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PROVINCIAL NEWSLETTER


An occasional newsletter for the information of the Brethren in the Province of Northumberland

Provincial Grand Lodge of Northumberland, Neville Hall, Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1SE
December 2008
 
 

Festival for the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys – 2009


The target £2.5 million: the total at the date of publication - £2.2m – 18 weeks left
Have you paid your £100 yet?

Reminder to all brethren:
ALL Standing Order Mandates must be sent to Provincial Office (either direct or via the Lodge Charity Steward) and not direct to the Bank/Building Society.
 
 

News from United Grand Lodge


Hospice services in Northumberland received an early Christmas present with the award of £10,537 to four local services by The Freemasons’ Grand Charity, an organisation that distributes money raised by Freemasons and their families to support people in need.
The grants will help ‘Central Palz’, ‘Hospice Care North Northumberland’, ‘Marie Curie Centre’ and ‘St Oswald’s Hospice’ to continue providing free physical, emotional, social and spiritual care to patients and their families.
 
The RMBI is organising its annual two week holiday in the pleasant resort of Sliema, Malta from Wednesday 11th to Wednesday 25th February 2009. The cost of sponsorship is £725 per person for couples and £850 for singles. The holiday benefits people, usually annuitants or recipients of the Grand Charity Masonic Relief Grant, who have not been able to afford to go on holiday for a number of years or who are nervous about going away on their own. If you know of anyone who might benefit from this opportunity and whom you would be willing to sponsor, or if you would like further information contact one of the following at the RMBI as soon as possible as places are limited
 Maggie Holloway Tel. 01428 608319 or Maria Dadomo Tel. 020 7596 2446, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   or write to them at RMBI Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ


The Provincial Grand Master’s Christmas and New Year Message


I anticipate that most of the Brethren will by now realise that it is not in my nature to spend too much time ruminating on what might have been, expressing regret at lost opportunities or bemoaning the allegedly halcyon days of freemasonry.     The past has been and gone and with the benefit of hindsight we can and will regard it with affection but if freemasonry is to prosper it is essential that together we look forward, identify areas of potential weakness and address any problems arising therefrom.   Individual grievances cannot and will not be allowed to subsume the welfare of a lodge: there really is no place for any “they and us” mentality.   “We” should all look ahead with enthusiasm and determination to meet the many challenges which will undoubtedly become manifest.
The Festival in aid of the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys continues to dominate my, and I hope all, our thoughts and actions.  I am delighted that we have already passed the £2m milestone and are almost half way to meeting the remaining £500,000.00 we need to achieve our target.  I am extremely grateful to all of those Brethren who have responded so positively to my request for an additional donation of £100.00 and remain optimistic that those who have yet to answer the call will do so well before the 5 April 2009, thereby receiving the approbation of the brethren and the testimony of a good conscience.
As we approach Christmas let us not forget its true message – peace on earth:  goodwill toward men.  It is, of course, traditionally a time for celebration and family but as we severally begin the rounds of turkey, plum pudding and over-enthusiastic carolling we ought not to forget those less fortunate than ourselves, those who may not have a meal to eat or friends whose company they can enjoy.  
I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and Festive season and express the hope that the coming year will bring each of you peace, prosperity and great happiness.
Peter Magnay – Provincial Grand Master

News from Provincial Grand Lodge


Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge
This year the Meeting was held on Thursday 13th November, with a new start time of 3.00pm and at a new venue, the Brandling Suite at Newcastle Racecourse. 510 brethren of the Province attended, 58 brethren received their appointments to Provincial Grand Rank and 58 received a promotion. 21 brethren were reappointed to active posts. 38 brethren submitted an apology.
The Provincial Grand Master welcomed guests comprising the Provincial Grand Masters and members of their teams from Durham, Yorkshire, North & East Ridings and Cumberland & Westmorland, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Yorkshire, West Riding, the Grand Secretary R.W.Bro.C.N.R.Brown the Provincial Grand Secretary of East Lancashire and 4 representatives of the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys including the President V.W.Bro. Mike Woodcock and the Chief Executive, W.Bro.Les Hutchinson, both of whom addressed the meeting on the work of the Trust. The Provincial Grand Master gave his Annual address, a copy of which has been posted on the Provincial website www.northumberlandmasons.org. If you attended the Annual Meeting and have any constructive comments regarding the new venue please forward to Provincial Office or email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Official Opening of the new Scarbrough Court
At 2.30 on the afternoon of Wednesday 17th September 2008 HRH Princess Alexandra, the Hon. Lady Ogilvy, KG, GCVO opened the new Scarbrough Court, Cramlington. Also in attendance was the Chief Executive of the RMBI David Innes together with our own Provincial Grand Master, Peter Magnay and senior members of the neighbouring Provinces of Durham and Cumberland & Westmorland.
Residents moved into the new building in June 2008.It is a 21st century care home designed with residents’ health and well being needs at the forefront, featuring the latest renewable energy technologies and the highest standards in health and safety. The new home continues to provide the same high level of care as the old Home, which was given three-star rating for excellence in care from the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI).

