News update from Melanie, the chair of the PTA at Wickhambreaux School, by WB Tony Eldridge.
She is pleased to report that just before lockdown, she, contractors and parents put our donations to very good use and she has now sent several photos.
They have now completed 80% of the planned work. And in addition to replacing the (condemned as unsafe) playground safe/soft surface, and climbing frame & activity house, they have also been able to acquire an ergonomic den, a unique nature play hideaway.
Our donation has also enabled them to buy storage units for the back and the front of the school, to enable the children to look after and access their toys. These new tidied areas have inspired the parents to donate wooden palettes so that on these palettes creative parents could make things like Lego boards for the children to use outdoors and ‘outdoor music making areas’.
This has been a big project for our Lodge 31. Moved by their story, we gave them £6000 with an additional contribution of £250 from the Masonic Cornwallis Trust.
We are now looking forward to when things eventually get back to normal, to an on-site celebration with PTA members and staff!
Letter from Neil H. Johnstone – Provincial Grand Master – East Kent.
It is with great personal regret that I write to you now to reiterate the communication from the Most Worshipful the Grand Master, issued at midday today (17th March 2020), that all Lodge meeting under the United Grand Lodge of England are suspended with immediate effect for a period of four months.
This includes Lodges of Instruction, Committee meetings and I have extended the suspension to all Masonic social activities within the Province.
This causes me, and I know all of you, enormous disappointment. How we proceed at the end of the suspension period is yet to be clarified but you will be advised at the earliest opportunity.
The primary responsibility we all now share is the welfare of our Brethren, and their families. Whilst it is in normal circumstance the Almoners role, in this current situation, we are all Almoners. We must all share that responsibility and be aware of and react to the needs of our Lodge members particularly those who we know are more vulnerable. Unfortunately personal visits are precluded, but phone calls, email or any other form of communication, I am sure, will be welcomed by the recipient.
This is the opportunity for the true spirit of Freemasonry to shine through and I have no doubt that you will all continue to support your Lodge and Brethren in these troubling times.
Neil H. Johnstone
Provincial Grand Master/
We at the lodge have been very fortunate to attract 4 new initiates this year – all have been made Entered Apprentices and are keen to further their masonic knowledge by attending Lodges of Instruction and rehearsal.
From left to right:
Bro Richardson, Bro Murphy, WM Peter Swinbourne, Bro Blythe, Bro Burton
The Worshipful Master WB Peter Swinbourne has been ably assisted in the ceremonies by WB Adrian Keep, WB Ray Hubbard and WB Tony Eldridge – plus the rest of the floor officers.
Well done to everyone – we are planning another initiate for September!
Worshipful Brother Gerald Lee presents Worshipful Brother Pat Todd with a cheque for £500 to go towards supporting the Masonic Fishing Charity.
“The Masonic Fishing Charity’s aim is to bring an interactive fishing and countryside experience to people with special needs”.
It achieves this by running fishing events, both coarse and fly and inviting participants with special needs to come and join in. This includes anyone over 11 with mental or physical disabilities, the disadvantaged or those who have suffered trauma.
We hope to ‘Catch The Smile’ along the way.
The Charity provides:
A fisherman or helper for every participant usually on a one-to-one basis.
Lunch is provided for all participants, helpers and fishermen and usually consists of barbecued burgers, sausages and maybe some fresh trout at fly fishing events!
A ‘Certificate of Achievement’ for all participants.
Medals for Biggest Fish, Best Caster, Best Retriever etc., are also often awarded.
Participating organisations or individuals are provided with Risk Assessments and Health & Safety Instructions
Health and safety instruction is given to all helpers and fishermen.
Some game fish caught may be kept by the participants.
Worshipful Master, W Bro Ian Gilmour (R) and Lodge Charity Steward, W Bro Revd Grahame Whittlesea (C), accompanying W Bro Tony Eldridge (L) who proposed a donation of £1000 to Cardiac Risk in the Young, seconded by Bro David Ball, in memory of Tonbridge Angels U-18 Footballer, Jack Maddams who died in his sleep, aged 17, and much respected senior past master W Bro Philippe Lacamp who died of a sudden heart attack at the end of 2018.
Our donation will go towards screening programmes for young people in East Kent. Every week in the UK at least 12 young people die of undiagnosed heart conditions.
CRY supports young people diagnosed with potentially life-threatening cardiac conditions and offers bereavement support to families affected. Roger Maddams, Jack’s father, who works hard to promote the work of CRY said: “of the 100 or so screened locally earlier this year, 10 were referred for further examination so that something can be done about whatever strand of heart condition is at question.”
The Lodge is proud to support this work and appreciated receiving letters of thanks from Roger Maddams, and CRY Chief Executive Dr Steven Cox.
In May the Association of Atholl Lodges helped to organise an event to celebrate the history of the six Atholl Lodges within in Kent, the Garden of England County.
It was hosted by United Industrious Lodge No.31 at the Canterbury Masonic Centre in the heart of the city. The Association were honoured by the presence of W. Bro Mark Bassant AGM in the Province of East Kent and W. Bro Mark Eyles-Thomas DPGM in the Province of West Kent.
We were also honoured by the presence of many Grand and Provincial Officers and welcomed representatives and visitors from each of the six Kent Atholl Lodges. The Association Banner Party ceremonially paraded into the Lodge dressed in traditional tricorn hats and white bibs and the Banner was presented to the Worshipful Master.
During the meeting an address was given by the Association Chairman W.Bro. Geoffrey Abraham, on the history of Atholl Lodges followed by the Worshipful Master receiving an engraved Association gavel.
Then followed the presentation of a cheque from the Association to the Kent Library & Museum of Freemasonry, this was to mark their new temporary exhibition showcasing Atholl Freemasonry in Kent.
The evening was completed with a splendid Festive Board.