions programme, as part of the charity's efforts to integrate deaf people into the community. 'Perceptions have changed of what it means to be deaf,' says Alker, who has headed up the ELDS for more than 20 years. Vasileios Orfanos, who goes by the name Lakis, has been working in the kitchen as an apprentice for three months. 'To the hearing people who think deaf people can't, it's a nice message to say, "Yes, we can,"' he says of the restaurant. As a fan of Greek food and cooking, Orfanos says the apprenticeship has not only helped improve his skills in the kitchen, but his confidence, too. 'Now that people see me here at work, I think attitudes have changed. Working here, I've seen a shift. People see that a deaf person can work and do anything that they want to do.' Tanvir Shah, an ex-apprentice and now kitchen manager, has experienced many of the challenges that young deaf people face in work and education. Despite attending college and obtaining a qualification in mechanics, Shah has struggled to find a job. His hearing issues were deemed too great a risk by potential employers, and requests for interpreters proved too problematic - and expensive - to carry through. 'That really hit my confidence,' says Shah, who credits the ELDS apprenticeship for kick-starting his career. 'I had the future to think about. I have to work for myself and provide for my daughter.' After two years in the kitchen, he was asked if he wanted to work at the Parthenon permanently. Now he teaches apprentices, who can not only communicate with him on the same level, but also learn from his experiences. For Shah, the

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FULL PARTICIPATION The East Lancashire Deaf Society is a not-for-profit charity based in Blackburn that provides support to deaf groups across Lancashire. It aims to understand the diverse range of communication needs of deaf British Sign Language users, deaf-blind people, hardof-hearing people and those who have lost their hearing later in life. The society aims for individuals to get the same opportunities in education, employment, access and involvement as everyone else in the community. It achieves this through three key routes: • Advocacy • Information • Services FIND OUT MORE Go to elds.org.uk

evolution from apprentice to mentor has paid huge dividends. 'My confidence has skyrocketed,' he says. 'I'm not in this little box any more, nor do I feel so shy. I'm in a good place and just enjoying life.'

BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS Another apprentice, Cassie Chrysah, lives across the road from the restaurant, and arrived from Greece with aspirations to work as a waitress. She has seen first-hand how the ELDS can open doors. Chrysah previously expressed an interest in joinery back home, and the ELDS has now given her the chance to study it at college. 'Of course, deaf people still encounter barriers. But situations like this mean people's resistance dissolves,' says Alker. 'With Cassie, with the restaurant, with the dancing, our aim is to change perceptions.' As executive manager and self-styled 'mum to the group', Clare Stocks says the Parthenon staff are more than just workmates. After the last customer has left, the staff get together for a sit-down meal. 'I consider these people my family. It's not like I really want to go home,' says Orfanos. 'In a world where people see me as disabled, here I'm treated as an equal.' Issues such as social exclusion and isolation affect all areas of society, yet the media tends to focus on the elderly. 'We sometimes forget that these same issues can affect people of any age, particularly those with disabilities,' says Les Hutchinson, Chief Operating Officer of the MCF. 'As a society, we are incredibly lucky that charities like the ELDS exist. They have proven that it is possible to combat educational and employment barriers for young deaf people.'

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DIGITAL CONVERTS

L

indsay Prince volunteers as a Digital Champion, delivering technology support and advice for elderly people, and she never knows what to expect. It may be someone in their eighties wanting to log on to an online seminar, or someone in their sixties struggling to send their first text message. 'Some can't even use keyboards, but that's what we're there for,' says Prince, who volunteers for Age UK Leicester Shire & Rutland. 'I feel strongly that anybody who isn't online is disenfranchised from society. If they don't engage with IT they are in danger of missing out. They can't run a bank account, get tickets to an event or vote on Strictly. People are terrified by it, but once they take the first step they find they can get over that hump.' ~

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CHARITY SUPPORT

It's this belief in the importance of digital accessibility for social inclusion that has prompted the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) to provide ÂŁ65,000 for Age UK Leicester Shire & Rutland, which has been running the project in the region since 2014. The charity holds drop-in sessions at care homes, Age UK facilities, shops and town centres where anybody can attend and receive support for their tablet, laptop or smartphone. The funding will allow the project to run for another two years, employ an administrator and coordinator, and train volunteers. Troy Young, assistant director of Age UK Leicester Shire & Rutland, says they hope to reach 2,000 people in that period.