Help for Morpeth Flood Victims
The Freemasonry in the Community initiative played its part in assisting the victims of the recent Morpeth Floods. The Masons of Northumberland and Grand Charity donated a total of £10,000 and together with Morpeth Town Council, local business NPIL Pharmaceuticals and a last minute encore when HSBC bank matched the donations with £10,000 of its own, helped the organisers of the Morpeth Flood Victims Appeal, Morpeth Lions Club achieve its £100,000 target.

Donations help save lives at sea and keep the Great North Air Ambulance flying
On Wednesday 22nd October 2008 the Richard Henry Holmes Benevolent Fund, held its Annual Meeting at Neville Hall. All Lodge Almoners received an invitation to attend the meeting presided over by the Provincial Grand Master.
Representatives of the Great North Air Ambulance Service and the Tynemouth Station of the Royal National Lifeboat Institute were welcomed to the meeting.
The Provincial Grand Master presented cheques in the sum of £10,000 each from the Freemasons Grand Charity and the Freemasons of Northumberland to Mr David Stenhouse / Kevin Mole / Adrian Don representing the RNLI and to Barbara Walton / Ken Lavery representing the Northumberland Air Ambulance.

Social Events
Northumberland’s Masonic Social Committee (formally the NMCA Fund Raising Committee) was formed under the Chairmanship of the late W.Bro Ken Common. From 2002 to 2007 it was chaired by W.Bro Richard Summerbell. W.Bro David Watson is the current Chairman. He is supported by a Secretary and Treasurer, W.Bros Ian Coulthard and Peter Ridley, respectively. The Committee is responsible for organising social and fund raising activites including the sale of Christmas cards, various raffles and events including the Annual Provincial Ball. Since 2003 the numerous events and activities organised by the committee have raised over £30,000 for the NMCA. The Committee would like to express their grateful thanks to all those who have participated in the past and hope they can rely on brethrens continued support in the future. The Committee arrange five regular events  each year for details and booking information visit the website at:

A Family Affair
In the last few months Perfect Ashlar Lodge No.7966 at Morpeth have initiated two brothers Mark and Ian Beecroft. The Master who officiated at the two ceremonies was a very proud father; his name W.Bro. Frank Beecroft.

Northumberland Masonic Football Club
Despite losing an exciting match 5-3 last May to our Durham brethren for the Ken Common Trophy our soccer veterans did us proud. Support from Lodges (£25) and individual Brethren has so far realised £1300. A response from many Lodges is still awaited. Brian Bradley of 15 Cleasby Gardens, Low Fell, Gateshead, NE9 5HL will be delighted to receive your donation.

Masonic Hall, Maple Terrace, Newcastle upon Tyne – facts not fiction
To counteract the regrettable and wholly inaccurate rumours being mischievously circulated about Maple Terrace Masonic Hall, take note...it is not closing...there are no financial difficulties...new kitchen equipment has just been fitted...a new staircase installed...the bar recently redecorated with a new floor...plans for redecoration of the dining hall are in hand...and there is no change to the warm welcome and excellent food.

Date for Diary
The Annual Convocation of Provincial Grand Chapter will be held at St Jame’s Park, Newcastle upon Tyne on Wednesday 15th April 2009

Side Order News
Rose Croix - A New Inspector General for Northumberland

Congratulations go to Very Illustrious Brother Michael Daws 33° who was recently installed as the Inspector General for Northumberland by the Sovereign Grand Commander, Most Puissant Bro.G.L.Tedder 33° and Officers of Supreme Council. The ceremony took place on Thursday 6th November at Freemasons Hall, Corbridge Road, Byker and was hosted by, St Oswald Chapter Rose Croix No.300.
The occasion was graced by the presence of the retiring Inspector General Very Ill.Bro.George Newton Fletcher TD and our thanks go to him for his leadership and wise counsel over nearly two decades. We wish him well in his retirement.