Issue 19 Winter 2013

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WORCESTERSHIRE
The Newsletter of Worcestershire Freemasons

SOURCE

‘It has been a privilege and a pleasure’
A special message from our retiring Provincial Grand Master, RWBro Richard Goddard
I wish to take this opportunity of sending to all members of the Province of Worcestershire my most grateful thanks for your support and friendship over the past nine years. It has been both a privilege and a pleasure to have been your Provincial Grand Master – indeed, an honour I shall always cherish. I wish each one of you good health and fortune for the years ahead and feel confident you will accord my successor the same support you have always shown me. May the Great Architect of the Universe bless you all.

Nine years at the helm
By Peter Ricketts

Simon Rogers, an initiate, was visiting a Kidderminster lodge for the first time and feeling rather lost. Then he saw another visitor momentarily on his own so he said “Hello,” I’m Simon, what’s your name?” “I’m Richard,” was the reply and they proceeded to have a pleasant chat before everybody went in to open the lodge. Only then did Simon, a member of Vernon Lodge No. 560, realise that he’d been talking to none other than the Provincial Grand Master!

Truly a brother among brothers...

Centenary
At magnificent celebrations for Wyche Lodge No. 3638 Centenary Meeting on 29 January, brethren witnessed the Provincial Team putting on their excellent ceremonial led by the Provincial Grand Master, Richard G. H. Goddard. During the meeting, the PGM announced the immediate promotion of Dr. Andrew C. Horn, PPrGSwdB to the rank of PPrJGW. The Provincial Grand Master Designate, Robert C. Vaughan, then surprised the audience by naming his new team.

“I’m a fourth generation Lewis,” said Simon, “and I’d been advised to extend the hand of friendship – so I did. My father Peter is also a member of Vernon and when he told me I’d been talking to the PGM I was amazed. It made me realise that we really are a band of brothers.” The story sums up the personality of RWBro Richard George Hamilton Goddard, the gentle and modest ruler of the Worcestershire Province who will have served for nearly ten years when he hands over the reins to his successor, VWBro Robert C Vaughan, at the AGM on June 15. He has guided the Province with a firm but genial hand through a difficult time when, as they have with all other social organisations, numbers have tended to fall as the demands of modern life and economic pressures make their mark. Throughout those years the RWBro Goddard has met thousands of Masons and his friendly demeanour has never changed. Everybody who meets him is left with a warm feeling that here is a man who truly believes that all Freemasons are equal.

VWBro Robert C Vaughan and the man he will succeed, the RWBro Richard G H Goddard.

Indeed, he says: “We are all brothers together, members of a wonderful organisation, and we need to do all we can to keep it that way.” With that guiding principle, the PGM has presided over a

seismic shift in Freemasonry to clear away the image of the Craft as being a mysterious and secretive affair not to be trusted. He has played a leading role in the introduction of a fresh
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New team to take over

The new team who will lead the Worcestershire Province from 15 June: VWBro Robert C Vaughan, Provincial Grand Master, his Deputy, WBro Stuart I Edwards, and three Assistant Provincial Grand Masters , WBro Stephen J Wyer, WBro Keith The two new Provincial Assistant M Evans, and WBro Grand Masters to be – Keith George W Barrow. Evans and George Barrow.

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Wall-to-wall Provincial Wardens was a rare sight when they supported RW Bro Richard Goddard (centre) as he officiated at his last installation as PGM. The Wardens had all been appointed by the PGM during his years in office. The event took place at Northfield when W Bro Tony Swain assumed the Master’s chair of the Province’s youngest lodge, Wenceslas No 9836. With the PGM are Maynard Burton, Mike Dancer, Bob Clark, Gerrard Oldham, Chris Firminger, Kerry Parkes, Julian Turner, Joe Marzouk, Alan Dally, Keith Evans, Rick Abbotts, Stephen Wyer, Charles Dyer, Bob Gameson, Irving Home, Patrick Firminger, George Barrow, and John Phenix.

