Issue 21 Spring 2014
The Newsletter of Worcestershire Freemasons
New Wardens welcome the challenge RW Provincial Grand Master, Robert Vaughan, has chosen his acting Wardens for 201415. Provincial Senior Grand Warden will be Edward Derek Baker of The Lodge of Peace & Goodwill No 6010 at Kings Heath, and Provincial Junior Grand Warden Michael John Dykes, of Elmley Castle Lodge No 6247 at Evesham. Ed Baker, 48, is already wellknown in the Province. His post as Communications Officer has brought him into close contact with every aspect of Masonry in the Province and he has played the leading role in the development of the website
– now a vital cohesive force in the Province. He has a huge knowledge and experience of IT and, indeed,
earns his living through it as a teacher of technology and is taking up a new job as a “technical evangelist”
for Microsoft. Ed, it seems, can’t resist a challenge. Last year, despite tinges of arthritis, he successfully completed the London Marathon and raised more than £5,000 for the Acorns Trust. It was his second marathon to add to two half-marathons and he vowed there and then “Never again!” He spent 20 years in the Territorial Army and was a Major when he left. He has also packed into his busy life the raising of three sons , and is now married to Sue and they live in Redditch. Ed joined the Lodge of Peace
The Masonic super-heroes
to page 2
VC awarded to 153 brave Brethren A fascinating display of Victoria Cross memorabilia is being displayed at the Provincial Library and Museum at Rainbow Hill, Worcester – all of it connected to British Freemasons who were awarded the supreme medal for outstanding bravery in the presence of the enemy during the 1914-18 Great War.
As well as two facsimiles of the coveted medal ( real ones are worth upwards of £1 million) there is an impressive collection of militaria either worn or used by the men themselves, like cap badges, ceremonial swords, dress boots, binoculars, a telescope, and even a can opener! The exhibition marks the
centenary of the start of the First World War and throws up a remarkable statistic: of the 1,360 VCs awarded since it was created in 1856, 153 of them went to Freemasons. Of the 634 awarded during 1914-18, 88 were members of our Fraternity. That’s more than 11 per cent from less than 3 per cent of the male population!
One man’s amazing war in the air Still on a war theme ... Worcestershire Mason Len Thorne had an amazing RAF career in which he could be flying a Spitfire one day and an Avro Anson the next. Here he is during his days as a fighter pilot. See story on Centre Pages.
The exhibition has been provided by Granville Angell, now in his 80’s, who has devoted the past 50 years researching the subject and was Prestonian Lecturer on it in 2006. He admits that for him it has become “an all-consuming dedication” that has taken him to 17 countries throughout the world and resulted in the discovery of another 53 VC Masons to add to the 100 Grand Lodge already knew about. He plans to publish a book soon containing comprehensive details of the 88 Masonic VC heroes of the 1914-18 conflict. Granville says: “There is a golden thread that links deeds of supreme gallantry and Freemasonry.” to page 2
Lottery campaign nets new recruits Three Worcester University students who have volunteered to work at the L&M to gain experience with the VC exhibition they helped to create. They are Rich Collins, Andrea Berry and Dan Morgan.
153 Super-heroes from page 1
He has been a Worcestershire Mason for 40 years as a member (and Past Master) of Nautical Services Lodge No 5629 at Kings Heath and received Grand Lodge rank as acting Assistant Grand Pursuivant. The VC exhibition at the Library and Museum –
along with another display on women Freemasons, will continue throughout the year and both Masons and the general public will always be welcome. For further details, e-mail John Tapson, the Curator, on curator.wmlmt @btinternet.com
A feast for all golfers Another splendid season is planned by the Worcestershire Masonic Golfing Society with matches against the provinces of Warwickshire, Herefords hire, Shropshire, Staffordshire and Gloucestershire. Then there is the annual meeting at Kings Norton with three trophies to be won and a
grand dinner. Now in its 51st year, the society is thriving and last year raised £3,500 for the Acorns Trust. This year’s chosen charity is Macmillan Cancer Support. For more information, contact WBro Paul Battle on 0121 445 1981 or e-mail on tpbattle@ hotmail.com
A two-year campaign is under way to double the number of Freemasons taking part in the Provincial Lottery and so far there has been steady progress. “We have been recruiting new members at the rate of about ten a month so if that continues we will have 240 new punters by 2016 and we can say ‘Job Done’,” said W Bro Derek Taylor, who started the scheme ten years ago. The Lottery is certainly a painless way to
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Warden with a magic wand...
