Pictured from left are: Ian Lewis, the Assistant Provincial Grand Master of the Province of Yorkshire West Riding; Jules Preston Chairman of The Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust and Gerald Hancocks from Rectitude Lodge
A cash injection by the Freemasons has helped Wakefield’s Pinderfields Hospital complete a major upgrade to its bereavement viewing suite.
And to mark the conclusion of the £10,000 refurbishment scheme which saw the Freemasons contributing £6,000 -, The renamed Oakleaf Suite was officially opened at a ceremony attended by representatives from the fraternity and Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust.
The money from the Freemasons has been donated in the memory of David Pickover MBE, a former chairman of the Wakefield and Pontefract MacMillan Appeal Fund, and a member of Rectitude Lodge in Wakefield, who died in June 2017.
Twelve months after his death, the Lodge received a plea for financial support from the Palliative Care Team to support the refurbishment of Pinderfields’ mortuary viewing room.
It responded by successfully applying for £5,000k from the Freemasons Provincial Grand Master’s (PGM’s) Fund – which each year gives £200,000 to good causes across the region – and further boosted this by a £1,000 donation from lodge members.
Artist Stella Corrall, from Lucentia Design, who together with art project manager Helen Kitchen, was commissioned to transform the mortuary suite - said: “The success of this project has to a large extent been due to people’s willingness to give feedback and share their experiences and reflections.
“Talking with a broad cross-section of people we found that many individuals had been touched by loss and bereavement and that they had insightful suggestions for enhancing the mortuary environment.
“We want to thank everyone who participated in this project, for their openness and generosity of spirit.”
Jules Preston, chairman of The Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust, who formally opened the suite and thanked all the contributors for their help in making it possible, said that as a result of the fantastic outcome of the project, a further viewing room at Pinderfields Hospital would be refurbished in a similar style
Jeff Beevers, a past master of Rectitude Lodge, said: “Thanks to the £6,000 from the PGM’s Fund and our own members the hospital has been able to finish this worthwhile project.
“There is no doubt that the transformation of the viewing room will enhance the experience of bereaved relatives.
“The former rooms were cold and lacking any comfort at all, unwelcoming for relatives who would not have wanted to stay for any time, whereas the Oak Leaf Suite now provides a warm, welcoming calm and comfortable environment where relatives will want to spend time with their dearly departed.
“The main aim of the project was to create a calming and beautiful space, to help mitigate the distress and anguish of those visiting, so mission accomplished!”
Another fabulous evening of spectacular entertainment, great company, good food and phenomenal fundraising for Masonic Charities took place at the second Area 4 Gala Dinner on Saturday 9th February 2019, held at Magna, Rotherham. This year it was the Mayor of Barnsley, Cllr. Steve Green’s chance to see the total amount for his chosen charities, which are Barnsley Hospice and Barnsley Independent Alzheimer’s & Dementia Support (BIADS), boosted by a massive £2500 presentation from the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro. David Pratt. A further £2000 was raised at the event for other local Masonic Charities and the whole evening was again an outstanding success.
This is the first of two installations in two weeks of two new APGMs (Assistant Provincial Grand Masters) in our Province. The first ceremony saw W Bro. Andrew Wright, from Chevin Lodge in Otley, taking on the office for the next five years. Congratulations to Dr Wright, pictured fourth from right, with the rest of the Provincial “top team”!
Jason Mallinson, Internationally acclaimed Cave Rescue Diver and recipient of the Queen's Gallantry Medal, recently gave a captivating and illustrated talk chronicling his exploits in Thailand in June 2018 to a two hundred strong audience at Greenhead Masonic Hall.
Jason spoke of his role in helping rescue twelve Wild Boars football team members from a flooded underground cave in Tham Luang Non in Chiang Rai Province.
The brave but unassuming 50-year-old hero from Oakes, provided a graphic description as he re-lived the epic rescue involving himself and colleagues dubbed by the press as “International Rescue”, a hand-picked team from across the globe flown to Thailand and charged with what was thought to be an impossible mission.