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A strong team around me
officers at their lodge meetings but go to some other provinces and you find a marked difference. In some parts of the country it is rare to see senior Rulers even at installation ceremonies. “I have been very fortunate in having such a strong team around me,” says the PGM. “We are more active than in any other province I know.” He also praises the huge support he has had from his wife Helena. “Without her help I could not have done it.” Ask him what has been the highlight of his years in office and he immediately cites the 2011 Festival. “The amount raised during the five-year campaign – over £1.67 million – was astonishing,” he says. “That was a wonderful achievement . “Other special occasions for me have been the consecration of three new lodges - Morgan, George Taylor and Wenceslas – and the building of the new temple at Kidderminster. That was a fantastic achievement and shows what can be done if everybody pulls together.” He also nominates the closing of the Stechford centre as a memorable event. “While it was naturally a sad occasion, Stechford had its own triumphs when all the lodges there were successfully accommodated elsewhere and the sale of the premises allowed us to set up our special building fund amounting to around £200,000. This now allows us to lend money to Masonic centres who want to improve their amenities and do necessary repairs.” So how will the PGM spend the extra time that “retirement” will bring? “Well,” he says, “I have my

An historic event
Every Master Mason in the Province is eligible to attend the Installation of the new PGM. It will take place at about 10.45am on June 15 in the Great Hall at the University of Birmingham. The Provincial AGM will take place in the Great Hall after lunch. Details will be given in the AGM summons sent to every brother.
own Masonry still, of course, and will be able to devote more time to my other great hobby – the Goddard Association.” This is a world-wide society with about 300 members of the Goddard clan. It began in America and our RW Bro of that ilk has been a leading light in setting up a GB branch and as its president produces a quarterly newsheet. His own personal researches have so far traced ancestors back to the 14th century. He says he will also have more time for his large garden at his home at Leigh Sinton, near Malvern. “Mind you, Helena does the expert stuff, I’m just the labourer.”
W Bro Peter Ricketts is a member of the Lodge of Hope and Charity No 377

policy of openness with the public, and the creation of a mentoring system to ensure that every newcomer is made to feel very welcome from the day he joins. “The days are gone when Provincial officers did not talk to initiates,” he says. “I always make a point of talking to initiates. After all, they are the future of the Craft.” Worcestershire Masons may take for granted the constant presence of acting Provincial

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A lasting tribute
Lodges in the Province have responded enthusiastically to an invitation to donate to a special fund as a tribute to the retiring PGM. At his request, the fund will pay for a Day of Music at Worcester Cathedral in perpetuity. He expressed a wish that he did not receive a personal gift. The chosen day is 19 January – the PGM’s birthday and it also coincides with the birth of St Wulstan, the Saint most closely associated with the cathedral.

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Memories of great occasions
Having accepted the great honour of being invited to be the next Provincial Grand Master of Worcestershire, I am very conscious of following in the footsteps of RW Bro Richard Goddard, to whom I have been Deputy since his installation in 2004, and before him the RW Bro Barrie Cooper, both of whom have made significant and lasting contributions to our Province. Working so closely with Bro Richard has given me the best possible grounding for the task that lies ahead, and I pledge to do my very best to apply the same dedication and application as he has shown, when I succeed him in June. The recent years have left us with indelible memories of great occasions. W Bro Richard’s installation itself on 29 January 2004 at the Three Counties Showground, near to his home and to Malvern College, where he taught, was a splendid day of cloudless blue skies with the snow capped Malvern Hills as the backdrop.

By Robert Vaughan - Deputy Provincial Grand Master
In 2006, many members of the Province accompanied the Provincial Grand Master to Andorra where together we took offices for the consecration of a new lodge, the Andorran Lodge Masonry Universal No 6, and its associated Royal Arch Chapter. Many of us became honorary members and retain close contact with Andorra. I have happy memories of a visit to Malvern to celebrate the 100th birthday of Richard’s mother, a lively and strong-minded lady who reminisced of meeting Sir Edward Elgar in her younger days, and who lived on to the age of 104. A highlight of 2009 was the visit of the Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent, to the Library & Museum at Rainbow Hill, Worcester, where he then joined the Provincial Grand Master for lunch. More recently, our Provincial Grand Master oversaw and dedicated an impressive new Masonic Centre at Kidderminster. This was the first new temple in the

An occasion to treasure... the PGM and Deputy flank the Duke of Kent during the Grand Master’s visit to the Library and Museum at Worcester.

