Freemasons and Charity
An interview with the DepGM, Johnathan Spence, and Les Hutchinson, CEO of the MCF, the Freemasons Charity.
Companions, for those of you who weren’t able attend the latest Solomon Live webinar, the link is now available to view. It is a brilliantly presented and informative interview giving some great insight into benevolence and charity and it encourages us to consider the big question of , “what do we mean by charity?”
Of particular interest are the discussions around what charity actually is and the use of charity as an enabler. The work of the MCF is really well explained and there are some fantastic examples of how the MCF has provided support, especially during the pandemic. This is further embellished by examples of how Freemasons have supported communities and organisations by working silently in the background, assisting with fundraising and giving their time, all of which has resulted in a huge increase in positive media engagement.
This episode of Solomon Live was especially engaging and, alongside the explanations of Masonic Festivals and the Freemasons Charity it also reminds you of the time that you stood in the North East Corner and causes you to quietly reflect on that charity is so much more than just the giving of money.
The link below will take you to all of the Solomon Live presentations and the next Solomon Live will be looking at “the perspective of Freemasonry from the outside in”
WBro Chris Hodgson – Provincial Communications Officer
Provincial Grand Scribe Ezra
Excellent Companion Chris was appointed as Grand Superintendent on 1st October 2020, but restrictions imposed because of the Covid-19 pandemic delayed his Installation until now.
With an Installation team from Supreme Grand Chapter being unable to attend, the Installing Officer was Excellent Companion Christopher J Pengelly, Grand Superintendent for Devonshire 2002 to 2010. Despite Government social distancing rules restricting the number able to attend, the ceremony was held with all the dignity and solemnity present in more regular Convocations.
Our new Grand Superintendent re-appointed Excellent Companions Paul Hughes and Stephen Joint as Second and Third Provincial Grand Principals and appointed Excellent Companion Gerald William Watson as his Deputy Grand Superintendent. The appointment of all the Provincial Officers appointed in November 2020 was re-affirmed and Excellent Companion Steven Shaw of Pleiades Chapter No.710 was invested as Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies.
Companion Mark Ormrod MBE swims for Veterans
Companions, we cannot fail to be impressed by our Brother and Companion, Mark Ormrod MBE, this morning (28th May 21)
I am sure that many of you are following Marks latest fund-raising challenge as he continues to raise money for veterans charity REORG. This morning Mark completed a 1000m open water swim in Plymouth, swimming to Drakes Island and back. In completing this latest challenge Mark hopes that his fundraising efforts for REORG will take him over £400,000. [At the time of writing the current total is just under £396,000]. You can support Mark via his Just Giving Page Mark Ormrod is fundraising for REORG (justgiving.com)
Mark is a member of The Royal Marines Lodge 9528 and also Unity Chapter 1247 and you can follow his story via his Webpage which includes links to Marks Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts and also to REORG. In completing this latest challenge Mark sends thanks to his coach, Ben, to The 3 Buoys Swim Team and to everyone that has supported him with everything that he has been doing.
Please see the below link will take you to a registration page for a Zoom interview with the Most Excellent 3rd Grand Principal, E.Comp. Gareth Jones to take place 8th June at 7.30pm, no doubt that it will be both interesting and informative. Registering is very simple and takes just a few seconds. I hope that it may also encourage Companions who have not yet used Solomon to create an account and to read some of the interesting nuggets and articles that are on the site.
E.Comp Chris Hodgson – Provincial Royal Arch Communications Officer
Companions, please download and read an update from E.Comp. Chris Roach, Deputy Grand Superintendent in Charge, regarding the resumption of our meetings.
So wonderful to see Devonshire Freemasonry represented at the funeral of HRH Prince Philip with Brethren of Per Mare Per Terram Lodge No. 9355 and Companions of Sir Joshua Reynolds Chapter No. 4782 in the bearer party. Well done Gentlemen!
Supreme Grand Chapter Appointments 2021
To all Supreme Grand Chapter Officers and Scribes Ezra of Devonshire Chapters
The Deputy Grand Superintendent in Charge is pleased to announce that the following Companions have been honoured by the M.E. First Grand Principal with Appointment to, or Promotion in, Supreme Grand Chapter: –
E. Comp M.R. Heskins Brent Chapter No. 1284 Past Grand Standard Bearer
E. Comp S.N. Wills Jordan Chapter No. 1402 Past Grand Standard Bearer
E. Comp W.F. Carnell Newton Chapter No. 6129 Past Assistant Grand Sojourner
E. Comp C.E. Summers Devon & Somerset Farmers No. 9250 Past Assistant Grand Sojourner
The Deputy Grand Superintendent in Charge would like to congratulate these Companions who have been rewarded for their continuing commitment to, and support of, the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch in Devonshire.
Yours sincerely and fraternally,
Tony Parker – Provincial Grand Scribe Ezra
Devons Freemasons inject volunteers to support the NHS.
As a result of the call for volunteers to support the NHS Vaccination Scheme which was made back in December, Freemasons and their families from all corners of Devon picked up their Hi-Viz jackets and reported for duty as soon as they knew where they were needed.
