The Newsletter of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Leicestershire & Rutland Freemasons
ISSUE 45 Spring 2021
In this issue:
• Vaccination Volunteers – p21 • Entertaining Freemasons – p8 • Lodge Education Study Groups – p23
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SPRING 2021 Inside this issue…
Including: Editor’s Welcome, A Message from the Chairman, Lights, Camera, Action!, Let Me Entertain You!
Including: A Message from The Provincial Grand Master, Wanted: Marketing Officer, Time for Change, Introducing the Lodge Membership Officer
Communications New Members Site Launched
Including: Long Road to Success, 500 Recipe Bags Donated to Students, Knighton Ladies Evening, Support for Local Caterers from St. Wilfrid’s Lodge in Market Harborough, Temperantia Celebrations Temporarily on Hold, Arthur’s Chair, The Waiting Game, Freemasons Volunteer for Vaccination Drive, The Continuing Importance of Learning & Development
Health & Wellbeing
Scrip, Purse and Caring Heart
Including: Smile, it’s Amazon Calling!, £42,000 Donation to Help Fight Diabetes
Royal Arch Matters
Including: Charity News, Provincial Grand Chapter Appointments and Promotions Zoom, Grand Rank Appointment, E.Comp. David Turner PGStdB, Master Masons Evening, Diary Dates
30 32 33
Including: Message from the Provincial Grand Master, Mark Masons Donate £2,000 to Guide Dogs, Donation of £500 to The Ark Pre-school in Leicester
Short news articles
Beyond the Craft
Ancient and Accepted Rite Helps With Brooksby Church Appeal
Continuous Long Service Awards
THE OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER OF THE PROVINCIAL GRAND LODGE OF LEICESTERSHIRE & RUTLAND
Editor, Richard Barnett 1 Bleakmoor Close, Rearsby, Leicestershire, LE7 4YD Tel: 01664 424081 Mob: 07841560162 E: email@example.com
Tel: 01572 747598 Mob: 07747 614049 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
AnchorPrint Group Ltd, 11 Victoria Street, Syston Leicester LE7 2LE Simon Bradshaw Tel: 0116 2690800 E: email@example.com Visit: www.anchorprint.co.uk
This publication is copyright AnchorPrint Group Limited and may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form in whole or in part without prior written permission of AnchorPrint Group Limited. While every care has been taken during the preparation of this magazine, AnchorPrint Group Limited cannot be held responsible for accuracy of the information herein or for any consequence arising from it. Whilst the greatest of care has been taken in compiling this newsletter the Provincial Grand Lodge of Leicestershire and Rutland cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions that may occur. Editorial opinions expressed in the newsletter are not necessarily those of the Editor or the Provincial Grand Lodge of Leicestershire and Rutland. Provincial Grand Lodge does not accept any responsibility for the advertising content.
TO ALL READERS IN THE PROVINCE OF LEICESTERSHIRE AND RUTLAND
Have you considered the opportunity to advertise your business in the Leicester Square? The twice yearly Newsletter is delivered to all 3,000 members, families and widows in the Province as well as many other Provinces.
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Leicester Square SPRING 2021
It was the 14th February 1884 when brethren first met at the consecration of Granite Lodge, here in Leicester, which I am now proud to call my mother lodge. Over this 137 year period, the world has seen many changes and challenges, and has come through all of them, perhaps not unscathed, but certainly united in a goal of peace and prosperity.
All this history is recorded safely for future generations to learn from. If any of you have visited committee room one at Freemasons’ Hall in Leicester, you may have noticed a very small, locked door in the corner of the room. Behind this door, are the archives and documents of some of our lodges. It is well worth a visit if you are thinking of researching your lodge’s history. In my case, studying the minutes of events which have taken place over the years, is a fascinating use of time for anyone within the lodge. Typical lodge business and social functions are recorded, often with mention of world events such as the
death of Queen Victoria and the coronation of Edward VII in 1901, George V taking the throne in 1910, and the notable Edward and Mrs Simpson affair in 1936. The two world wars of 1914 and 1939 are obviously mentioned a multitude of times, along with other conflicts such as Korea and the Falklands. Why do I mention this? We are all only too aware of the devastating effect the last year has been for many of us. I am sure that in years to come, perhaps our children, or our grandchildren, will be perusing through the lodge archives and reading all about what we did during the time our country stopped to battle an invisible enemy. Of
course, I am referring to the coronavirus pandemic. I will certainly be ensuring that our lodge retains within its records, what we were doing whilst we were not meeting. Perhaps this edition should be more challenging to complete than usual. With us not meeting, it would be a safe assumption there is little news to report. On the contrary! You will have noticed from the bulletins, emails, updates to the website, and the plethora of zooms, there is much to talk about. Within this edition we have managed to include some of the important challenges and the successes we have celebrated since the last edition in December 2020. Much has been made
of the support Freemasons up and down the country have been giving to their local communities, such as helping those in need or volunteering help to administer the vaccination programme. Within this, the 45th edition, we celebrate those heroes. And finally, I would like to welcome on board the latest member of the Leicester Square team, Jason Clothier of the Lodge of Gratitude No.6514 and the Tudor Rose Lodge No.5660. Jason has taken a position as Assistant Editor and will help to ensure we always bring you the latest news and events.
Richard Barnett, Editor Leicester Square
A Message from the Chairman In the last edition of Leicester Square, I reminded everyone of the rousing message broadcast by our late King George VI in 1945, ”Never give up, never despair.” Since then, we have received two further inspiring messages to see us through the closing stages of lockdown. In her message to the Commonwealth broadcast on the 7th March this year, Her Majesty the Queen said, “The testing times experienced by so many, have led to a deeper appreciation of the mutual support we enjoy by being connected to others. And I hope we shall maintain this renewed sense of closeness and community.”
Another very relevant message was seen in the Spring 2021 edition of Freemasonry Today, where the Grand Secretary David Staples said, “It is important that in our eagerness to get back to how things were, we do not forget those lessons we have learnt over the past year or so, the importance of keeping in touch and of making that extra personal effort to ensure that those we know are doing ok and are well supported.” To my mind, those sentiments reflect the true spirit of Freemasonry, namely integrity, respect, friendship and charity. Our nation has been plunged deep into lockdown but true to that
spirit, we all have knuckled down “to do our bit” to get through the darkest moments, before encouraging signs of improvement begin to appear in the anticipated change of season from winter to spring, such as bulbs begin shooting up in the garden, lambs appearing in the fields, and the days become lighter. The spirit of Freemasonry has manifested itself in various other ways over the last few months, such as supplying food parcels, giving transport for medical appointments, contacting those living alone, keeping in touch with each other through regular zoom meetings, and raising large amounts of money for charity. That continuing spirit of “never give up” has been boosted by the ever-widening roll-out of vaccinations, which will enable us to return to some form of normality, which I hope is just around the corner. Let us embrace it with renewed energy. With my very best wishes to all our readers.
Chairman Leicester Square
Lights, Camera, Action!
Leicester’s Grey Friars Lodge have a talent amongst their members who is becoming a household name across the country. With several best-selling books to his name, and guest appearances on TV shows such as “This Morning”, Kwoklyn Wan has now released his own show on Amazon Prime.