Province for many years, designed and built by Kidderminster brethren. Perhaps the pinnacle of achievement during Richard’s time as Provincial Grand Master has been the 2011 Festival in aid of the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys, which raised the magnificent sum of £1.67 million and culminated in a splendid Festival celebration. Richard will carry on serving as an influential member of the Grand Master’s Council and 2013 continues to be a busy year for him, with the centenary celebrations at Wyche Lodge and at Campbell Lodge and a Banner Dedication for Thistle Lodge. Will I match his enthusiasm and dedication as your Provincial Grand Master and build upon the foundations that he and his predecessors have laid? Well, it certainly won’t be for the want of trying. I hope that, with the support of the brethren of Worcestershire, we shall have similar successes in the future.

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New chief for Rose Croix
A message from V.Ill. Bro Dr Richard N Hoare 33° who was Invested as Inspector General of Rose Croix for the District of Worcestershire on 26 November. It is a privilege to be chosen as the Inspector General, having been perfected into the St Francis of Assisi Chapter No 711 in 1972. Worcestershire is one of the largest areas in the country and I am pleased to have inherited its traditions along with its size. Among the 20 Chapters, our oldest is St Dunstan’s No 12 over 150 yrs old. There are also a number of Chapters nearing their Centenary celebrations.

Scouts take fun into the wards
Lodges are involved in all sorts of activity involving the non-Masonic community, but none is more poignant than the Onaway Scout and Guide Group. It was started ten years ago by W Bro Malcolm Bird, OBE, of Pathfinder Lodge No.8596 when he set up the group to take Scouting into the wards at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Every Thursday, “Leaders” visit the wards and invite seriously ill children to spend 90 minutes in all sorts of fun activity such as colouring, quizzes, handicrafts, knotting, and music. “It takes them out of their hospital environment and also often gives parents and nurses a respite from their role as carers,” said Malcolm. “And the children love it because we make it all fun for them.” W Bros Dennis Clark and Gordon Hodgson, both past masters of Pathfinder Lodge, work with Malcolm Bird in organising and fund-raising but Malcolm Malco olm lm is the dynamo that keeps the scheme buzzing along. As an experienced public speaker, he will give a talk “to anyone who will help us” and he finds Women’s Institutes particularly supportive. One of Malcolm’s main aims is to recruit more Leaders. At present he has six. That means that only two of the 17 wards at the hospital are covered but he has high hopes that a special meeting of the lodge in April will help. Anyone interested in Scouting will be welcome. Just contact WBro Malcolm. He called the scheme Onaway (meaning “alert” or “awake” after the name of the first Scout group he joined as a lad). t Pathfinder Lodge was founded in 1974 primarily for men having an affiliation to the Scout movement but today it has a wider membership. For more information, contact Malcolm
(mbird@blueyonder.co.uk)

Chapters meet in nine of the Craft meeting places and all details are in the Worcestershire Year Book. It is my intention, along with my District Recorder, Ill Bro John Chattin 31°, to support all the Chapters and Princes to allow the Order to grow. There will also be a dedicated Website for the District to keep all Chapters and Princes up to date with news and events. Finally, we are hosting the MRCCI Festival in April 2014 which will need the support of all our members. I look forward to meeting you all on the circuit and am available should you wish to contact me.
Richard N Hoare