THE DIGITAL LEAP One beneficiary of the sessions has been Aileen, 86, who is now able to use her tablet to access a range of services. 'It's taken me months to believe that I can't damage the tablet, so the digital sessions have been as much about confidence using the tablet as they have been about learning what I can achieve by using it,' she says. 'YouTube is marvellous because I can watch and enjoy seminars on a range of topics.' Aileen's story is one that the MCF and Age UK Leicester Shire & Rutland hope will be repeated over the next two years. 'What we like about this project is that it tackles social isolation from two angles,' explains David Innes, Chief Executive of the MCF. 'One is that in this age, where an increasing amount of our day-to-day activity takes place on the internet, there's a large number of elderly people who struggle with the technology. They can't manage money, access bus timetables or make GP appointments. It's a real challenge and narrows their horizons even more.'

Tech learning: with help from volunteers such as Malique Lovence (above), older people can gain valuable social interaction as well as useful new skills

The other benefit is that in the process of gaining technology training, participants will have social interaction with the people teaching them. 'The fact they are taking part in an activity will give them something to look forward to,' Innes says. Prince says that several of her regular attendees make a point of coming to sessions in part because of this social aspect. Many Digital Champions are young, and Prince - who is 70 and began volunteering after retiring from further education - admits sometimes she gets mistaken as a participant rather than a volunteer. But she believes that her age gives comfort to attendees, who see that age doesn't have to be a barrier to new technology.

EARLY LEARNING Having trained as a Digital Champion, Prince thinks it's vital to go at the right pace and avoid scaring attendees with technical language. 'It's important to understand how different people learn,' she says. 'You need to realise you are working at somebody else's level. It depends on the person, their attitude and what they did in their career beforehand. If you've never worked with machines, it can be difficult. You start by finding out what they want to use it for and you have to be careful you don't overwhelm them.' It's also important that sessions are enjoyable, and Age UK's Young says that feedback has been positive. The project has discovered hundreds of older people who were keen to go online but couldn't find

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CHARITY SUPPORT

anybody providing the advice they required. 'They were often worried they'd be made to feel stupid, and some of them have had negative experiences that made them feel out of their depth, but these are relaxed sessions that can be fun,' he says. Older people came to Young explaining that they had signed up for evening courses but were being taught about how to use spreadsheets or make presentations. 'They weren't interested in learning in such a structured way - they wanted advice and guidance about all the wonderful new technology. We started rolling out engagement sessions so people could have a play with the equipment. People were also coming to us very confused about the range of what was in the market, and they wanted impartial advice. A lot of it is about demystifying and making sure that older people don't find themselves on the wrong side of the digital divide.' Young is intrigued by the potential of using digital technology to provide reminiscence therapy for people with dementia. He hopes that Age UK Leicester Shire & Rutland will soon be able to find volunteers who have experience both with technology and dementia care. 'I want to take this project to older people who might not use the technology but can still benefit from it,' he says. 'There's been some very interesting stuff around virtual reality and dementia recently, where they use virtual reality to take people back to times they might remember and that have a calming, therapeutic effect.'

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MAKING CONNECTIONS As well as allowing the MCF to tackle social exclusion, the location of the project in the East Midlands allows the MCF to ensure masonic funds are evenly distributed. 'We try to balance our grants, just as the masonic community is spread around the country,' says Innes, who was previously Chief Executive at the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution (RMBI) and has experience of supporting elderly people. 'I've seen for myself at the RMBI the difference that technology can make,' he says. 'Families are far more dispersed than they used to be, and with opportunities such as social media and Skype, you can connect to a family member anywhere in the world. In our masonic care homes, we provide connectivity to all residents, which has enabled older people to stay more in touch with relatives.' Young is looking forward to continuing his work with Digital Champions like Prince, thanks to the MCF. 'We were so pleased to get this funding because the grant will keep it going for another two years,' he says. 'And that's important because the technology isn't going away - we have plenty of demand. We want to make our sessions as inclusive as possible and ensure that all older people will benefit.' FIND OUT MORE about the work of Age UK in Leicester Shire & Rutland at ageuk.org/leics

