Celebrating 300 years

RW Bro David Hagger, Provincial Grand Masterfor Leicestershire and Rutland Freemasons, visited the headquarters of Lifelites on Wednesday 15th December 2016 for a demonstration of some of the equipment that is provided by the charity to children’s hospices

Lifelites began as project within the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys and became an independent charity in 2006. It provides specialist entertainment, educational and assistive technology packages to over 9,000 children and young people with life-limiting, life-threatening and disabling conditions in children's hospices including Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People based in Loughborough. 

Caroline Powell, Lifelites Training Manager, drives the Lifelites' training strategy to ensure all of the donated equipment is utilised to its full potential by hospice staff was delighted to demonstrate some of the equipment including Eyegaze which makes a computer accessible for disabled young people. Through a sensor, Eyegaze allows them to track their eye movements enabling them to move the cursor around the screen. Children whose carers and families thought they were unable to communicate, can now do so with this magical technology – they can tell their carers what they would like to eat or drink and can even, for the first time, tell their parents that they love them.

Simone Enefer-Doy, Chief Executive of Lifelites said: 'We are hoping to provide Rainbows in Leicestershire with another new package of our latest technologies in 2018 and will be fundraising for that project in the New Year.'

Published in Lifelites

The annual carol service attended by Freemasons of the Province of Leicestershire and Rutland was held at Leicester Cathedral on Sunday 11th December 2016

The Rev Canon Johannes Arens, Canon Precentor welcomed over 200 members and their family and friends to the cathedral for the service, including the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro David Hagger, Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VW Bro Jim Buckle and Assistant Provincial Grand Master, VW Bro Peter Kinder.

The congregation were supported in singing carols by the Senior Trebles and Songmen of the Cathedral Choir and accompanied by the Cathedral Organist, Simon Headley. Carols sung included ‘O Come, O Come, Emmanuel’, ‘Long Ago, Prophets Knew’, ‘It Came Upon the Midnight Clear’, ‘See Amid the Winter's Snow’, ‘O Come, All Ye Faithful’ and ‘Hark! the Herald Angels Sing’.

Lessons were read by W Bro Ian Hammond, Master of the Howe and Charnwood Lodge No. 1007, W Bro Kelvin Johnson, Provincial Grand Secretary, W Bro Paul Roberts, Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, the Provincial Grand Master, Deputy Provincial Grand Master and Assistant Provincial Grand Master. The sermon was given by the Rev Canon Jeff Hopewell.

After the service, wine and mince pies, provided by the Province, were served in the cathedral by members of the Derek Buswell Lodge of Provincial Grand Stewards No. 9705.

Saskatchewan visit

During the summer of 2016, W Bro Shusheel Kumar of the Lodge of Welcome No. 5664, which meets in Leicester, attended the 110th Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Saskatchewan, which was held in Regina, Canada.

During the visit, W Bro Shusheel presented to the MW Grand Master an excellently designed booklet of the first 75 years of history of the Lodge of Welcome. He also presented an ornately engraved firing glass of the lodge, and a book titled The Language of the Ritual by W Bro Robert D.T. Sillett PJGD, the Prestonian Lecturer of 2008. These were well received by the MW Grand Master and the brethren.

In return, W Bro Shusheel was presented with a personal lapel pin by MW Bro Dave Polachek.

The spirit of brotherhood from one side of the Atlantic to the other shone throughout on this most enjoyable occasion.

Published in International

Remembering the fallen

For the first time in living memory, Leicestershire and Rutland Freemasons attended the annual Remembrance Day service in Leicester in order to pay their respects and to lay a wreath to the fallen.

The Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro David Hagger, the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, VW Bro Peter Kinder together with other Provincial Officers and their wives and partners attended the service at Victoria Park on Sunday 13th November 2016. They joined thousands of military veterans, local civic dignitaries and members of the public.

The service was led by the Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Rev Martyn Snow. During the service, maroons marked the two-minute silence between 11am and 11.02am.

Wreath-laying was led by the Lord Mayor of Leicester Cllr Stephen Corrall and Deputy Lt Col Richard Hurwood. The Provincial Grand Master was also invited to lay a wreath, on behalf of the Leicestershire and Rutland Freemasons, at the war memorial to honour those who lost their lives during active service.

The Provincial Grand Master said: 'During the Great War, we had over 160 brethren serve, of which seven died. In the Second World War, five brethren also lost their lives.'

He continued: 'It was therefore a great honour to lay a wreath on behalf of the Leicestershire and Rutland Freemasons honouring the brethren and all those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.'