Leicester Square SPRING 2021
We caught up with Kwoklyn who made time for us in his hectic schedule whilst promoting his new show. RB: Tell me a bit about yourself, where did you grow up and what made you fall in love with cooking? KW: I’m actually Leicester born and bred; my Grandad came to England during the mass migration in the mid to late 1950s after the Chinese Communist Revolution. He decided to call Leicester his home and opened the first Chinese restaurant (Chop Suey House) on Northampton Street in 1962, which was located not far from Freemasons’ Hall in Leicester. The first part of my life was spent in Beaumont Leys. At the time Dad was running a Cantonese restaurant on Humberstone Gate named the Bamboo House. As a family we would spend weekends and our school holidays at the restaurant, running up and down the stairs from the storeroom and hiding under the restaurant tables, listening to Abba on full volume and enjoying the atmosphere. Unlike other children on our estate who were playing in the parks and on the fields surrounding our house, the restaurant was our playground. We would play, eat great food, and even sleep on a couple of chairs in the restaurant, lined up to create a bed until it was closing time. It wasn’t unfamiliar to be eating T-Bone steaks at 2.30am in the morning, as this was Mum and Dad’s dinner time, and we would all sit and eat together before all of the children would go to bed full, happy, and very content. I guess my passion for cooking came from these experiences; food was playing such a huge part of a very happy childhood. I think I was always destined to share what I had learnt and at the same time re-live my childhood day in and day out. RB: Who have been your biggest influencers in the kitchen? KW: Though Dad worked front of house greeting and serving his guests, and, may I add, was the greatest of all time, he was also my biggest influence in the kitchen. The restaurant was a small family-run business, so often Dad would be in the kitchen too, and even though we had head chefs and other chefs, when Dad was in the kitchen, they all knew who the boss was. On the rare occasion when
the restaurant was closed, dad would recreate huge banquets at home and I was always fascinated as I watched him methodically prepare each element for the feast ahead. RB: When and why did you decide to join Freemasonry? KW: Growing up I had always been fascinated by Freemasonry. Our next-door neighbour was a Freemason, and once a month I’d see him leave the house with his briefcase, wearing his dinner jacket and would sit and wonder what the night had instore for him. After a very close friend of mine joined a lodge in Northampton about six years ago, I began to investigate Freemasonry here in Leicester. I contacted our old neighbour and he pointed me towards the online joining information. RB: What position do you hold in the Lodge, and where would you like to see yourself going within Freemasonry? KW: I am currently a Steward and was due to move to Inner Guard in October 2020. Unfortunately, as we have not been able to meet this season due to the COVID pandemic, I have not officially been invested yet. Once I have progressed through the chair in my own Lodge, I would like to look at some of the side degrees available, and then time allowing I think I would like to have an active role in the Province. RB: You have had several books out now, how difficult were they to write and what do you put their success down too? KW: My first book ‘Chinese Takeaway Cookbook’, has been by far my best seller. It took me two weeks to write as all I had to do was recall all the amazing dishes we were serving in the restaurant. I think it has been so successful because it teaches the reader how to recreate their favourite Chinese takeaway dishes at home with complete authenticity. The second book, ‘Veggie Chinese Takeaway Cookbook’, took slightly longer to write, around three months in total, as I had to redevelop many of the recipes. I had to ensure that after substituting ingredients that contained meat and fish, the reader was still able to recreate that authentic Chinese takeaway taste completely meat free. My last published book which was released in January this year is all about using minimal ingredients named
FEATURE ‘Chinese Takeaway in 5’. In this book I teach the reader about making authentic Chinese takeaway food using only a handful of ingredients. This really is no fuss cooking and is flying off the shelves due to the simplicity of the recipes. RB: When was your first ever appearance on TV? KW: I have been on and off the screens ever since my twenties. My first appearance was on BBC South. They were filming a piece for the evening news about new security cameras that had been installed across the town, and at the time I was working part-time as a security officer. Since then, I’ve been on ‘Celebrity Five Minutes to a Fortune’, ‘Celebrity Deal or No Deal’, ‘Gok’s Teens’, ITV’s ‘This Morning’, Channel 4’s ‘Steph’s Packed Lunch’, and presented a show on BBC’s ‘Inside Out’. RB: You now have your own show on Amazon Prime; how did that come about? KW: Over the years I’ve been quite a prolific writer, writing no less than five books and six different TV shows. During the UK’s first lockdown I was contacted by an Amazon Prime TV network and asked if I would write a show for their channel. I had already started writing a concept, and after a few weeks ‘Kwoklyn’s Chinese Takeaway Kitchen’ was born. Filming took place here in Leicester during the second lockdown, thankfully as we were making a TV show, we were allowed to continue filming. RB: Can you tell me about the show, what can people expect to see? KW: ‘Kwoklyn’s Chinese Takeaway Kitchen’ unlocks the trade-secrets behind the kitchen door. Teaching the viewer that with a little bit of preparation and with the right combination of ingredients you can create authentic Chinese takeaway dishes at home. RB: So what’s next and where do you see the next move for your cookery passion? KW: This is not commonly known, however, I have just completed a new book, and about to start writing another, plus we have begun work on a new series for Amazon Prime, and planning series two of ‘Chinese Takeaway Kitchen’.
Richard Barnett, Editor Leicester Square
How do you entertain hundreds of Freemasons, their families and friends, all of different age groups? We put this question to Paul Grant-Reason of Wiclif Lodge No.3078, who is well versed in putting on a great show.
Leicester Square SPRING 2021
FEATURE RB: How did you decide the entertainment business was what you wanted to make a career out of? PGR: I, like most kids who grew up in the 70s, had simpler choices in life than those of kids today. It was play on your bike, play football, or play an instrument. I started taking guitar lessons at the age of twelve, and that pretty much took over my life for the next few years. After leaving school, I took a job as a live sound engineer for a professional cabaret band. This was a big learning experience and made me realise you could make a living from live music, if you did it right. A couple of years later I formed a duo with an old school friend, and he suggested I should start singing. It worked out well for me, and I have never looked back since. Music has taken me on many adventures. In recent years we started our own company, with the aim of bringing what we have learned to a younger generation. Children today have so many more choices than when I was young, and with choice comes distraction. Happily, there is still a lot of seriously talented people out there, and our job is to harness that talent and provide a direction to make a living from what they love. RB: How did you become involved in Freemasonry? PGR: My late grandfather, and my father-in-law were both Freemasons, both of whom I greatly admired. Due to my work, I was always working weekends, which meant that I had lost touch with many friends socially over the years. Through the entertainment business, I met Mark Pierpoint at a charity garden party which myself and my wife had performed at. This event was in support of charities by Freemasons. Mark explained to me a little more about Freemasonry, and
I began to see the great work and charitable giving undertaken by the fraternity. With lodge meetings being held on a Wednesday at Wiclif Lodge, it seemed like a great way of reconnecting socially with like-minded people, whilst still being able to make my living at weekends. RB: Where do you play most of your gigs, and how does this fit in with Freemasonry? PGR: The main bulk of our business comes from the holiday park market, both at home and abroad. In addition to this we have always been involved with large sporting events, and just about every kind of private event you could imagine. For me personally it’s meant every sort of gig, from a small conservatory for somebody’s birthday party, to 75,000 people at the Dubai Rugby Sevens. Since I have been connected with Freemasonry, we’ve had the pleasure of providing entertainment for many events such as ladies nights and gala events. And as we also perform for Warner holidays, we are very much used to catering for a varied, but generally more mature audience. Most of our acts have two shows, with one being aimed squarely at a mature audience. Having that background has helped us hit that sweet spot for masonic functions, so the entertainment is suitable and exciting for all the age groups present. RB: How has the pandemic affected your business? PGR: The pandemic has pretty much written off live entertainment for the last year. Fortunately for us, holiday parks were able to put in place social distancing at the end of last summer. This gave us a bit of respite and normality for a couple of months. It has, of course, been a very tough year financially, for us as a company, and the many people that work through us. It is
a very sad and regrettable situation, but we are very aware of people’s safety and the well-being of the community, which must come first. RB: Hopefully we can now see a bit of light at the end of the long dark tunnel, what are your plans for when you can return to some sort of normality? PGR: With the vaccine rollout, it seems that the dimmer switch on the light at the end of the tunnel is gradually being turned up! We have invested in studio facilities so we can record or live stream audition and promotional material for our acts. We are lucky that the companies we work for have space, and the captive audience to put entertainment on safely. Some sort of social distancing will probably still be required as things open up, and our job is to make sure that we can comply with these regulations and keep safe. As a limited company, the furlough scheme has been something of a lifeline, but of course it can never replace all the lost bookings. Sadly, we’ve lost a few people who have permanently left the industry, but for those of us left it is definitely onwards and upwards. We are really looking forward to getting back to normal, both as a company, and personally. Being able to see grandparents and loved ones is something that we have all really missed. With two small children it’s been hard to keep them amused for a year. But I am glad for the time we’ve been able to spend with them away from work. We have started to advertise again, such as placing a full page advert in FMT, as we strongly believe we can provide an unparalleled quality of entertainment for lodges nationwide. We have really enjoyed working for freemasons around Leicestershire & Rutland; these functions are a perfect blend of tradition and fun.
Richard Barnett, Editor Leicester Square
The Provincial Grand Master After an unprecedented year, and being away from our families, friends, lodges and chapters, it now seems that we can hope for a return to some sort of normality before this calendar year is out. Before we look to the future, we must first take time to remember our brethren and family members who have lost their lives to this terrible disease. We should also remember in our hearts and minds, those of our nation’s heroes, still working tirelessly to keep our hospitals running, our services going, and our country moving towards recovery. Many of our members have taken up the challenge of volunteering to help in many ways, but none perhaps more important than those assisting in the administering of the vaccines, and the coordination of what we all hope is going to be the end of this pandemic. The speed and efficiency in which Sandie and I have received our vaccines, I know is being replicated up and down the country.
But what about the future of our lodges? As you will know, the Provincial Grand Secretary and his team have been working tirelessly to understand and interpret the rules and guidelines from Grand Lodge, and how they affect each of our lodges. I am so grateful for the time and effort that Paul and his team, and the Comms committee, have put in to our “Back on the Square” initiative that will give us all a solid base for when we do return to our lodges. I am sure that you will all agree that when we do return, we will be celebrating very hard indeed. The team will be in touch soon to disseminate the details of how and when Freemasons’ Hall, Leicester, and our other centres will be opening their doors again in time for a new season! Watch
out for the opening on our halls on July 5th, when we will all be joining the UGLE National initiative in support of NHS day.
ask for help in this regard. We all hope that we are now on the home straight, so dust off those regalia cases and get ready!
When you all next enter Freemasons’ Hall, Leicester your will see many improvements that have taken place whilst Freemasonry has been on ‘Hold’. We hope that you will approve! Nicola, Evie, Greg, Adam and the team have all been very busy whilst you have been away.
