W.Bro Bill Crawford, PPGReg. Rockley Abbey Lodge was recently 're appointed as President of the Yorkshire Swimming Association for 2021. He was appointed as President for 2020 but the covid epidemic curtailed his duties for that year. Hopefully 2021 will be more productive in what will the Olympic year.
Barbara and I have been (and still are) volunteering as marshals at our local vaccination centre in Wath on Dearne.
We started before Christmas with the 85+ group and have worked our way through the 65+ and vulnerable. We have now been warned that in March we have not only the first groups for their second shots but waves to take us down to the 50+ so we shall be busy.
Rockingham Lodge has a regular Zoom chat so we keep in touch and the almoner rings round as well. We have sponsored two grants for the Wath Community Food Bank. The first to help keep the Montgomery Hall running and buy food, the second for Christmas Hampers both thankfully received.
Swinton Masonic Hall now has air conditioning in the dining room, we just need to be able to use it!
Students from a Sheffield school will now be able to keep up with their studies thanks to City Freemasons.
Thanks to a legacy bequeathed to Ivanhoe Lodge by one of its former Masters and his sister, Percy and Mary Parramore, 22 DELL laptop computers have been donated to High Storrs School.
These will now be distributed to students who have restricted access to IT in their homes, ensuring that they do not fall behind with their tuition as the Covid-19 lockdown continues.
High Storrs School is a mixed secondary school and sixth form college with academy status, located on the south-western outskirts of Sheffield.
Over the last five years, trustees of the Parramore Estate have provided much-needed financial support to a number of charities in and around Sheffield. Last year, it gave £20,000 to Support Dogs, which will pay for the two-year specialised training of a Labrador named Ivanhoe, who will ultimately assist an autistic youngster in the Sheffield Region.
The laptop computers were presented to Deputy Head Teacher, Christine Gott, by the Lodge’s Master, Geoffrey Flavell.
Mr Flavell said: “One of the three great pillars of Freemasonry is founded in charity, and, thanks to the estate of the late Percy Parramore and his sister, Mary, Ivanhoe Lodge has been able to support a number of local organisations.
“I’m delighted to say the last of the estate’s funds have been used to purchase 22 laptop computers for needy students attending High Storrs School, who are currently having to do their lessons at home.
“This technology will be massively supportive and will ensure that they are able to keep up with their studies until such time as they can return to their classrooms.
“Thanks to Percy, a well-respected, well-liked and highly-valued Past Master of Ivanhoe Lodge, together with his sister Mary, Ivanhoe Lodge has been able to provide financial assistance to some fantastic Sheffield organisations - the good news is that their legacy will live on for many years to come.”
John Clague, Ivanhoe Lodge member and Parramore Estate trustee, said: “Percy and Mary Parramore lived on Trap Lane, Bents Green, Sheffield, for most of their lives, which is within a stone’s throw of High Storrs School, hence this very fitting final contribution from their estate.
“The pair were life-long supporters of local charities, especially those associated with Freemasonry and Scouting, and when we were asked to administer the estate, we set ourselves a five years’ timescale, which we have now achieved.
“We shall be forever grateful to Percy and Mary for their generosity and trust they would be well satisfied in not only how we have managed their estate, but in the choice of those who will most benefit from it.”
During the Second World War, Percy Parramore was captured as a prisoner of war and detained at various internment camps across Europe.
During his internment, he managed to study for a City and Guilds qualification in Electrical Installation and became Editor of the camp magazine - indications of a gregarious and determined individual even under the most awful of circumstances.
Most unusually, and in order to supervise the printing of this magazine, he was occasionally allowed out of the camp. Returning home to Sheffield, he joined Ivanhoe Lodge, and also became heavily involved in the Scouting Movement in Sheffield. Mary was a French teacher and taught for some time in Paris.
From W Bro. Barry Pearson, Moorland Lodge No. 6591
Wednesday 3rd May 1989 - Bro. Michael James Hawke was installed in King Solomon's Chair and became Master of Moorland Lodge No. 6591. The Lodge was honoured by 93 visitors representing 56 Lodges.
The Installation of Bro. Michael James Hawke will long be remembered as the 'Candlelight Installation' because halfway through the ceremony, the lights covering the hall's main body fused.