The inaugural match of the Light Blues Rugby Football Club (LBRFC), recently formed by Leicestershire and Rutland Freemasons, was held on Saturday 29th October 2016

The Light Blues played host club Vipers RFC at their ground in Whetstone, Leicester as a thank you for proposing them to the Leicestershire Rugby Union and allowing the use of their facilities for future fixtures.

The Light Blues were first to score with a try from Bro Jordan Owen-Clegg of Hastings Lodge No. 8695 and the extra points converted by Bro Mark Edwards from Beacon Lodge No. 5208 who kicked all three conversions with stylish ease. At half time LBRFC were a converted try up, a flurry of activity straight after half time saw the Vipers strike back to level the score. The game was played in a fine spirit and the final score of 40-21 to Vipers did not reflect the balance of the match, a few younger backs came to the fore in the final few minutes to inflate the lead further.

Bro Samuel Harris of the Lodge of the Golden Fleece No. 2081 and Chairman of the LBRFC said: 'It was a great day and the culmination of a lot of hard work by the committee. Thank you to all those who came to support and provide banter from the touchline.'

 

The Rutland Lodge No. 1130, which meets at Freemasons’ Hall, Melton Mowbray, celebrated its 150th anniversary on Thursday 6th October 2016

The Sesquicentennial Festival was held at the regular meeting of the lodge who were honoured to receive the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro David Hagger, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VW Bro Jim Buckle, and the rest of the Provincial Officers. 

In total over 90 brethren were in attendance to witness this relatively unique occasion which has seen only five other lodges in the Province of Leicestershire and Rutland celebrate this milestone.

After the lodge was opened the Master offered the gavel to the Provincial Grand Master who on this occasion willingly accepted it. The Master read the Warrant and the Centenary Warrant of the lodge before W Bro Keith Harkness gave a thoroughly absorbing talk on the Highlights from the History of the Lodge.

The Rutland Lodge No. 1130 was consecrated on the 19th October 1866 at the George Hotel, Melton Mowbray by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master W Bro William Kelly. The lodge was named after His Grace the Duke of Rutland, the cousin of the first Master Bro George Norman, Squire of Goadby Marwood. The lodge was given permission by the Duke of Rutland to use the arms of the Duke on the lodge banner. 

In the days before street lighting, the lodge originally met on days of the full moon to enable the members to find their way home by light of the moon but now meets 8 times a year on the first Thursday evening in the months between October and May. The lodge met at the George Hotel for 44 years and then subsequently met at the Colles Hall, Burton Street, Young Men’s Institute Hall in Market Place, Egerton Lodge, the Corn Exchange, and has met at its’ current home at Wicklow Lodge since 1951.

After the lodge meeting was closed, the Brethren enjoyed a wonderful Festive Board and were each generously presented with a hardbound copy of ‘The Sesquicentennial Festival 1866-2016’ which was compiled by W Bro Harkness and designed by W Bro Mike Rawson. 

The Provincial Grand Master said: 'The 150 years of this lodge, since its consecration in 1866, are ample proof of the dedication shown by the Brethren in Melton Mowbray to our great Order. As the lodge travels its masonic pathway, I’m sure the brethren will display that same devotion and dedication in the future. I, and the masonic Province of Leicestershire and Rutland, wish them well.'

The inaugural match of the Light Blues Rugby Football Club (LBRFC), recently formed by Leicestershire and Rutland Freemasons, was held on Saturday 29th October 2016

The Light Blues played host club Vipers RFC at their ground in Whetstone, Leicester as a thank you for proposing them to the Leicestershire Rugby Union and allowing the use of their facilities for future fixtures.

The Light Blues were first to score with a try from Bro Jordan Owen-Clegg of Hastings Lodge No. 8695 and the extra points converted by Bro Mark Edwards from Beacon Lodge No. 5208 who kicked all three conversions with stylish ease. At half time LBRFC were a converted try up, a flurry of activity straight after half time saw the Vipers strike back to level the score. The game was played in a fine spirit and the final score of 40-21 to Vipers did not reflect the balance of the match, a few younger backs came to the fore in the final few minutes to inflate the lead further.

Bro Samuel Harris of the Lodge of the Golden Fleece No. 2081 and Chairman of the LBRFC said: 'It was a great day and the culmination of a lot of hard work by the committee. Thank you to all those who came to support and provide banter from the touchline and in particular our sponsors Richard Ward Funeral Services and AP Keenan Building Services.'

The next game will be against Aylestone Athletic on the 10th December 2017 at Victoria Park, Leicester. Kick off will be at 2pm.