I thank you all once again for your efforts in supporting the Government’s guidelines, and supporting each other through Zoom meetings, phone calls, emails, letters, and other video calls.
Many of our lodges have several candidates waiting to join our fraternity; this is excellent news and certainly bodes well for the future of our Province. Our APGM, Andy Green, has a team from the Universities Scheme Lodges ready and waiting to assist those Lodges who wish to hold multiple ceremonies, so please do not be afraid to
I am very much looking forward to the day when we can meet once again on the square, and gather together at the festive board to raise a glass in celebration of a renewed bright future of Freemasonry, in this Province in particular, and the Country in general. Please all continue to take care and keep safe.
Peter C Kinder,
Provincial Grand Master
Wanted: Marketing Officer Would you like to join the Provincial team and help out with our marketing and communications? If so, we have a Marketing Officer vacancy to help shape how we engage with the public social media and open days. 10
Under the guidance of the Provincial Communications Officer, the role of Marketing Officer is designed to ensure the Province has an effective and consistent approach to messaging. The specific duties include:
1. Working with the Social Media team to supply and guide consistent, relevant content and messaging. 2. Working with the Communications Officer to create the messaging for any future advertising of events. 3. Through the Communications Officer, coordinate and implement marketing initiatives from Grand Lodge. 4. Assist with the creation and management of future events, such as open days. The successful applicant will gain insight into the workings of communication and marketing of the Province and Grand Lodge. This is a new and exciting role created to support the expanding team and the professionalisation of our operations. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if this interests you.
Richard Barnett, Provincial Communications Officer
Leicester Square SPRING 2021
Time for Change In our enthusiasm to return to how things were, it is important to consider moving forward as we look to engage with our members and attract the Brethren of the future. We would all surely agree the pace of modern life is far removed from that time when many of our more senior members joined the Fraternity. The employer expectations of a young, working-man are also very different from the often nine-to-five working day of previous generations. It is now extremely common for men to regularly work into the early evening. Young men also have intense personal lives with multiple activities making calls upon their precious time. In the era of scheduled zoom calls, meetings and conferences, a modern man expects his professional life to be efficiently planned with little or no time wasted during his working week.
formal part of the evening, we have suggested several time-saving alterations to the administrative sections of our meetings. Whist acknowledging all Lodges quite rightly have their own traditions, it is important to consider these suggestions which can be found in the Lodge DC’s guidance booklet within the Director of Ceremonies section of the Member’s portal on the Provincial Website. If some or all of these suggestions are implemented, it is hoped no meeting will be required to commence prior to 18.00hrs with opening times of 18.15 & 18.30 hrs actively encouraged.
Clearly the final decision rests with individual Lodges. However, as you consider your options, I urge you to look at your current active membership and compare it to where you were ten and maybe twenty years ago. Your membership may have increased, or you may well see it dwindle as you retain all of those historic Lodge traditions. If you like - “do it like we’ve always done.” Once again this is an issue to be addressed by the Lodge, but the harsh reality is, if membership numbers continue to fall without being addressed, individual Lodges will in turn dwindle and ultimately close.
must guard against apathy and complacency. The time for doing nothing has passed. The future of your Lodge may well depend on your willingness to embrace change and adapt.
If you want to ensure the future of your Lodge, we
Provincial Grand Mentor
Holding on to tradition may be the last thing your Lodge does.
With this in mind we need to be time sensitive, if we are to successfully attract and initiate suitable younger working men into a fraternity which still often commences meetings prior to 18.00hrs. Clearly the ceremonial aspect of our meetings remains central to our Masonic education and development, and as such should not now, or ever be subject to change. However, in an effort to make meetings more accessible, whilst continuing to carry out unchanged the
Introducing the Lodge Membership Officer This year sees the introduction of a new collared office within our lodges. The important role of Lodge Membership Officer is now being introduced to assist with the selection process of candidates prior to them becoming a member. It is not often we see Grand Lodge introduce a new role to assist with the smooth operation of our lodges. We are now planning our return to lodge after a considerable period of absence, so we need to ensure the backlog of candidates we have are managed in an efficient way, prior to them becoming Freemasons, and prior to our Lodge Mentors taking the ownership for their development. We are also looking forward to the relaunch of our Pathway initiative later this year, where we will outline an effective way of supporting attraction and retention of members. The role of Lodge Membership Officer will be crucial to the success of the Pathway. Specifically, the role of Lodge Membership Officer will be to support those who propose or second a new member into our fraternity, as well as to advise the lodge interviewing panel about best practice and the necessary steps which need to be taken. The
Lodge Membership Officer is a vital part of our lodge operations, who will also work very closely with potential members who are not sponsored; those being from an external source such as the lodge or Provincial website. The role is also key to implementing and interpreting the lodge Planning and Attracting Policy, which will help to attract the right individuals to the specific characteristics of our individual lodges. Once the interview process has been completed, and we have welcomed our new member into his first meeting, the Lodge Membership Officer will ensure a smooth handover to the Lodge Mentor for the next stage in his learning and understanding. The two important offices will work very closely together as we strive for continuity and care of our members, both old and new.
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Leicester Square SPRING 2021
Above all, this is a fantastic office for someone to take on a role of such high importance, and also a great opportunity to ensure we achieve a high standard of membership who will grow with the lodge and become active members.
It is very important to stress the skills required to successfully fill this role:
he must be adept at interviewing skills, be positive, supportive, and inspiring to encourage proposers and seconders to achieve a high standard for the next generation of Freemasons. He must also be open minded and supportive of the Lodge in general, to ensure we only admit men who meet the qualifications for membership and who are suited to the lodge, in both time and fit with the existing members. The full duties are explained further on our member’s website, www.pglleics.org. uk/members-portal .
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New Members Site Launched In today’s fast paced world and ever-changing and evolving ways of communicating, the Provincial Grand Lodge have released a new tool to ensure that all of our members can stay up to date and informed. It has been some years now that Leicestershire & Rutland Freemasons have enjoyed a website to help attract new members. As we have all become more familiar with using the internet, computers and websites, it is only right for us to embrace this platform even further by giving you, the membership, a tool for further knowledge and information.
Striking a fine balance between over and under communicating is difficult, we have therefore ensured that all important communication such as bulletins and guidance are available on the member’s website. This does not replace sending these out to you via email, but it does give a single repository should you need it in the future.
In Bulletin Eight we communicated to you the new Member’s Section of the Provincial website; this is designed to be simple to use, and easy to find what you need. It is password protected and can be accessed by going to the main website at www. pglleics.org.uk and looking at the bottom of the page for the round button, “Members Access”. The resulting menu is organised into the respective offices
This is not just limited to the Craft, you will also find useful information pertaining to the Royal Arch, as well as guides for Chapter Officers, much as we have done for the Craft.
and functions we will all recognise in the operation of our lodges.
“The Fellowcraft”, and
For example, our lodge Almoners can find a plethora of information, such as initiatives, how to obtain welfare support, role guidance, and even a method of updating your lodge widows’ lists. Mentors now have easy access to all handbooks, such as “Welcome to Freemasonry”,
download the Form P
other important handouts. Secretaries can now registration forms, as well as view the latest Book of Constitutions, all to help you run your lodges. You will also find other information for the Light Blue Club, Regalia Shop, and of course the latest Yearbook.
If you have any questions, suggestions, or perhaps need a bit of help, please contact the communications team by email at communications@ pglleics.co.uk.
Provincial Communications Officer
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Leicester Square SPRING 2021
Long Road to Success
Never has the need for the generous support of the Masonic Charitable Foundation been so great. For one member of Guthlaxton Lodge, waiting for the return to lodge to support the MCF was not an option, instead he took to saddle and the footways to raise awareness and money. Joe Johnson has been a Freemason since 2019, joining our fraternity just before the pandemic hit. Whilst his time with Guthlaxton Lodge No.7717 has been short, his commitment to Freemasonry and our charitable giving is something to be proud of.
attempted to complete within a tenweek period. He is now over halfway, and on track to head to the virtual finish line very soon.
When the country was plunged into lockdown, Joe decided to take a stand by supporting those in need and began planning the gruelling route of a Lands End to John O’Groats journey, on foot and on bicycle. To attempt such a feat at this time of year would be fraught with the challenges of the weather conditions. However, not being able to venture far from his home, Joe took to the local streets and the static bicycle to rack up the 1083 miles it would usually take to traverse the entire length of the United Kingdom.
The cycling is being carried out at home, using a spot bike, which is just as hard to peddle as a road bike, but avoids the biting winds we can get at this time of year. Rather than spending hours at a time on the treadmill for the running sections, Joe has been pounding the local streets around Broughton Astley to rack up his mileage.
Joe Johnson said,
Thank you so much to everyone who has supported me, it has been very challenging but also very rewarding.
An event of this magnitude takes a serious amount of planning, which Joe
To ensure his efforts are not in vain, Joe and the lodge are looking for support to help raise money for the 2022 Festival. This can be done by heading to his MCF support page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ joejohnson22 or by contacting the lodge. Good luck Joe, what a fantastic effort.