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Tenbury shows how to do it
Special day for the Rev. Steve
More than 350 people crowded into All Saints Church at Evesham to support W Bro Rev Steve Jordan as he took another step in his new life as a Church of England minister. He was ordained 18 months ago and in this second level of progression was “priested” by the Bishop of Dudley, the Rev David Walker. Steve is an assistant curate in a rural benefice north of Evesham and says that Sundays are “Monte Carlo Rally days” as he goes from church to church. As a member of the West Midlands Police Force, he reached the rank of Chief Superintendent but says: “For many years I struggled between my job in the police and the call to serve God. Unsurprisingly, God won and I look forward to serving Him and His people in my new role.” He has been a leading Worcestershire freemason for many years and is a member of Northfield 5056, Perfection 8430 and Custos 9320 as well as other orders. He was an acting senior warden and holds Grand rank as PAGDC. Our picture shows Steve with the Bishop. Meeting as they do at Tenbury Wells, members of the Lodge of St Michael No 1097 may man one of the outposts of the Worcestershire Province, but they set a fine example in how to build links with the local community. They hold all sorts of social events to raise funds and once a year leaders of a selection of the town’s organisations are invited to the lodge for a grand chequegiving evening. This year the Provincial Grand Master himself turned up to do the honours. totalling £1,650. It’s a great way of forging links with the locals. It’s brought the local community into the lodge and vice-versa. It’s the best PR we’ve ever done. “It works well in Tenbury which is a tightly-knit town with around 200 different community groups but maybe it wouldn’t go so well in big towns.” Among events planned for 2013 is a Ball in the Barn but, said Brian, farmer and lodge member Robert Hanley “will have to get rid of the cattle in the barn first!” The lodge, which meets on the last Thursday October to April, is renowned for its excellent and bargain-priced meals, masterminded by another member, chef and local butcher Phil Gibbs. Brian Roberts has retired from his tree-surgery and landscaping business but, now 70, he is as busy as ever.

How it began

It all began seven years ago when, as Charity Steward, W Bro Brian Roberts held a series of cheese and wine parties to raise special funds to help community groups. “It’s grown since then,” said Brian, “and this year we were able to hand over cheques

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Nick beats the odds on epic10,000-mile trip
By Peter Ricketts

Nick Plotnek, Master of George Taylor Lodge No.9819, describes his latest hare-brained charity challenge thus: “10,000 miles, 19 countries, 8 weeks, 5 mountain ranges, 3 deserts, 2 idiots on two motorbikes, and one destination.” The destination was Ulaan Bataar. I’d never heard of it either, but it’s the capital of Mongolia and Nick’s journey, which began at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, was on a tiny 125cc bike – just in case the trip proved too easy. Easy? The event is called the Mongol Rally but, said Nick, it was nothing like any rally he’d ever experienced before. “There’s virtually no organisation,” he said. “There’s a start and a finish and apart from that you’re on your own. Folk travel in cars and vans and, yes, motorbikes, but few try it on a 125cc machine.” Sometimes camping, sometimes finding a dodgy hotel, Nick and his

non-Mason friend Kevin Strickland, rode on through storms and 50-degree heat waves, sometimes on roads as smooth as a billiard table and often on rough tracks where small boulders and potholes threatened, over mountain passes, down into deep valleys, mile after mile after mile on a road to nowhere.

Punishment
Country after country hammered away at their tyres, and the punishment had its impact on the bikes. Bent spokes, petrol leaks, broken oil seals, damaged pistons – the problems came their way in profusion but they solved them all in one way or another. Petrol was always a concern with supplies sometimes 150 miles or so apart. One day, stuck in a desert, they were forced to buy black market fuel served to them in plastic bottles. And so they arrived at the Mongolia border. Troubles

over? Not on your life! “The border guard pinched my visa and forced me to buy another one,” said Nick. “Then Mongolia turned out to be an awful country with horrific roads – and it was still 1,100 miles to the capital!” Still, the intrepid bikers made it and lived to tell the tale. They dumped the bikes and got on a plane home as soon as possible. And at 55, Nick was pleased with the way his body had coped with the challenge.”Mind you,” he said, “if I hadn’t trained in the gym for three months it would have killed me!” His venture raised a magnificent £16,000 or so for charities, including £500 each to the Worcestershire and Warwickshire Masonic Provinces and the vast bulk going to Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Nick has a special reason to raise funds for hospital. His son Robert, born with a heart defect in 1990, died there in 2003 after years of surgery and a heart transplant in 1999.