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MASONS IN HISTORY

M

aharajah Duleep Singh's life was one of opulence and tragedy. On 29 March 1849, the son of the late Maharaja Ranjit Singh (known as Sher-i-Punjab, or 'Lion of Punjab') effectively became a king without a country . Ending what his father had founded as Pakistan's first independent state of Lahore, in the Punjab, the ten-year-old reluctantly signed the official document, later known as the Treaty of Lahore, and annexed the state. In doing so, he relinquished vast areas of India, and his family's wealth, into the hands of Britain's East India Compan y. The Koh-i-Noor diamond, subsequently 'gifted' to Queen Victoria by the Marquess of Dalhousie, was part of this treasure trove. Given the diamond's history of royal

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63


MASONS IN HISTORY

bloodshed and the ill fortune attached to those who possessed it, it is of no surprise that the newly disposed Maharaja's life went from bad to worse. Born on 6 September 1838, Duleep was the youngest son of Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780-1839)and Maharani Jind Kaur (1817-1863). When Ranjit died, he left six sons, of which four were legitimate or 'acknowledged'; only two of these - Khurruck and Duleep - were 'fully acknowledged' by the Maharaja.

monetarily and socially. Indirectly, the finances of the Maharajah contributed significantly to Login's missionary schools in Fatahgarh, Uttar Pradesh, where, according to the book Sir John Login and Duleep Singh (Lady Login, 1890), the young sovereign lived comfortably and, in the main, enjoyably with the Logins after his removal from Lahore. It was to be a condition of his future exile in England that the young sovereign become a Christian, but how much of this was under duress is a controversial point. Certainly, Lady Login's account is that he was most enthusiastic and adhered to his Bible studies with a passion; he was baptised on 8 March 1853.

BRIEF SOVEREIGNTY At the age of five, having lost his predecessors to assassinations, Duleep was declared sovereign with his mother, who was described by the British as 'a woman of great capacity and strong will'. Duleep acted as Regent until December 1846, after the First Anglo-Sikh War. The former Maharani was deposed by the British, imprisoned and replaced by a Council of Regency. Duleep would not see his mother again for more than 13 years. Following the Second Anglo-Sikh War, the ten-year-old Duleep signed the Treaty of Lahore and the annexation of the state was complete. The document stated: 'His Highness the Maharajah Duleep Singh shall resign for himself, his heirs, and his successors all right, title, and claim to the sovereignty of the Punjab, or to any sovereign power whatever [... ] All the property of the State [...] shall be confiscated to the Honourable East India Company, in part payment of the debt due by the State of Lahore to the British Government.' Within a week of control being relinquished, Duleep was handed over to the guardianship of Sir John Login and his wife. Login had just been installed as Governor of the Lahore Citadel and would benefit from Duleep's guardianship,

Singh depicted in an 1854 lithograph by RJ Lane

'Duleep's passions included art, music, shooting and coursing - fitting the part of an English country gentleman, which he would soon become' 64

SCOTLAND'S 'BLACK PRINCE' Duleep's other passions included art, music, shooting and coursing - fitting the part of an English country gentleman, which he would soon become. But his life was monitored and manoeuvred by the East India Company Board. Any hint of a desire to return to India was thwarted and a gentlemanly diversion of travel and other pursuits was instigated. During his young life, Duleep moved from one part of Britain to another but was most taken with Scotland, where he was known for his penchant for shooting parties and donning Highland dress, gaining the nickname the 'Black Prince of Perthshire'. Not long after his arrival in England, Queen Victoria received the Maharaja at Buckingham Palace. He became a friend of the Royal Family, spending summers with them at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. The Queen affectionately called the young Singh 'her beautiful boy', and he struck up a firm friendship with Albert and her sons (Duleep's own sons were to bear the names of Albert Edward, Victor and Frederick). Likely inspired by the Royal Family's masonic connections, he became a member of various gentlemen's clubs - notably, and ironically, the East India Club. However, it was in 1861, when Duleep returned to India to bring his mother out of political exile, that he was admitted into Freemasonry in Lodge Star in the East, Calcutta, No. 67. Aside from his masonic membership, Duleep was awarded the title of Knight Grand Commander (GCSI) in the Most Exalted Order of the Star of India by Queen Victoria - the Order's motto is 'Heaven's light our guide'. After Duleep brought his beloved mother back to England, she only lived for another two years, passing away on 1 August 1863, at her son's Kensington residence, Abingdon House.


