Special points of interest:
New Era for Birmingham Masons
Farewell to TCS People Page
Exciting times lie ahead following the decision to sell the Clarendon Suites, home of the present Masonic Temple in Stirling Road, Edgbaston.
Distribution via technology From Freemasons’ Hearts
The building was constructed over 40 years ago to satisfy the needs of local lodges at that time, as well as providing headquarters and office accom m odation for the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire.
International visits by Warwickshire Lodges Inside this issue: Meet the new Deputy PGM
Poiniard comes home
More for local charities
From Freemasons’ Hearts
Visit from London
Fun and Games
Welcome to the Mark
Behind the Scenes
It is just one of a long line of premises used by Birmingham Masons over the centuries and has served its purpose with exceptional diligence ever since it was built, but a steady shift in the pattern of freemasonry in recent years has resulted in the building no longer being best suited to modern day needs.
In the Beginning The first dedicated Masonic building in Birmingham was in Newhall Street, which when opened by the Howe Lodge in 1856 was described as “the most commodious premises for Masonic purposes in the Province of Warwickshire” This was replaced in 1869 with a Masonic Hall in buildings on the corner of New Street and Ethel Street which were used as such for nearly sixty years, and which still stand today.
The Clarendon Suites, Stirling Road.
The next move was to the purpose built Masonic Peace Memorial Temple in Broad Street, opened in 1927, which has only recently been demolished, although its use as Masonic rooms was rather short lived when it was c omm and eer ed by th e Ministry of Food in 1939 in support of the war effort. The original Edgbaston Assembly Rooms, built in 1884, on the corner of Francis Road and Hagley Road then became available and were a c q u i r ed i n 1 9 4 0 b y Birmingham masons until, like most buildings in the Five Ways area, they were demolished to make way for new development.
The previous Edgbaston Assembly Rooms
The current premises were then constructed by the same firm who had built the Broad Street Tem ple, T Elvins and Sons Ltd, and occupied from 1971 until now.
Towards the Future Until sold, the present building will still be used on a regular basis, with an excellent new catering facility having been introduced to service large and small Masonic meetings alike. Several offers have been received for the site and a first stage analysis of them is most encouraging, with early indications suggesting that Stirling Road will be in use until the end of the year. C o m p r e h e n s i v e arrangements are already in place to accommodate all lodges and other Masonic units currently meeting at the Clarendon Suites during the interim period between its sale and the creation of new premises more suitable (both geographically and physically) to current and future needs. These will, of course, fully provide for the re-location of the magnificent L i b r a r y a n d Mu s eu m presently housed at the Clarendon Suites.
warwickshire freemasons - spring 2014
New Deputy Provincial Grand Master Installed at WIM In addition to welcoming their new Master W Bro Chris Grove MBE, the W arwickshire Installed Masters’ Lodge 4538 last year also enjoyed the privilege of seeing our Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VW Bro Michael Morris invested by the Provincial Grand Master and his Officers. Prior to this the PGM praised the retiring Deputy PGM, VW Bro Alan J Wellan, thanking him enormously for all he had achieved for the Province during his tenure, congratulated him on his appointment as Inspector General for W arwickshir e and presented him with a collarette and engraved silver salver. Michael Morris
Following VW Bro Morris’ investiture, which saw his son Christopher (the then WM of Shenstonian Lodge 5544) acting as Cushion Bearer, the outgoing Master W Bro John Emms praised the PGM for his skill and dignity, and gave best wishes from the lodge to VW Bro Morris. The new Deputy PGM was born on the Wirral, Cheshire (now Merseyside) and studied Law at the University of Leeds. He married Hilary in 1973 and they have three sons, a daughter and a grandson. Admitted as a Solicitor in 1972 and practicing in a firm of Solicitors in Birmingham from that date until 2002, in 1995 he became a Deputy District Judge (Magistrates Court) and in 2002 a
District Judge carrying out Crime and Public and Private Family Law. He was initiated into the Solihull Lodge 8088 in 1979 and received the Rank of Past Provincial Senior Grand Deacon in 1995, Past Provincial Grand Registrar in 2003, Provincial Senior Grand Warden in 2006 and Assistant Provincial Grand Master in 2009. In 2011 he was also promoted in Grand Rank to Past Senior Grand Deacon and in 2014 to Past Grand Sword Bearer. He is a member of several other Craft and Royal Arch Chapters as well as a number of other Orders. Ot her int er ests i ncl ude involvement in the Church, as a School Governor and local Charities. Amongst his hobbies are Fell Walking and Golf (badly).
Sword and Poniard Return Home In 2003 W Bro John Thomas was installed as Master of Tudor Lodge 1792 in a memorable ceremony, presided over by the then Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Michael Price. To mark that special occasion,
which also celebrated both the 125th anniversary of the lodge and the 25th anniversary of John’s initiation into it, John presented a Sword and Poinard, complete with scabbards, to the l odge. These had been commissioned by him from the long establish ed craft manufacturers of such items at Thomas Fatorini Ltd, of Regent Street in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, at the personal cost of £1,950. Both items are engraved on their handles with suitable reference to their provenance, together with the Heraldic Sign of the lodge.
(l-r) Michael Price, John Thomas, John Emms
Ten years later Tudor Lodge held its final meeting and in recognition of John’s 35 years service to Freemasonry, returned the Sword
Ladies’ Gift Fund Christmas Success
Chair of the Ladies Gift Fund Sandra Rouse with Sandy Stewart
The 61st Annual Christmas Fayre held by the L a d i es ’ Gi ft Fund for M a s o n i c Charities was once again a bumper success as Masons from the Provinces of Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Staffordshire flocked to
the Edgbaston Assembly Rooms in Birmingham. Ladies and brethren staffing tables piled high with jewellery, t oys, bottl es, cr ockery, homemade cakes and goodness knows what else, were rushed off their feet as the cash rolled merrily in. After expenses, over £5,100 was raised from the event, with over £2,000 in ticket sales. The opening ceremony was performed by the Provincial Grand Master of Staffordshire,
and Poinard to him. John has for many years lived in Devon, and in order to find the most suitable home for his Sword and Poiniard presented them, in perpetuity, to the Warwickshire Provincial Museum, travelling to Birmingham for that specific purpose where he was greeted by Michael, and Assistant Provincial Grand Master W Bro John Emms, who was then in charge of the Museum and Library. Both items are now proudly displayed in the museum’s collection, duly labelled as having been presented: by W Bro AJA Thomas, PPrSGD In appreciation of 35 happy years of Freemasonry in the Province of Warwickshire. RW Bro Sandy Stewart, TD, with the Provincial Grand Masters of Warwickshire and Worcestershire, together with numerous other senior members of all three Provinces turning out in support. The 2014 Christmas Fayre will be held at the Wolverhampton Masonic rooms. At their Annual Spring Lunch held at Moseley Masonic Hall, Kings Heath in March 2014, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master W Bro Michael Morris was presented with a (literally) magnificent giant cheque for £3,200.
