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Cardiff homeless charity, Rainbow of Hope, receives a grant from local Freemasons

A Cardiff-based charity, that offers food, shelter and clothing to the homeless and disadvantaged people of the city, has received a donation of £500 from the South Wales Freemasons.

The Rainbow of Hope Charity offers support to people from a wide range of backgrounds, who are suffering from poverty and distress, by providing food, shelter and clothing as well as advice and guidance. The charity, which is approaching 20 years old, was founded by Elizabeth Perret-Atkins, who decided to set it up following a very difficult period in her own life.

Robert Payne of the South Wales Freemasons presented the cheque to Ms. Perret-Atkins during a recent visit, when he went to find out how the local charity was helping the homeless and disadvantaged people of Cardiff, which includes asylum seekers and refugees.

Ms Perret-Atkins said: “the Rainbow of Hope drop-in Centre on Broadway is open five days a week and offers a range of services, which includes daily free daily tea, coffee and lunches for anyone in need. We also have a diverse range of support and educational groups for those who are interested. These include a weekly Bible study group, a group for asylum seekers called “welcome a stranger” and a weekly free hairdresser”. She went on to say: “we also offer classes in English and arts & crafts and provide the services of a legal case worker”.

As well as the drop-in centre, the Rainbow of Hope also has a ‘soup-run’ in the centre of Cardiff, which it calls “The Paradise Run”. This is located on Charles Street, and between 8 pm and 9 pm every weekday feeds those who are hungry. It also offers friendship and support to those in need.

Ms. Perret-Atkins said: “this generous donation from the Freemasons of south Wales will really help us in our work with the people of the city, who through no fault of their own, have fallen on hard times”. She went to explain: “some of the people we help are those with nowhere to sleep, sleep in squats or live in hostels. Many have experienced relationship difficulties, struggle with drugs or alcohol, or are lonely or bereaved. What they all have in common is the need for someone to stand alongside them and share their burden.”

Mr Payne said: “the South Wales Freemasons are delighted they’ve been able to help the Rainbow of Hope, who do truly outstanding work helping some of the most vulnerable people in our community”. He went on to explain, “the South Wales Freemasons donate over £150,000 to local charities every year. This money is raised by our members in south Wales for many diverse and deserving local causes”.

Further information on the Rainbow of Hope (registered charity number 1088856) can be found on its website, wwwrainbowofhope.co.uk, or by telephoning 029 2049 4317. The charity is always in need of volunteers to help and assist them, either at their centre in Broadway or on the evening Paradise Run. Donations of clothes or un-wanted household items are also very gratefully received.
Opening hours for its drop-in centre in Broadway, Cardiff are: Weekdays 10:30am to 1:00pm (Friday evening twice monthly from 7:30pm to 9:30pm) and Saturday from midday to 1:00pm

Masonic Benevolent Fund comes to the rescue of the rescuers in the Central Brecon Beacons region

The Masonic Benevolent Fund has been long established in the Province of South Wales, assisting through grants to organisations outside Freemasonry. The disastrous fire to the Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team Headquarters that destroyed their base along with equipment and rescue vehicles came to the attention of the MBF administrators, contact made to see how Freemasonry could assist.

The result was the full funding of a new ‘state of the art’ Rescue Vehicle, the £55,000 Isuzu D-Max Utah converted by Pickup Systems Burnley, and presented to the CBMRT at the South Wales Provincial Grand Lodge meeting at Barry. The Isuzu will be a ‘first response’ emergency vehicle, with search operations capability. It can traverse flood water with a high level exhaust and is readily identifiable with Mountain Rescue colours and blue lights to support urgent responses. The Isuzu also carries the name of The Freemasons of South Wales as a visible link to our support for the communities of which we are a part.

Since the hand over to the Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team, ‘first response’ rescue operations have included a missing person callout in Cardiff, rescue of two people in a waterfall location, a further waterfall callout to a walker with serious injuries, prior to a winch out by helicopter, and saving a young boy missing on a South Wales mountain.