The incident caused quite a stir but after delaying the ceremony for ten minutes the Director of Ceremonies W. Bro. Lawrence Bellhouse discovered that a repair of the fuses would take at least thirty minutes and decided to proceed with the ceremony with reduced lighting; the Lodge room floor was lit from the light on each of the three chairs and the Secretary's and Master's lecterns.
Brethren with high ranking posts within the Yorkshire Electricity Board and Central Electricity Generating Board offered their services to effect the repair, but to the surprise of the brethren present were unable immediately to remedy the situation. They were obviously too well qualified to deal with such a minor problem as a blown fuse.
In their defence, the fault could possibly be put down to an antiquated electricity installation. Whatever the reason, the incident led to the ceremony being a memorable one, the Installing Master, W Bro. Tillotson commented: "Our members who were Electricians were speculative as opposed to operative."
Historical Treasure Trove! Former Chapter of Sincerity Secretary, John Watson, with some of the records dating as far back as 1854
Historical records from a Bradford Masonic order are giving a fascinating insight into the German heritage of its early membership. Included with items of regalia including aprons, robes, banners, collars and certificates from the now closed Chapter of Sincerity - which was consecrated in 1854 and initially met at The Literary Institute, on Darley Street - were detailed minute books and financial ledgers. The records reveal that a good number of those who founded the Chapter were German, or from Germanic decent, who came to Bradford to work in the city’s burgeoning cloth and textiles industry. The Founder and First Principal was Joseph Arnold Unna, who is recorded as taking a great interest in local trade and charitable organisations. Born in Hamburg in 1800, he came to Leeds in 1836, and then to Bradford in 1844, to take charge of the local branch of a Manchester merchanting house, Messrs SL Behrens & Co.
In the second quarter of the 19th Century, when Bradford was extending in leaps and bounds both in size and population, Germans settled in Bradford to merchant the wool and cotton goods manufactured in the district. A local directory of 1853 counts more than 50 German Merchanting Houses in the city. The number of Freemasons in Bradford increased considerably by a large influx of members of German extraction, with ceremonies and conversations performed and carried on in a mixture of English and German. Other founders named in the Chapter of Sincerity’s first minutes include Hermann Neumann, Salomon Bardsdorf, Michael Schonfeld, Ferdinand Spiro and John Grupper. Early members listed include Julius Wolffsohn, Isidor Ahrens, Anton Engelmann, Moritz Rothenstein, John Ludwig Siltzer and Charles Unna. Whilst there was a break in meetings of the Chapter from March 7, 1867 until April 6, 1871, the Franco-German War, which began in 1870, not only saw a boom in the export of cloth to the continent, it coincided with a marked increase in Masonic activity. Four new members were ‘exalted’ (initiated) into the Chapter of Sincerity in April 1871, with a further four proposed for membership at the same meeting.
Following on from its consecration 167 years ago, the Chapter met at various locations apart from The Literary Institute. These were The Connaught Rooms, Spring Bank Place off Manningham Lane, and finally from December 2015 until its closure last October, Pudsey Masonic Hall. Whilst the minute books detail the events of each Chapter meeting - namely the ceremonies conducted and who attended them - the itemised bills specify the food and drink purchased for the ‘Festive Board’ - the meal traditionally held after each meeting. At one occasion, which took place on November 21, 1888, at the Alexandra Hotel, on Great Horton Road, the Chapter racked up a bill of five pounds and four shillings for 13 bottles of whiskey, a bottle of sherry, a bottle of brandy and cigars.
On October 2, 1894, the ‘supper’ order included 21-and-three-quarter pounds of mutton leg and beef crop, a scalded calf’s head, four pounds of cheese, two stone of potatoes, four cauliflowers, one butter and three dozen dinner buns. Also on the list was the loan of four plants and the purchase of cut flowers.
Ahead of another meeting on September 18, 1899, the Chapter purchased six bottles of Glenlivet whisky, six bottles of Irish whiskey, two bottles of gin and 72 bottles of Bass ale from Gladstone and Conghar wine and spirit merchants.