warwickshire freemasons - spring 2014
Changing Times I often philosophise that change is the only constant in our lives today. Coping with change can be a challenge, but as UGLE Director of Special Projects John Hamill has said, Freemasonry has thrived for centuries because it adapts while staying true to its principles. And so must we all embrace the ongoing need to adapt to changing times, so rapidly accelerating in today’s world of communications technology. This can no greater be exemplified than by the decision to move on from our present premises in Edgbaston, which have served us so well for some forty years. “Operation Acorn”
has already seen a huge amount of work put into both managing the disposal of the existing premises, as well as exploring a wide variety of options for future alternatives. We should all be very grateful for the substantial voluntary efforts our unsung heroes are putting in for the benefit of us all.
New Format Likewise, time marches on with the way this newsletter has been distributed, utilising now well established technology to avoid horrendous print and postage costs. It has been sent via Lodge Secretaries and Communications Officers for transmission to members via email, for reading “on screen”, without the need for downloading huge files, although content can still be downloaded
from the Provincial website for those who so wish to print off as required.
Education & Development Do make sure you look at the new E&D columns on the Provincial website, which include a variety of articles and information designed to make our enjoyment of freemasonry more rewarding and enlightening. The E&D Committee is led by Assistant PGM W Bro Eric Rymer, who will always be interested to hear ideas for inclusion. Also well worth looking at is the all new Grand Lodge site at www.ugle.org.uk Peter Wellings, Editor
Peter Wellings Provincial Communications Officer 07973 135761 firstname.lastname@example.org
See all the detail, latest news and up-to-date information on our website: www.warwickshirepgl.org.uk
Another £140,000 to Local Charities This year's donations to nonmasonic charities by the W arwi ck shi r e Masoni c Charitable Association will total
£140,000 of which the majority has now been distributed. Over 100 charities have received sums ranging from £250 to £6000, with
an amount being kept in reserve for urgent requests during the year. A full report and details of the donations can be seen in the Provincial News column on the Provincial website.
Representatives from some of the larger recipient charities, who received their cheques at a lunch, hosted at the Clarendon Suites by the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro David Macey
£75,000 to Riding for the Disabled Based in Warwickshire, the Riding for the Disabled Foundation (RDA) provides lifechanging therapies to around 28,000 disabled children and adults every year. But without more trained volunteers to help, this vital service is under threat. In response, the Freemasons’ Grand Charity has donated £75,000 to fund a volunteer recruitment and training programme taking place over the next two years. With this donation, the RDA hopes to recruit and develop a further
2,000 volunteers. Importantly though, it will also give all of the RDA volunteers (approx. 20,000) access to an appealing, flexible, training pathway suited to all abilities, enrol 2,000 current volunteers on specific skill based training programmes, and support 200 volunteer coaches undertaking the UK Coaching Certificate qualification. For over 40 years the RDA has used horses and ponies to provide therapy, achievement, and enjoyment to people with disabilities all over the UK. They
take great pride in the exceptional standard of their instructors and volunteers. See www.rda.org.uk
A challenging stretch tests the balance of a young rider.
warwickshire freemasons - spring 2014
Genie Magic at Christmas Pantos
The Lord Mayor & Lady Mayoress of Birmingham with the Deputy PGM, Organiser W Bro Roger Parker, Chief Superintendents Emma Barnett & Jo Smallwood together with members of the cast.
Over 1,000 children were again enthralled by the annual pantomimes organised by Warwickshire Freemasons. Performed by professional theatre company Chaplins the show Aladdin - was met with laughter from beginning to end with Wishee -Washee engaging the audience from the outset, Princess Jasmine carrying sound through the buildings, Aladdin’s brilliant facial expressions, Dame Widow Twankey’s non-stop jokes, Abanazar being booed and hissed the whole way through and the Genie making everything come to light with all the usual shenanigans. The Birmingham show, held in conjunction with TOA Taxis, was held at the Provincial HQ at the Clarendon Suites in Edgbaston, where in the morning mainly children with learning and physical disabilities attended, and in the afternoon those who might perhaps never have been to a live
The Deputy Provincial Grand Master W Bro Michael Morris introduced the show in the morning, during which he welcomed the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Mike Leddy and the Lady Mayoress Pauline Leddy. The Lord Mayor thanked everyone who had taken part in organising the event, in particular the Freemasons of Warwickshire, and TOA Taxis for arranging all of the transport; West Midlands Police for liaising with local schools, and ensuring the traffic flows; the Staff and helpers from the Clarendon Suites and the schools attending; Father Christmas and his helpers, and the Birmingham South West Group Residents Association.
providing transport reduced prices.
The Lord Mayor of Coventry, Councillor Gary Crookes joined the Deputy PGM for the opening of the Coventry show, assisted by modern day Lady Godiva Pru Porreta, which was held by courtesy of the Standard Triumph Club in Herald Avenue the previous week. In all nearly 500 children plus their carers attended the morning and afternoon shows there, with Terry’s Coaches
These were again very lively and colourful events, and are a good example of the tremendous amount of support freemasons give to their local communities, in addition to regional, national and international charitable activities. They also demonstrate the range of excellent voluntary support provided by so many individuals and organisations during the season of goodwill, without which such a fantastic result could not have been achieved.