500 Recipe Bags Donated to Students Wyggeston Lodge No.3448 has generously donated the ingredients needed to make a vegetarian curry with rice to 500 University of Leicester students during lockdown.
In conjunction with the University of Leicester Students’ Union, the unique ‘Recipe in a Bag’ has been distributed to those students hit hardest with the lockdown restrictions. These bags include individually portioned rice, chickpeas, tomatoes, potatoes, coconut milk, and chilli. The lodge also teamed up with Wigston News & Deli to provide the spice mix and the recipe which is included in each of the bags.
The Master of Wyggeston Lodge, Alex Pohl said, “Kindness and charitable giving are deeply ingrained within the principles of Freemasonry. We are very mindful that students at the university have not been able to enjoy their university life to the full because of the coronavirus pandemic.” Alex continues, “Recipe boxes via subscription have really boomed in recent years particularly during 2020. As a small token, we’re delighted to put our own version of these recipe bags for students in self-catered accommodation so they can make and enjoy a tasty meal whilst in lockdown.”
Andy Green, APGM said,
I’m very proud of the lodge who have come together to help create this initiative and deliver food to the student community in Leicester during the pandemic.”
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Knighton Ladies Evening
Not only have we not been able to attend our lodge meetings, we have also been absent from celebrating our Ladies’ Evenings. This didn’t stop the members of Knighton Lodge, who took to Zoom with all of the pomp and ceremony as if we were back together. On the 5th December 2020, Dennis McCauley and the members of Knighton Lodge No.4711 opened up their wardrobes to take out their fineries for the first time in a long while to celebrate and enjoy a traditional Ladies’ Evening with a twist. The lodge is not one to be beaten, so they put their heads together to devise a format for enjoying the traditional evening within the comfort of their own homes. For the first time in a while, the gentlemen dressed up in their dinner jackets, whilst the ladies dazzled with their elegant dresses and attire. Being the run up to Christmas, the backdrops and homes had that extra special festive glow. Dinner was served, wine was taken, and the conversation took on the familiar tone we are all used to when we meet in our respective venues for
Ladies’ Evenings in previous years. The change to the usual format did not mean discarding the traditions of a Ladies’ Evening, there was even a rendition of the ladies’ song to bring a tear to the eye. However, the use of modern technology helped the evenings interaction, as even a WhatsApp group was set up to share pictures of the splendid meals throughout the evening.
David Highton, a guest for the evening, said,
The evening was a great credit to all of you for pulling it together, it will serve as a great memory for Anne and I.
Support for Local Caterers from St. Wilfrid’s Lodge in Market Harborough Earlier in 2020, members of St. Wilfrid’s Lodge in Market Harborough donated £700 to support the local catering firm who lost their income from the closed hall due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Although there is light at the end of the tunnel, it has still been a long period for small businesses to go without income. St. Wilfrid’s Lodge has again been active in raising funds to support Rival Catering, by donating a generous £1,030 made up from members putting their
hands in their own pockets to raise the money, and also giving a donation of £120 from St. Peter’s Royal Arch Chapter, who also meet in Market Harborough. This amazing amount was doubled through the generosity of one member, John Townsend who
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Temperantia Celebrations Temporarily on Hold Many special occasions have had to be cancelled or postponed over the last twelve months; one such event is the Centenary Year Celebrations of Temperantia Lodge No.4088 in Leicester. 2020 was to be the centenary year, however with all the best laid plans devised during the preceding years to celebrate this wonderful achievement, they had to be either cancelled or put on hold. Whilst this is indeed a big disappointment, it is in fact only a slight inconvenience compared to the terrible losses and devastating effects of the virus throughout our fraternity and the world. However, there has been one ray of light which has sliced through this dark era. An integral part of our centenary celebration was to look outward, and to give something back to the community. We wanted to give something of real value, and yet worth more than money: something tangible and utilitarian and, at the same time, offering the opportunity to experience the tranquillity of a very special place. Designed and conceived as a place for rest, remembrance, and personal reflection, the Bradgate Park Memorial Wood has proved to be the perfect venue for our Commemorative Bench and Obelisks. The bench was specifically designed with a backrest for those who may
require a little extra support. The two obelisks were designed to accommodate memorial oak leaves, similar to those already being displayed within the wood. Both obelisks and the bench have been constructed from solid English oak. The timber was provided by the park estate site from aged trees, no longer in a state to welcome visitors to the park, but perfect to continue in their new supporting role for generations to come. Having now been donated to Bradgate Park, they will be maintained and preserved by the Park Authority. The Bench is perfectly positioned for visitors to sit and take in the vista of the park in the foreground with the Cropston Reservoir beyond. It is a most delightful and tranquil setting. One of the obelisks has been donated to accommodate the memorial oak leaves of Brethren and their families, and the other is to be for general community use. So, despite all the upheaval and restrictions imposed throughout ‘Our Centenary Year‘, we still managed to achieve at least one of our objectives in
2020. However, the official unveiling is still to be arranged, and is subject to returning to normality, when we can meet with confidence once more. We are extremely proud to emphasise that this wonderful achievement, during such a debilitating period, has only been able to succeed due to teamwork. Our thanks go to all those involved, from the Provincial Grand Master, who introduced our Secretary, Jerry Kinder, to the representatives of the Bradgate Park Charitable Trust, and the ‘can do’ attitude of two ladies in particular from the Trust, namely Carolyn Holmes and Michelle Walker, who have been instrumental in bringing this project to fruition, especially as staff were furloughed and work curtailed during various lockdowns. It would be remiss of us not to mention the benefit we received of additional financial support by way of a matched donation from the Leicestershire and Rutland Masonic Charity Association, which allowed us to fully implement our planned community donation.
Arthur’s Chair William Arthur Chambers was Initiated into Humber Stone Lodge No.7744 on 8th April 1975, later becoming Master in 1989. Arthur became an esteemed and very respected member of the Lodge and was promoted to Past Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies in 2002, and Past Provincial Grand Sword Bearer in the Royal Arch in 2006. Sadly, he passed to the Grand Lodge above on 13th April 2006 aged 79, but bequeathed a substantial legacy to the Lodge. As a result of Arthur’s generous legacy, there were many conversations at committee meetings about how to show our respect to his memory. Dean Newman of the lodge voiced the idea of an antique chair, to be used by all Master’s at the Festive Boards held at the Masonic Hall, Syston. It was agreed that this was a fantastic idea, and Dean was given the task of sourcing such a chair. With the assistance of Alan Coleman, another member of the Lodge, the search began for a suitable chair, of the size and quality required. After much searching, a truly magnificent example of fine carpentry, skill and quality was found. The chair had been crafted in 1928, in memory of the founder of a church in
Wales and was duly purchased. It had an inscription referring to the Founder but not wanting to disrespect what had gone before, Robert McVey, also of Humber Stone Lodge, was asked to expertly renovate the chair and cover the inscription in a most professional manner. A detachable complimentary cushion is also being sourced. This shows how teamwork, listening to, and consulting with members of the lodge, is so important to success, even in Freemasonry. Arthur was an avid supporter of inviting visitors to lodge meetings, so our soon to be Master’s chair will be on full view to all visitors in who attend the Syston Masonic Hall.
The text of the new plaque reads:
This chair was purchased in memory of W Bro W. Arthur Chambers, PPDGDC, PPGSwdB (RA). Humber Stone Lodge No.7744 ~ WM 1989 from part of a legacy he left to the Lodge in 1998. A true friend, great character, raconteur, and a faithful Brother to all who knew him.”
The Waiting Game The consecration of the next lodge to join our Province, the Union of Rugby Lodge No.9989, is much publicised, however has suffered setbacks due to the current suspension of Freemasonry. Individuals who are waiting to become members of the Union of Rugby Lodge have had the ultimate test of patience and dedication over the last year as they await to be welcomed into Freemasonry. The consecration of the lodge has been delayed further, from September 2020 to 2nd April 2022. Although we may well be meeting again in September, it is considered too close to the relaxation of rules to allow for as many guests, visitors, and members who have shown an interest in attending. Many individuals are waiting not only to join the lodge, but to join Freemasonry. This can be a long wait when it is unclear
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as to when we can resume welcoming new members again. The commitment and enthusiasm are clear for all to see. Many of our potential new members have been working hard to raise money for the 2022 Festival, raising money by whatever means they can. A raffle was the first fund raising event to take place, amassing a magnificent £900, to which the proposed lodge topped up to make it £1,000. This was followed up with a further event, which raised £600. The host ground for our Light Blues Rugby Club is the Vipers RFC, who were desperately in need of a defibrillator machine. Money was raised by our
members to help secure the funds for this worthy cause. The Provincial Grand Master, Peter Kinder, and the Provincial Grand Secretary, Paul Wallace will be presenting this to the club as soon as restrictions are lifted. A further six individuals are waiting to be interviewed, all of these have come from local rugby clubs which the Leicestershire Rugby Union have supported. Under the guidance from the Provincial team, zoom meetings have been encouraged to keep the momentum going, which the potential members have been eagerly participating in.