from page 1
and Goodwill 19 years ago and has been Master twice. He is a member of various other lodges and Orders and in Craft was a Provincial Grand Steward in 2005, Provincial AGDC in 2008 and Deputy GDC in 2011. Of his new role as Senior Grand Warden he says: “It’s a daunting task but I’m looking forward to it.” Well, it’s another challenge for Ed that he can’t resist. Michael Dykes, aged 49, will probably be the first Provincial Junior Warden who can Saw a Lady in Half or Pull a Rabbit out of a Hat. After an apprenticeship with United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority as a Design
Draughtsman, he swapped his pen for a magic wand and for the next 10 years entertained throughout the UK in theatres, clubs and holiday venues. A young family and needing to settle down, he opened a retail shop specialising in selling mattresses. 7 shops later, he now lives and works in Evesham with his wife Gill, they have three grown up children and three grandchildren. Michael entered Freemasonry in Warrington aged 22, initiated into the Lodge of Light No 148 and then when he joined Elmley Castle Lodge No 6247 in Evesham he went through the offices to proudly become their Worshipful Master in 2010.
Also in other Orders Michael is currently Third Principal in Abbot Lichfield Chapter No 3308 and Eminent Preceptor of Simon De Montfort Preceptory No 414. Of his promotion to acting Provincial Junior Warden, he says: “It was truly a big surprise... wonderful...I’m so pleased.” Both new Wardens will be invested at the Annual Meeting at the University of Birmingham on 21 June. They then have a very busy time ahead of them and are expected to attend 50 Installations during the first year and about and 80 or so during the following five years.
raise funds. For £3, £4, or preferably £5, a month by Standing Order, a supporter stands a monthly chance of winning ten times his (or her) stake. In fact, from July only the £5 option will be available. Though, of course, the £3 and £4 contributions will remain valid. Although the organisers deal only with Worcestershire Masons, they are urging them to take out membership not only for themselves, but also for family and friends. To join is easy and there are several ways of getting an entry form in addition to any copy with this newsletter:•From your Lodge Charity Steward on the Provincial Website •From WBro Derek Taylor, tel. 07754 703037 •From the Provincial Office, or •email: firstname.lastname@example.org The Lottery’s record of raising funds for charity is impressive. It has been making about £10,000 profit a year and donated an astonishing £36,500 the biggest contribution from a single source in the Craft - to the 2011 Festival Appeal. In addition, organisations continuing to benefit include Macmillan Nurses, Acorns Hospice Worcester, County Air Ambulance, and our own Teddies scheme. The basic set-up is simplicity itself. When you join you are allocated a number. Then, if that number matches the National Lottery bonus ball drawn on the first Saturday of every month you win ten times your stake. The scheme has the enthusiastic backing of the Provincial Grand Master. The RWBro Robert Vaughan said: “My new challenge is to double the number of participants. I ask all Masons to join and to encourage family members and friends to take part too.”
Family favourites It was happy families time for Weatheroak Lodge. First of all, Worshipful Master David Phillips had the pleasure of initiating his youngest son, Richard, aged 40, and to strengthen the family occasion, David’s younger brother (and Brother) Brian played a leading role as Junior Deacon. At the next meeting, David invited Brian to occupy the Chair so that he could initiate his sonin-law, 37-year-old Glenn Mernagh. And at the April
meeting, member David Gullery will act as Junior Deacon during the initiation of his son, Andrew. Andrew will be the fifth young newcomer to Weatheroak and the lodge is now on a very strong footing. During his first year as WM, David Phillips devoted much of the charity money raised to Birmingham Children’s Hospital which resulted in a cheque for £4,646 being presented.
Provincial Grand Stewards’ Lodge No 9142
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James, 18, Initiated by grandad Family Favourites A
Itpleasure was Happy for of Families Initiatingtimehis Weatheroak Lodge.Stechford First of all, grandson at Worshipful Master meeting David Phillips Lodge’s 760th at had the pleasure of initiating his Northfield. WBro Ray youngest son,Hollins, Richard,PAGDC, aged 40, wastheinlodge theand Chair as his into to strengthen grandson, the family 18-year-old occasion, James David’s Hollins, brother joined (and the Brother) lodge. younger And played to adda to the family Brian leading role as connection, Ray’s brother-inJunior Deacon. law, WBro Ken Hill, PPrSGW, Then theJunior next meeting, actedatas Deacon. David invited Brian to occupy the
To complete an emotional and Chair so thatevening, he couldthe initiate memorable RWhis son-in-law, 37-year-old Glenn Provincial Grand Master, Robert Mernagh.presented Ray with a Vaughan, And it membership doesn’t end there. At the 60-year certificate. Also the meeting Aprilpresent meeting,at member David were twowill Past Gullery actProvincial as Junior Grand Deacon Masters of initiation the Province of during the of his son, Worcestershire, an Assistant Andrew. Provincial Grand Incidentally, AndrewMaster Gullery of will Warwickshire, and a number of be the fifth young newcomer to Grand Lodge officers.
Weatheroak and the lodge is now on a very strong footing.