MASONS IN HISTORY

Her death prompted Duleep to request to escort her body to the Punjab for cremation. This was denied by the government of India, but he was later permitted to take her to Nashik, Maharashtra, which he did in February 1864. Duleep returned to England via Egypt, where he met Christian Mission teacher Bamba Muller, the daughter of a German banker and an Abyssinian Coptic Christian slave. They married on 7 June 1864. A year later, the couple took up residence at Elveden Estate in Suffolk, ensuring he could live as a Victorian noble. They had six children - three sons and three daughters.

RECONNECTING WITH HOME The marriage was short-lived. In 1886, Duleep became disillusioned with the British government after it continually reneged on a promise to supply him with a yearly income in exchange for his allegiance. He had begun to reacquaint himself with the Sikh faith during his years in exile and had re-established contact with his relatives in Lahore. Duleep longed to return to his homeland and regain his royal status, something he attempted on 30 March 1886.

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Singh with 19th-century British royals: (standing, I to r) Lord Frederick Fitzroy; Prince Edward of Saxe Weimar; the Earl of Leicester; (seated, I to r) Captain Ellis; Singh; HRH The Prince of Wales; General Hall, the Duke of Manchester

Along with his family, he set sail for India but was intercepted and arrested in Aden. Duleep was no longer welcome in England, and his wife and family returned alone to London, where the Maharani died shortly after in 1887.The Maharaja remarried, having two further children, but his burning desire to return to India led him as far as exhorting the support of the Tsar. This mission also failed. Heartbroken and in reduced circumstances, Duleep reached out to Queen Victoria, and after negotiation with the government and Crown, he received a pardon. Sadly, he was to die in Paris, aged just 55. His body was not transferred to India for cremation, as per his wishes, but was instead returned to England for a Christian burial, laid beside the Maharani Bamba in the churchyard on his former estate atElveden. Duleep Singh's grave has since become a pilgrimage site for Sikhs. Requests to return both the Koh-i-noor diamond and the remains of the last Maharaja of Lahore to their homeland have never been granted, with the diamond, now resplendent in the Crown Jewels, having barely been worn.

65


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Masonic CharitableFoundation

60 Great Queen Street, London WC2B SAZ Tel: 020 3146 3333 Email: info@mcf.org.uk Facebook: theMCF Twitter: Masonic_Charity www.mcf.org.uk

OUR WORK

RMBijoins dementia alliance Care provider RMBI Care Co has joined Dementia Action Alliance (DAA), which connects 150 organisations across England that work with people living with dementia

NO NEED TO CHOOSE When you call the MCF, you don't need to decide which of your problems is most important - they may be able to help with all of them When dealing with life's challenges, it can be difficult to know where to start. Whether you've been made redundant, lost your partner or received a medical diagnosis, the knock-on effects often reach all areas of family life. Sometimes, callers to the MCF's freephone enquiry line are unaware of the full range of support available, or don't want to ask for too much at once. The MCF's experienced enquiries officers are trained to listen and ask the right questions to identify all the ways the charity can make life a little easier. 'Myself and my wife, Jennifer, were forced to retire due to ill health within months of each other,' said Scott, a Freemason. 'We were forced to sell our home and move in with my parents, which took our daughters, Katie and Stephanie, away from their friends. We couldn't afford to pay for the girls'

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school shoes, let alone our bills. It was an incredibly stressful period.' Scott heard about the MCF through his lodge Almoner. When he first got in touch with the charity, it was for help with daily living expenses - it was only after speaking with the MCF that he realised additional support was available for his children. 'The MCF also paid for swimming and gymnastics lessons for Katie and Stephanie. It makes the world of difference to me that I don't have to worry about the girls missing out on opportunities.'

RMBICare Co provides residential care, nursing care and dementia support for Freemasons and their families in 17 care homes in England and Wales. Additionally, one home provides care for adults with learning difficulties. Speaking of the partnership, Anne Child, Pharmacy and Dementia Specialist Lead at RMBICare Co, says: 'As a new member of DAA,we will be working with organisations to share best practice, build strong campaigns and better inform people about dementia. Raising awareness is vital to help those affected and ensure they can access support quicker and receive the best care possible.' In its commitment to dementia care, RMBICare Co has also teamed up with Alzheimer's Society to encourage people to talk openly about dementia by becoming a Dementia Friend. FIND OUT MORE about RMBI Care Co at rmbi.org.uk

