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Enough is Enough

The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) has taken full page ads in The Times, Daily Telegraph and Guardian calling for an end to discrimination of its 200,000 plus members.

Headlined ‘Enough is Enough’, the ad is a personal letter from Dr David Staples, Chief Executive Officer, which reiterates the organisation’s values and highlights how throughout its 300-year history when people have suffered discrimination, Freemasonry has welcomed them into lodges as equals.

Such is the frustration amongst members about the level of prejudice, Dr Staples has also written to the Equality and Human Rights Commission to make its case.

Dr David Staples, Chief Executive of UGLE commenting says:

“This is a first for us, but necessary under the circumstances. For too long we have been unjustly singled out. We are an organisation whose whole tenet is about helping individuals become better people, with values of honesty, integrity and service to others. Membership of Freemasonry is not only positive for them as individuals, but also for society at large.

“Sadly, too many Freemasons have to exercise caution in response to prejudice and discrimination they fear they will face. We want the day when every Freemason can proudly declare themselves a member of our great and historical organisation without fear of retribution, suspicion or damage.

“We’re open and happy to talk about anything and today we are announcing a series of sessions up and down the country too and to answer any questions people may have. I am also welcoming any queries from individuals myself.”

#enoughisenough

South Wales Freemasons support the stance taken. Our Provincial Grand Master and Deputy have given supportive interviews on radio & TV in English & Welsh. Many of our Masonic Centres took part in Cadw’s Open Doors events in 2017 and the public were able to see inside. We welcome questions from the media and the public. We will soon announce dates for open meetings to further explain our role in our communities and answer your questions.

Provincial Church Service – Saturday 19th May 2018

Dear Sir and Brother,

PROVINCIAL CHURCH SERVICE – Saturday 19th MAY 2018 at 11.00am

As many of you will already know, the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master has decided to hold a Provincial Church Service at the Margam Abbey, Margam Park. Port Talbot. SA13 2TA at 11.00am on Saturday, 19th May 2018.

It is the PGM’s wish that as many as possible of his Grand Officers and that all his Lodges will be represented on this important day in our Provincial Calendar. All Masters, Wardens and Brethren along with their families and friends will of course be most welcome to attend.

The Abbey holds a congregation of approximately 300 and, following the Church service, a Buffet Reception will be held at Margam Park Orangery (at a nominal cost of £12.00 per head).

It will therefore be essential for those planning to attend to advise W Bro Alan Gardener, PSGD APGM, utilising the enclosed reply slip no later than 4th May 2018, but preferably before that date. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis. Tickets will not be issued for the Church Service but will be issued for the Luncheon, but in the event of either being over-subscribed, unsuccessful applicants will be advised, if you don’t hear from W. Bro. Gardener, you can be assured that your lunch is reserved.

If any Worshipful Masters are unable to attend, they are requested to inform W Bro Alan Gardener of the name of the Brother nominated to represent their Lodge. In addition, please ensure this letter is read out on the Second Rising of your next Regular Meeting, if it is held before 4th May 2018.Brethren, I am sure I can count on your support to ensure that this year’s Church Service is a major success. Please respond positively and quickly to assure your places.

Brethren this is an opportunity to support your Provincial Grand Master at this Annual event.

Yours faithfully and fraternally

V.W.H.E. Roy Woodward PPrGSwdB
Deputy Provincial Grand Master

Download the GLO/Act Prov Officers Reply Slip here

Download the WM Reply Slip here

Provincial Grand Master’s Luncheon, Wednesday 25th April 2018

Dear Sir and Brother,

The Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master will be hosting a Luncheon in honour of those Brethren who have been Appointed to and Promoted in Grand Rank. The Luncheon will take place in the Elizabethan Room of the Imperial Hotel, Russell Square, London, prior to the Meeting of Grand Lodge on Wednesday 25th April 2018. Cocktails at 12.15pm for 12.45pm.

Brethren from this Province proposing to attend the Investiture and wishing to join the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master’s party will be most welcome to do so, at a fee of £40.00 inclusive of table wine (excluding cocktails and liqueurs). Names must be submitted to the Provincial Office no later than the 6th April 2018. Cheques will be refunded to those who fail to obtain admission tickets to the Investiture, provided this office is informed no later than this date.

Click here for instructions for application for tickets for admission to the Grand Lodge Investiture should be sent to the Grand Secretary by the 31st March 2018, in the manner prescribed in the Proceedings of the December Quarterly Communication.

Historically, a limited number of single and twin bedrooms (with bathrooms) have been made available at the President and Imperial Hotels, Russell Square, for the nights of the 24th, 25th and 26th April 2018 and any bookings should be negotiated by applicants direct online at www.imperialhotels.co.uk and/or by telephoning the Hotel direct on 020 7837 8844.