Nick Plotnek prepares for the big venture

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Large cheque delight for pioneer Ida
Ida Parkinson was “absolutely astonished.” In all her 20 years of fund-raising this was the biggest donation she had ever received and she was almost speechless. “I would have been delighted with £200-£300 but this amount was staggering,” she said. The amount, in fact, was for £9,800, part of a total of £32,000 handed out by our PGM, RWBro Richard Goddard, during the presentation of funds from the Freemasons’ Grand Charity which took place at EllardHanson Court, Bromsgrove. Ida received the cheque as president of the Redditch and District MacMillan FundRaising Committee. This wonderful lady was a pioneer of the movement because, 60 years ago, she became the first MacMillan nurse in the area and for nine years. As the organisation grew up around her, she played a key role in providing support for cancer patients before being asked to lead the task of raising vital funds. Now, at 80, she is still there, as busy as ever. She has happy memories of the days when her late husband, Douglas Parkinson, was an ardent Mason. He was a member - and WM in 1987of Bordesley Abbey Lodge No. 4495 in Redditch, as well as belonging to Royal Arch, Mark, and Knights Templar. Like Ida, Douglas was an enthusiastic fund-raiser and was an accomplished after-dinner speaker and comedian. He performed at many Masonic events but would never take a fee, requesting instead that a donation be made to the now defunct Masonic Hospital. He died nine years ago. Five Worcestershire hospices also benefited from the annual Masonic share-out of funds – Acorns, Kemp, St Richard’s, Primrose, and Mary Stevens. The £32,000 from the Grand Charity was part of grants totalling £600,000 donated to hospices throughout the country this year and was boosted by another £400 and allocated to the local hospices by Worcestershire lodges .

Ida Parkinson receives her cheque from the Provincial Grand Master.

One brick at a time
The Village Square outside All Saints Church in the centre of Kings Heath has won a national award and is a prime example of how Freemasonry can become involved in the community. The square, with substantial financial help from Kings Heath masons and Provincial Grand Lodge, was beautifully laid out with fine paths, lawns and flower beds. It was opened in 2011 and has won the Regeneration and

Renewal Award for 2012 for best use of arts and culture in regeneration. To help to pay for the project, over 100 individual Freemasons and Lodges meeting at Kings Heath each paid for a sponsored paving brick. In addition, the Provincial Grand Master presented a cheque for £5,000 towards the cost of the project at the 2011 Provincial Carol Service held at All Saints Church.

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The history men of Worcester
Every Tuesday and Thursday the Masonic Library and Museum at Rainbow Hill, Worcester, is buzzing with life as “The Team” goes to work. These Masons – about a dozen of them – are dedicated to the job of keeping the L&M in good order and constantly making improvements. The result is a superb display of Masonic historic artefacts and literature which, it is safe to say, is by far the best outside of London – and it is there for all Masons (and the public) to browse over.

“The Team” includes (from left): Bob James (Deputy Curator), Henry France-Sargeant, Mark Lodge, John Tapson (Curator), Colin Young (Executive Chairman), Roy Padden (Executive Deputy Chairman), Mike Pearman, Peter Merris, and Alan Dally (Executive Secretary).

New display
At the centre of the activity is the Librarian and Curator, W Bro John Tapson, who took over when John Hart died about a year ago, and applies himself to the task with the same infectious enthusiasm as his predecessor. Which means you won’t find him hiding away in an office. When I called he was beavering away with members of his

team creating “Beyond the Craft,” a new wall display depicting regalia of the other Orders. He wants to make the museum more accessible both to Masons and the wider public and to this end he has joined the Worcester Heritage Group. As a result, tourists picking up a city attractions leaflet will find “Worcestershire Museum of Freemasonry” on the list along with such as the cathedral and the Commandery.

His career, until he retired eight years ago, was far removed from the world of museums. He was an engineer with Severn Trent, but he had a good grounding working as John Hart’s deputy for a number of years and is now immersed in it. His dream is to have a brown sign on the M5 with a square and compasses on it, directing the world to Rainbow Hill.

Training to save lives
To improve medical facilities at Kings Heath Masonic Hall, an automated defibrillator has been purchased so that immediate action can be taken if a lodge member or guest suffers a heart attack. To try to ensure that each lodge/chapter or other Order has trained personnel a Training Session was held on 26 January 2013 when every unit that meets at Kings Heath was invited to send two members. All interested brethren should contact WBro Trevor Barnes on 0121 778 2738 or e- mail trevor5846@blueyonder. co.uk