TOA Taxis Secretary Brian Lee (on left) with WPC Jaymie Rogers, TOA staff members Debbie Pettitt & Anna Hall and Peter Pocelli
theatre show. Over 600 children attended the two performances, together with over 100 carers. being introduced to Santa as they left, and being given a Christmas goody bag before they departed.
The Lord Mayor of Coventry (centre) with the Deputy PGM and Lady Godiva
Well known Coventry mason and magician W Bro Peter Pocelli (Astfalck) and Santa’s elves entertained the children (and adults!) before and after the performances at both venues, keeping the merriment going throughout the day.
Regional Newspapers The Birmingham Mail and The Coventry Telegraph both printed reports of their local events (which can be seen on the Provincial website) and the shows were also mentioned on BBC Radio 5.
warwickshire freemasons - spring 2014
From Freemasons’ Hearts On this page we give details of special efforts made by our members towards helping others. Do send in details of your Lodge’s Charitable activities and successes, which will always be published on the Lodge News page of the Provincial Website, and could even find their way here.
Enormous thanks to Bill During a weekend away in Munich, our very well known W Bro Bill Stammers, of Wyley Lodge 3836, and his wife Jean returned to their hotel to learn that their son Will was in the John Radcliffe Infirmary (JRI) having suffered a stroke. They caught the next plane home. Will had been diagnosed with
Hughes Syndrome some five years previously and scans at the JRI showed he had suffered several Transient Ischaemic Attacks. Following ongoing care Will thankfully made steady progress and eventually returned to work. Inevitably, support for the Hughes Syndrome Foundation (HSF), which is based at Guy’s Hospital, was discussed within the Stammers family and their enquiries revealed that HSF had a target of £7,000 to purchase new computer equipment. And so, a gauntlet was thrown down, with Bill approaching several Masonic friends for advice and support, very quickly raising several hundred pounds, as well as support from the Province. What a start!
Barcelona or Bust (BoB) Two of the brethren of Heart of England Lodge 6549, Bro Bob Graham and Bro David Winstanley, took part in a charity cycle ride from Birmingham to Barcelona in aid of Acorns Children’s Hospice Trust, Macmillan Cancer Support and Back Up Spinal Cord Injury, raising some £30,000 for the charities. Team BoB consisted of five Birmingham Airport personnel who cycled the indirect 1600 mile journey via Germany and the French Alps, taking in a few of the famous climbs of the Tour de France, in just eight days.
Within just a few weeks original target was reached, still many promises in pipeline, and having learnt
the with the that
Will Stammers with wife Sue and children Thalia and Alex
HSF also needed a further £6,000 to fund a national awareness campaign the efforts continued. HSF have already given a huge thank you to Bill, as well as to all Warwickshire (and Worcestershire) Freemasons who have given so much financial support, now totalling over £14,000.
Together with their backup team, the cyclists took turns to complete the journey in 25 mile stages, and 15 mile stages on their handbike. They suffered a few injuries from falling off their bikes, which resulted in David receiving eight stitches and Bob’s bike suffering a bit of damage, but their pride was still intact! Team members were stunned at a charity ball organised by the Backup Trust when they were presented with the trust’s “Fundraiser of the Year Award”. The Backup Ball, which had a Hollywood theme, was held at the Birmingham Hilton Metropole Hotel. Bro Jamie Ford, from Lodge of Assembly 5747 likes a challenge and raised £305 for Help for Heroes by participating in the 2013 Tough Mudder challenge. This is a teamwork endurance event in which participants attempt 10–12 mile long militarystyle obstacle courses. Designed by British Special Forces to test
Team BoB cyclists waved off by airport boss Paul Kehoe
mental as well as physical strength, obstacles often play on common human fears, such as fire, water, electricity and heights. Jamie will be raising funds for Ronald McDonald Housing by running the course again in July 2014.
warwickshire freemasons - spring 2014
New Provincial Wardens All good wishes go to W Bro David A Butcher (left) of Greville Lodge 4773 and W Bro David JM Greenwood (right) of Rokeby Lodge 4118, who are being invested as Provincial Senior Grand Warden and Provincial Junior Grand Warden at the Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge at Stoneleigh Park, Stoneleigh on Saturday 17th May 2014.
2014 Craft Grand Rank Appointments and Promotions (Wednesday 30th April) Appointments:
Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies, W Bro David A Stanford Assistant Grand Sword Bearer, W Bro James F King Past Grand Standard Bearers, W Bro William T Clark and W Bro John B Hayward
Past Grand Sword Bearer, W Bro Michael C Morris, PSGD Past Senior Grand Deacon, W Bro Richard L Barker, PGStB Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies, W Bro F Colin Smart,
Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies, W Bro Philip L Hall, DepGDC
Like Dad, Like Lad
W Bro Michael Midgley, who manages the Lodge Support Program in Warwickshire, was put forward for a “Local Her o Awar d” at Birmingham’s annual Chamberlain Awards. Although he didn’t win, Mike was featured individually at the event (held at the ICC) in recognition of his long service as an Adult Education Tutor, specializing in Karate.
The Brothers Grove, well known for their m agnificent duets, found themselves in similar roles upon receiving Provincial appointments in Warwickshire when both became Provincial Grand Stewards, E Comp Chris in the Royal Arch and son W Bro Simon in the Craft. Both are enjoying the privilege of being on their respective circuits, with Simon, who lives in Swindon, taking particular advantage of his year. He often stays at Mum & Dad’s B&B for a few days to incorporate a run of visits, but also frequently drives to and from home on the same night.
(l-r) Chris Grove MBE, Simon Grove
Many Happy Returns
Essex Masters aid Famous Five
After being initiated into Bedeword Lodge 7274 by his father Maurice in 1963, W Bro F Colin Smart received his 50 year Service to Freemasonry award from W Bro Roger Parker. following which his son David (who Colin initiated into the lodge in 2000) presented his father with a specially made Masonic “birthday” cake to mark the occasion.
