I am writing in my capacity as the Chairman of the Friends of Connaught Court to thank you for the contribution that you have made towards our funds this year. As you know it has been a very challenging year with the pandemic and we have been unable to hold our Summer fair which provides the majority of the funds that we require to fulfill our financial obligations to the home. The major project that we are working on at the moment is to provide a second visitor pod at the home to allow families to be reunited within a safe environment. As part of the Care Operations team at the RMBI this is something which is particularly close to me and i feel very important to both the residents and their families. The money which you have so generously donated will go towards the £10,000 cost of this.
If you would like any further information on our work or how the money is spent please do not hesitate to ask.
W. Bro Mark Payne
W. Bro Andy Evans: Hall Cross Lodge 5744
When I saw an advert in the Doncaster Councils Covid-19 weekly email update I passed the info on to my daughter Jade who along with Sandra, the wife of W. Bro Dennis Atkin, has joined the small army of volunteers helping to make Scrubs for the vastly under-supplied Doncaster and Bassetlaw NHS workers.
The volunteer team is sponsored by Refurnish, owned, and run by Andy Simson. Refurnish is a Doncaster based charity which works in partnership with the local authority and Sita UK to collect bulky household furniture and goods from domestic properties in the Doncaster Borough. Wherever possible these items are reused or recycled and put to good use.
During this period of lock down, Doncaster Refurnish has effectively diversified its skills into supporting volunteers to produce scrubs for front line workers in hospitals and care homes in their own localities. A dedicated Facebook page enables the individual members to remain engaged with the rest of the group.
The volunteer team is called “For the Love of Scrubs”, has its own Facebook page Link: Doncaster & Bassetlaw "For the love of Scrubs" and is run from Nightshades Clothing warehouse owned and fully organised by Kerry Burton
From Left: Jade Evans, Linda and Sarah Chapman, W. Bro Andy Evans, Catherine Ford, Annette Noble, Joan White, Kerry Burton, Elsie Tinker, Marina Grimshaw, Claire McConville, Mandy Elks, Michelle Boardman, Coleen Besfold and Andy Burton.
Individual “Scrubs” sets quality checked and size-packaged ready for delivery
NHS staff wearing the most welcomed Scrubs.
Sets of Scrubs made and washed ready to deliver back to Kerry and her team at Nightshades.
The donation from the Freemasons is to help the Trust with the cost of ensuring that all pupils, students and teachers have access to the relevant personal protective equipment (PPE) in the school and college setting.
Alexis Johnson, executive principal of Doncaster Deaf Trust said: “We are extremely grateful to the Hall Cross Lodge of the Freemasons for this very kind and much needed donation.
“We have been very lucky that a number of local and national companies donated visors and facemasks to the Trust to enable us to provide for a wider opening of school and college for our pupils and students.
“This donation means that we can now add additional wall mounted hand sanitising units in key locations throughout our building. This will be an extra health and safety measure in addition to those we already have in place giving extra piece of mind as we keep our core educational services going over the next few weeks and as we plan ahead to September.
“The Freemasons have supported Doncaster Deaf Trust on a number of occasions in the past and we remain thankful to them for their continued support.”
Doncaster Deaf Trust manages Little Learners Day Nursery, Doncaster School for the Deaf, Dickson House – Children’s Home, Communication Specialist College Doncaster and Specialist Employability Services.
Rob Jenkins from the Hall Cross Lodge of Freemasons said: “We are pleased to be able to help Doncaster Deaf Trust at this time. We know how important specialist education is to the children and families who access it.
“It is great to know that our donation will be put to good use to make sure that children and young people can continue with the education in a safe setting.”
The Province of Yorkshire, West Riding is one of two Provinces involved in a trial for Solomon, the UGLE learning and development platform.
Invitations, by email, have been sent to all Brethren initiated since the beginning of 2019 offering a centralised registration and enrolment process onto Solomon. Although there are now over 30,000 users of Solomon, a very small percentage have difficulty with registration. It’s also the case that a significant number of Initiates are unaware of what Solomon is, or what it offers.