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A birthday music treat for Richard
A goodly number of Masons and their families from all parts of Worcestershire supported the Day of Music at Worcester Cathedral endowed in the name of RtWBro Richard Goddard who retired as Provincial Grand Master last summer. The sponsorship fulfilled his wish to create such an annual occasion in perpetuity and brethren contributed generously to provide the funds as a farewell gift to him. It turned out to be a very special event indeed. The superb cathedral choir and some magnificent organ playing provided the music for this Choral Evensong as the Venerable Nikki Groarke, Archdeacon of Dudley, was made an Honorary Canon of the Cathedral by the Bishop in a ceremony not all that different from a Masonic installation! The Feast of St Wulfstan was also celebrated and, to cap it all, it was Richard’s birthday. Afterwards the brethren made their way to the Masonic Hall at Rainbow Hill for a Finance.pdf 23/02/2014 convivial integrity get-together helped 1along with excellent canapés and red wine.
Evesham Bell Tower Appeal has benefited from a donation of £500 from Abbot Lichfield Lodge No 3308, the senior Masonic lodge in Evesham. The appeal struck a particular chord (!) with this Masonic Lodge because its banner displays an image of the Bell Tower, while the lodge itself is named after the last true abbot of Evesham Abbey who oversaw the building of the tower. Presenting the cheque, the WM, Bro LD Hill, said: “Freemasonry is said to date back to mediaeval guilds of stonemasons who would work on castles, cathedrals, abbeys and churches. It is wonderful to think that today we can contribute to preserving and conserving the work of some of those ancient operative stonemasons.” He is seen presenting the cheque – and in the background is the lodge banner depicting the Bell Tower.
Ken plans a golf festival for all Severn Lodge No. 5583 is taking to the fairways to raise money for Masonic charities. Organiser Ken Prosser is inviting all Masons and their ladies 19:44 and non-Mason friends to a grand Golf Day at
the Burlish Golf Centre (between Kidderminster and Stourport) on Thursday, 10 April, at the bargain fee of just £20 – half of which will go to our charities. Nongolfers are welcome, too. The golf club is virtually
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All set for ladies lunch
The ladies of Worcestershire Province are again holding a Charity Ladies’ Lunch on the day of Provincial Grand Lodge, Saturday 21 June. Our speaker in the morning will be presenting the History of Underwear, with some interesting items to show, and after lunch, by popular request, last year’s speaker, Derek Poulson, will again entertain us, this time with his version of “Love, Actually”! Full details will be sent to every Mason with the Provincial Grand Lodge summons.
Kidderminster has now joined most of the Provincial meeting places in having its own defibrillator available. The device could save a life in the event of a brother having a heart attack, and volunteers from the lodges have been trained in its use. “We have had 23 volunteers to learn how to use the device and every lodge and the other orders that meet at Kidderminster are represented,” said W Bro Martin Lawrence, secretary of the Kidderminster Masonic Temple Association.
No, it’s not a new fashion statement! Some of the regulars who take their aprons along to the Semper Fidelis Lodge of Instruction. Left to right: Bros. Bob Mosedale, Martin Reynolds, Karl Haines, Phil Abram, Barry Benge, Andrew Phillpot, and WBro David Dey, Deputy Preceptor.
Just take your apron! All Masons who meet at Rainbow Hill are entitled to attend the Semper Fidelis Lodge of Instruction (LOI) and a recruitment drive is on - starting with a festive board at 7.30pm on 21 March at a special price of £10! The aim of the LOI is twofold - to enable Masons starting
or progressing on the floor to practice in a relaxed, friendly , informal (non-suited!) nonjudgemental environment. The second aim is for past masters to go along and support the junior brethren. The meetings are open to all Entered Apprentices and above on the third Friday of
the season month. They end before 9pm, usually no festive board, and with no need for full regalia other than aprons. Jeans and t-shirts are the norm but just for the March meeting, please bring full regalia. Contact the secretary, Bro Ian Trennan at i.trennan@ sky.com
‘We met again at Ted’s lodge...’
The Spitfire pilot who came back from the dead!