At Torbay RICC Leisure Centre where 10 local GP practices have gathered together to centralise the administering of the vaccine, all organised, planned and managed by a Freemasons daughter. More than a dozen Freemasons, some together with their partners are now in attendance, some as Car Park Marshalls outside, some as Indoor Marshalls and Administrators, one lucky Freemason has even found employment on the Torbay NHS Helplines, a great result for all concerned.
Similarly in Newton Abbot at Sherborne House, Holsworthy Medical Centre where they are now administering up to 2000 injections each day, at various centres in and around Plymouth, Budleigh Salterton, Exmouth and at Westpoint Exeter, Freemasons can be found carrying out whatever duties are required by their NHS organisers.
The Provincial Grand Master Ian Kingsbury JP. said from his home in Winkleigh, how proud he was to see members of his own organisation, some of whom are vulnerable themselves, prepared to give their time to such a worthy endeavour and he wished to add his personal thank you to each and every one of them who has so generously given up their time to help, not only the NHS who are administering the vaccinations but the elderly members of our community who are so vulnerable and desperately needed protection from this horrible virus. As we are all aware, the vaccination programme is going to be in operation for several months and Freemasonry is committed to be there supporting the NHS and their local communities for all the time required. In other parts of the country, in Essex, Hereford, Welling & Tunbridge Wells in Kent and Barry in Wales, Masonic Halls have opened their doors as vaccination centres with more hopefully to follow soon.
Social Media Team
The DGS-in-Charge E.Comp Chris Roach, is pleased to announce his Social Media team.
E.Comp. Steve Joint, the 3rd Provincial Grand Principal will lead the team and he will be assisted by E.Comp Martin Heskins (Provincial website) and E.Comp Nick Clemens (Provincial Communications Co-Ordinator ) who will also
run the Provinces Facebook and Twitter accounts.
They all look forward to hearing from all Companions of our Chapters to contribute to the profile of our Order both within the Province and beyond.
E.Comp Ronald John Wilfred Thompson of Davie Chapter No. 1135
100 years old on Tuesday 2nd February 2021 and 65 years a Royal Arch Mason ( 73 years a member of the craft). Ron was joined by one of his sons and daughter in law who travelled from Essex (with permission) on the Sunday to be with him to help open the many cards and presents from his family, his friends, his Lodge and Provincial Lodges, his Chapter and Provincial Chapter and including a letter from the Pro Grand Master and a call from the Provincial Grand Master RW Bro Ian Kingsbury and a message of well wishes from Her Majesty the Queen and he and his son and daughter in law shared a Devon cream tea and cake sent by his Craft Lodge.
Ron, originally a London Mason, was exalted into Pro Minimis Chapter No5180 (sponsored by Ron’s mother lodge of the same name) on the 26thJanuary 1956, a Companion of the Holy Royal Arch for 65years and still counting. He served as the First Principal of that Chapter in both 1963 and 1966 and from 1968 – 1987 Ron served as treasurer and during that time was made both London Grand Chapter Rank and Senior London Grand Chapter Rank.
Ron and his wife moved to North Devon in 1997 an area they both loved and Ron would visit Davie Chapter, but shortly after they decided to move to Essex to be closer to their family who had chosen to move there and Ron joined Le-Soken Chapter No2949 but within two years they had decided to move back to North Devon.
In 2000 Ron joined Davie Chapter No1135 and in 2005 served as First Principal and now also holds the rank of Past Provincial Grand Scribe Nehemiah for Devonshire and during those many years has been a very regular attender and supporter taking many offices “on the day”.
However in the last year, like so many of us Ron, who has now been a widower for several years, has had to isolate but has been supported in part by several members of the craft and chapter, and especially by one of our members and his wife. Ron has now had both vaccinations and we all look forward to receiving the same and being able to get back together and share some time with Ron.
A loyal, valued and much-loved member.
David Easton Scribe E Davie Chapter No1135.
An excellent account of what is possible during lockdown
Dear Companions of Torbay Chapter
It has been exactly a year since the last physical meeting of the Chapter, Wednesday 5th February 2020 to be exact.
Our forefathers during the last war found ways to hold meetings; prisoners of war, on pain of death, conducted ritual with carved wooden symbols, and carrying on in spite of personal hardships. Later generations are no different, we have the technology and we also will not be defeated in this regard. However, there’s no real substitute for meeting and pressing the flesh; that day will, hopefully, appear on the horizon very soon.
Our Christmas virtual meeting in December was extremely well attended (29) for this type of meeting. Not only were we blessed with members of St. Johns 328 and Pleiades 710 joining us, many of the Executive dropped in as well.
E. Comp. Alan Salsbury and his team presented an interesting lecture to round the evening off; incidentally, Alan has two other lectures and has kindly agreed to present one on a future occasion.
There is no zoom meeting planned for our ‘Business Meeting’ due on 3rd February. There will be a Zoom Meeting on 7th April, where we should by then start to plan for the future.
Scribe E – Torbay Chapter