Brethren taking up the offer will have an account created for them on Solomon and be enrolled into the modules covering the First Degree, Lodge Matters, and Masonic History. They will be informed of how to login by email. Solomon has been greatly expanded during the suspension and now includes audio and video presentations, webinars and interactive quizzes.
The Lodge Mentors of those involved in this pilot have been informed and asked to encourage their charges to take up this offer. If the pilot is successful, and early indications are that it will be, then all Initiates throughout the country will be offered the opportunity to be registered on Solomon once they are entered onto Adelphi, the UGLE membership database.
Solomon is open to all and can be accessed here: solomon.ugle.org.uk. Instructions on how to
register are contained in a video on the front page.
Bro. Peter Smeaton from Olicana Lodge 1522 and his family have not let the grass grow beneath their feet this month.
Although having to shield the family for medical reasons has limited their ability to help others in need, they are on target to achieve a million steps for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation a charity close to their hearts.
So far they have raised over £1000 from friends, family and brethren and some have even joined in with the walking.”
The District of West Yorkshire of the Order of Royal and Select Masters, as do all other Districts in England and Wales hold an annual District meeting every year, in our case the 1st Saturday in August which for obvious reasons this year has been postponed. At these District meetings the other Districts in England & Wales are invited, and a charitable collection is always taken.
In the past we have donated to the RMBI 2017 Festival for the Craft and to the Mark Benevolent
As we had not made any donation for the past few years our Treasurer Tony Williams mentioned we had a sizeable amount building up in the account and where there any suggestions as to who could benefit most from a donation. Our Deputy District Grand Master in Charge V Ill Companion Ronald J Murtagh immediately suggested we keep our donation close to home and donate to “The Association of the Friends of Connaught Court”.
The friends of Connaught Court commit to spending a considerable amount each year to pay for the little extras that all go towards providing extra comfort and a range of social, leisure and
entertainment activities for the residents. The major part of their annual income comes from the
Annual Garden Party which is held in the grounds of Connaught Court on the 1st Saturday in June each year which due to Coronavirus was this year cancelled depriving the association of much needed income. The members of the R&SM Executive agreed with Ron and were delighted to provide a grant of £1000.00 to the Association.
A charity radio station which has seen its presenters broadcasting from improvised studios in their homes, has been given a £1,000 boost by Harrogate Freemasons.
When the Coronavirus barred access to the wards of Harrogate District Hospital to all but patients and essential staff, its volunteer-led radio station moved its operation offsite.
Thanks to technology, a total of three makeshift studios were created in the homes of Harrogate Hospital Radio members – ensuring shows will go on, 24 hours a day!
And now with a £1,000 donation, the society has been able to purchase the necessary equipment to allow more presenters to broadcast from home.
The money has come courtesy of the Freemasons Province of Yorkshire West Riding’s Provincial Grand Master’s Fund, after being put forward for a grant by the members of Harlow Lodge, which meets at Harrogate Masonic Hall.
Each year, the fund distributes £200,000 to good causes around the Province, which is based on the old West Riding, geographically ranging from Sheffield in the South to Ripon in the North.
Harrogate Hospital Radio Chairman Mark Oldfield said: “I can't thank the members of Harlow Lodge enough for nominating us for this fantastic donation. It means we can now purchase the necessary equipment to enable more of our presenters to broadcast their shows from home.
“And once we are able to return to our studios, the technology will mean we can hopefully attract disabled people to our organisation, as access to our facilities is limited.
“Over the years we have received tremendous support from the Freemasons and have benefitted greatly from their financial support, including the refurbishment of one of our studios.”
David S Pratt, Provincial Grand Master of the Province of Yorkshire West Riding, said: “Harrogate Hospital Radio is a fantastic charity, run by volunteers for the good of the patients and staff within the town’s District Hospital.
“It’s a pleasure to have been able to award this grant. We have a long and happy association with this charity with two former chairmen being Freemasons.
“Coronavirus many have stopped its members from physically accessing their studios, but it hasn’t stopped them continuing the service they have provided for more than four decades.”