A casual remark led a Worcestershire Freemason to a meeting with a fellow Spitfire pilot he had seen shot down 45 years earlier. For all those years Len Thorne thought that Ted Meredith had perished as his fighter aircraft crashed to the ground engulfed in flames. Yet here was Ted - also a Worcestershire Mason - in the flesh, and the pair of survivors were able to reminisce about those epic days when both their lives were on the line as they were engaged in daily battles with the German Luftwaffe.
after spending two years working on his memoirs based on his pilot’s log-book as a front-line fighter pilot flying two tours of duty on Spitfires. This is where his son-inlaw, Barry Griffin, also a Worcestershire Freemason, takes up the story. He said: “Before he died his daughter Gill, my wife, promised him we would try to complete
It is one of the amazing adventures described in a book written by Len Thorne about his war-time years in the RAF. He died in June 2008
Len Thorne in his RAF days
his book and have it published. “This we have done and it is now on sale. It is called A “Probably my nearest brush with death,” wrote Len Thorne in his book. He was taking off to test this captured German Very Unusual ME109 when the undercarriage collapsed and the plane did a complete cartwheel and he was trapped in the cockpit Air War, and all with fuel leaking all around him. “I was very relieved that help came quickly and I was released,” he said. profits will go to the RAFBF ran a number of barbecues and the British Legion, in line shortly before he was due to be presented with his 60 Year in his beautiful garden, with WBro Len’s wishes.” making substantial amounts Len moved with his job to Certificate. of money for the Lodge, Redditch in 1938. He was He became a Worcestershire Chapter and other Masonic initiated into Masonry in Mason in 1967 when he Bordesley Abbey charities. Slough, Bucks., in 1948 joined Ted Meredith was a prominent and joined Ipsley Lodge Chapter No. 4495 and was Mason in Worcestershire (Warwicks) in 1959 and in the Chair in 1979. In 1981 he was appointed as an Province and was a member became WM in 1972. acting AsstGDC, in 1987 of Bromsgrove Lodge Barbecues became PProvGReg and 5414 as well as playing a He went on to hold several was subsequently promoted leading role in several other Warwickshire Provincial to PPrGSN in 1992. He was Orders. His company built ranks, received his 50 Year a very good ritualist and the Bromsgrove Masonic Certificate in 1998, and died also a good organiser. He centre and a plaque there commemorates the fact. He also did a lot for local hospitals which earned him a CBE.
In this extract from his book, Len Thorne recalls the day he saw Ted Meredith “die” in a ferocious air battle and how he met him again 45 years later... On a ‘sweep’ operation on 12 October 1941 I flew as yellow three sub section leader on the port side of the leading section and slightly above it. We swept south from Gravelines to Hardelot, inland ten to 15 miles from the French coast. Blue section, off to our right and slightly below us were attacked by a group of 109s just as we made a starboard turn to leave France. The rest of us were immediately involved in several brief individual combats and for a few moments the sky seemed full of aircraft. In a momentary lull I saw Blue 4 off to my right spinning down, with the Spitfire completely engulfed in flames.
Len as his lodge colleagues knew him.
I broke violently to port to avoid an attacker and became separated from the somewhat scattered squadron, so joined up with one of the “Keyhole” (452 Australian) Squadron boys and got home safely. We later learned that Blue 4 was Sergeant Ted Meredith of B Flight and at that time he was believed to have perished in his flaming aircraft.
Maurice celebrates with a haggis Maurice Hume scored a rare treble as he entered his 60th year in Freemasonry: he was installed into the Chair of Semper Fidelis Lodge No. 529 at Worcester for the third time. He joined Thistle Lodge No. 5064 at Northfield and was WM in 1984. Later he joined Semper Fidelis and became WM in 2003 and again in 2009 but his Masonic roots go back to 1954 when, as a Lewis, he was Initiated into St Michael’s Lodge No. 38 at Crieff in Perthshire. “I love Worcestershire Freemaasonry,” he said, “and St Michael’s is also very special with a history going back to 1737. Would you believe it – they still have the original Master’s chair there!” He brought some of his
45 years later, in March 1987, my wife was helping at a Masonic meeting of the Warwickshire Masonic Widows’ Friendship Club; I was waiting for her with the husband of another of the helpers in an anteroom. We chatted as one does and he noticed my RAF Association lapel badge and asked what I did in the RAF. Learning that I had been a fighter pilot, he told me of a friend who had also been a fighter pilot, named Ted Meredith, and wondered whether I knew him. I said that I had known a Ted Meredith but it could not be the same chap as I saw him shot down in flames. A quick phone call revealed that it was, indeed, the man I had known; not only was he alive and well but lived only eight miles away in Bromsgrove!
Ted was also a Freemason and we agreed to meet at the next meeting of his Lodge. Ted and I remained friends until he really did die, of natural causes, in 1996.
Scottish ways with him when he moved south to Worcestershire many years ago and has become renowned for “addressing the haggis” in true Gaelic style. So it was that the brethren attending his latest Installation – including Assistant Grand
Master Stephen Wyer leading the Provincial Team - were regaled with the skirl of the bagpipes and the traditional presentation of the haggis as Maurice did his party piece. Looking on are Stephen Wyer and Graham Ashcroft.