Please utilize the enclosed form to attend the Provincial Grand Master’s Luncheon.

Yours sincerely and fraternally,

D. Gerald Rowbottom PSGD
Provincial Grand Secretary

Download a pdf of the Reply Slip for the PGM’s Luncheon Party here.

Download a Word document of the Reply Slip for the PGM’s Luncheon Party here.

Brecon Hospital set to benefit from surprise £50,000 donation from Brecon Freemasons

Local communities are set to benefit following a surprise £50,000 donation to Brecon Hospital from Brecon Freemasons.

The generous donation was made at the Brecon Freemasons’ Festive Board which took place recently at the Castle Hotel in Brecon to mark three hundred years of Freemasonry in the UK.

Professor Vivienne Harpwood, Chair of Powys Teaching Health Board, receiving the donation on behalf of the hospital, said: “I am so grateful and humbled by this generous donation from Brecon Freemasons. We knew in advance that the Freemasons wished to make a donation to Brecon War Memorial Hospital, but the size of the donation was very much under wraps until the cheque was presented to us. This will make an amazing difference, and we look forward to working with the Brecon Freemasons to use this donation for the benefit of local communities.”

Graham Richards, Charity Steward of the Brecknock Lodge, presented the cheque saying: “The highlight of our Tercentenary celebrations was the presentation of a cheque for £50,000 for the benefit of the Brecon War Memorial Hospital in appreciation and a recognition of the services and care given to Freemasons and their families and indeed to the whole community of Brecon & District. Indeed, this was an evening to remember and a momentous and fitting celebration of the formation of the United Grand Lodge three hundred years ago.”

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£79,000 charity awards from South Wales Freemasons announced following public vote

Eight local charities have benefited from a series of special Community Awards from South Wales Freemasons following an unprecedented public vote of 178,801 votes across England and Wales.

The Community Awards are a major part of Freemasonry’s 300th anniversary celebrations. The Masonic Charitable Foundation is distributing three million pounds to 300 charities across the country, with the public vote deciding on the range of Awards from £4,000 to £25,000.

The full list of Community Awards in South Wales was:

NSPCC WALES

Congratulations to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children Wales who received the most votes in South Wales and have secured a grant of £25,000!

Touch Trust

Touch Trust has been awarded a grant of £15,000

Alzheimers Society South Wales

Alzheimers Society South Wales has been awarded a grant of £15,000

Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale

Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale has been awarded a grant of £6,000

Thrive Cardiff

Thrive Cardiff has been awarded a grant of £6,000

Prostate Cymru

Prostate Cymru has been awarded a grant of £4,000

South East Wales Downs Syndrome Support Group

South East Wales Downs Syndrome Support Group has been awarded a grant of £4,000

The Princes Trust

The Princes Trust has been awarded a grant of £4,000

The charities were presented with their Awards at a special ceremony at Cardiff Masonic Hall by the Provincial Grand Master Gareth Jones OBE from South Wales Freemasons on Tuesday 19th December 2017.

The three million pound fund is being administered by the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which obtains all of its funding from Freemasons, their families and friends. It is estimated that half of Freemasonry’s total charitable expenditure of over £33m goes to charities that help people in communities across the country.

Gareth Jones said: “We are delighted to be able to celebrate three hundred years of Freemasonry by helping 8 excellent local charities. We’ve been active in charity work for all that time, but this is the first occasion we’ve asked the public to help us decide how to spend our money. We are very pleased that so many people from South Wales took part in the vote.”

South Wales Freemasons donate to Blood Bikes Wales

Blood Bikes, Wales, the fourth Emergency Service, after the police, fire and ambulance services, which is 100% charity funded and run totally by volunteer riders, provides a vital service to the NHS, transporting blood supplies, plasma, documents and other items between hospitals outside of weekday hours, on weekends and bank holidays. This service saves the NHS substantial sums which can be used for front line patient care.

A new motorcycle has been gifted by the Masonic Benevolent Fund of South Wales, and this will be going into service immediately. The photograph shows Blood Bike Wales Area Committee member Bro Andrew Morgan of Bonvilston with the new bike, together with Trustees of the Masonic Benevolent Fund of South Wales, W.Bro Simon Francis, W.Bro Martyn Ridge (Treasurer), and W.Bro Patrick Pattison.

In presenting a cheque for £6,000 to Bro Andrew, himself a Freemason and very dedicated to the work of Blood Bikes, W.Bro Patrick said  “We are very pleased on behalf of our Committee of Trustees and the Freemasons of South Wales to make this donation to such a worthwhile and vital service to the community of South Wales.”