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.
WBro Kenneth Hoare and his partner Nan travelled to London on 25th September and presented a cheque for £1574.40 the monies they had raised during his year as master to Bloodwise, the blood cancer charity.
Bloodwise are a UK charity who are researching to stop people dying from blood cancer, they make patients’ lives better, and look for ways to stop blood cancer happening in the first place.
Their mission is not to stop until every single person with blood cancer survives and no one dies from blood cancer again. 100% survival, nothing less.
If there are ways to prevent blood cancer, Bloodwise will find them. they are working hard to uncover how blood cancer works, so they can stop it happening.
The Patron of the charity is our very own Grand Master HRH The Duke of Kent.
Well done brethren and friends of the lodge for raising such a tremendous figure.