Former Assistant PGM W Bro Richard Jaffa, being a well travelled freemason and an authority on Rudyard Kipling, was asked to give a lecture to the Essex Masters Lodge 3256, meeting in Southend on Sea. After travelling some 150 miles, Richard presented his talk to a packed Masonic temple, with over 250 present – by far the largest audience to which he has presented his talk entitled "The Strange Masonic Career of Rudyard Kipling". They claim their lodge is the largest in England with over 900 members.
(l-r) Colin Smart, David Smart and WM Robert Webb
The lodge was so delighted with the talk that they gave Richard a cheque for £400 and asked him to nominate a charity – he chose the Birmingham Children’s Hospital, being one of the PGM’s “Famous Five” charities.
Tel Aviv Richard has now delivered his talk in six Provinces and in December 2013 made his first foreign trip to deliver the same talk to the Montefiore Lodge 78 in Tel Aviv, Israel, where he presented a copy of his book to MW Bro Avi Baranes, the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the State of Israel. Details of Richard’s book (l-r) Richard Jaffa, Avi Baranes Man and Mason – Rudyard Kipling can be obtained from him, email email@example.com
warwickshire freemasons - spring 2014
Holy Royal Arch
E Comp John FR Handley has been appointed and invested as Deputy Grand Superintendent of the Royal Arch in Warwickshire, following his term in office as Provincial Grand Scribe E.
E Kt Roger Dixon becomes Provincial Prior for the Provincial Priory of Warwickshire on Saturday 28th June 2014, with E Knight Roger Harrison as Provincial Sub-Prior.
His Installation took place at the Warwickshire First Principals’ Chapter 4538.
Michael will be appointed as a Knight Commander of the United Orders of the Temple by the Most Eminent and Supreme Grand Master on 21st May 2014.
They succeed RE Kt Dr Michael Harrison, JP, and VE Kt Brian M Kimberley following their ten year tenure in charge of the Province.
Royal Order of Scotland
Rt Rev Knight Brian M Kimberley is the new R egi onal Grand Prefect for the Heart of England Prefecture of the Knights Beneficent of the Holy City of the Rectified Scottish Rite of England and Wales. His Region includes Derbys, East Anglia, Leics & Rutland, Lincs, Northants, Hunts & Bedford, Notts, Staffs & Salop and Warwickshire.
Bro Paul F Weston was Installed as RW Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshire in the Royal Order of Scotland, by the Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master and Governor Bro Sir Archibald Donald Orr-Ewing, Bart., MA. Prior to his installation, Paul Advanced and Promoted his son John, and Philip Gough, into the Order. At a separate meeting, Bro Brian W Price was installed as RW Provincial Grand Master for South Midlands.
(l-r) Roger Harrison, Roger Dixon (inset) Michael Harrison
(l-r) Sir Archibald Donald Orr-Ewing, Paul Weston (inset) Brian Price
Royal & Select Masters The Grand Master of the Grand Council of the Order of Royal & Select Masters, M Ill Comp J Alan Wright was accompanied by his Deputy Grand Master R Ill Comp Kessick J Jones, Principal Conductor of the Work R Ill Comp His Hon Ian DG Alexander, QC, and other team members when he installed David JF Rawlins as District Grand Master for Warwickshire. The installation took place at The Clarendon Suites and was attended by representatives from all of the Councils in Warwickshire District.
(l-r) Peter Wellings (Grand Steward), Kessick Jones, Alan Wright, Ian Alexander, David Rawlins
Ancient & Accepted Rite Following a splendid ceremony at the Clarendon Suites, in which V Ill Bro Alan J Wellan 33º was installed as Inspector General of Warwickshire District Rose Croix, there were a few moments to relax and capture this wonderful image of the four members of Supreme Council with the newly installed Inspector General. Also, the then most recent Warwickshire Rose Croix 18º mason, Provincial Grand Master David Macey.
(l-r) David Macey, Guy Elgood (Grand Captain General), Alan Englefield (Sovereign Grand Commander), Alan Wellan, John Railton (Grand Prior), Robin Furber (Grand Secretary General)
warwickshire freemasons - spring 2014
Chair after 70 years After a magnificent seventy years since being initiated into Forbes Lodge 67 in Scotland Bro Alexander Thomson, PProvJGD was finally installed into the chair of King Solomon in Seymour
(l-r) Ian Comer, Alex Thomson, PGM David Macey
Fighting on Veterans present at the annual Remembrance Service (a full report and picture can be seen on the Provincial website) included W Bro Squadron Leader Ken Wilkinson, who is well known for his talks about his days as a fighter pilot in the Second World War and the Battle of Britain, and who has been very busy recently. In addition to appearing in The Times last September in an article about how veterans are helping soldiers wounded in Afghanistan, a full page picture of Ken
Ken Wilkinson (r) with RAF aircraft engineer Carl Harvey at the former RAF Fowlmere base, near Duxford.
Stratford Vacancies Reading Court (pictured) is a Masonic Housing Association sh elt er ed ho using sch em e
Lodge 2804 (meeting in Redditch) at the age of ninety-two. The c er em on y was p er fo rm ed faultlessly by W Bro Ian Comer. Alex’s father and three brothers were all Scottish freemasons and he became a joining member of Seymour Lodge in 1992, having moved to Redditch in his youth where he eventually formed his own c om pany pr ovidi ng subcontract design work for the likes of Rolls Royce and Austin. He retired in 1987 aged 64. As well as presiding at Alex’s installation, the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro David Macey had earlier in the year presented Alex with a 70 year Certificate of Service to Freemasonry. During the course of the presentation
Alex’s career and Masonic history was unveiled, revealing that he had been born in Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire in 1921 where he attended the local infant, central and academy schools. He married Fraserburgh girl Sophia Ann Christie (known as Nan) in 1946 after courting her for four years, who unfortunately passed away in 2004 after 57 years marriage. In accordance with Scottish custom Alex was advanced into the Mark degree in Ancient Rosehearty Lodge 360 before joining Rosehearty Chapter on the same night, and continued his participation in Mark and Royal Ark Mariners after moving to England, in St Lawrence Lodge 893, also meeting in Redditch.
appeared in The Telegraph Magazine in November as one of eight former members describing h o w t h e No t Fo r g o t t e n Association has helped troops cope with traumas from war. He also appeared in the St George for England magazine in December following his visit as very special guest speaker and recipient of a Certificate of Appreciation at the Royal Society of St George at their annual Battle of Britain Luncheon. This was held at the RAF Club in London and was also attended by fellow Warwickshire mason W Bro Squadron Leader Antony Farnath. Ken’s latest appearance under the spotlight was at the RAF Cosford museum where he was filmed with other Birmingham Air Crew Association members, promoting a new book which tells the story of the Battle of Britain for a young audience. This was reported extensively in the Express and Star newspaper in January, as well as on local radio.