On Saturday 29th October 2016, the Provincial Grand Master of Leicestershire and Rutland, RW Bro David Hagger, along with Trustees of the Bradgate Park Trust marked the commencement of the first tree clearance for the reflection area of the Memorial Wood at Bradgate Park, Leicestershire

The Memorial Wood is being funded by Leicestershire and Rutland Freemasons along with United Grand Lodge of England to enhance a small woodland at the Park to create a tranquil and reflective space. This project is one of a number of projects in Leicestershire and Rutland that will be supported to mark the 300th anniversary of the formation of the Grand Lodge of England in 1717. 

The small woodland plantation is located opposite the Cropston Reservoir. Currently the woodland is fenced and inaccessible, but a new path into the heart of the space from the main carriageway will be suitable for all visitors. As part of the proposals the woodland will be fenced with traditional parkland deer fencing, new hedgerow planted and the wildlife value of the area enhanced, with new glades and trees planted. Natural paths within the woodland will allow people to explore the wood, whilst seating and a central feature will ensure there is an area for quiet reflection and remembrance. A centrepiece within the wood will consist of a seating area along with a sculpture of a stag.

Peter Tyldesley, Director of the Bradgate Park Trust said, 'We are regularly asked about opportunities for memorial trees and benches with plaques, but the nationally important landscape and heritage designations of the site means we cannot always accommodate these. This is a way that we can provide somewhere for our visitors to remember someone special, with a memorial plaque within a dedicated space. As a charity we are delighted to be working with the local Freemasons and also the United Grand Lodge of England.

'Their generous grants will support the physical work on the ground within the Site of Special Scientific Interest. It will also assist the charity in establishing a programme whereby people can purchase plaques within the Memorial Wood in recognition of the special nature of Bradgate Park to people throughout their lives. This will be available once the habitat improvements are completed in the autumn of 2017.'

The Provincial Grand Master of Leicestershire and Rutland, David Hagger said, 'We have worked with the Bradgate Park Trust in the past and this project is an important community initiative for our Tercentenary celebrations. Not only will conservation volunteers and our members be able to get involved in developing the project, working alongside the Bradgate Park Team, it will provide a lasting legacy of a special place where people can reflect on loved ones. Bradgate Park is close to the heart of local Freemasons, as Charles Bennion, Bradgate Park’s original Benefactor, was an eminent Leicestershire Freemason.'

The Memorial Wood will be officially opened on Thursday 5th October 2017 by the Pro Grand Master, RW Bro Peter Lowndes. 

A £2,000 donation by the Leicestershire and Rutland Freemasons will fund the wishes of two local children suffering from cancer

Wishes 4 Kids was launched 14 years ago and has already granted over five thousand wishes for Leicestershire children who are life limited, terminally ill, have experienced life-changing physical or emotional traumas, or have suffered major abuse.

The first child to have her wish granted is a seven year old girl who is being treated for bone cancer. She is fanatical about the Disney film Frozen. Russell said: 'Her greatest wish is to meet Elsa so she will be heading to Disneyland Paris with her family for three magical days and she will not only be meeting the princess but all the Disney princesses.'

The second child to have his wish granted will be a nine year old boy who is being treated for a brain tumour. Russell explained: 'As a Leicester City Football supporter, his greatest wish is to fly over the King Power stadium in a helicopter. We are trying very hard to persuade Leicester City to write his name in footballs on the pitch for when he goes over.'

Founder of Wishes 4 Kids, Russell Bricket, who is organising the wishes of the children said: 'We can’t do it without the help and fantastic support of the Freemasons who have been very supportive over the whole 14 years. This money will grant wishes of two children.'

He continued: 'From the bottom of our hearts, the deepest thank you goes to the Freemasons for their help and support. The biggest thank you is going to be from the two children whose wishes they’ve granted.'

The awards were made at a special event held at Freemasons’ Hall, Leicester on Saturday 10th September 2016 where £28,490 was donated which is in addition to the £800,000 already given in the past five years.

Children’s ward gets new nebulisers

Six nebulisers were presented by local Freemasons to the Children’s Ward at the Leicester Royal Infirmary via the Asthma Relief Charity by Leicestershire and Rutland PGM David Hagger.

Nebulisers convert liquid medication into aerosol droplets suitable for inhalation, using compressed air to enable patients to breathe more easily.

Each nebuliser will help 150 children over its six-year life. Members of Grey Friars Lodge, No. 6803, which meets in Leicester, also donated £1,400 to the Leicestershire Royal Infirmary Children and Young People’s Cancer Unit to provide play equipment and materials together with updating medical equipment.

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