2021 Festival

A new year and another big success

Another year, another lockdown and more challenges confront us all – none more so than those faced by many less fortunate than ourselves.

Notwithstanding the absence of meetings for some 9 months due to Covid 19, the Brethren of Breaksea Lodge No.8358 have been ever more focussed on Festival fund raising.

The ruling Master WBro. Jason Agostini – Green may have been unable to conduct any ceremonies but he and his Charity Steward WBro. Colin Manning have been hard at work in making sure every member has the opportunity of and is encouraged in engaging in regular charitable giving.

Not a month seems to pass when they are not chivvying and cajoling brethren to sign up to a new RPP or to extend their current one.

WBro. Jason takes up the story “We may not be able to practice the ritual but we can bring alive our obligation to help others in need”. He went on “Regular contact through a combination of phone calls, text messaging and zoom meetings seems to have done the trick with more and more brethren joining together to commit what they can each month”.

The Lodge Charity Steward, WBro. Colin Manning, who celebrates 30 years as a mason next month added “It’s never easy asking brethren for money at the best of times but just making the contact and positioning what we are trying to achieve has tweaked the heart strings of so many. So much so that we have as a Lodge now secured a GOLD award. It just goes to show what can be done when you ask in the right way”.

Breaksea’s success is all about teamwork and focus on a wonderful cause and WBro. Colin can be seen receiving the certificate in the post – unfortunately Santa was tied up before Christmas otherwise he would have done it himself.

New Year message from the Provincial Grand Master

 

Brethren, so now we enter into 2021 and leave behind a dreadful year in so many ways.  We have lost friends, family members and Brethren.  Many of our members have seen their livelihoods badly damaged or, in some cases, ruined as a result of the restrictions forced upon us.  And the organisation we hold so dear has been adversely affected to an extent not seen before in anyone’s living memory.

And as we enter the New Year, that awful feeling of déjà vu is with us again.  We cannot meet or socialise, and we do not yet have a date for the resumption of our usual activities.

Yet even in these dark times, we as Freemasons have a great deal of which we can be proud, and even more to which we can look forward in the year ahead.  Our work still goes on, with many of our members helping those in need, and others working tirelessly to ensure that much needed funding goes to charities, which are without their usual sources of income.  As just one example, I’m sure you all saw news of the huge contributions which went to homeless charities over the Christmas holiday.

And our own RMBI has continued to provide homes and comfort to Brethren and their dependents, with staff working beyond all expectations to keep residents safe during this dreadful pandemic.  That is why our 2021 Festival is even more important than ever, and why we must continue to support it as much as we can in this, it’s final year.  I know that the Festival committee has plans to launch some exciting events as soon as it is safe to do so.  And I hope to recognize those Lodges that have continued to go the extra mile by achieving the coveted Gold award in June at our Provincial meeting.

So, what of the year ahead, Brethren?  Well, I for one refuse to be pessimistic about its prospects.  We all know that the vaccination programme will be key to unlocking the restrictions which currently prevent our meetings.  What can we aim for in 2021?  Well, I aim to have a bumper joint Provincial meeting in June, a celebratory church service in September, and a huge gala event in November at the iconic Wales Millennium Centre, to celebrate the end of what I am sure will be a hugely successful Festival.

In addition, and hopefully well before our annual meeting, we are going to have a lot of catching up to do with over 200 prospective members now waiting to join our Lodges, many degree ceremonies to work, installations to enjoy as normal and, brethren, a lot of enjoyment to relish as we meet again, dine with friends as we always have and raise a glass of fraternal friendship in our festive boards.

Brethren, we don’t yet know exactly when these good times will return.  But return they will, hopefully within a few months.  Until then, I won’t say Happy New year. Rather – hang in there, Brethren. Stay safe and well, and keep looking forward to getting back to everything we know and love; our wonderful Craft, our Lodge meetings and friends once again.

May the Great Architect bless you all.

Let’s talk charity with Wenvoe 9038 Charity Steward John Lloyd

The Provincial Grand Charity Steward, W.Bro. Robert Payne met with the Charity Steward of Wenvoe Lodge No. 9038, W.Bro. John Lloyd, to talk charity.

Watch John discuss the first time he took office, what he enjoys most about the role, and how he has promoted and encouraged giving to the RMBI 2021 Festival.

Wenvoe Lodge has recently been awarded its GOLD award certificate by RW Bro Sir Paul Williams, Chair of the Festival.

Festival Cheer & Awards in Barry

Despite the challenges 2020 has presented the South Wales Province three Barry Lodges have been hard at work supporting our 2021 Festival Appeal in aid of the RMBI Care Co. So much so that a special presentation was made Monday 30th November in the “socially distanced temple” by RW.Bro Sir Paul Williams OBE DL, Junior Grand Warden, the Festival Chairman.

Wenvoe Lodge No.9038 led the way receiving not one but two awards. Under the watchful gaze of the Worshipful Master, W.Bro Kelvin Gill, W.Bro John Lloyd their Lodge Charity Steward received the SILVER “Pouch” Award having attained this some months ago. RW.Bro Paul then presented W.Bro Kelvin with a GOLD Award Certificate which they achieved more recently.

L-R: W.Bro. John Lloyd, W.Bro Kelvin Gill, RW.Bro. Sir Paul Williams

2021 Festival Area Structure Tree

If you want to find out more about the South Wales 2021 Festival in aid of the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution your Area Chairman or Lodge Liaison Officer will be able to answer all your questions. Use this Area Structure Tree to identify your Lodge’s Liaison Officer and Area Chairman. You can also follow the 2021 Festival on Twitter @southwales2021 or find us on Facebook: facebook.com/southwales2021festival/.

Download a pdf of the 2021 Festival Area Structure

The last lap – 12 months to go – let’s do all we can to push back on the pandemic

Brethren, your response to the Festival has been tremendous and unflagging. I take this opportunity to thank all of the brethren for their personal generosity and wonderful team spirit in raising funds in so many enjoyable and imaginative ways. May I also thank Lodge Charity Stewards, who are the most crucial people in making any festival a success, and to the Liaison Officers, Area Chairs and my Festival Committee, who carry the huge administrative burden. My especial thanks to our Provincial Grand Master, Most Excellent Grand Superintendent and the Executive for their unstinting support and advice.

2021 Festival gold awards

As a Province, we can take pride in continuing to work hard and support our Provincial Grand Master in the aim of achieving £5m for the 2021 Festival. As we are aware the money raised will go directly to our first class Care Homes via the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution (RMBI).