Celebrating the first year’s success of South Wales Province 2021 Festival
Festival Chairman WBro Sir Paul Williams OBE DL KStJ PJGD gave a report to Brethren at a celebration of the success of the first year of the South Wales Province 2021 Festival in aid of the Royal Masonic Benevolent Fund (RMBI) at Ogmore Lodge 1752 on Monday 30th November 2015.
The new 2016 Provincial Calendars featuring photographs of famous landmarks around Wales and the UK are now on sale at £6.00 each with proceeds going to the 2021 Festival Appeal.
The Provincial Team have a stock of these which they are taking to Installations, or Brethren wishing to purchase copies can contact W.Bro Peter Williams on 01656 720938 or by email.
Brethren, an additional item to the agenda. Our 2021 Festival for the RMBI this got off to a flying start after the launch on the 22nd January at the Hendre Lodge in Cardiff. After six months I am able to announce today that the forecast in terms of cash transferred from Lodge Relief Chests, single donations, events and new regular payment pledges has reached the magnificent sum of £1,350,000.
1178 Brethren have qualified for their Festival Steward’s Jewel having donated or pledged £500 or more to the Festival appeal.
In addition to existing regular payment pledges and single donations 775 new regular payment pledges have been taken out in favour of the Festival Relief Chest E0043.
15 lodges have already achieved the Bronze award – an average of £500 per member. They are:
- Duke of York Lodge No 2453
- Penrice Lodge No 4172
- Dinam Lodge No 4521
- Corinthian Lodge No 4917
- Penllergaer Lodge No 5567
- Themis Lodge No 6355
- Breaksea Lodge No 8358
- Nottage Loge No 8452
- Aberhonddu Lodge No 8588
- Discovery Loge No 8607
- Lodge of St Andrew with Oriel No 8934
- Wenvoe Lodge No 9038
- Proscenium Lodge No 9059
- Celtic Eagle Lodge No 9132
- United Services Lodge No 9605
1 lodge has already attained a Silver award – an average of £800 per member. That is:
- Beaufort Lodge No 3834
I am delighted today to be able to announce that in the short 5 months since the launch of the Festival, 2 Lodges have already achieved the Gold Award – an average of £1000 per member. I shall announce the names of those lodges very shortly
Meanwhile, my thanks go to the Festival Committee for the way they have planned and managed the campaign so far and the way Charity Stewards have rallied to the call. What is evident is the reason we have been able to raise this magnificent sum so early is due to the hard work and dedication of those Charity Stewards who have encouraged their brethren into regular giving and were well prepared when the Festival came around.
I must emphasis there is no room for complacency and I expect those Lodges and Charity Stewards who have not yet rallied to the call to do so as soon as possible. Well over a 100 lodges have fewer than 50% of their brethren committed to a regular payment pledge. So there is much to do if we are to reach our target of having at least two thirds of the brethren in the Province in covenant during the first third of the Festival. I urge WMs, Charity Stewards as you wind down for the summer recess please use this time to assess your position and draw up plans where there is room for improvement. You will have all the support and advice you need from your Area Chairs and Liaison Officers. Our Festival effort is a marathon not a sprint and the going gets tougher the further you progress into the long race, but I hope to see many more brethren wearing the Festival Jewel; there are 4000 of us not yet doing so, so plenty of room for further improvement yet. .
Brethren, I am sure you will join with me in admiration for the 2 lodges who have already achieved Gold status. I shall be pleased to present these beautiful alms collection pouches to the Charity Stewards of:
- Harlequins Lodge No 5793; and
- Lodge of Fidelity No 6112
A sub committee of the2021 Festival Events Committee was set up in the Swansea/Port Talbot area to arrange a golf tournament in aid of the 2021 Festival, consisting of W Bro’s Paul Bunyan, Mahmood Poptani, Philip Osborne, Matthew Sims , Simon Francis and Bros David Matthews and Derryl Rees.
A tournament was arranged for Friday June 5th at Morriston Golf Club, Swansea, and proved to be a great success. It was arranged around a Texas Scramble format for the golf, 4 players to a team, aligning with an evening social event that included a buffet, cabaret, raffle and auction. Also a commerative programme was produced that attracted a large number of sponsors advertising their businesses. These adverts range from Jaguar motor cars to a local tuck shop.
Ffos Las Ladies Evening on Saturday 23rd May, was organised by the Events committee as part of the rolling programme of fund raising events in aid of the RMBI 2021 South Wales Festival.
Ffos Las, Welsh for blue ditch – cannot be found on any map. It was named after the farm that once occupied the site and lies between the old mining villages of Trimsaran and Carway. The 600 acre setting is magnificent. Surrounded by rolling hills and countryside it has views down the Gwendraeth Valley to Carmarthen Bay. It is almost impossible to believe that Ffos Las was the former site of the largest open cast coalmine in Europe.
The Event was attended by 104 Masons, their ladies and guests. Most of our ladies were dressed in colourful clothing and hats for the occasion. The Provincial Grand Master, R WBro. Gareth Jones, OBE and his lady Susan were in attendance together with many distinguished brethren and their guests.
It was a glorious day with brilliant sunshine in a beautiful setting. We could not have wished for a better day. We were seated in an exclusive location in the Paddock Marquee, located in the Owners and Trainers area, overlooking the parade ring and Winners Enclosure.
At a special meeting hosted by R.P. St. John Charles Lodge in Swansea on the 16th April 2015, the Provincial Grand Master, and 2021 Festival President, R.W.Bro. Gareth Jones, OBE invited the South Wales Province 2021 Festival Chairman, W.Bro Sir Paul Williams OBE, DL, KStJ, JGD to present an update on the Festival progress.