Lunches
John also wants to see more visitors from lodges and points out that he and his team will always try to accommodate brethren wishing to visit on days other than the official opening times. Sunday lunches are offered to groups. First time visitors to the museum are invariably staggered by the richness and diversity of the thousands of artefacts and books on display at Rainbow Hill. If you want to see for yourself, call 05603 102654 or e-mail John on curator.wmlmt@ btinternet.com

www.worcestershirepgl.org.uk

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Tommy Godwin dies
After a whirlwind year in the run up to the Olympics, Tommy Godwin has died aged 91. The winner of two bronze medals in the 1948 Games had been a member of St Oswald Lodge No. 5094 for more than 55 years. He former racing cyclist revelled in his role as Birmingham’s Olympics Ambassador and spent the year attending numerous functions. Just before the London Olympics were about to begin, Tommy became seriously ill. Cancer was diagnosed but he still insisted on carrying the Olympic torch through Solihull and attending the Velodrome to watch our modern day cyclists beat the world. He died on November 3. For more than half a century he hardly missed a meeting of St Oswald. “I love my masonry,” he said. “I’m very proud of my lodge. It’s the only one I’ve ever joined and it’s always been an important part of my life.”

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Emily starts training
Emily Draper (pictured), the trainee stonemason sponsored by Worcestershire Masons to the tune of £50,000, is settling nicely into her apprenticeship at Worcester Cathedral. “She has all the enthusiasm and passion for the job that we were looking for,” said head stonemason Darren Steele. The 26-year-old won the apprenticeship against a huge demand for the job. “I love the cathedral,” she said. “It’s such a great place and there’s so much to learn, and I’m so grateful to the Freemasons for making it possible.”

The Royal Arch Chapters within the Province continue to give generously to the 2013 Bi-Centenary Appeal on behalf of the Royal College of Surgeons. The appeal will continue until September and will culminate in two celebratory events in London on 16th October. The first, in the morning, will be a Presentation by the Grand Stewards Chapter in Grand Lodge followed by lunch in the Connaught Rooms and then, in the afternoon, The First Grand Principal, HRH The Duke of Kent, will preside at a Convocation of Supreme Grand Chapter followed by a dinner at the Savoy Hotel. Within the Province, The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, Excellent Companion Colin P . T. Brown, and his Executive Team continue their task in seeking to encourage Master Masons to complete their journey through Ancient Freemasonry by joining the Holy Royal Arch, given that in the Book of Constitutions it quite clearly states: “There are but three degrees in Ancient Freemasonry,

Big events to mark 200 years
ROYAL ARCH REPORT
those of the Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason including the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch.” As further encouragement, the Deputy Grand Superintendent, Excellent Companion Geoffrey R. Weston, and the Provincial Presentation Team continue to visit lodge rooms in the Province to present “Why join the Holy Royal Arch” to Master Masons. Such presentations normally follow a Chapter Meeting so that Master Masons can become familiar with the layout of the Chapter Room. Two such presentations have recently taken place at Kings Heath. It is interesting to note that of those Master Masons who attend, 80% then seek to join the Order. All
David J. Bell

Companions are therefore encouraged to invite a Master Mason to one of these events. The Appointments and Promotions Committee sat in November, and those Companions selected are now aware of their appointment or promotion, which will be conferred at the Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Chapter on Saturday 13th April in the Avon Room at the University of Birmingham. This meeting will also see the Installation of the new Third Provincial Grand Principal, Excellent Companion David J Bell, PPrGSN, well known throughout the Province as a former Provincial Craft Director of Ceremonies.

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How Edith came to the rescue
Members of Bromsgrove Lodge No 5414 are celebrating the 50th anniversary of their meeting hall in the town – thanks to an amazing gesture made by a brother’s widow 55 years ago. For many years after the war the brethren had dreams of having a home of their own. When the lodge was formed in 1933 they met at the premises of one of their members, Bro W H de Grey. Then in 1940 they moved to St John’s Church parish hall, but more and more they grew restless and in 1947 held a special meeting and a serious attempt to build a new hall was determined.

50 Years of golf
The Worcestershire Masonic Golfing Society is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year with a special charity event in aid of the children’s Acorns Trust. It will take place at Kings Norton Golf Club on July 9 and is open to all – Masons, non-Masons and ladies – and will be followed by a splendid dinner, prizegiving, and entertainment. “It’s going to be a wonderful golfing occasion,” said secretary Paul Battle. “It is limited to 26 teams of four, so I urge people to get in touch with me as soon as possible.” The society will also be holding its usual highly enjoyable matches against five neighbouring provinces and if you’re not a member already you’re missing a treat. Paul Battle will be delighted to hear from potential new members on 0121 445 1981.