Freemasons Volunteer for Vaccination Drive
Freemasons have begun to roll up their sleeves and volunteer to help vaccinate the population. To help protect all UK citizens during this difficult time, Freemasons around the country have offered their time to help administer the vital jabs and assist with the logistics to keep the centres running seven days a week. In Leicestershire & Rutland, many of our members are rising to the challenge, and using their valuable free time to train and assist with the national programme. For example, Steve Davison of the Lodge of the Holywell No.7827 in Loughborough, who is also the Assistant Grand Master of the Mark degree, has been volunteering his time to help with the logistics. At first Steve was convinced he would be in the carpark directing traffic; however, his skills were put to test on the reception desk and at the exit of Loughborough Hospital. Steve said, “The atmosphere at the hub is so friendly and happy with all of our ‘customers’ being very grateful for the jab. I’m looking forward to the next shift.” Another Loughborough Freemason, Ian Hammond from the Howe & Charnwood Lodge No.1007, is putting his excellent people skills to good use by making visitors to centres in Leicestershire and also Derbyshire feel comfortable, as often when they arrive, they are very anxious before having the injection. Ian also has been helping filter the increased traffic into and out of the car parks. Ian said, “I find it very rewarding when talking to the people as they arrive for their jabs. I have also been on the NHS volunteer check and chat since March last year, helping those who are self-isolating.” Dennis Crommentuijn of the Rothley Temple Lodge No.7801 has been all
over the East Midlands, supporting the vaccination centres as a carer, vaccinator, and helping with recovery. Dennis began his work in late February, after completing his training with St. John’s Ambulance, and is now making a real difference to the local communities.
all are happy and relieved once they have had their vaccine. This is a great moral and emotional boost to all. This is what freemasonry is all about. Be good and do good, for yourself and your community. I look forward to continuing my support as long as my skills are needed.”
Dennis said, “The hustle and bustle at the centre is overwhelmingly positive. On a single shift there are more than fifty professionals from all corners of the NHS and a number of volunteers from the local area, and also a few
Dennis, Ian, and Steve join many other members of our Province in supporting the NHS deliver and administer the vaccinations at an unprecedented pace.
Dr. David Staples, Grand Secretary said,
We want to support the NHS and show our gratitude for its people’s efforts and the amazing job they have done during the pandemic. from St. John’s Ambulance. It is a joy to be part of this professional and dedicated team and making a difference for the individuals who attend and the larger society. We vaccinate between 600 – 1600 people, depending on what day it is. Every person is treated as an individual, from the moment they arrive, until they leave. Some are scared, some upbeat, some need a virtual hug. But they all have the same characteristics in common. They all choose to be there. They all get vaccinated. They
Dr David Staples, chief executive of UGLE, said, “In 2018, more than 18.5 million hours of volunteer work were undertaken by Freemasons. Now that we have the vaccine in the UK, it is crucial that we help in every way we can to protect the population. If the NHS needs people, then we are happy to encourage and emphasise the importance of this to our members. We want to support the NHS and show our gratitude for its people’s efforts and the amazing job they have done during the pandemic. Freemasons always stand behind our core values of friendship, integrity, charity and respect – and we are proud to help so many people.” In addition to the £1m donated in 2020, the Freemasons have committed a further fund of £2.1m to support the ongoing Covid-19 crisis response. Of that £2.1m, £850,000 has been allocated to support homeless people through several charities with which UGLE partners. More than 40,000 homeless individuals are being provided with food and essentials, transport, help with accessing services such as counselling and healthcare, as well as employment and training opportunities.
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The Continuing Importance of Learning & Development Education. The word strikes fear into some and ambition into others. We are plunged into the world of formal education from the earliest of ages and continue until eighteen. Some choose to continue; others choose a different path. From infancy we are taught to read, write, and calculate and later in life we try to make sense of unending passages of archaic texts that seem to have an aversion to punctuation – of any kind! But there are those who try to make sense of these texts and choose to open up a conversation that aims to explain the finer nuances of the familiar words we recite. And so, it is with St Deny’s Lodge No.8276, who formed a ‘study group’ seven years ago, under the stewardship of John Cappin. John would graciously open up his house to a likeminded group of Freemasons, who would discuss papers ranging from the practical uses of working tools to the evolution of our aprons; even tackling the age-old question of women in Freemasonry! The group would meet at John’s house around six times a year, until his passing in 2016. From then on, a group of eight or nine continue to meet regularly to this day. In his memory the group meet under the title of the ‘John Cappin Memorial Discussion Group’. Today, the group meet in each other’s houses and deliver papers across an array of themes relating to Freemasonry; the group listen then discuss the presentation, ask questions, and then have further discussions, including tips on learning ritual and the joys of visiting. Over the past year, with all lodge activities suspended, the group have gone from strength to strength,
meeting virtually over the marvel of Zoom. Although the supply of tea, biscuits and cakes may not have been as plentiful, the group still continue to share their love for all things relating to Freemasonry. Papers delivered have been diverse, varying from ‘Masonry in Cuba and the Caribbean, Russia and Gibraltar’ to ‘Music in Masonry’. Furthermore, extracts from transactions of the Lodge of Research No.2429, of which John Cappin was a longstanding member, are also delivered and discussed. This has been in large part, and with grateful thanks, to Marion Cappin, John’s widow, who kindly passed on all his records. As a result, the group have been able to continue to expand their knowledge on a variety of subjects, such as the meaning of the movement around the lodge room and the history of Provincial Grand Lodge names. One of the virtues of Freemasonry is the ability to visit, and nowhere is this more evident than when Freemasons are able to visit lodges at Christmas time. Due to the work undertaken by St Deny’s Lodge, brethren are able to listen to a full lecture at their Christmas Festive board. So, if you have the time and the date is free, it may be worth the
Elliot Harris, St Deny’s Lodge Chaplain, said,
We all get a great deal of pleasure out of the group and each other’s company, and long may it continue. cost of a festive board to listen to a well-researched, masonic themed lecture. This should be only the beginning of a journey, started by John, for us all to undertake. We give thanks to John and honour his legacy by ensuring that education, in all its forms, is lifelong; it should be valued and incorporated into our daily lives, where we should make daily advancement. Even if that means tackling archaic texts with an aversion to a full stop or two!
HEALTH & WELLBEING
Scrip, Purse and Caring Heart When thinking what to contribute to this edition of Leicester Square, my mind went back to the Spring 2019 edition which featured an article on my role as Provincial Grand Almoner. What I, and none of us knew at that time, was how our lives would be so significantly impacted by a global pandemic. Indeed, two years on from that feature article, I can reflect on how fulfilling the role of Provincial Grand Almoner is, not despite of, but because of the pandemic. Yes, it comes with some situations which really tug at the heart strings. Conversely, like all pastoral and welfare roles, seeing brethren and dependents benefit from support is a welcome compensation. Also, with the role of Association Secretary of the LRMCA, we have further dealings with other tragic and distressing situations. It was in November 2018 that the then Provincial Grand Master, David Hagger, appointed me as Provincial Grand Almoner (PGA). In the Spring 2019 edition of Leicester Square, I shared a flavour of the development and activities of the role. From then on through 2019 into early 2020, a pattern of normality emerged, including reappointment as PGA by the current Provincial Grand Master Peter Kinder. Regular Tuesday and Thursday morning visits to the charity office at Freemasons Hall, Leicester, supporting and advising our lodge almoners, our local team of MCF visiting volunteers, liaising with the MCF’s Enquiries and Grants team, dealing with our petitioners’ applications and reviews, attending the MCF regional group meetings and LRCMA Committee meetings, and also arranging almoners update meetings are just a sample of my activities. From the very announcement of the lockdown restrictions, it was clear individual and family separation, isolation and potential loneliness would bring into sharp focus the need to establish on-going communications. Lodge Almoners and other brethren
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were mobilised through emails and phone-calls. The establishment of the Communications Team, which I was asked to join, supplemented, and enhanced our ability to communicate with those in need of support. One of the highlights for me has been the fantastic support provided by the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) for our brethren, dependants and widows, who found themselves in distressed circumstances, either as a direct or indirect result of the impact of Covid19. Despite moving to home working in March 2020 (which is still the case), the MCF Enquires and Grants team, and Advice and Support teams have been doing a superb job. It is well reported that we have received grants exceeding £200,000 since April 2020, double that of previous years. But it’s not the amount, it is also the diversity, impact and often complexity of support provided. This has also significantly broadened my knowledge
as your PGA, as well as the almoners involved. Whilst forty-seven beneficiaries have been provided with support, including financial assistance due to redundancy, IT support for children home schooling, and an interest free property improvement loan from the Victor Donaldson Fund; even more significant has been the referrals to the counselling care line. These support teams have enabled personal visits and carried out annual review assessments by telephone. The MCF support and updating of PGA’s has not suffered either, in fact without the introduction of video conferencing, six monthly update meetings would have carried on, instead of the now monthly update zoom meetings. These calls provide grant policy updates, and other useful information, which I am able to pass on through the Almoner’s Surgeries. This has been a significant feature of
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the Almoner’s Masonic Centre based networking and communications structure, which although planned would have been by physical meetings only. The Centre Almoner and Lodge Almoners who have joined the surgeries, are really helping to make a significant contribution to the pastoral and welfare scene of the Province,
Are you and members of your family Amazon customers? Did you know that the Leicestershire and Rutland Masonic Charity Association could benefit from what you purchase from Amazon.