John Watson, who joined the Chapter of Sincerity in 1997, said: “The Chapter minute books give a fascinating insight into its first meetings and the Masons who helped found it back in 1854. “The minute books are beautifully written and detail the events of each meeting, the ceremonies conducted, and who attended them. “It’s clear from these records that the Chapter of Sincerity had a strong German cohort, and Bradford Freemasonry in general benefitted greatly from these migrants drawn to the city by its flourishing textiles industry. “Whilst it’s a great pity the Chapter of Sincerity is no more, Bradford still has a strong Masonic community, with members drawn from across the community who are keen to be part of our fraternal organisation. “My hope is that these records, and those from Masonic Lodges and Chapters from across our Province, are digitised and made available for the general public to access.” John added: “Whilst the nature of our meetings has not altered much from the 1850s, the festive boards certainly have. They are still highly enjoyable but possibly not quite as boozy as those enjoyed in the later part of the 19th Century.”
Members of Doncaster & District Installed Masters Association (D&DIMA) finished the year by raising £1,500 in just ten days to buy gifts for underprivileged children through its ‘A Toy for Christmas’ appeal.
Toys purchased through the festive scheme were distributed via the Trussell Trust foodbanks, whose referral/vetting procedures ensured the presents went to where they were most needed.
Chris Wheeler, Association chairman, said: “I’d like to thank all those Masons who contributed financially to ensure that a good number of children across the Doncaster District, who were not guaranteed to get a Christmas present, received at least one.
“Charity is at the heart of Freemasonry, and this is clearly evident here, in Doncaster, at what has been a very difficult year for many people. “I’m very proud to be a Freemason, and even prouder of our contribution to the Doncaster community where our members live and work.”
The D&DIMA is made up of Masters and Past Masters from St George’s Lodge, Don Valley Lodge, Danecastre Lodge, Hall Cross Lodge, Rockingham Lodge, St Nicholas Lodge, Bawtry Lodge, Stonegate Lodge, De Mauley Lodge, Boothferry Lodge, Forget Me Not Lodge, West Riding Fairways Lodge, Gothic Lodge and Aire & Calder Lodge.
A Yorkshire charity which supports people to work their way out of homelessness has received a £30,000 early Christmas present from the Freemasons. Emmaus ‘communities’ in Leeds, Sheffield and Bradford, will each receive £10,000 to help finance their on-going activities, thanks to a grant from the Masonic Charitable Foundation . COVID-19 lockdown restrictions have meant that Emmaus social enterprise shops, which provide both income and employment training opportunities, had to close. The impact of this lost income meant that the communities could be at risk.
The charity, which first opened in 1992 and now has 29 ‘communities’ - the name it gives its residential sites, spread across the UK – was nominated for funding by the Freemasons Province of Yorkshire West Riding. The valuable support from the Freemasons will help to ensure that current services are sustainable and able to continue to provide much needed support in the future. Its Leeds and Sheffield communities provide accommodation, support and meaningful work to nearly 100 people, at any one time, who have experienced homelessness. The combination helps to rebuild lost self-esteem, provides routine and stability to work on issues and enable those who have experienced homelessness to positively move on in their lives.
For its part, Emmaus Bradford is in the process of developing a new community which aims to provide 15 new rooms. Helen Brandley, Trusts and Major Donors Manager at Emmaus, said: “Emmaus would like to send a huge thank you to the Freemasons for their extremely generous support of £30,000 for Emmaus communities in the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding.” Graham Bostock of the Sheffield branch said: “We are over the moon. We hope to use the grant to enhance our eBay site and increase sales to assist in funding another seven rooms.”
David S Pratt, the Provincial Grand Master of the Province of Yorkshire West Riding, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have secured this £30,000 from the Masonic Charitable Foundation for the three Yorkshire Emmaus communities. “Charity is at the heart Freemasonry and sadly due to COVID-19 many charities have been unable to undertake their normal fundraising activities. This grant will now go some way in ensuring Emmaus is able to continue the valuable work it does in supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our society get back on their feet.”
