Connaught Court in York is our ‘local’ care home run by the RMBI Care Company and caring
for around 90 residents, most of whom are Masons or have Masonic family connections.
As you can imagine life at the home, as everywhere, is very different during the current Covid pandemic and the strain on staff and residents is very considerable.
Nevertheless everyone associated with Connaught Court is doing a magnificent job to protect residents and try as best they can to look after their families. Indeed the very active Friends Association recently donated a number of electronic tablets to make it easier for families and their loved ones to communicate whilst visiting is not allowed.
An update from the Home Manager, Victoria Wilson
Hello from everyone at Connaught Court! We are now into our 5th full week of closure due to coronavirus, and what a journey it has been for us all. The home is a very different place with all our residents confined to their rooms and the areas they live in.
The dining room is closed and the main lounge only available for very small numbers from the same area to see a film, socially distancing of course!
Meals are all taken in residents rooms, and exercise is taken in our grounds only for short periods of time. Thank goodness for the lovely weather we have been experiencing, which has helped with this enormously.
Amongst all their other tasks the care team have been trying to help the residents keep in touch with their families via any means possible and those on the ground floor have had the occasional wave through closed windows. An equally difficult time for families who are unable to give them a hug or visit in person.
All our staff are masked for the duration of their shift strict infection control measures in place and for those residents showing symptoms of covid19 full barrier nursing is in place with complete isolation.
It is with great sadness that we currently have 11 residents throughout the home with symptoms and 7 were tested yesterday. We have one positive resident who is doing well in hospital and one other who is in the home and stable at the time of writing this. Unfortunately we have lost two residents who were covid positive, a very distressing time
for the families and for our staff who feel helpless to prevent this horrendous virus, despite all their hard work.
Staffing the home is now our greatest challenge as currently I have a total of 34 staff off with symptoms isolating, at last we are now able to have testing which has been a long time coming. We have had great support from our district nurses, GP practice and local authority, and most important from our senior team at the
RMBI who have worked tirelessly to get us the information which has changed hourly at first and secure PPE for us with weekly deliveries. Thank goodness for the support of the freemasons and trustees with very deep pockets who have taken extreme measures to purchase this valuable stock of PPE.
On a happier note we managed to have a lovely meal for Easter and Nestle sent many Easter eggs, which as you can imagine went down a treat with staff and residents. We have received lots of lovely letters from children accompanied with drawings, and the wine and sherry along with chocolate and excellent local food suppliers the Connaught Court standards
have been maintained!
This is just a short insight into Connaught Today at what is our lowest time in this journey; we look forward to happier times and welcoming you all back into the home.
Please stay safe and well.
Letter from the Provincial Grand Masters
Mrs Victoria Wilson,
Connaught Court Care Home
15th April 2020
We are writing during these difficult times to convey the deep gratitude of all our Members in the Provinces of Yorkshire North & East Ridings, Yorkshire West Riding and Lincolnshire for the immense efforts that you and all your staff are making to provide care to your residents.
This we know is challenging at the very best of times but in the current unprecedented position it is the dedication of you and all your staff that is the determining factor in providing the very best of care.
We appreciate that the pressure for you all will be enormous and it is unlikely that there will be any speedy end to all the restrictions and constraints under which you are having to work. Nevertheless we know that you will be doing all you can to deliver the outstanding care for which you and your colleagues have rightly been recognised.
Although there is probably little that we can do in practical terms to assist you during the difficult time please be assured that we all appreciate your efforts and stand ready to do anything we can to help you both during and after this challenging time.
Please pass our very best wishes and our grateful thanks to all of those working so hard to provide the care your residents need.
With every good wish to you all.
After much testing the programme of Masonic Light webinars kicked into life on
Wednesday, 6th May with a presentation by W. Bro Ken Wootton, Provincial Grand
Orator and Provincial Training and Development Officer, entitled “An explanation of
some aspects of the First Degree” developed by Ken and our new Provincial Senior
Grand Warden and head of masonic Light W. Bro Tim Hendra.
So what is a webinar? Well it’s a guided talk with accompanying Power point
slides and usually takes about 20-30 minutes followed by questions from the
What do I need to be able to take part? A computer or electronic tablet
preferably but not essentially with a camera so that you can be seen by others who
Do I need any computer skills? Not really. Once you’ve registered through one
of the links you get an email inviting you to join and when the start time comes
around you click on the link in that email and hey presto, you’re there! It really is
The webinar on May 6th focused on some aspects of the First Degree and was joined
by 24 brethren from around this Province and beyond.