Obstacles
Suitable land was found in Kidderminster Road and by 1948 they had obtained building permission but there were severe obstacles in the way, not least the amount they had in the building fund. By 1953 the projected cost

of the hall was £9,926. Total assets were £1,202 11s 11d! Then came another blow. The site on Birmingham Road was reclassified as parkland but fortunately another was available in Churchfields. But still there was the financial mountain to climb. Then came a dramatic change in fortunes. Out of the blue, Mrs Edith Poole, widow of former prominent member Arthur Poole, offered the brethren a £6,000 gift! This was as a direct result of the lodge’s policy of keeping in close contact with the widows. W Bro Wilf Webster was paying her a visit to ensure she was being looked after when she asked him to help her to put into effect a bequest from the late Arthur to create a new ward at a Bristol hospital. The cost proved to be far in excess of the funds available and W Bro Webster tactfully suggested that the building of the Bromsgrove Lodge Masonic Hall was a suitable alternative. She gladly agreed
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...And 75 years at Kings Heath
By W Bro Jonathan Whittaker Anniversary Chairman Kings Heath Masonic Hall is of Provincial Grand Lodge now the home to 91 Masonic Officers, including the PGM, Units and a significant R W Bro Richard Goddard Midlands meeting place, and Dep PGM, VWBro Robert having been consecrated in Vaughan, himself a member 1937 by R W Bro Gen Francis of the Lodge of St George. The Davies. Lord Mayor of Birmingham, The evening to celebrate its W Bro Councillor John Lines, 75th anniversary took place was also in attendance. on Monday 10 September To give the evening some with just over 100 Masons relevance in the world of seated in Lodge Room No 1. today, W Bro David Rice, the After the opening by Wythall Charity Steward of Moseley Lodge members, and the Lodge No 5224 made the reading of the dispensation Charity Appeal. to hold an extra meeting, Presentation a number of papers were delivered by representatives David was suitably dressed of the Lodges who either as a member of Solihull moved there from Institute ‘Fas+Aid’ (the Medical Road and were first to use the Emergency Community rooms, or by Lodges newly Responder Scheme) and consecrated there. gave us a fascinating Two presentations were insight into his role in the given by the Hall Secretary, organisation and why it was W Bro Jim Coxon, covering in need of charitable funding the early days and then a from within the community it more recent history of events. serves. Presentations by the Lodges Additionally, ‘Fas+Aid’ have of Masefield, Lechmere been providing defibrillator Volunteers, Wythall, training. A presentation of Coronation (unfortunately, two cheques totalling £1,400 now closed) and St George from the PGM and the were all well received. collection of £591 gave him a These were followed by very worthwhile return for his Pattison-Hughes, who efforts! took over the catering in In his Preface to the 75th 1958. Then there was a Anniversary Booklet, which compendium presentation supported the evening, the from the Stechford Lodges, PGM wrote: “I encourage who arrived in 2011. The you to use this document as honour of being ‘Tail end a vehicle for information and Charlie’ was given to W Bro entertainment”. The booklet Derek Owen of Kings Heath is still available, in a highly Worcestershire Associated illustrated colour 24 page Masonic Lodges. A4 format. If you would like Pre-dinner drinks and a one please ring or splendid dinner were graced e-mail me on: 0121 745 1469 by the presence, in depth, j.f.w@btinternet.com

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Why everybody pitched in...
The heart-rending story of a boy’s long battle against cancer was the subject of the charity collection when Bro Dean Finley, WM of Moseley Lodge 5224, and his wife Liz, held their Ladies Night. Brethren, their ladies, and guests gave freely. Even the band returned their fee, and the result was that a total of £3,000 was shared between Wards 10 and 15 at Birmingham Children’s Hospital where young Max Loxley, son of a close friend of Dean’s, has received fantastic care during nearly two years of major operations. The story started in April 2011 when Max, then aged 12, was diagnosed with a brain tumour and his and his family’s world was upside down. In May 2011 he had his first operation, which was 11 hours long, to remove some of the tumour, and then in April 2012 he had a further operation to remove some more. Max then underwent another 12 hour operation in August and then another six smaller operations, and so the fight continues.
David Rice, Charity Steward; Max; and Dean Finley, WM.