David S Pratt, the Provincial Grand Master of the Province of Yorkshire West Riding, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have secured this £30,000 from the Masonic Charitable Foundation for the three Yorkshire Emmaus communities. “Charity is at the heart Freemasonry and sadly due to COVID-19 many charities have been unable to undertake their normal fundraising activities. This grant will now go some way in ensuring Emmaus is able to continue the valuable work it does in supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our society get back on their feet.” This latest grant is the third Emmaus Sheffield has received from the Freemasons this year. In October, it was awarded £3,000 to part-fund the installation of two new boilers in its Victoria Quays community, a Grade II Listed former cutlery works which houses 18 former homeless people at any one time. And during the first lockdown, it was given £5,000 to enable it to buy a fogging machine and personal protective equipment, so it could reopen its shop for the refurbishment and sale of second hand goods.
Big hearted Masonic bikers have been revving support for a number of Yorkshire charities.
Members of the Widows Sons ‘Ridings Chapter’ – Freemasons with a passion for motorbikes – have donated a total of £1,250 to six good causes across the region. The funds have been raised mostly through the sale of merchandise to members and supporters and one member participating in the ‘Distinguished Gentleman Riders’ solo ride, a worldwide event to raise money for Men’s Cancer Charities. Those to benefit are Connaught Court care home, York; Martin House Children’s Hospice in Boston Spa, near Wetherby; POPI (Pass On Pre Loved Items), Keighley; Follifoot Disabled Riders Group, Harrogate; PACT (The Parents Association of Children with Tumours and Leukaemia), Sheffield, who received donations of between £100 and £500. Ridings Chapter President Matthew Duffy said: “Widows Sons are all Freemasons with a passion for motorcycles, meeting regularly at various haunts across the region when we can, and riding out, again when we can. “One of the three great principles of Freemasonry is charity, and as well as enjoying biking, we have also been raising money when we can for a variety of different organisations across the region.” Candidacy of the Widows Sons is open to all Masons who own a road worthy motorbike and hold a full licence. The Ridings Chapter meet at Squires Café Bar, in Sherburn in Elmet, on a Wednesday evening, and Strawberry Fields, York, on a Friday night, both during the summer months. Rideout’s usually take place on a weekend. Further information about the Windows Sons Ridings Chapter is available from its website, http://www.ridingschapter.co.uk/ or by emailing the Secretary at email@example.com
Freemasons from across Leeds have answered a call to ensure hundreds of children across the city will receive at least one present this festive season. In previous years, members of lodges and side orders who meet in Headingley’s Castle Grove Masonic Hall have been asked to donate a present or money to buy gifts, which were then donated to a number of local charities. The organisations who received gifts over the last two years include Leeds Children’s Hospital, Martin House Hospice Care for Children and Young People, Leeds Children’s Charity, and Leeds Jewish Welfare Board and Barnardo’s. However, because the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has forced the closure of Castle Grove, toy appeal co-ordinator organiser Graham Shiers has asked for monetary contributions instead, resulting in an avalanche of cash donations totalling in excess of £2,700 plus donations of brand new toys and clothing. Graham said: “The generosity of my fellow Freemasons is just overwhelming, and because of this we are able to increase the list of recipients this year from five charities to six, with Leeds Baby Bank, PhysCap Children's Charity and Homeless Street Angels now benefitting. “I’ve been blown away by the donations to date. In addition to toys and gifts we are also buying more practical presents including pyjamas and winter clothing. “It has also enabled us to provide other items including nappies, nappy sacks, baby wipes, baby shampoo and wash, plus other essentials that the Leeds Baby Bank will distribute to families in need over the festive period. “We are also now helping four families via Homeless Street Angels, including a single dad whose partner killed herself two years ago. He lost his job due to struggling with child care - he has a ten year old daughter and has nothing for her so we'll make sure she has a good Christmas. “And with many Jewish Freemasons meeting at Castle Grove, I’m once again delighted that Leeds Jewish Welfare Board will again receive Chanukah gifts for the 24 children under its care.” Graham - a member of Loyalty Lodge and the Lodge of Fidelity who started the toy appeal two years ago - said: “Never in all my years of being a Freemason have I been prouder of being a member of this wonderful fraternity. “Despite all the hardships that Covid has inflicted, not only has the local membership risen to the occasion, it has done so to the power of ten, and I couldn’t be more grateful. “I would like to personally thank everyone who has donated to this cause. Charity is one of the three great pillars that Freemasonry is founded on - and charity is very dear to our hearts.”