At the end of each webinar participants are invited to complete a simple electronic
questionnaire about their experience. Here’s what some of them said about the
May 6th event:
“Very enjoyable as a relatively new mason only 2 years it’s good to hear
the reasons behind the actions”
“As an Entered Apprentice I have not had the chance to see an initiation
from within the lodge as yet so its great information of me, it give me
more background on why things happened as they did. That was an
“This was an excellent and very informative talk, as someone relatively
new to Freemasonry I found this very useful and has wetted my appetite
and interest to learn more.”
“Particularly enjoyed the ability to take part in polls, which added a level
of interest (and concentration). Excellent presentation and remarkably
comprehensive in just 20 minutes.”
Almost everyone who joined said it was easy to register, that the length was about
right and that the information presented was pitched at about the right level. All
who took part said that they enjoyed it!
So now it’s over to you. There are two more events planned for the coming two
Wednesday evenings. On 13th May the topic will be the Second degree and
you can register to take part by clicking on the link below:
Eventbrite Ticket Link - 2nd Degree
Wednesday 20th it’s another run of the presentation on the First
Degree and you can register for that here:
Eventbrite Ticket Link - 1st Degree
The current suspension has robbed us of some of our usual ways of being together
and advancing our Masonic knowledge so why not give this a try.
It really is simple and easy – give it a go!
The Leeds Light Blues next lecture will take place online via Zoom and will include Q&A's.
The lecture is titled - 'The Future of Freemasonry: Evolution & Change' and will be delivered by
Bro. Tony Harvey @Prestonian2012
The online lecture is scheduled for Thursday 16th April at 7 PM
email: email@example.com for details on how to take part.
The Worshipful Master, Phil Smith, was delighted to support to a sum of £1500 Skipton Junior's Football Club. This money is for some new movable goal posts. This allows the quick set of matches and safe storage for the growing club. The posts were delivered just before the Lock Down and are emblazoned with the Square and Compass. This story also was picked up by our local newspaper, which has a large circulation in the community. They published a favorable article which has shown the Worshipful Master's, and Lodge's commitment to their local community.
The bike that Freemasons funded for the organisation, aptly named ‘Mason’
Mirfield Freemasons have ridden to the aid of a charity that delivers life giving supplies to hospitals across Yorkshire.
The members of Kirklees Lodge have given £4,950 to the Whiteknights Yorkshire Blood Bikes – volunteer motorcyclists who provide an out-of-hours courier service to the NHS – to buy 12 protective “Airvest” waistcoats for volunteer riders.
The Airvests are worn by the riders and attached to the motorcycle via a lanyard. In the event of a crash, and the rider parting company with the motorcycle, the Airvest is activated and is inflated within 0.1 seconds.
It locks the head to prevent whiplash and broken collar bones and locks the upper torso, creating a cushion all around, thus protecting the most vital areas of the body, the internal organs, from internal injuries.
The donation came via West Riding Masonic Charities Ltd., which each year distributes grants in excess of £200,000 each year to charities and community organisations across the Freemasons Province of Yorkshire West Riding, whose boundary is based on the old West Riding, geographically ranging from Sheffield in the South to Ripon in the North.
This grant comes on the back of Freemasons purchasing two new bikes for the charity in 2019, one via Ivanhoe Lodge in Sheffield, and the second via the West Riding Provincial Grand Chapter.
The Whiteknights Yorkshire Blood Bikers provide an out of hours courier service to the NHS throughout midweek nights (12 hours per night) and at 24 hours per day at weekends.
They deliver blood products, baby milk, medical/surgical tools and supplies between hospitals and other agencies as required. They also deliver human bio samples between hospitals and laboratories.
The Yorkshire volunteers also link up with other County Blood Bike Groups to “relay” products nationally.
These services are carried out totally free to the NHS allowing NHS funding to be aimed at delivering their resources at more targeted areas. The funding of the Whiteknights Yorkshire Blood Bikers is entirely by charitable donations from the general public and organisations like ours and private sector businesses.
#Freemasons • #WhiteKnights • #BloodBikers • #NHS • #Giving • 🏍
Our very own Keith Madeley MBE interviewed by Andrew Edwards for BBC Radio Leeds' "Secret Spaces on Remembrance weekend". Keith talks about the Consecration of The Lodge Of Peace, the Lodge's several Masonic homes and the recent Lodge Centenary.
LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW
Pictured are (l to r): David J Neve, Michael Dowling, J Michael Coupland and Raymond T Lodge.
Members of Holme Valley Lodge No 652 took advantage of the Province-wide Dispensation, taking part in the Service of Remembrance at Holmfirth Parish Church, before laying a wreath on behalf of the Lodge at the nearby War Memorial.
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