“If you’ve never attended a St. David’s Day meeting of Cyfrinfa Dewi Sant No. 9135 (the Lodge of St. David, you’ve missed an evening to remember,” says W Bro Graeme Collins, their WM. He adds: “The uniquely enjoyable Welsh flavour, and
meeting at Bromsgrove)

Welsh treat
our interactive singing extravaganza, will leave you wanting to return.” Their festival this year falls on Friday, 22 February. If you would like to attend, contact Graeme Collins 01562 741777

or graeme_collins@hotmail.co.uk

Bromsgrove celebrates
from page 10

and, to speed the project up, she increased her offer from £6,000 to £10,505. By 1961 the building was complete and in the following February the Bromsgrove Lodge held their first meeting there. The dream had come true. Now the centre is thriving with five Craft lodges and many other Orders meeting there. And, to commemorate that marvellous gesture, it is named The Edith & Arthur Poole Memorial Hall.

I am grateful to W Bro Peter Roberson, chairman of the Bromsgrove Masonic Hall Buildings Committee, for the story of how the hall was built. Editor.

New PrSGW
A prominent Worcestershire mason, W Bro Peter Manning, has been selected as the new Provincial Senior Grand Warden of Warwickshire. Bro Manning was a founder member of Morgan Lodge No. 9816 in 2006 and was WM two years later. The new PJGW is John Harris. They will take up their posts at the Warwickshire AGM in May.

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Sons are now his brothers!
The average age of Morgan Lodge, 9816, at Malvern came down with a bump when brothers Mark and Sean Penney were initiated. Mark was 21 and Sean 18. Eighteen? Well, yes. When their father, Andre, proposed them, a special dispensation was sought and approved for Sean, making him one of the youngest Masons in the Province. Andre, of course, is thrilled that his sons should want to follow in his Masonic footsteps. “They are both very keen,” he said, “and I think they will both become very good ritualists. But first the two lads have more pressing learning to do, Sean studying IT at Worcester University, and Mark tackling sports science at college.

The lads were initiated by the WM, W Bro Brian Whittingslow and their cousin, Sebastian Penney, presented the working tools. Morgan Lodge is unique in the Province. It was formed in Malvern – home of the Morgan Motor Company - in 2006, and meets only in March, June, and September. Its members are generally self-confessed “petrol heads” with a love for Morgan cars, or any other racy motors. The idea for the lodge came from Andre’s brother, Delmund, and he and Andre were both founders. Sadly, Delmund, then a lively presence in Worcestershire Freemasonry, has since died. Andre, PPrGStB, was Master of the lodge in 2006 and is now Assistant Secretary.

Andre Penney with sons Mark and Sean

Fun at the Fayre
The Ladies Gift Fund celebrated 60 years of fundraising for Masonic charities with its 2012 Christmas Fayre.. It was a bumper success with over £5,000 in takings as Masons from the Provinces of Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Staffordshire, with their families and friends, flocked to the Clarendon Suite, Birmingham. The Fayre was graced with the presence of the RW Assistant Grand Master, David K Williamson - who opened the proceedings - and his wife Margaret. Ladies and brethren, staffing tables piled high with jewellery, toys, crockery, cakes and goodness knows what else, were rushed off their feet as the cash rolled merrily in. After expenses, around £4,900 will be added to other money raised during the year and shared between the three Provinces and The Masonic Samaritan Fund. The next event, with the presentation of cheques, is the annual Spring Lunch on Sunday, 24 March at Kings Heath Masonic Hall. All those who knew her were saddened at the death last October of Barbara Irene Davies, a leading worker for the Ladies Gift Fund for 32 years.

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APPEAL 2011

Published by the Provincial Grand Lodge of Worcestershire, 94 Birmingham Road, Bromsgrove B61 ODF. Editor Peter Ricketts 01562 630794. E-mail – p.ricketts@blueyonder.co.uk. Information Officer and Source Advertising Manager Ed Baker – 87979 757074. E-mail –pio@ed-baker.com To place an advertisement or for information, and to send in reports, contact Ed Baker.

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