Five hundred and forty-four pilots were killed in the Battle of Britain, with Ken surviving more or less unharmed, his wartime injuries arising from hitting the reflector sight of his Spitfire when he bent his nose, and a broken leg – when he was playing golf!
situated a short distance from the centre of Stratford upon Avon with 32 single and 13 double selfcontained flats. It was originally set up as a Masonic Housing Scheme but there are now less than 20% of residents with a Masonic connection.
very short and unusually, flats may become available in the short term. Enquiries are therefore welcome from Brethren, Widows of Brethren and dependents of Brethren if they are looking to move.
There is normally a long waiting list for the flats; recently however, although a number of vacant flats have been filled with new residents, the waiting list is now
Ken, who is 95, served with No 19 Squadron throughout the Second World War and flew with the legendary Douglas Bader. After the war Ken returned to his profession as a Quantity Surveyor, and was initiated into Frankley Beeches Lodge 5846 in 1960. He subsequently became a Founder Member of the Lodge of Renaissance 9724, where he is currently Immediate Past Master, and is an honorary member of the Warwickshire Royal Air Force Lodge 9456. He is a Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden in bot h W ar wi ckshir e and Worcestershire, and is also a long standing member of the Royal Arch, the Ancient and Accepted Rite and the Royal Order of Scotland.
Further information may be obtained from the Secretary, who is W Bro David Bateman. tel: 01386 792856 email: DavidBateman@aol.com Also, from the Provincial Website.
warwickshire freemasons - spring 2014
Service and Re-union at Alrewas W Bro Gerald Rose, who was Master of Sutton Pilgrims Lodge 7780 in 1976, created the National Service Foundation (motto: All Gave Some, Some Gave All) to perpetuate the recognition of the valuable contribution that National Servicemen made who fought alongside regular servicemen from 1939 to 1960. Masonic Standard Bearers from Warwickshire and other Provinces participated in the parade at the
National Service Foundation Day held at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire, when a Service was conducted by Commander David Childs, RN, CBE in the presence of General Sir Michael Jackson, GCB, CBE, DSO, DL, the former British Army Chief. Also present were the Burton on Trent Salvation Army Band and a Naval Guard of Honour from HMS Forward.
Dynamic Duo visit Lord Mayor’s Show The Lord Mayor of Birmingham, i nvi t ed Fr eem as o ns f r om Warwickshire and Worcestershire to attend the annual Lord Mayor’s show in the City centre, helping to raise funds for his chosen charities. Cuddly teddy bears were received with delight by visitors to the newly
acquired Freemasonry display equipment, and were also presented as gifts to children who succeeded in scaling the adjacent climbing wall. A full report of the event, including several photos, can be seen on the Provincial website.
Civic Leaders join Church Service Procession Adding to the dignity and magnificent vision of the Masonic procession to this year’s Annual Church Service were Chairman of Warwick District Council Cllr Richard Davies and Chairman of Warwick County Council Cllr David Shilton. The procession once again commenced at the Alderson House meeting rooms, following High Street and turning into Church Street to the Collegiate Church of St Mary, which is one of the largest
and most interesting churches in England. Its association with Freemasonry dates back at least as far as 1728 when the master of the first lodge in Warwickshire was vicar of the Church. Another link is the wonderful oak pulpit which was presented by Warwickshire Freemasons in 1897.
choral singing (or know anyone who has!), please contact Chris Grove by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or myself.
The Provincial Choir has scored many successes under the leadership of Roy Marshall. Sadly, owing to advancing years Roy now wishes to relinquish some of his responsibilities. Membership of the Choir has been traditionally made up of Masons, their wives and partners and many willing ‘outsiders’. We do need fresh blood if the choir is going to continue to enjoy making a significant input at our Annual Provincial, Chapter and Rose Croix Services, which are enjoyed by so many. The commitment is not onerous and a delightful atmosphere is enjoyed by the many who come to rehearse. If you are interested, and preferably have had some experience of
A full report of the event, including several photos, can be seen on the Provincial website.
I have shared with you on a previous occasion the resource of Masonic sheet music which is available in online arrangements to suit the beginner upwards. For those who play instruments without transposing facilities many of these pieces are in lower and sometimes easier keys. All are available from me on line (for free!) at my e-mail address below. Finally, good news for those who need a Lodge Organist but are unable to find one. I have recorded twenty-eight pieces of the most essential Lodge and
PGM David Macey with his Sword and Standard Bearers, preceded by Alan Wellan (centre) flanked by Richard Davies (l) and David Shilton (r)
Festive Board Music on mp3 files. Odes, Processionals, SMIB’s, Music for Perambulations etc - they are all here. The files can be downloaded to a smart phone (or tablet) and may be played back using a suitable sound medium (e.g. a portable Bose speaker, bluetoothed for convenience). The files may of course be loaded on to CD. A complete list of music is available from Peter Summers Provincial me by e-mail: Grand Organist email@example.com. For convenience, the files may be freely shared with other Lodges. However, if you have a regular organist, please continue to use him. There is no alternative! Peter Summers, PGOrg.
warwickshire freemasons - spring 2014
Something Fishy Ten children from a special needs school in Warwick were treated to a day’s trout fishing in October by the Warwickshire Branch of the Masonic Trout and Salmon Fishing Charity (MTFSC). The event was held at Heathcote Lakes Trout Fishery, near
Warwick, and was the second one arranged by the MTSFC during the year, organised by W Bro Ian Hart (Provincial Grand Tyler) and W Bro Bob Croxall (Lodge of Grace), with Bob’s wife Julia again providing a slap up lunch.