Before Mallinson’s arrival at Tham Luang, where the boys were trapped deep inside the vast cave system, the rescue seemed near impossible giving the authorities cause to consider leaving the football team and their coach there for months until water levels dropped making for a safer rescue attempt.
The youngsters were stuck with very little hope for 18 long days and nights before the dramatic rescue.
Malcolm Jenkinson, from Newsome, who organised the evening on behalf of Unity Masonic Lodge, explained that he had been a friend and caving colleague of Jason’s for over 30 years.
“Potholing and caving in the Yorkshire Dales are where we began and as the years went by Jason became known worldwide as a leading cave diver with many underground, underwater world records achieved."
“Missions to Norway, Mexico and now Thailand have begun with a call for me to provide extra gear and I am so proud of his achievements, always with minimal concern for his own safety.”
Proceeds raised on the evening amounted to £1,000 for the Freemasons’ Teddies For Loving Care initiative which provides a cuddly bear at Accident and Emergency units at hospitals, including HRI and Calderdale.
Jason, along with other members of the rescue team, were recognised by Her Majesty The Queen in the 2019 New Year's Honours List.
Area5 Charity Committee Chairman David Gray presents Certificates to St Gemma's and Wheatfield's Hospice. The certificate confirms they have received grants from the MCF as part of the annual £600k MCF Hospice awards in England and Wales.
St Michael’s Hospice, Harrogate and Martin House Children’s Hospice, Boston Spa received a visit from Freemasons in The Province of Yorkshire West Riding having been chosen to receive grants coming from the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF). St Michael’s received £1290 for and Martin House £1798.
These grants are just two of 245 grants to hospices around the country from Freemasons. In total £600,000 will be donated to hospices all over England and Wales this year.
This includes £450,000 which will be distributed to each hospice that receives less than 65per cent funding from the NHS. A further £150,000 will be provided to individual hospices across England and Wales via Hospice UK, the national charity for hospice care. MCF has a partnership with Hospice UK aimed at developing and extending bereavement support services in hospices.
Contributions from Freemasons to hospices have exceeded £12 million in England and Wales since 1984 and are continuing to increase at a rate of £600,000 a year.
Paul Clarke, Assistant Provincial Grand Master (APGM), Doug Mills, Area 3 Provincial Charity Committee Chairman and several brethren from local Lodges enjoyed the kind hospitality whilst at both hospices with Olivia Fuller from St Michael’s Hospice saying “We’re very grateful to the Freemasons for their generous grant and continuing support for the work we do. Whilst Sarah Smith from Martin House Children’s Hospice made a similar response on receiving the MCF Certificate.
In conclusion Paul Clarke said “We are all very pleased to have been able to assist these hospices. They do an outstanding job helping people with terminal or life limiting conditions, as well as supporting their families through very difficult times.
A group of volunteers that service Harrogate as Harrogate Community First Responders (CFR), demonstrated effective CPR to members of The Spa Lodge at the Masonic Hall.
They also brought with them the three kit bags, each having a defibrillator (AED) and a wide selection of basic life support equipment including oxygen cylinder, oxygen masks, bandages, purchased with a Provincial Grand Master’s Fund (PGM) Grant and a donation from the Lodge.
Although not able to deal with road accidents /trauma cases they are generally first on scene to assist someone with a heart problem, epileptic seizures or other medical emergencies. The additional bags enable them to ensure that multiple CFRs are on duty to respond 24/7 to emergency calls allowing greater coverage of Harrogate and surrounding villages.
Damian Bowen, team leader, in thanking the PGM Fund Committee and the Lodge brethren went on to say: “This essential additional equipment will make a real difference to people’s lives in their time of need when we attend medical emergencies in the local community on behalf of Yorkshire Ambulance Service.”
Several brethren later tried their hand in giving CPR but were advised to stop before creating a real emergency!
On the 11.11.2018, the Brethren of Royal Yorkshire Lodge 265 formed up on Parade in Keighley, this year being a special year for all, the brethren were adorned in their masonic aprons but also their beret's and proudly displaying personal medals from conflicts passed.