Whilst the physical visits to the charity office have been interrupted for over a year, weekly virtual charity office meetings to maintain the work of the office have taken their place. As LRMCA Secretary, regular virtual grant approving meetings have ensured grants have been made to many worthy charities, whilst as PGA, the ability to make emergency grants from the LRMCA funds, has enabled urgent support to be provided to brethren in urgent financial distress.
3. Tap on Amazon Smile and follow the on screen instructions, the LRMCA is already listed so tick this box and use this as your preferred charity.
If you register with Amazon Smile, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the cost of every purchase to the LRMCA. To take advantage of this offer and to help support the LRMCA, go to www.smile.amazon.co.uk for more information.
4. Order as you would normally on Amazon, but now you will see at the top of your page Smile.Amazon, if it doesn’t then go back to step one to check you have the right app.
If you use a mobile phone or tablet computer for your Amazon shopping, then follow these simple steps:
There are many other aspects of the past year which I can reflect on, but I hope you have found this short article informative, which only highlights some of the resilience which has come from responding to the pandemic, whilst not forgetting the personal heartache and tragedy which has befallen many, and which will remain with many of us for several years ahead.
The LRMCA could benefit by thousands of pounds a year if we all take part. This would enable us to continue supporting local charities in Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland without costing you any more money. Please support this and encourage members of your family to take part as well. If they register, any purchases they make are also eligible.
1. Download or update the latest Amazon shopping app on your mobile phone or android tablet, (unfortunately at the moment it will not work on iPads) you can find this app in the Apple App Store or Google Play, or simply put the question ‘How do I set up Amazon Smile’ in your web browser search box and follow the instructions. It really is very easy.
If you need any more information, do not hesitate to contact the Provincial Charity Office.
2. Open the app and find ‘settings’ from the main menu.
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£42,000 Donation to Help Fight Diabetes Two thousand children and young people with Type 1 Diabetes will receive support from an innovative new app to help manage their condition, thanks to a grant of £42,000 from Leicestershire & Rutland Freemasons to the Leicester Hospitals Charity. The new mobile education app, known as DEAPP, has been developed by the Children’s Research Centre, and aims to educate patients and families through 12 creative and engaging learning sessions which can be played through a smart phone, a tablet, or a PC. The app provides instant access to online information whenever required, without needing to wait for medical appointments. It is already in use in 28 hospitals across England and Wales, and plans are in place to roll it out to every hospital in England and Wales by 2022. The grant will allow the app to be adapted to help patients and families from black and ethnic minorities, where English is not the main language spoken, or for families of patients with learning disabilities. This will be achieved by adding additional modules and components to DEAPP to help provide relevant information to these patients and their families, ensuring that all children diagnosed can have equal access to high-quality education about Type 1 Diabetes as they begin their lifelong management of the condition. The aim is to translate the app into Welsh, Somali, Punjabi and Urdu.
Beyond that, DEAPP will be developed to focus on resources for over-16s, specifically in terms of health and wellbeing, dealing with mental health, risk taking behaviour and how these impact on a young person’s diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes can cause serious health challenges, as it is 4.5 times more likely for these young children to experience heart failure and 3.5 times more likely to experience stroke later in life. Around 33,000 children under 19 are living with Type 1 Diabetes in the UK, with 3,000 children diagnosed each year. This is growing at an alarming rate of 4 per cent a year, particularly with children under the age of five. There are currently 375 children aged 0-16, in Leicestershire &
Rutland, with Type 1 Diabetes, along with 15 children with Type 2 Diabetes. Approximately 85 per cent of people diagnosed have no family history of the condition, and it is a major priority to educate families as well as children in Leicester Hospitals Charity. Lisa Davies at Leicester Hospitals Charity said: “We’re very grateful for the generous grant from Leicestershire & Rutland Freemasons which is making a big difference to the care of children being treated for Type 1 Diabetes in Leicester’s Hospitals. It’s clear that in future it’ll make a huge contribution to the lives of these children and their families.”
The Definition of Gratitude
If one were to look up the definition of ‘Gratitude’ it would read “…noun…the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”
The quality to “return kindness” is fundamental to all Freemasons. It is this value that we acknowledge when giving to charity at our festive boards. This is true for the brethren of the Lodge of Gratitude, No. 6514, who have, since being forced into an extended period of darkness, had to bring a semblance of ‘light’ to their lives. Maybe it was with this in mind, when Director of Ceremonies Phil Caswell had the idea of setting up a Bonus Ball Lottery for
Leicester Square SPRING 2021
members of the lodge to participate in. Over a ten-week rolling programme, each brother could purchase a bonus ball number, or numbers, wait for Saturday’s bonus ball and await their windfall! To date, the Lodge has raised over £880 towards the 2022 Festival. However, to date, the writer of this article, has yet to win! Thirty weeks, not even a close call.
Master of the Lodge of Gratitude Darren Smith, said,
I am delighted that the lodge has been able to continue to support the festival during the pandemic, although I am disappointed I have not won yet! I would strongly recommend that lodges run a bonus ball lottery.
Royal Arch Charity News Last December, the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent Noel C Manby launched the Royal Arch Christmas Appeal in aid of the Craft 2022 Festival, raising the magnificent sum of just over £2,600 including Gift Aid. Many thanks go to all of those Companions who contributed so generously. As Chapter meetings have not taken place since the middle of March 2020, there has been a detrimental effect on donations for charitable purposes. To restore donations for our chosen charities, an online payment facility was introduced in December last year, specifically for the Provincial Grand Chapter. This gives Chapters the ability to request Companions to make charitable donations.
All Chapters have now received instructions on how Companions can donate through the GiveTap online Gift Aid payment system, which can be found at www.gtap.uk/e0131 . Companions not wishing to, or are unable to use the online payment system, can still donate via cheque by completing a Single Donation form. A number of Chapters have already adopted this new facility; donations through this online payment system can be made at any time. In addition, non-Gift Aid donations can be made to the Provincial Chapter Relief Chest from Chapter Charity Funds by completing a Miscellaneous Payment form. All donations are credited to the Leicestershire & Rutland Provincial Grand Chapter Charity Fund Relief Chest to obtain the tax refund on all Gift Aided donations. Once regular meetings resume, Chapters can use Gift Aid envelopes
ROYAL ARCH MATTERS to donate, alongside the online payment system for those who are unable to attend. Further information regarding all types of donations to the Provincial Chapter Charity Fund can be obtained from the Provincial Grand Chapter Charity Steward, Peter Williamson at firstname.lastname@example.org Despite the significant drop in Chapter Charity collections, two significant donations to charities have taken place in the first quarter of 2021. We have donated £400 to the Parkinson’s Care & Support UK Charity, this came from the Reynard Chapter and the Province. In addition, £500 was donated to the Macmillan Cancer Support Charity from the Chapter of the Round Table and the Province.
Provincial Grand Chapter Charity Steward
Provincial Grand Chapter Appointments and Promotions Zoom Our Royal Arch Provincial Grand Chapter would normally have been held on Thursday 25th March 2021. As we were unable to hold the Convocation, the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent Noel Manby decided to hold a Zoom meeting to which he invited all Active Officers, new Appointments and those being promoted to Past Rank. This gave the Most Excellent chance to address and congratulation all present and that address is printed here. Companions, It has certainly been a long time since we were last able to enjoy each other’s company. Let us hope that the approval and rollout of the vaccine is the light at the end of the tunnel and the game changer everyone hopes it will be and we can
look forward to resuming our Royal Arch Masonry from September. During the last 12 months we have suffered a number of deaths and I would ask you to take few moments to reflect and remember those companions we have lost and who have passed to the Grand Lodge above. LeicsFreemasons
As you know we were due to hold our Provincial Grand Chapter Meeting today but unfortunately, due to the latest Government lockdown, the meeting had to be abandoned and has been re-schedule to take place on the 29th September 2021. However, I offer my sincere congratulations to all those Companions whose Appointments and Promotions are confirmed today and, although your appointment or re-appointment takes effect from today, I look forward to investing you in person in September. As a result of the pandemic and the prohibition on exaltations, the number of subscribing Royal Arch
ROYAL ARCH MATTERS Masons in the Province has fallen below 1,000 which has reduced the number of active appointments I am able to make. I have spoken personally to those companions who are affected and, although they will receive an appointment to past rank today, they will be treated as ACTIVE officers and be invited to attend all Provincial team visits. I and the Executive are determined to recover these losses as soon as possible and therefore, I lay down this challenge to all the newly appointed active and past Provincial Grand Officers appointed today for them to introduce at least one new Exaltee during the next year. The Provincial Executive and in particular the 3Rs committee have not been idle during the period of suspension which I hope has been apparent from the communications you have received. Work has continued developing the new Royal Arch website which has now gone live with a member’s only section and I would like to put on record my grateful thanks to both Richard Barnett and John Peberdy for the tremendous effort they have put in to creating and managing the website. On a positive note, I understand many of our Chapters have a number of candidates in the pipeline to be exalted once the current suspension of Masonic activities has been lifted. Therefore, where appropriate and
necessary, Chapters should consider carrying out double ceremonies to get through any backlog.
those companions in the individual Chapters who work tirelessly on your behalf.