WBro Peter Roberson, longtime member of Bromsgrove Lodge and WM in 1980 and 1998, knew Ted well. “I was there when the two of them met at our Lodge,” he said. “Ted was able to tell Len how he bailed out of his burning Spitfire and landed safely, only to be taken prisoner by the Germans and sent to a Prisoner of War camp in Poland. “He was imprisoned until the end of the war when the Russians released him and told him ‘England is that way’ and he had to walk west to freedom.”
Welcome to the class of 2013 A message from the Provincial Grand Master, the RW Bro Robert Vaughan
Hardy (4935), Neill Marshall (5600), Wayne A Godfrey (5846), Magne E Olson Initiates are the future of (9658), William Gimes (9836), Freemasonry and we welcome Robert W Sandall (6141), them with open arms. We are getting a steady inflow of new Nick R Badham (8212), Raj members and, as long as Shroff (1874), Peter M I Cash that continues, we can look forward to the years ahead with (7961), Brett P Sinclair (7938), Stephen Morley (4846), Neil optimism. Here we publish the names and Marshall (5600), Jeffrey P lodge numbers of men who Donnelly (5948), Stuart J Bill joined our ranks during 2013. (5056), Mark Noble (6247), I wish them all well with the hope that they will find joy and Wilson Danter (9658), Aaron satisfaction in belonging to our E Matthews (7600), Joseph B unique organisation. Smith (4565), Simon J Lewis January (7294), Matthew J Lambeth Philip R Jones (1874), Jon C (2724), James M Cripps G Cutress (377), Richard J (6356), Simon A S Jones Allen (5812) Henry R N Cath(5635), Mariusz Kondej (4495) erwood (6904), Nigel J Penny March (6595), Trevor C Bland (7503), Patrick G Williams (6141), Derek A Crabtree (5775), AnPhilip H Armstrong (7679), drew J Chandler (560), Lee D Stringer (5056), Dharmesh Gwyn T Williams (8584), RobChauhan (5665), Mariousz ert Taylor (4144), Dennis G Kondei (4495), Arras Tappas Hamilton (2034), Jeffrey Gul(3873). Arestis Constantinou lick (3638), Richard C Davies (3873), (7294), Anthony M Morrow (3308), M Gardner (5948), February Dalvinder Gill (5056), Nigel N Henry J Hardy (4935),1 John Plotnek.pdf 23/02/2014 20:38 Barrett (1204, Darran J PhilA Williams (5064), Peter H H
lips (6013), William P Taylor (5583), Michael A Pascal (7155) April Nigel P Hicks (6141), Joshua L Oâ€™nyons (5846), Konrad D Frankowski (377), Steven J Hillard (3308), David C Parker (7543), David N Hardwick (6082), Alan P Smith (7214), Robert D Tipping (3654), Leslie Banks (3654), Christopher Woods (1097), Jason A Ford (6013), Craig P Hughes (5583), William Oâ€™Rourke (2724) May William M Barney (2385), Mark A Westwood (4004) July Satnam Dhami (4004) September Christopher Tyler (8007), Fergus A Kirkham (9816), Muneeb Mirza (7600), Joshua J C Mortimer (8653) October Stephen P Barrett (9658), Jonathan R Gill (8212),Matthew L Prior (529), Richard J Phillips
(7214), Ian M Edwards (6082), Philip A Hill (5591), Stephen Barrett (9658), Christopher J Hutber (1204), Daniel Shaw (5056), Andrew C J Lavanchy (6356), James A Rogers (3185), Robert D Tipping (2654), Matthew Sylvester (1097) November Ritchie Jones (252), Benjamin W Craze (8212), David Grigg (7932) Justin G Chieffo (6595), Michael Tolley (3643), Glenn C Mernagh (7214), John M Higgs (6082), Mulji Gohil (5581), Sefton N E A Bednarski (6707), Wilson Danter (9658), Nigel C Saunders (564), John T Harding (5629) Christopher B J Coldrick (5635), Dalton Dennis (4495), S C Price (7679) December Richard J Allen (5812), Dennis R Darby (8212), Steven J Holmes (3378), Karl R Baker (1097), Philip D Rawles (9254), Simon M Cooper (5812)
The secrets in man Marathon Box A633
Lodge was held for the first time at 128 Mill Street, in the presence of the good and the great, including the Provincial Grand Master, Sir E AatHjust Lechmere clocked in at four hours and Heather died three MP , who congratweeks old. He said: â€œWe 32 minutes, disappointing ulated Kidderminin a childrenâ€™s for him but a triumph for the were stuckster Masons for on ward with no facilities human spirit. their impressive ward got full He virtually collapsed at parents. The new home. and we hadBut to take babyit. thatourwas the end of the run and was home and administer to her wheelchaired off for an hourâ€™s ourselves. No details of how the place came recovery with the St Johnâ€™s â€œThere were no hospices to be built could ambulance volunteers. then and now there or arewhy I be found Ask him if he would do it decided Acorns wouldoutbein we moved again and he will answer a my chosen 1911. charity.â€? To find out more, call Acorns most emphatic â€œNope!â€? Still, Bernard had 120 6892, or â€œIt was a most fantastic on 0845 proved his point. experience,â€? he said. â€œI visit www.acorns.org.uk His domain is boost with to edâ€™s packed dewould not have missed it for To give a late www.Justgiving. of the Provanything but it was also the fund, visit tails inceâ€™s past and hardest thing Iâ€™ve ever done Com/edbaker-vlm2013 he will gladly try JT and Iâ€™ll never do it again. My t &E #BLFS to hehelp to anUnbelievably has arthritic marathon days are over.