Pictured at the formal ‘hand over’ ceremony at Barry are (left to right) Andrew L. Gretton MBF Chairman, CBMRT Incident Controller David Cross, David Swain representing Brecknock LodgeNo.651, CBMRT Team Leader Penny Brockman, CBMRT Foundation Team Member Kate Murray, Gareth Jones PGM , William E. Jenkins Deputy PGM, and CBMRT Fund Raiser & PR Officer Lee Faulkner.

UGLE’s Grand Master, The Duke of Kent, unveils Victoria Cross Remembrance Stone at Freemasons’ Hall

UGLE’s Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent, alongside Emily Draper who carved the Remembrance Stone

In honour of all English Freemasons awarded the prestigious Victoria Cross (VC), the United Grand Lodge of England’s (UGLE) Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent, unveiled a unique Victoria Cross Remembrance Stone at Freemasons’ Hall on 27th June 2019

The Remembrance Stone was commissioned in 2016 by Granville Angell to commemorate all English Freemasons who were awarded the Victoria Cross. The VC is the highest award for gallantry that can be conferred on a member of the British Armed Forces and since its introduction in 1856, more than 200 Freemasons have been awarded the Victoria Cross – making up an astonishing 14% of all recipients. (more…)

Provincial Grand Master’s Address to Provincial Grand Lodge – 24th June 2019

Brethren, thank you for your attendance here this afternoon and may I reiterate my grateful thanks to all our distinguished guests for their continued support and friendship and for coming in such large numbers to help us celebrate our annual meeting. Some have travelled long distances and we very much appreciate their presence here today.

May I also take this opportunity of thanking my Deputies – V W Bros Roy and William – Assistants, and all my Provincial Officers of last year for their sterling work in representing me and supporting the Executive team at installations and in running our administration.

Today’s meeting is one of celebration, especially for those receiving appointments and promotions. You should all now take on an extra responsibility to contribute more to the success and sustainability of your lodges, the Province and the Craft more widely. (more…)

Craft 2019 Appointments and Promotions

Dear Brethren,

I greet you well and attach a Tri-Fold listing the Appointments to and Promotions in Provincial Grand Rank; to be conferred at the Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge, to be holden on Monday 24th June 2019, at Barry Memorial Hall, Gladstone Road, BARRY, Vale of Glamorgan, CF62 8NA.

2019 Craft Officers Tri-fold

Fraternal regards,

Ben Gait
Provincial Grand Secretary

Provincial Grand Lodge of South Wales Accounts 2019

Dear Brethren,

I greet you well and attach the Income & Expenditure, Balance Sheet, Fixed Assets and Y Dalaith Accounts for the Year Ending 31st March 2019.

Provincial accounts, year ending 31/03/2019

Fraternal regards,

W.Bro. John Child, DL, PAGDC
Provincial Grand Treasurer

Address by the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent ‘in and over’ South Wales, June 2019

Companions, I am delighted to have this opportunity to address you today, after 12 hugely enjoyable months, since we last met.

The Executive and Acting Provincial Officers are so very grateful for the courtesy extended to us all, during our „Sojourn‟ to our 21 Provincial meeting venues and indeed when visiting our Kindred Provinces; where we have greatly enjoyed the honour of representing South Wales and it is very pleasing to see so many friends here today, who make our Annual Convocation all the better for their much valued support and friendship and we thank them for taking the time to support us here today, in Cardiff.

I have been afforded a tremendous privilege in leading an Executive Team who are both committed and totally dedicated to ensure our Province is productive, content and responsive. I am indebted to all of them for their sage advice and unstinting loyalty. The hospitality we have received from our chapters has been second to none. As well as visiting Chapters in a private capacity, I have been pleased with the standards achieved in the 23 Installation Convocations I have attended, in year one and I look forward to attending the 46 remaining Chapter Installations, as scheduled; over the next 2 years.

Following my Appointment as Grand Superintendent in 2017 and subsequent Investiture, I prioritorised the following strategic areas: Charity, Communication, Reporting SGC Officers, Royal Arch Representatives and Membership.