The children and teachers with MTSFC volunteers from Warwickshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey and West Sussex who helped support the event.
Paddy Master Installation W Bro Derek Shannon of T Hay Lodge 685, Irish Constitution, has long been a regular visitor to his son Tony’s Lodge, Guy’s 395 meeting in Leamington. The idea of a return visit to Ireland had simmered for quite some time and the then Guy’s Lodge Master, W Bro Simon Baldwin,
decided 2013 was the year for this to at last take place. Five intrepid brethren from Guy’s Lodge visited the Belfast Lodge on the closest meeting night for T Hay Lodge to St Patrick’s day, and were warmly greeted by the Master and Wardens of T Hay Lodge, as
(l-r) Colin Baldwin, Simon Baldwin, Robert Gray, Robert McClelland, Paul Burtonshaw, David Stickley, Tony Shannon, Derek Shannon, Colin McCarter
St Paul’s visits Frankfurt Five brethren from St Paul’s Lodge 43 paid a weekend visit to their sister Lodge Zur Eingkeit in Frankfurt. Zur Einigkeit, founded in 1742, is only nine years younger than its
Birmingham twin and boasts composer Franz Liszt among its past members. The St. Paul’s visitors, Bros Richard Jaffa, David Houston, Rob Fisher, David Richards and Jon Wallis were welcomed for a lodge meeting which also served as the annual Ladies Festival where the German brethren invite their Ladies into the Lodge meeting for a brief welcoming ceremony. Like the Frankfurt ladies,
(l-r) Robert Fisher, David Richards, Christian Hirschbiel, Richard Jaffa, David Houston, Jon Wallis
The children had never been trout fishing before and their individual helpers, both masons and nonmasons, assisted them catch 30 rainbow trout during the day, much to their delight. Their teachers were full of praise for the day, saying that it was wonderful to see the children actively participating, especially those who were normally unresponsive. The MTSFC is funded purely by donations from Lodges, Chapters, Provinces and other Orders. It costs approximately £50 per child per day to put on such an event, so if any Almoners would like to donate to the Charity, please contact Bob Croxall (Treasurer) at firstname.lastname@example.org. Two further events are being planned for 2014. were representatives from Ireland, Scotland and England. The lodge work was completed and an invitation was made to the visiting Brethren to join the ‘Paddy Master’s Ceremony’ at the festive board. This was a very lively and jolly affair, with many references to what lay ahead and all present enjoying a hearty Ulster fry (similar to an English breakfast) combined with a glass of wine, which proved a surprisingly good combination. At the end of the festive board the installation of a Paddy Master (which shall remain a guarded secret) began, with Simon being suitably installed in Irish fashion with ritual that will not be forgotten for a long time! The experience was full of fun, laughter and friendship, and Guy’s Lodge thank T Hay Lodge for their generous welcome and hospitality. Jane Jaffa and Brenda Houston wore a white blouse and white gloves for the occasion. In the Lodge the officers wear splendid top hats and the Master Christian Hirschbiel gave a very warm welcome to all the visitors. The ceremony was followed by a Festive Board. The weekend was also enlivened by the Spring Festival all around the centre of Frankfurt. As usual the hospitality was memorable. Zur Einigkeit has a wonderful archive in its basement complete with climate control and the Birmingham brethren were shown some of the lodge treasures by their archivist Bro Hans Koller.
warwickshire freemasons - spring 2014
Social Media Day Provincial communications team members Ian Slesser, Ivan Smart, Ron Parker and David Leask, led by Provincial Communications Officer Peter Wellings, organised a highly successful Social Media workshop at the Clarendon Suites in Edgbaston. Wives/ partners of lodge members were also welcomed. The workshop was in three parts, with beginner and intermediate presentations in the morning, followed by a hands-on practical session in the afternoon.
The event had been spotted by Grand Lodge in London and was attended by UGLE Director of Communications Mike Baker, as well as PGM RW Bro David Macey, both of wh om wer e ext r em el y complimentary about the quality and professional manner in which the workshop had been run. Feedback from a survey sent to participants was also extremely positive. Guidelines about Social Media can be seen on the Provincial website, further information will be provided as required.
(l-r) Ian Slesser, Ivan Smart, Peter Wellings, David Macey, Ron Parker, Mike Baker, David Leask
Warwick Summer Sports Fete and Fun Day Lodges from around Warwick met at the Old Leamingtonians Rugby Club for an Inter Lodge Sports Competition and Family Fun Day, organised by a close knit team of volunteers from Lodge of Unity 567 and Guy’s Lodge 395. A number of stands and activities were organised, including archery, welly wanging and all the classic children’s races, with plenty of energy being provided by the barbecue and refreshments.
The day was a great success, with Guy’s Lodge eventually winning the main tug-o-war competition, and over £650 raised for the Epilepsy Action and Children’s Air Ambulance charities. The event is being organised again on Saturday 19th July 2014, and all lodges in the Province are invited to attend. Full details can be found in the Lodge News column on the Provincial website.
William Silvester (pictured). An explanation of the striking design of the banner was given during the course of the c er em ony, t hi s bei ng emblematical of the Preceptory motto We Guard by Day, it’s name having taken rise from the fact that meetings are held in the morning. New and joining members who daytime meetings would suit are always welcome, contact email@example.com
A new Banner for Knights of the Preceptory of Light 689 was Presented and Dedicated at their meeting place in Knowle. This was f oll owed by r ef r eshm ent s which included an appropriately decorated cake presented by F o u n d e r Preceptor E Kt
Some very serious “pulls” in the tug-o-war competition
(l-r) John Wolfe (Em Preceptor) , Michael Harrison (Prov Prior), Ken Davies, Brian Kimberley (Prov Sub Prior), Dennis Plater (Chaplain)
New Richard Wallis Red Cross Council The new Richard Wallis Conclave 520 of the Red Cross of Constantine was consecrated in Rugby, being named after the Grand Sovereign, M Ill Kt Richard Wallis JP, GCC, who will shortly retire from that high office and become Pro Grand Master of the Mark Grand Lodge. Richard officiated at the consecration, which was attended by 80 Worthy Knights, The Conclave will meet at
Atherstone and has a special significance for Richard as his ancestors lived in the area some 500 years ago. Now the Wallis name has again returned to the area. After the ceremony and before sitting down to dine the Grand Sovereign indulged in Sabre D'Or, opening the Champagne provided by the Conclave Sovereign with a sword, to great acclamation.