Further information about Harrogate Hospital Radio is available from its website, http://www.harrogatehospitalradio.org.uk/
Airedale Hospital in West Yorkshire received a Mobile Chemotherapy Unit funded by the M.B.F. in November 2018. Over the last 12 months, it has donated over £200,000 to Charities across West Yorkshire, including:
An Ambulance Support Vehicle for St John Ambulance Yorkshire £32,000
A Rapid Response Vehicle for Yorkshire Air Ambulance £32,093
A new Minibus for Martin House Hospice, Boston Spa £39,957
Refurbishment of a Canal Barge for Safe Anchor Trust £48,235
Special Syringe Drivers for Kirkwood Hospice, Huddersfield £23,400
A Flood Relief grant to South Yorkshire Community Foundation £20,000
Perinatal unit support, Forget-me-not Children’s Hospice, Huddersfield £16,585
Portable Electronic Gaming equipment for Forget-me-not Hospice £4.035
Similar to the Craft national Charity, the M.C.F., the Mark Benevolent Fund relies on Provincial Festivals for its funding and the Mark Province of West Yorkshire is currently in Festival. You can help to support the West Yorkshire Mark Festival just CLICK HERE
The Cleeves and Whitehead Trust is a local West Yorkshire Mark Charity, providing Support and Pastoral Care for West Yorkshire Mark Masons and their families. It also makes grants to worthy causes in the community and last year donated over £44,000 to Charities in our Province. These included:
Lost Chord (Dementia Charity, South Yorkshire) £1,000
SNAPS (Special Needs support, Leeds) £2,000
Asperger’s Children & Carers Together (Autism support, Sheffield) £1,500
Bradford Toy Library & Resource Centre (Toys for disabled children) £2,000
Safe Anchor Trust (Barge trips for disabled & disadvantaged, Mirfield) £2,000
Woodlands View Dementia Support Group (Sheffield) £7,200
Whiteknights Yorkshire Blood Bikes £2,000
Leeds Weekend Care (Weekend care for children with special needs) £1,000
Bradford Deaf Children (Supporting deaf children and their parents) £1,000
Performance Drama School (Providing children’s drama classes, Otley) £2,000
Clothing Solutions for Disabled People (Bradford) £2,000
Brighouse Central Methodist Church £13,440
Burley in Wharfedale Scout & Guide Group £1,890
Fulfil the Wish (Activities for children with disabilities, Bradford) £2,500
Round Table Children’s Wish (Fulfilling wishes for sick children) £2,000
Light Blue clubs came into existence in 2007 as a result of an initiative in London where young Masons met at the Connaught Rooms as a social group. This became known as "The Connaught Club".
We have had young Mason's groups in this Province, in one form or another, since 2008. These groups have flourished across the country to the extent that national conferences are now held, with attendees from every Province.
In 2019 we sent five representatives to represent our Province, one from each area, accompanied by W. Bro Marcus Greenwood.
Our Provincial Grand Master was also present, as a guest speaker, to deliver a talk about "Solomon".
Initially, we had a very relaxed attitude to young masons groups allowing them to meet as and when they wished under whatever name they wanted. As a result of seeing how other Provinces were taking forward their own clubs, the PGM instituted a new initiative in this Province.
"Yorkshire West Riding New and Young Masons Clubs" is the Provincial umbrella and support body for all
Light Blue, Goose & Gridiron, Brothers Breakfast Clubs and Rough Ashlar Groups etc. It came into existence in February 2020 to set up a formal strategy and constitution for the running of groups across the five areas of the Province and is led by W. Bro Marcus Greenwood who reports directly to the Provincial Mentor.
The ethos is to bring New and Young Masons together to meet socially, to help with learning and development and to share ideas, experiences and develop best practices related to Freemasonry. It is also a forum to meet socially, debate Masonic issues, become better informed and enjoy like-minded Men's Company.
There are currently around twenty such groups meeting across the Province with a new Light Blue Club
just recently being formed in the Skipton, Craven and Keighley area.
Although the Yorkshire WR NYMC will operate under the Provincial banner, it will not interfere with the day to day running and formation of the clubs but will be available through the Provincial Lead for help, guidance and support.
Details of area contacts and a diary of events are available from the Provincial Lead for interested new and young masons or potential new Freemasons.
Latest News from