If you're a Freemason or a close relative of a Freemason, and are facing a difficult period of your life due to finance, health, family or carerelated issues, call the MCF to see if it could help (0800 035 60 90)

67


MASONIC CHARITABLE FOUNDATION OUR WORK

Physical encouragement After-school clubs and weekend classes are a great way to keep children busy and entertained. But did you know they are also a fun way for them to learn new skills and gain fresh experiences? Roger Garrett and Barry Woodhead, Nottinghamshire Freemasons, present Boccia England team members with their grant

A study of more than 6,400 children found that as well as achieving more at school, children who take part in extracurricular activities develop social, emotional and behavioural skills such as time management, confidence, teamwork and creativity. The recent study, carried out by the Institute of Education at University College London, showed activities outside of school hours could help close the attainment gap between

children from disadvantaged backgrounds and those from wealthier families. However, it also found there were still inequalities, as many low-income families struggled to afford the costs of sports clubs, private tuition and music lessons. With this in mind, the MCF provides opportunities for children and young people both within the masonic community and in wider society. The MCF recently awarded a ÂŁ37,000 grant to Boccia England, a charity

that provides accessible activity opportunities for disabled people aged twelve to eighteen. Boccia is a ball sport especially designed to test muscle control and accuracy. It is practised in more than 50 countries and is also a Paralympic sport. The grant will allow Boccia England to continue supporting young people with physical, learning and visual disabilities and encourage inclusion in physical activity for all.

Extracurricularsupportfor families with children Within the masonic community,

wife wanted me to seek help - but

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I was stubborn. Then things got

who have children under the age of

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twenty-five in full-time education

picked up the phone,' explained

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gymnastics, dancing and swimming lessons for the children.

The Masonic Charitable has supported

Foundation

Chris and Marina, and

their children Tanya, Natasha and Rhys following

Chris' redundancy.

'When things got hard for us, my

68

'All three are doing well because of the classes - especially Rhys. Now seven, he leads other children in the pre-school

class and just

won silver in his first competition.'

Rhys has grown in confidence and is excelling in gymnastics


MASONIC CHARITABLE FOUNDATION FESTIVALS

AND

FUNDRAISING

RUNNING MASONS STORM AHEAD Durham Freemasons, their family members and friends donned their running shoes to take part in this year's Great North Run in September

Howdo we support fundraising? The Masonic Charitable Foundation's newly appointed Fundraising Support Officer, Paul Crockett, explains how the MCF Fundraising team can support an appeal

Thirty-five runners raised more than ÂŁ40,000 for their 2021 Festival in support of the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys, now part of the MCF. Never being the type of people to blend into the crowd, the Durham runners sported bright-orange MCF tops, which certainly caught the eye of other racegoers. 'People really loved our running tops,' said John Thompson, a runner and Festival Director for Durham.

'We were a glow of orange among the black-clad Batman and Robin runners, brown dinosaurs and women in white wedding dresses! I was extremely proud of all of our runners, and to have raised more than ÂŁ40,000 for the MCF is truly inspiring. What a show of spirit for a fantastic cause!'

If you are taking part in a sponsored event for the MCF, send your photos to communications@mcf.org.uk

What fundraising support can you offer Provinces?

The Fundraising team helps at every stage of a Festival Appeal. Support ranges from issuing guidelines, sending updates and data on the appeal, keeping in contact with Festival teams and committees and making personal visits to Provinces. What are the most common questions asked by Provinces regarding Festival Appeals?

I'm often asked, 'How are we doing?' and, 'What makes a good fundraising event?' It's encouraging that members who are running appeals are always keen to know how they are getting on, and are looking for a variety of ways that they can take part and support their appeal. What are your top fundraising ideas?

Sponsored events where members and their families can take part or donate are great opportunities to organise something fun. Underwater cycling and a very messy mud run are just two examples of recent sponsored events.