Charitable giving by the Royal Arch has increased year on year and has continued during the period of suspension and I am delighted to confirm that the Christmas Appeal alone raised over £2,600 in support of the Craft 2022 Festival Appeal in aid of the Masonic Charitable Foundation. I would like to thank the Provincial Grand Charity Steward E Comp. Peter Williamson for his continued efforts in extracting money from the Companions.
My special thanks go to David Turner who retires today after 10 years of diligent and dedicated service to the Province, first as Provincial Assistant Grand Scribe Ezra and latterly as Provincial Grand Scribe Ezra and I am sure you would like to join me in wishing him a long, happy, and healthy retirement.
At the meeting of Supreme Grand Chapter, in April, I am pleased to confirm that Stephen Finnegan, our Provincial Grand Janitor, will receive a first appointment to Grand Rank as Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies. Steve’s appointment is well deserved, and I would like to put on record my personal thanks to Steve for his unstinting support of the Royal Arch over many years. Companions, as I have said before it is a great honour to lead this Royal Arch Province and I thank you all for your continued support and encouragement. The Province is run by an extremely dedicated team of Royal Arch masons who give of their time freely to ensure the administration of the Province runs smoothly and this has never been more important than during the last 12 months. My sincere thanks go to all the Executive Team as well as
Whilst we remain locked in this global pandemic, we must maintain our fraternal support of each other whether it be by Zoom meetings or a simple telephone call and I encourage all Chapters to engage in these activities until it is safe for us to meet again and enjoy each other’s company once more. Our new Provincial Grand Almoner Steve Johnson has been particularly busy during the last 12 months supporting our Chapter Almoners as well as individual Companions and my thanks go to him for the work has done and continues to do. If I have missed anybody out who deserves our thanks, then please accept my apologies. Finally, Companions may I wish you and your families a very happy Easter and I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible during the coming year. Please stay safe and may the true and living God most high be with us all.
Noel C. Manby,
Most Excellent Grand Superintendent
Grand Rank Appointment On Thursday 29th April 2021, Stephen Finnigan was appointed to the Royal Arch Grand Rank of Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies. 28
His appointment would have been confirmed at Supreme Grand Chapter in London, however due to the current suspension of Royal Arch Masonry, that convocation could not take place. This appointment is thoroughly deserved for all of Steve’s dedication
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and work in the Royal Arch over the years since his exaltation in 1999. As the ceremony of receiving Grand Rank is such a special one, it is hoped that Steve will be able to visit London and be re-appointed at a future convocation of Supreme Grand Chapter.
ROYAL ARCH MATTERS
E.Comp. David Turner PGStdB Thursday 25th March 2021, the day on which Provincial Grand Chapter would have been held, marked the last day of David Turner’s tenure as Provincial Grand Scribe Ezra in the Royal Arch.
David first joined the Chapter team at Freemasons’ Hall Leicester
shortly after he retired. He made the mistake of telling the then Grand Superintendent, Peter Kinder, that he had some spare time on his hands. No sooner did he have that conversation than a telephone call came asking if he would like to help Paul Wallace, as Assistant Provincial Scribe E in the Chapter office. This was in 2014, he then served his “apprenticeship” under Paul’s guidance until being appointed Provincial
Grand Scribe Ezra in 2016. David is a dedicated Royal Arch Mason and during his time amassed considerable knowledge of all the workings of the order. This knowledge enabled him to help many Chapter Scribe’s E with their enquiries and ways around sometimes difficult situations. Never has his ability to find his way round the Royal Arch regulations in the Book of Constitutions been more appropriate than during the Covid19 pandemic and all
Master Masons Evening The Royal Arch hosts what has been known as the ‘Master Masons Evening’ once a year. Not to be perturbed by the current restrictions on gatherings, the 3R’s team put their heads together to deliver an engaging and informative meeting for Master Masons by video conferencing. The meeting was arranged for the 11th March 2021, with a team of presenters lined up to deliver
the talks. One of the benefits to come from video conferencing, is the time saved from the usual required commute into Leicester, this allowed for greater numbers than usual to attend. In total, there were thirty-three Master Masons with an interest in joining the Royal Arch, and also in attendance were their respective Royal Arch Representatives from their Craft lodges. The topics covered were enough to give the audience a fantastic insight into the origins of the Royal Arch, and what it means to be a
nday 17 h Church Service, Su rc A l ya Ro ary 2022. , Saturday 29th Janu ce an D r ne in D h rc Royal A 2022. hursday 24th March T , 22 20 er pt ha C al Grand Provinci y icer’s Mess, Thursda ff O nd ra G al ci in l Prov Inaugura 5th May 2022.
David will be missed by a great many Companions. Thankfully, he managed to pass on some of his knowledge to his successor Ian Johnson, who was appointed on 25th March 2021. I am sure you all join with me in wishing David many more enjoyable years in Freemasonry.
Noel Manby, MEGS, said,
tes a D y r a i D h c r A l a y Ro th October 2021.
that it has brought to our convocations.
I would like to thank everyone for listening this evening, and also a big thank you to the Royal Arch 3R’s committee for putting on such an excellent presentation. Companion of the order. There were also personal observations from Jim Williamson who has been a Royal Arch Mason for some time, and also as a relatively new member, Richard Barnett. The Deputy Grand Superintendent, Paul Wallace, gave a fascinating insight into the origins of Royal Arch Masonry, and its significance to the third degree in Craft Freemasonry, which was supplemented by information from Dale Page, and the Provincial Grand Master of the Craft, Peter Kinder. The head of Royal Arch Masonry in the Province, also known as the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent ,Noel Manby, who summarised the evening and thanked everyone for attending.
Message from the Provincial Grand Master The news from Mark Masons’ Hall confirming the concessions being applied to Grand Lodge annual dues, registration fees, and also joining fees, has been very well received. Together with my Provincial Executive team, we have been considering what additional help we can make available to our Leicestershire & Rutland members. I am very pleased to report that we have decided the Provincial Annual Dues payable for 2020/2021 will be waived. As we slowly move towards a resumption of our regular meetings, the substantial cost savings these concessions will deliver to every lodge should present a timely boost for lodge accounts and provide a fighting fund to support our members and aid retention and recruitment. The spirit and enthusiasm with which our Mark and Royal Ark Mariner Lodges have embraced the Virtual Business Meetings initiative is one of the real good news stories to come out of the pandemic. Our Mark and Royal Ark Mariner Lodges have enjoyed tremendous benefits in progressing essential administrative matters which leaves them very well
Tony Avery re-appointed as Deputy Grand Chaplain. Geoff Hibbert is receiving a promotion to Past Grand Senior Deacon; with first appointments for Steve Finnigan and Mike Fahey as Past Assistant Grand Directors of Ceremonies, and . Rick Morris and John Reynolds as Past Assistant Grand Sword Bearers. I congratulate them all on their welldeserved preferments.
positioned ready to resume face-toface meetings and ceremonies. During April, the Assistant Grand Master, Steve Davison and I were pleased to accept an invitation from the Light Blue Club to join them at their virtual breakfast meeting to talk about the Mark and Royal Ark Mariner degrees and their importance in a Brother’s journey through Freemasonry. Our brethren will by now be aware of the Mark Grand Rank Honours for 2021. Steve Davison is re-appointed as the Assistant Grand Master, and
Finally, I must express my thanks to the members of the Provincial Executive for the hard work each of them has been doing over the last year. Most of their work goes unseen to the wider membership, but thanks to their collective efforts, our Provincial Grand Lodge and all its lodges are in fine fettle in readiness to resume regular meetings. Brethren, thank you for your support and kindness. Keep smiling and may The Great Overseer and Supreme Commander Of The Universe bless and keep you all safe and healthy.
R.W.Bro. Phillip J. Mann, Mark Provincial Grand Master for Leicestershire & Rutland
Mark Masons Donate £2,000 to Guide Dogs At a 2019 meeting of The Progress Lodge of Installed Mark Masters No.1786, the Master, John Reynolds held a raffle which raised £300 with the intention of donating it to representatives from Guide Dogs. The representatives were due to pay a visit to the April 2020 white table meeting to talk about the wonderful work that the charity does. Sadly, the impacts of the pandemic prompted a postponement.
Leicester Square SPRING 2021
Now, arrangements are being made to
When a date is finally confirmed for
host Guide Dogs as soon as it is safe to
Frank, his colleagues and dogs will
do so, and the Provincial Grand Master
pay their visit to Progress Lodge’s
Phillip Mann, having supplemented
next meeting, it promises to be a
the £300 by a further £1,700 from
heart-warming gathering, followed
the Provincial Grand Master’s
by a luncheon. The Provincial Grand
Discretionary Fund, sent a donation of
Master expresses his thanks to all
£2,000 to Frank Lynn, who represents
our Mark Masons whose generous
the Guide Dogs Volunteer Group in
contributions to the Discretionary
Fund have made this donation possible.