Richard Wallis (centre) with Sword and Champagne in hand
Welcome to the
MARK The Newsletter of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of Warwickshire
This tenth edition of Welcome to the Mark is again being distributed as part of the Craft Newsletter. We hope the contents are of interest to all readers. The Mark and Royal Ark Mariner degrees are described on our website, together with information and application forms for the many social activities we organize, most of which can be enjoyed by all Masons, their families and friends. They are great opportunities for introducing potential candidates to the fellowship we enjoy outside the Lodge room. For full details, and to see the latest news about Mark Masonry in Warwickshire visit: www. warwickshiremarkmastermasons.
Deputy to become Pro Grand Master Just twelve months on from his investiture as Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of England and Wales and its Districts and Lodges Overseas, Warwickshire’s own RW Bro Richard Victor Wallis, JP, is to succeed MW Bro Benjamin Addy as Pro Grand Master. RW Bro Richard was installed as Deputy Grand Master by the Grand Master, MW Bro HRH Prince Michael of Kent, G CVO , at the Annual Investiture Meeting held at Great Queen Street in London on Tuesday 11th June 2013 following the retirement of RW Bro Michael Edward Herbert, who had held that office since 2011 after one year as Assistant Grand Master, prior to which he had been President of the General Board since 2007 following ten years service as Provincial Grand Master for Leicestershire and Rutland.
At the same meeting the Grand Master re-appointed RW Bro Keith Emmerson as Assistant Grand Master. RW Bro Richard’s appointment as Pro Grand Master will follow the retirement of MW Bro Ben, who has served the order as a ruler for over twenty years, and Pro Grand Master for three years.
Welcome to the Mark is published by the Provincial Grand Secretary, W Bro Mike Saxon, 47 Victoria Road, Bromsgrove B61 0DW.
This year’s Annual Investiture Meeting will take place on Tuesday 10th June 2014, once again at Great Queen Street in London.
(l-r) Michael Herbert, Roger Mac, HRH Prince Michael of Kent GCVO, Ben Addy, Richard Wallis, Keith Emmerson
Warwickshire Honours In addition to our Deputy Grand Master, last year’s investiture saw three further acting grand ranks conferred upon Warwickshire Mark Masons, t hese bei ng
RW Bro Keith will replace RW Bro Richard as Deputy Grand Master, with RW Bro Raym ond John Smith, President of the MBF, becoming the new Assistant Grand Master.
W Bros Graham Venn, AGDC; Clifford Bull, GIG and Richard Ayling, GStwd. Past ranks were conferred upon VW Bros Andrew Sweeney, PGSO; Stephen Wright, PGJO; and W Bros Derek Griffin, PGSD; Ted Barnsdall, PGJD; Cedric St i l e s , PAGDC; Phil Bloom, PAGStB and Colin Hill, PAGStB.
email: SecWarksMark@gmail.com (l-r) Cliff Bull, Richard Ayling, Graham Venn
Appointments and promotions in Mark Grand Rank at this year’s m eeting
include acting rank to RW Bro Richard Wallis, Pro Grand Master (see article above) together with W Bros David Carey, GJD and Adrian Rawlins, GStwd. Past ranks will go to W Bros Michael Saxon, PSGD; John Carreras, PAGDC; Tony Richards, PAGDC, Malcolm Thomas, PAGDC and Barrie Ratcliffe, PAGStB. Attendance is anticipated to be around 2,500, with overflow halls being provided. Group travel by train is again being organised. Those wishing to join the train party should email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to the MARK RW Bro David’s year concluded with the installation of his successor, VW Bro Brian G Tierney, MBE in December 2013, which in accordance with tradition was conducted by the Deputy Grand Master, RW Bro Richard Wallis, JP, in the presence of the Pro Grand Master, MW Bro Ben Addy and the Assistant Grand Master, RW Bro Keith Emmerson.
A Sharper Edge Our Immediate Past Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro David JF Rawlins enjoyed a magnificent year as Master of the Grand Stewards Lodge of Mark Master Masons (which doesn’t have a number) following his installation in December 2012. Whilst the Lodge only meets just twice every year, each meeting is a splendid occasion. At their July meeting a Lecture of significant importance is always heard and in 2013 it was entitled “Chiselling towards Truth: a sharper edge in Mark history and meaning”. This was presented by W Bro E John Acaster, who focussed
All Aboard for the RAM The 2013 Annual Investiture Meeting of the Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners, held at Great Queen
(l-r) John Acaster, David Rawlins
upon the importance of the chisel in Masonic allegory, which only appeared in 1814. The lecture is subsequently printed for private circulation to members, and includes many illustrations pertinent to its content.
(l-r) Richard Wallis, Brian Tierney, Ben Addy, David Rawlins, Keith Emmerson
Street in London, saw W Bros John Cowan, Jo Rainbow, George Bicknell, JP, and Phil Wills all receive appointment to Royal Ark Mariner Grand Rank. A splendid support entourage travelled with them by train, all enjoying the customary and splendid celebratory refreshment en route.
Well known members of the entourage on board the train
This year’s meeting will take place on Tuesday 9th December 2014.
This includes a What’s On Diary, Staff Profiles, Useful Links, Announcements and messages from the Grand Secr etary, as well a s Documents and Forms, Photo Albums and Discussions. Also, to access the Mark Grand Lodge Facebook page.
Grand Website In addition to the Provincial website, there is a wide range of information about all the Orders administered from Mark Masons’ Hall on the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons website at www.glmmm.com.