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69


MASONIC CHARITABLE FOUNDATION OUR PERFORMANCE

AN INCREDIBLE YEAR The people, families and communities supported by the MCF have been its highest priority in 2017.Chief Executive David Innes explains how they will remain at the heart of what the MCF does in 2018 Another year has gone by, and what an incredible year it has been. The highlight of our 2017 was undoubtedly the success of the MCF Community Awards - Tercentenary Fund. You can read about the awards in more detail elsewhere in this issue of Freemasonry Today, but I would like to take the opportunity to thank those of you who voted; you were one of more than 177,000 people that helped us decide which local charities received the largest grants from our ÂŁ3 million fund. Between promoting the Community Awards and taking part in Tercentenary celebrations across the country, we have continued to help around 5,000 Freemasons and their family members who have a financial, health, family or care-related need. We have also supported some fantastic local and national charities through our Charity Grants programme. If you would like to find out more about the difference your donations are making to Freemasons, their families and the wider community, I would encourage you to read a copy of our first Impact Report, which is

available to download and order via our website. With the festive season approaching, many of you will be thinking about resolutions for the New Year. At the Masonic Charitable Foundation, we too are planning for the future. Since our launch, we have worked hard to establish ourselves as a charity that the masonic community can both rely on and proudly support. In the spring of 2018, we will be launching our new strategy that will guide our work for the next five years. December is a time of celebration - but for some families, it can be a difficult time when financial struggles come to a head. If you need support, or know of somebody else who does, please do not hesitate to contact us. Even if we are unable to assist you ourselves, we can direct you towards other organisations that may be able to help. Our enquiry line - 0800 035 60 90 - is open until 5pm on Thursday, 21 December, after which you can leave a voicemail or email us (help@mcf.org.uk), and someone will contact you when the office reopens in January.

'With the festive season approaching, many of you will be thinking about resolutions for the New Year. At the Masonic Charitable Foundation, we too are planningfor the future'

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SEASON'S GREETINGS The Library and Museum collection includes items that reflect the masonic celebrations of midsummer and midwinter

F

reemasons have historically celebrated two feasts of Saint John: the feast of John the Baptist on 24 June, and that ofJohn the Evangelist on 27 December, roughly marking midsummer and midwinter. Several important masonic events have taken place on those days, including the first meeting of the Grand Lodge on 24 June 1717 and the union of the two English Grand Lodges in London on 27 December 1813. A few years ago, following the death of masonic author Frederick Smyth, the Library and Museum received a wooden block with a metal printing plate from his estate that he had used to create his own individual St John's Day cards. Towards the end of the 19th century, the members of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No. 2076, produced a series of cards to mark the occasion, some of which are shown here.

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Frederick Smyth's wooden block produced for his own St John's Day cards

The Library and Museum of Freemasonry Freemasons' Hall, 60 Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ Open Mon-Sat 10am-5pm

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73


LETTERS

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Write to: The Editor, Freemasonry Today, Freemasons' Hall, Great Queen Street, London WC2B SAZ Email: editor@ugle.org.uk The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United Grand Lodge of England. All UGLE members' letters printed are appended with the contributor's name, his mother lodge name and number, the town where that lodge meets, and the Province; please include these details at the foot of your letter. Please enclose an SAE for any items sent by mail that you wish to have returned.

of the stage himself. There were few dry eyes as we sang I Vow to Thee my Country, Cwm Rhondda and The National Anthem. On to Battersea Evolution for a wonderful meal. We then floated back to our hotel with so many stories to share. What a day, how lucky we are to have been Freemasons at this moment in time. Many thanks. David Pratt, Legiolium Lodge, No. 1542, Castleford, Yorkshire

A GRAND OCCASION Sir, The Tercentenary event at the Royal Albert Hall, which I was fortunate enough to attend, was a stunning occasion, and I can thoroughly recommend the broadcast footage of it to you. Do find time to watch it; all you need to do is to click on rah300.org and register. The whole event made one very proud to be a Freemason. Mike White, St Barnabus Lodge, No. 3771, London

Sir, I write to express not only my total, complete and utter satisfaction with a wonderful event, but also to congratulate all involved at UGLE for organising such a magnificent and memorable occasion. The masonic world was set alight. It is very clear that the effort to

74

create and deliver such an event was even greater than could have possibly been imagined. All my brethren and I are still buzzing and we have been unable to stop talking about the day. It was a great pleasure as Provincial Grand Master of Yorkshire West Riding to have led a large delegation of my brethren to join with those from all of the Constitution, and also from all over the masonic world, at the Royal Albert Hall. The whole presentation was absolutely splendid and a credit to all those involved in writing, creating and delivering such a stupendous event. First impressions as I saw the set were, 'Wow, this is going to be good.' And it was! As the cast appeared on stage, I believed them to be amateur volunteers who were going to do their best, and then thought, 'He looks a bit like Derek Jacobi.' Then it dawned on me that it was indeed the great knight