Donation of £500 to The Ark Pre-school in Leicester Thanks to the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Andy Lee, The Ark Preschool in Humberstone, Leicester, has received a £500 donation from the Provincial Grand Master’s Discretionary Fund.
The Ark provides funded childcare for many from families on low incomes. Receiving the donation, The Ark’s Alison Hadley expressed her delight. “We at The Ark just wanted to
say a huge thank you for the money you have given to us. The children have been consulted and we intend to buy a piece of equipment for the children to role play at The Ark. We also love books and will create a really inviting book corner with seats and furniture to display the books. Books are such a vital part of children’s learning and development, and this is such a wonderful gift to enable us to invest
in an area for the children to enjoy and develop a love of reading. As soon as it is
allowed, we would love you to come and visit us at The Ark. Once again, thank you.”
Advertising Works! My wife and I felt that the time had come to replace our elderly boiler, not knowing where to turn for advice, we looked through a previous edition of Leicester Square. In issue 44, a new first-time advertiser had appeared, Albany Plumbing & Heating. After a quick call, Managing Director Paul came to give us a quote, and we are so glad we accepted. Our new boiler was installed quickly, cleanly, efficiently, and at a competitive price.
The new date for the Sportsmans’ Dinner, with special guest Kevin Keegan, is Thursday 18th November 2021. A date not to be missed!
A Thank You from our Past Provincial Grand Master
Without the advert, we would not have known about Albany Plumbing & Heating. It shows that advertising is worthwhile, with our wide readership and at a cost which is significantly lower than that usually charged by a commercial publication.
May I thank brethren and lodges for the very many ‘get well soon’ messages and cards as regards my recent illness, from which I am thankfully recovering. What a caring society we all belong to. May I also thank the staff at the Cardiac Department at Glenfield Hospital for their dedication and support in these most difficult times for everyone, but particularly those members of our wonderful NHS.
David V. Hagger.
Marching Masons The much-publicised Marching Masons sponsored walk is still going ahead! Although the date has had to move, the current plan is to embark on the walk over two weekends, the 2nd & 3rd and 9th & 10th October 2021. Further information can be found at www.pglleics.org.uk/marchingmasons. If you would like one of the team to attend your lodge zoom call to answer questions, please contact email@example.com
Union of Rugby Lodge New Consecration Date Saturday 2nd April 2022 is the new date for the consecration of the Union of Rugby Lodge No.9989. This date has been agreed to ensure that the large number of Freemasons who wish to attend can do so safely and securely. In due course official notification will be sent out to all members who would like to attend a wonderful ceremony.
Provincial Team Turn Out to Celebrate 50-year Presentation The Provincial Grand Master, Peter Kinder, led his team of Provincial Officers to attend the monthly zoom of Sparkenhoe Lodge No.8063 in Hinckley. This was not just a routine visit, but one to celebrate and present a certificate for 50 years of service to Freemasonry to Ken Pegg. After the usual lodge business, the Provincial Grand Master led the presentation to Ken, and recalled stories of his past, including the now-famous phrase coined by Ken of calling his father, also a Freemason, “Worshipful Brother m’Dad”. Peter then handed over proceedings to the
Provincial Grand Secretary, Paul Wallace, to read through the certificate, after which Ken took to the microphone to extend his thanks and gratitude to the entire team of nearly ninety Freemasons for making this such a special occasion. Of course, at the moment, it is not possible to meet, however, when such time
Leicester Square SPRING 2021
allows the lodge to meet in person again, the actual certificate will be presented to Ken. The meeting ended after nearly an hour of enjoyment, with some members choosing to continue the conversation for as long as they could. Zoom has been such
a superb way for lodge members to keep in touch with each other. Whilst it cannot replace the warmth of in-person meetings, without it, members would have struggled in the times of isolation until such time as we can meet again.
Richard Barnett, Editor Leicester Square
BEYOND THE CRAFT
Ancient and Accepted Rite Helps With Brooksby Church Appeal Brooksby Church has received a grant of £500 from the District of Leicestershire and Rutland Rose Croix. For a number of years, the Annual Church Service and Sunday lunch has been held at Brooksby and a request was made earlier in the year to help with the latest appeal. The Inspector General, V.Ill. Bro. Henry Kukiewicz showed no hesitation in agreeing to donate to this very worthwhile cause. Brooksby Hall, situated adjacent to the church, is the former home of Earl Beatty, Baron Beatty of the North Sea and Brooksby. In 1919, Beatty was appointed Admiral of the Fleet; a post he held until 1927. Admiral Beatty was Commander in Chief of the Grand Fleet, received the surrender of the German High Seas Fleet and flew the Union flag from his flagship Queen Elizabeth; the only commoner in command of a Battle fleet to fly the
Union flag. The Union flag can be found in Brooksby Church together with a plaque commemorating this event. In October 1919, Beatty was also appointed First Sea Lord. Parliament also voted him £100,000 in recognition of what he had done for his country. In 1919, he was also granted a peerage and became Earl Beatty, Baron Beatty of the North Sea and Brooksby. In 2007/08, major works on the Church’s stonework and water goods
Long Service Awards
were completed. Since then, the inside of the building has been kept in good order by re-wiring, new heating and lighting, new organ and restoring almost all the windows. The last Quinquennial Inspection indicated there was more work required on the external and internal stonework. One problem was that rain was driving in through the lucarnes (windows) of the spire. These are situated on all four sides so there has
The following Brethren have received continuous long service awards since our last edition. W.Bro. Francis Norburn
Leicestershire & Rutland Rotary Lodge No.9158
17th October 1970
W.Bro. William James
Vale of Catmos Lodge No.1265
5th December 1960
W.Bro. Victor Clarke
Leicestershire & Rutland Lodge of Installed Masters No.7896
W.Bro. Kenneth Pegg
Sparkenhoe Lodge No.8063
W.Bro. John Pickering
John of Gaunt Lodge No.523
W.Bro. Keith Hallam
St Mary’s Lodge No.7164
W.Bro. Andrew Gill
St John’s Lodge No.279
W.Bro. Michael Kind
Lodge of the Golden Fleece No.2081
W.Bro. Graham Langley
Granstone Lodge No.6406
W.Bro. Haywood Bishop
Vale of Catmos Lodge No.1265
W.Bro. David Brown
Lodge of Science & Art No.8429
50 Years 60 Years
60 Years 26th January 1971 50 Years 16th February 1961 60 Years 22nd February 1971 50 Years 3rd March 1971 50 Years 15th March 1971 50 Years 18th March 1971 50 Years 26th March 1971 50 Years 10th May 1961 60 Years 12th January 1961
BEYOND THE CRAFT been a risk of ingress of water, leading to gradual damage to the two wooden floors in the tower. To prevent the damage, louvres were needed to deflect the rain and preserve the timbers: a solution that would cost just under £8,000. Because of the pandemic, Brooksby has been unable to hold any fund-raising events since last March and most of the weddings, which were the main source of income, have been cancelled.
The date for the Ancient and Accepted Rite’s Annual Church Service and Sunday Lunch has always been held on Palm Sunday (a significant date for the Order) and having missed 2020 and 2021 it is planned to re-instate the event in 2022 on Sunday 10th April. Since the Ancient and Accepted Rite decided to support the appeal, a grant of £2,000 has been awarded from the Leicestershire and Rutland Masonic Charity Association LRMCA.
Freemasonry will have played a significant part in preserving this ancient and historic church through the 21st century. The Leicestershire and Rutland Ancient and Accepted Rite (Rose Croix) has a new website which can be found atwww.rosecroixlandr.org.uk or directly from the members pages of the Provincial Craft website.
We are sad to announce the passing of the following Brethren to the Grand Lodge above and our thoughts go to their families and loved ones. Each one will be missed but not forgotten. Colin Saunders Robert McLeish Eric Rowell Richard Lewis Bertram Grant Anthony Jowett Roy Bennett Jeffrey Newton Paul Sykes Malcolm Tooley Christopher Taylor Edward Brawn James Schreder Ian Johnston John Carter Paul Wright Richard Herbert Peter Black Victor Ferriman Peter Russell Christopher Hirst Stewart Tucker Richard Lewis David Muddimer Adrian Toms 34
Leicester Square SPRING 2021
Howe and Charnwood Tudor House Bradgate Ferrers and Ivanhoe Granstone Saint James’ Leicestershire and Rutland Rotary Enderby Rutland Sparkenhoe St Peters Reynard Wayfarer Lodge of Science and Art Lodge of the Holy Well St Mary’s Reynard Roundhill Knights of Malta Lodge of the Chevaliers de Fer Holmes Albert Edward St Wilfrid’s Saint James’ Edward Sherrier
No.1007 No.8481 No.6596 No.779 No.6406 No.8478 No.9158 No.5061 No.1130 No.8063 No.1330 No.9285 No.8679 No.8429 No.7827 No.7164 No.9285 No.8639 No.50 No.9732 No.4656 No.1560 No.8350 No.8478 No.6757
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