On early parade at the Keighley Cenotaph before the main event were [left to right] Bro. Dave Connor, Bro. James Aslam-Armitage, W Bro. Edward Sissling PGSW, W Bro. Andrew Harrison. PPSGD, Bro. Mike Moran, W Bro. Neil Armitage, Bro. Peter Karkoszka, with Lodge Liaison Officer; W Bro. Graham Lake, PAGDC, PPSGW
A family support room has been officially opened on Byland Ward at Harrogate District Hospital, thanks to generous donations from local Freemasons and the Friends of Harrogate Hospital and Community Charity.
from left are: David S Pratt, the Provincial Grand Master of the Province of Yorkshire West Riding; Chief Executive of Harrogate & District NHS Foundation Trust, Dr Ros Tolcher; Matron Tammy Gotts; Paul Clarke, Assistant Provincial Grand Master of the Province of Yorkshire West Riding; Ian Wright, Provincial Grand Master Fund coordinator; Richard Stone and Michael Wrigglesworth, both from Knaresborough Priory Lodge.
The Masons Suite was officially opened by the Provincial Grand Master of the Province of Yorkshire West Riding, David S Pratt, following a £25,000 major grant from the Provincial Grand Master’s Fund, and £5,000 from the Friends of Harrogate Hospital and Community Charity.
The new Suite will improve patient experience on Byland Ward for patients, including those with dementia and learning disabilities. It includes reminiscence features and mood lighting and will provide a comforting non-clinical environment for patients.
Tammy Gotts, Matron, who has coordinated the efforts to open to the Masons Suite, said: “The project has been two years in the making and we are delighted that the Masons Suite is now open.
“Our huge thanks go to the Masonic Province of Yorkshire, West Riding, and the Friends of Harrogate Hospital and Community Charity, for their generous donations. Without them, the project would not have been possible.
“The Suite will improve the experience of staying in the hospital for the patients on the ward.”
David S Pratt, the Provincial Grand Master of the Province of Yorkshire West Riding, said: “It was my absolute honour to officially open the Masons Suite within Harrogate District Hospital’s Byland Ward.
“The grant application to financially support this initiative was made by Knaresborough Priory Lodge, and in the coming years, it will help provide comfort and to countless people from the Harrogate district and beyond.
“In Harrogate and Knaresborough there are seven lodges, and all are active within the community. And it is through to the generosity of our members that we are able to fund initiatives such as this family support room with the hospital.”
Harrogate’s The Spa Lodge has celebrated its Diamond Jubilee by planting trees at RHS Harlow Carr, at a ceremony attended by leading regional civic and masonic figures.
Stephen Brown, Worshipful Master of The Spa Lodge; Simon Mackaness, DL; and David S Pratt, the Provincial Grand Master of the Freemasons Province of Yorkshire West Riding
In celebration of its consecration, the Lodge also donated an oak bench sited in the Lakeside Garden area, overlooking the Queen Mother’s Memorial Lake, and the newly-planted trees.
These trees form part of a new woodland area, which acknowledges Her Majesty the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy Project, which is designed to create a network of forest conservation schemes throughout the 53 nations of the Commonwealth, with Harlow Carr forming part of what was the ancient Forest of Knaresborough.
The new bench and trees funded by the Freemasons
A successful application was also been made to the Provincial Grand Master’s Fund, which funded an oak information lectern, together with a graphic board, part of which is in braille.
The Deputy Lord Lieutenant for North Yorkshire, Simon Mackaness, and David S Pratt, the Provincial Grand Master of the Freemasons Province of Yorkshire West Riding, ceremonially planted an Acacia tree, whilst The Mayor of the Borough of Harrogate, Councillor Bernard Bateman, and Stephen Brown, Master of The Spa Lodge, planted a Red Oak tree.
The Lodge which was founded in 1958 is so named following a likening to the springs in Harrogate and the “SPAW” mineral springs in Spa Belgium, and has a logo which features three heraldic emblems representing medicinal springs or watering places.