â€? queries. hips and swer his any marathon His Bernard valiantJennings achievement in his domain He be be will over.also But he raised more than ÂŁ5,300 in running may pleased to Heâ€™s hear in view. sponsorship. The money has other aims one covering that vital from anyat lodge wishing a charity walkto goes to the Acorns Trust,date the looking of 19 December add62their archives his 24 colmiles in lesstothan childrenâ€™s hospice1879.. charity.And of sure enough, the minutes lection. Call him on hours. And an international Edâ€™s reason for choosing confirm that on that date, 0121 474challenge 3028 or in the Acorns has an emotive cycling , a grand meeting of H&C future. email@example.com. history. In 1989 his daughter
Ed beats the pain barrier in big run By Peter Ricketts Ed Baker had run 12.5 miles The history of Freemasonry when he realised he was in Worcestershire is stacked in trouble. He had boxes stopped in neat cardboard in sweating. Here he was, less Bernard Jenningsâ€™ domain, than half way the great the Archives at in Bromsgrove. London Marathon was The building itself,and just he across the car park and at the headdehydrated in PGL danger of quarters, is a nondescriptcollapsing. looking oldto stop coach-house, He wanted and end yet it holds irreplaceable the agony. Then he treasures from most thought lodges of all those family, friends around the province. and Masonichavecolleagues Some lodges not taken whoâ€™d sponsored to advantage of this freehim facility, which is aofpity because the tune over ÂŁ5,000.once He depositedofhere, theirhours historic thought all the of records he â€“ mostly oldinminute training had put since books - are just about as safe last July,can five a an week, as they bedays and in airevery week, pounding out controlled environment. anything between 22 and 50 A test miles a week. And in his ears Bernard, a PPrRegistrar and was the exhilarating sound member of the Lodge of of countless thousands St of George Lodge No. 5691, has supporters, cheering on the been Provincial Archivist for runners allHe along the whole five years. welcomes que26.2 miles theto capitalâ€™s ries so I putofhim the test streets.
And he carried on. concerning my and owntook lodge, â€œI slowed down on Hope & Charity No. 377 at water wherever possible,â€? Kidderminster. he said. â€œThis wasoffarcourse, worse At Kidderminster, thannow my have training All we oursessions. own splenthe new time lodge I felt like packing up. did rooms but 134 years ago, on December All around me 19 people were 1879, in lofalling and out after and Imeeting was worried cal pubs might joinsince them.our Butformation I thought in 1824, we moved into our of all the good people very own lodge rooms at who 128 backed Mill Street.me Then asking some timeme in afterwards â€˜How did 1911 we moved backyou to get the on?â€™ and Iâ€™dHotel. have to say â€˜Oh, townâ€™s Lion I dropped outâ€™ and I knew that Confirmed wasnâ€™t on. Iâ€™ve were: got a stubborn My questions how did streak in me and I kept my we build our own lodge rooms legs moving.â€? and why, after 42 years, did we out again? So move Ed Baker, the Provincial Communications Officer, Past Bernard turned to his computer. Sure Master (threeenough, times) ofthere the was theofH&C box, A633. Lodge Peace andNo. Goodwill He disappeared among the No 6010 at Kings Heath, racks of archives and in no and until recently an acting time at all presented me Provincial Grandwere DC, with the Deputy box. Inside finished the course. His target minute books including the time was under four hours. He
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Festival gathers pace By Richard Hoare - Inspector General, Rose Croix. District of Worcestershire Plans are going ahead nicely for the Festival which is being hosted this year by the MRCCI (Worcestershire). The event is proving to be very popular so please make a note in your diary now if you haven’t already done so: Thursday, 5 June, at Kings Heath. We have New Forms from Supreme Council waiting to be filled in with the new Festive Pens, which are being circulated at £5 each (plus they can light your way as an added bonus). Myself and the District Recorder were very pleased to attend the Higher Degree at Supreme Council Duke Street, St
James’s, on 13 January. No less than nine Brethren were in attendance from Worcestershire to receive their higher honour and it was a very special day for them all. The website is proving to be satisfactory and any suggestions for it will be welcome. Contact webmaster Geoff Watkins for assistance. Should any Brother wish to further his knowledge about our beautiful Christian Order, he would be most welcome. I very much look forward to seeing you all again during the coming year and, of course, meeting new members.