In the Family The 367th meeting of Vesey Lodge of MMM 757 included a particularly pleasing item of Labour, with the Master, W Bro David Sparkes conducting the Ceremony of Advancement for his son-in-law, the very well known Bro Philip Laurence Hall, who was previously Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies for, and is now
First in, Last in Members of the Signa Bene Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners No 1501 saw Founder Member W Bro Trevor F Wellings installed as their Worshipful Commander twenty four years on from when the Lodge was consecrated. The Lodge meets three times each year in the atmospheric
Recipients of Royal Ark Mariner Grand Rank (l-r) John Cowan, Jo Rainbow, George Bicknell, Phil Wills
Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies in the Craft. This was a wonderfully atm osp h eri c c er em on y conducted with great warmth and sensitivity and much enjoyed by the members and the large contingent of visitors which included RW Bro Roger Mac, Mark PGM, and RW Bro David Macey, Craft PGM, together with a number of Grand and Provincial Officers.
Mark Grand Lodge Annual Investiture Meeting* Tuesday 10th June Great Queen Street, London Provincial Golf Tournament Tuesday 1st July Hearsall Golf Club, Coventry Party in the Park Sunday 6th July Guy’s Cliffe, Warwick
(l-r) Philip Hall, David Sparkes
surroundings of the ancient Town Hall in Alcester, dining afterwards at one of the local hostelries. Prospective candidates from any Mark Lodge as well as joining members from other RAM Lodges are always welcome, details can be obtained from the lodge Scribe, W Bro John Searson tel. 01608 682679.
What’s On 2014
Annual Meeting of Mark Provincial Grand Lodge* Saturday 22nd November Heart of England Conference & Events Centre * restricted to Mark/RAM Masons For Contact Details, Booking Forms and an outline of the Mark and Royal Ark Mariner Degrees, visit:
www. warwickshiremarkmastermasons. co.uk Trevor Wellings, RAMGR
warwickshire freemasons - spring 2014
What’s On? It’s on the Web! www.warwickshirepgl.org.uk
warwickshire freemasons is published by the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire The Clarendon Suites 2 Stirling Road Edgbaston Birmingham B16 9SB Tel: 0121 454 4422 Fax: 0121 456 2205 E.mail: masons@ warwickshirepgl.org.uk
Produced by Peter Wellings 07973 135761 email@example.com
The Provincial Diary includes the following major events. Full details (or details of the organiser) may be obtained from the Provincial Office. In addition to these, many other events, in particular long service certificate awards, can be found in the “What’s On” column on our website. Details will increasingly be shown there, as will application forms and direct contact information. tel: 0121 454 4422 email:
Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge Saturday 17 May 2014 Stoneleigh Park, Stoneleigh Annual Church Service Sunday 8th June 2014 St Mary’s Church, Warwick Master and Wardens Dinner Tuesday 9th September 2014 Venue TBC Initiates Supper Thursday 16th October 2014 Venue TBC Remembrance Day Service Saturday 8th November 2014 Venue TBC
New Home? Is your Lodge, Chapter or other Masonic group looking for a new home? Handsworth Masonic Centre in Wretham Road, Handsworth B19 1ED have dates for Meetings available in most weeks of the year. Also, The Flat at the centre is available to rent at a modest weekly charge. Further information can be obtained from the Rooms Secretary - W Bro Ken Downes on 01886 821415 or 07970 6 9 8 7 9 1 o r em a i l firstname.lastname@example.org
Freemasonry Afloat: Will any mason going on the P&O ”Britannia” maiden voyage in February 2015 please contact W Bro Trevor Wellings on 01789 762087
Behind the Scenes We continue to look at the m any acti viti es and individuals which make up the Masonic aspect of our organisation, this time turning our attention to The Freemasons’ Grand Charity (FGC), of which W Bro Chris Grove, MBE, was elected a Trustee in 2012. This was very much in recognition of Chris’ huge experience arising from his many years service as Provincial Grand Almoner for Warwickshire. Every Master Mason within the English constitution is a member of the FGC, which is managed by a Council of 27 Trustees (all of them being Freemasons) who bring expertise from all professional walks of life. The Council meets quarterly to discuss and approve various aspects of the charity’s purpose, as well as closely monitoring the operation of the FGC, which is conducted by three committees, across which the Trustees are evenly spread. The Finance Committee meets quarterly to deal with all matters related to the Charity’s finances, and a sub -committee deals with all investment matters. As with all major charities the assets are invested in order to reap the benefits of the stockmarket so that the income can be used for the charity’s purposes. A l t h o u g h the
current returns in the investment markets are relatively lean, the FGC did make a small gain last year from its investments. This income goes a considerable way towards paying the administration costs of running the FGC. The Non-Masonic Grants Committee also meets q u ar t erl y to co n si d er applications from charities recognised by the Charity Commissioners. It concentrates on supporting medical research, vulnerable people, opportunities for deprived young people, and support for hospices and Air Ambulances. Last year 39 major grants were given to non-Masonic charities and the total expenditure was just over £2.5m. Money for nonMasonic Grants is sourced from Provinces in Festival with the FGC.
The Masonic Relief Grants Committee, on which Chr is s er v es , needs to meet m o nth ly to c o n si d er applications for financial relief from Freemasons and their immediate dependents. Throughout England and Wales over 1800 Masonic applicants in financial difficulty are helped each year costing some £4.5m, which is found from the amount included in every member’s annual lodge subscription. Grants vary between £250 and £5,250 dep ending on an a p pli c an t ’s i n di vi d u al circumstances, to assist them with daily living exp en s es ; to c ov er unexpected needs such as funeral expenses, or the consequences of redundancy. Grants are only made once the committee is assured that maximum state support has been received. Every month Chris sees 200 or so applications, always prompting him to count his own blessings. The causes of many applicants’ financial distress are redundancy, or long term illness precluding them from being able to work.
Chris Grove, MBE
Grants are disbursed by the applicant’s Lodge Almoner via Provincial Almoners, and a l wa y s t o t h o s e i n circumstances that none of us would wish to be experiencing.