Sir, May I congratulate everyone involved in the Tercentenary celebration on Tuesday, 31 October 2017 at the Royal Albert Hall. Not only was I fortunate enough to be selected to attend, I was in one of the best seats in the house to not only enjoy the play and presentations, but also to truly appreciate the amount of work that went in to creating them. Truly outstanding and a credit to all involved. With thanks and admiration for the day. George Waldy, Bourne Lodge, No. 6959, Bournemouth, Dorset

Sir, On 31 October 2017, I felt like Charlie when he got a golden ticket. Mine was to be in The Grand Temple at Freemasons' Hall for the live screening of the Tercentenary celebrations from the Royal Albert Hall. How honoured I felt. I could feel that I was part of something very special. Firstly, I must give a huge thank you to the stewards who kindly escorted me from the front door to the Grand Temple and to a seat with a great view. The quality of the recording


LETTERS

was excellent and I am certain that we saw a lot more than if we were at the Albert Hall. The atmosphere was incredible and I cannot say how privileged I felt to be part of your special day. You could have heard a pin drop as everyone watched with great interest and when, spontaneously, most of the men joined in singing the hymns. It made you realise just how wonderful an organisation Freemasonry is. Well done, guys, and happy 300th birthday UGLE. May you go from strength to strength. Ruth Wright, Honourable Fraternity of Ancient Freemasons

Sir, I write to congratulate all for the Freemasons' 300th anniversary show that was online. For most of us Down Under and in other parts of the world, it showed the world a great story and what Freemasonry's aims are about. Congratulations to the team who wrote the script for the anniversary show. If this does not bring in members to the order, then what do we have to do? Mike Burrell, Lodge Combermere, No. 752, (Unattached), Viet., Australia

THE TEMPLE IN THE HOTEL Sir, Readers of 'The Temple Builder' article in the last issue might be interested in further information about Alexander Burnett Brown's interesting masonic career. His architectural career aside, he was Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Middlesex when HRH The Duke of York was the Provincial Grand Master, and became Provincial Grand Master when HRH became George VI on the abdication of his brother, Edward VIII. Right Worshipful Brother Alexander Burnett Brown was held in very high esteem by the brethren of Middlesex, so much so that a lodge was consecrated in 1945 as Alexander Burnett Brown Lodge, No. 6133, in his honour. Both his sons were the lodge's First Master and Senior Warden. It is unfortunate to record that from 1996 the lodge began to fail despite strenuous efforts. In 2000,

freemasonrytoday.com

I had to inform the Province of the situation, and the Warrant was duly surrendered. David A Walters, Middlesex Masters Lodge, No. 3420, Staines, Middlesex

Sir, I very much enjoyed the article on Alexander Burnett Brown, architect and eminent Freemason, especially with reference to the Grecian Temple at the Great Eastern Hotel. I was initiated in that Temple in September 1981 into Semper Fidelis Lodge, No. 4393. The most memorable part of the ceremony was descending the magnificent winding staircase into the Temple. Within a couple of years, the lodge had to leave the Great Eastern Hotel and move to Great Queen Street as the then-owners found it not economical to have lodge meetings on Saturdays. I would be interested to obtain a copy of any photograph of that winding staircase as a reminder of my 36 happy years in Freemasonry. Geoffrey Cathersides, Fraternitas Lodge, No. 6046, East Kent

Sir, For me it was especially interesting to read the article on the Grecian Temple in the autumn edition of Freemasonry Today. Having served in the Rifle Brigade, I became a joining member of its London Life Brigade Lodge, No. 1962, in 1975. I have a vivid memory

of my first visit, descending the marble staircase into the temple and being in awe at the ceiling, furniture and surroundings. I deem myself very fortunate to have had this experience. Sadly, thereafter it was closed to Freemasonry. However, being a listed structure the Grecian Temple will remain unique. Bernard Dribble, Wellington Lodge, No. 341, Rye, Sussex