Alex Thomson of St Lawrence Lodge at the presentation of his Mark 70-year certificate. With him are PGM R W Bro Francis Charles Spencer and the DGM R W Bro Richard Victor Wallis. Others to receive 50 year certificates during the year included John Woodall, Perseverance Lodge, George Aldrich, St Egwin Lodge, Paul Heynes, formerly of Godson Lodge now with Stability Lodge, and Michael Homer, Vernon Lodge.
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Thursday 29th May at 7.00 pm Make a significant daily advancement in your Masonic knowledge! Beyond the Chair 7.00 pm
Beyond the Craft 7.30 pm
A short presentation and discussion about opportunities for those brethren who have served, or are about to serve, as Master of their Lodge.
Meet the rulers and brethren of the various Masonic orders active in the Province at our friendly, informal and educational “Beyond the Craft Fair”.
Find out about life beyond the chair and how Take a self-guided tour, learn about the orders you can contribute to the ongoing success of and understand why Freemasons may wish to your Lodge, your Province and the Craft. increase their involvement in the fraternity.
Beyond the Chair and Beyond the Craft are open to all Freemasons. Your presence is strongly encouraged! Free refreshments will be provided. Royal Arch Masonry • Mark Masonry • Royal Ark Mariners • United Orders - Knights Templar and Knights of Malta • Ancient and Accepted Rite - Rose Croix • Red Cross of Constantine Royal and Select Masters • Allied Masonic Degrees • Order of the Secret Monitor • Operatives Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests • Royal Order of Scotland • SRIA and more!
History in the Making Following the consecration of two new Mark Lodges during April 2013 the Provincial Grand Master appointed VW Bro John King the first Assistant PGM of Mark Master Masons of Worcestershire. Hosting Annual Festival Worcestershire will be hosting the 147th Mark Benevolent Fund Festival during 2015. The fund raising appeal so far is a little short of that required if we are to reach the target set by the PGM. Every lodge is urged to make just a little more effort. The organisers of a “Provincial Ladies Gala Night” to be held at the Chateau Impney on 5 April hope to boost the fund with the proceeds from this event. Train excursion The very popular Elegant Excursions Steam Train Sunday Lunch, on the Gloucestershire & Warwickshire Railway is to be repeated in July. Watch for details. Membership Membership generally is holding up with the number of new members about equal to those lost. Last year’s figures show an increase resulting from the new lodges consecrated last April. Our Provincial Almoner continues his good work and urges members to notify him when someone needs help.
92 Knights at Gala The Red Cross of Constantine Gala Dinner, held at Kings Heath in aid of the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, was a tremendous success. It was attended by 92 Knights of the Order, a number of Brethren, plus a sprinkling of nonMasons. The highlight came when the guest speaker, Colonel Kevin Beaton OBE, C in C of the medical facility, described the work of the Centre which is based at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and is the largest intensive care facility in Europe. He spoke about the tremendous courage shown by the wounded, many of whom had lost two or three limbs. When he had concluded those present rose in acclamation to express their admiration for all that he represented. During the evening the Intendant-General, Colin Young, presented a cheque for £2,500 to Col. Beaton to augment £5,000 which we had donated previously.
Grand Chapter celebrates 200 years The new Masonic season has seen the Installation Convocations of over fifty percent of the Chapters in the Province together with other significant events since the last edition of Worcestershire Source and has seen Provincial Grand Chapter pass through one of its busiest periods. On the morning of Wednesday 16 October, 28 Companions of the Province met at Halesowen and Kings Heath to go by coach to the BiCentenary Celebrations of Supreme Grand Chapter. At 11am Supreme Grand Chapter was opened at Gt. Queen Street under the leadership of the Pro Grand First Principal, Most Excellent Comp. Peter Geoffrey Lowndes, and we were entertained to an excellent presentation of the Exaltation Ceremony, Aldersgate Ritual, by the Metropolitan Grand Stewards Chapter.
Eight Companions then accompanied the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent to the Connaught Rooms for Luncheon whilst others visited local hostelries around Covent Garden. At 15:45 the Companions reunited in preparation for Supreme Grand Chapter to open for the Quarterly Communication and Bi-Centenary celebration. This was held under the leadership of the First Grand Principal, Most Excellent Comp. His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent, KG, CMG, GCVO, ADC. The meeting included an excellent historical presentation by E. Comp. J. M. Hamill, PGSwdB, entitled “Pure Antient Masonry Triumphant”, an excellent Oration by E. Comp. the Rev Dr. J. R. H. Railton, PGSwdB, and addresses from the First Grand Principal of Scotland and the Grand King of Ireland. Whilst the exact total for the Bi-Centenary Appeal was not announced, we were made aware that it would be in excess of £2 million - double that originally anticipated and a great tribute to all Royal Arch Masons.
On Thursday 24 October, 47 Companions came together at Kings Heath to take part in and witness the Installation Convocation of the newly amalgamated Chapters of St. George and Red Rose, now warranted as Red Rose of St. George Chapter No. 5691. As proof of the Indissoluble Link between the Craft and Royal Arch, the Provincial Grand Master, in his Royal Arch role, E. Comp. Robert C. Vaughan, Past Grand Standard Bearer of the Supreme Grand Chapter of England, was Installed as First Principal, the Provincial Second Grand Principal, E. Comp. Michael G. Taylor, Past Assistant Grand Sojourner of the Supreme Grand Chapter of England, was Installed as Second Principal and E. Comp. Philip Hull, PPrAGDC, as Third Principal. The Provincial Installation team of E. Comp. Colin P. T. Brown, Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, E. Comp. Michael N. R. Verduyn, PAGSoj acting as Second Provincial Grand Principal, and E. Comp. David J. Bell, PGStB. the Third Provincial Grand Principal, ably assisted by E. Comp. Keith M Evans, ProvGDC, gave their usual full support.
Saturday 9 November saw the Meeting of Worcestershire Installed First Principals Chapter No.6889 and what a wonderful occasion it turned out to be. Some 90 Companions were in attendance, filling the Temple at Rainbow Hill and setting an ambiance so reflective of Royal Arch Masonry. We were honoured by the presence of the Grand Scribe Ezra, E. Comp. C. N. R. Brown, together with a number of distinguished guests from as far afield as Yorkshire North Riding, Gloucestershire & Herefordshire, Somerset, Staffordshire and, of course, Warwickshire. Following the normal Chapter proceedings, our Grand Superintendent presented the
E Comp Colin Brown presents the cheque for £65,370.13 to Grand Scribe E Nigel Brown.
Provincial cheque in favour of the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch Bi-Centennial Appeal, held on behalf of the Royal College of Surgeons. In his speech, the Grand Superintendent pointed out that when the Appeal was launched in 2008, the Province of Worcestershire was heavily involved in supporting the Craft Appeal for the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys which did not finish until 2011 to which the Royal Arch Companions of the Province donated in excess of £70,000.
He added that although he had been given a target for the Province, he had taken the decision not to make it public but his “Rottweiler”, in the form of the Provincial Grand Charity Steward, E. Comp. Barry Fitzgerald, had made a statement vowing that he would achieve a target of £30,000. Thus it was that the assembled company waited in anticipation for the Grand Superintendent to announce the “Final” figure. He invited the Grand Scribe E to accept, on behalf of the Companions of the Province of Worcestershire, the magnificent sum of £65,370.13. This superb figure included a legacy together with the support from the Craft and the other Orders of the Province, but was still way in excess of what it was believed would be achieved.
The presentation received thunderous acclaim from the Companions. In his response, the Grand Scribe E. E. Comp. Nigel Brown stated that he felt the English language was structured in such a way that it could cope with most circumstances but, on this occasion, the term “Thank You” hardly felt appropriate and failed to convey the very grateful thanks from Supreme Grand Chapter to the Province for such a magnificent total. Indeed, he added, the original national target of £1 million would in fact be doubled and fully anticipated that the final figure would be circa £2 million. The Grand Scribe E then gave a very motivational talk on the Holy Royal Arch, covering recruitment, retention and its powerful meaning, and how important it was for us all to realise, appreciate and convey the indissoluble link between the Holy Royal Arch and the Craft.
At the Annual Convocation at Birmingham University on Saturday 12 April, the new Executive team will be Installed. Following the retirement of E. Comp. Geoff Weston, E. Comp. Michael Taylor will be appointed Deputy Grand Superintendent, E. Comp. Michael Cox becomes Second Provincial Grand Principal and E. Comp. John Phenix will be Installed as Third Provincial Grand Principal. This will also see the Appointment and Promotion of many Companions in the Province.
Farewell to Michael It is with deep sadness and regret that we announce the “passing to the Grand Chapter above” of our dearly beloved Companion Michael N. R. Verduyn, PAGSoj, who died peacefully at home on Sunday morning 24th November after a short illness. Michael’s service to this Province was exceptional. He was Promoted to the rank of PGStB in Supreme Grand Chapter in 1988, appointed and served as Second Provincial Grand Principal from 1995 – 2003, and promoted to PAGSoj in 1997. He had remained on the Principals’ circuit since being appointed in 1995, some 18 years. Michael always had a kind word and many will remember him as a great lover of desserts at the Festive Board!
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