PERFECT ARRANGEMENT Sir, We were interested to read your article 'Perfect Arrangement' in the autumn edition of Freemasonry Today. We are a husband and wife duo (keyboard player and female vocalist) who for the past four years have been entertaining in various venues and at masonic events in the Lake District and Lancashire. We also perform at care and residential homes and find it very rewarding. We agree with the article that live music can be beneficial. Some of these homes specialise in dementia care and it is amazing how many residents remember the words to the music that we play. Staff and residents often end up dancing and clapping away. We are now looking at working in homes for adults with learning difficulties. Mike Langdon, Bela Lodge, No. 7576, Milnthorpe, Cumberland & Westmorland

75


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REFLECTION

WE MAKE A DIFFERENCE While the names may be forgotten, the contributions made by individual Freemasons to local communities live on. Director of Special Projects John Hamill celebrates their efforts

D

uring the Tercentenary celebrations, both here and overseas, there have been many references in speeches, books and exhibitions to the famous individuals who have graced our fraternity over the last 300 years - monarchs, statesmen, senior members of the armed forces, musicians, artists, writers, actors, philosophers, great philanthropists and those who have distinguished themselves in the fields of science, invention, industry and commerce. Some of these luminaries have made major contributions to the development of Freemasonry. Others have simply enjoyed the fellowship with their fellow members, seeing their lodge as a haven of peace in an often turbulent and stressful world. We rightly remember them and give them due praise. What we often forget and rarely praise, however, is the central core of our membership, memories of whom fade within a generation. They may not have set the world alight but in their own quiet way they have kept Freemasonry alive; preserved its principles and tenets; and selflessly passed them over to the next generation. They have, almost unconsciously, followed these principles in their private and public lives, in the process making a difference to their communities.

SERVING THE COMMUNITY One of the American Grand Masters speaking at the 275th anniversary of Grand Lodge in 1992 characterised Freemasons as 'doers' in society. With a strong sense of service, they tend also to be involved in other voluntary organisations, community groups and civic life. Their activities run the gamut of community life, and these groups would be all the poorer without them.

Easy claims to make, a critic might say, but can you prove them? One source of proof is those items in lodge rooms that we all see but rarely read: the honours boards listing Past Masters of lodges, particularly those dating back to Victorian times. On a number of occasions, I have been present in a Provincial masonic hall when the editor of the local paper was being entertained. While looking at the honours boards, they often said that the Past Masters listed represented the history of the town as they were also the civic leaders and those who had developed its economy - and these people were often represented in the names of the town's streets, buildings and recreational spaces. We are often asked by outsiders if Freemasonry is still relevant in today's society. Our answer has always been that we certainly are. We live in an increasingly self-orientated society in which the individual appears more important than the community, and where public and private morality is in decline. The principles and tenets of Freemasonry and our strong tradition of community service, therefore, have a real part to play in the future of society. Freemasonry as a body has no power to change, but we as individual Freemasons can make a difference in our communities, just as our forebears did in the past. We have been celebrating the Tercentenary of an institution, but should not forget that this institution is made up of people. We should remember with pride what our forebears have done. Their names may be forgotten, but their service, and its results, survive. We have inherited a proud tradition and should now look to the future to ensure that those principles and tenets are carried forward.

'Theprinciples and tenets of Freemasonry and our strong tradition of community service have a real part to play in the future of society'

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Classic Round Voyage and Northern Liglits

Norwegian Discovery and Northern Lights

12 days I Bergen-Kirkenes-Bergen

12 days I Bergen-Kirkenes-Trondheim-Oslo

Enjoy the Classic Round Voyage and visit up to 34 ports whilst keeping your eyes peeled for the magical Northern Lights. Enjoy majestic scenery, welcoming towns and friendly, like-minded travellers. There's also a great range of excursions including snowmobiling and Husky dog sledging.* Includes Hurtigruten's Northern Lights Promise.

The 11-night Norwegian Discovery Voyage combines many highlights of the Classic Round Voyage and includes a 10-night voyage on the ship, the beautiful Dovre Railway journey from Trondheim to Oslo, and one night in a centrally located 4-star hotel in Oslo. A fabulous picturesque voyage. Includes Hurtigruten's Northern Lights Promise.

Departures: 21st January 2019 FULL BOARD VOYAGE 31st January 2019 16th February 2019 INCLUDING FLIGHTS

FULL BOARD VOYAGE INCLUDING FLIGHTS &RAIL


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INSURANCE AWARDS 2015 FINALIST

Freemasonry Today - Winter 2017 - Issue 40  
Freemasonry Today - Winter 2017 - Issue 40