Charity

Your continued generosity as Companions of the Holy Royal Arch is uplifting and humbling. As well as so generously donating to the 2021 RMBI Festival individually (through your membership of the Craft), all our 69 Chapters have also donated to the Festival. To which end, Companion Deputy President (E.Comp William) and Companion Chairman (E.Comp Sir Paul), I am delighted to announce that earlier this month, the Provincial Grand Treasurer transferred from Provincial Grand Chapter to the 2021 RMBI Festival a further sum of £15,000. This brings our total Royal Arch contribution to date to £70,000. A figure which all of you Companions ought to be justly proud and I take this opportunity to thank you publicly.

Today, as every year, you will no doubt generously contribute to charity via use of Gift Aid envelopes and I would once again urge you to please go back to your Chapters and consider using Gift Aid envelopes at all of your Convocations and I emphasise the benefit of gift aid and the need to tick the gift aid box on the envelope, if you are a Tax payer. We are already seeing an increase in charitable giving by using these envelopes throughout the Province. I thank you also for purchasing the Provincial Red pens on sale today, which all go towards balancing our outgoing commitments.

Communication

We have improved the breadth of platforms available to the membership and potential membership, by going live on the Twittersphere and by appointing a dedicated Royal Arch Provincial Communications Officer; working closely with the Craft Provincial Communications Officer. Since my Installation at Hendre Chapter last week, on the Twittersphere alone, we have had over 4000 interactions; views and forwarded posts. We must embrace all communication tools available to us and keep pace with an ever changing World. Under the lead of Supreme Grand Chapter, “Project Hermes” will develop with the aim that individual Scribes E will have improved access to Adelphi and this will no doubt prove an innovation to inputting and accessing timely reporting of our membership data.

Reporting Supreme Grand Chapter Officers

This year, a new electronic reporting system has ensured transparency, fairness and provided opportunities to reward merit and ability. I have been pleased with the positive and supportive involvement of Officers of Supreme Grand Chapter. Your input and invaluable experience is essential in ensuring that we reward and inspire Companions to actively participate in our future. Several Companion Grand Officers have spoken to me with regard to the possibility of meeting as Grand Chapter Officers – regularly, perhaps in a forum such as we enjoy in our Craft Lodge of Benevolence. There also plans afoot for another new Chapter, which will unfold after the recess.

Royal Arch Representatives

As a Province, we will continue to build momentum in the welcome development of Royal Arch Representatives in our Craft Lodges by increasing their visibility and activity. I want to thank all 160 Lodges for embracing the role of the Lodge Royal Arch Representative and the Joint Executive Leads on this initiative are; APGM Marc Lewis and the 2nd Provincial Grand Principal, with the Officers in charge being the Craft Provincial Membership Officer; WBro. Neil Martin Evans and the RA Membership Officer, EComp Simon Daniel. It is imperative that the Craft Royal Arch Representatives have an opportunity to speak at our Lodge meetings, and I am grateful to the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master for his full support and leadership in this aim.

Membership

You will have seen Companions that we continue in an enviable position with a second year of both increased growth in Members and Memberships. The best Ambassadors for this trend to continue are you, by your enthusiasm and enjoyment of our Order. We have fully embraced the membership Pathway and by the Royal Arch Provincial Membership Officer, working closely with the Craft Provincial Membership Officer, we have been able to focus strongly on increasing the conversion rate of Craft Masons becoming members of the Royal Arch; including Exaltations and rejoining members. We will continue to promote and embrace The Membership Pathway and Solomon, our online searchable repository for Masonic learning. In the Royal Arch Province of South Wales, we retain approaching 9 out of 10 subscribing memberships and I am most grateful to the Deputy Grand Superintendent and the 2nd Provincial Grand Principal, Phillip Aubrey, for leading on the roll-out of the Talking Heads and In Camera presentations.

Companions, at the PGL Committee Meeting, held last month, our RWPGM (the ME3GP) afforded me the singular honour of addressing those gathered; once again highlighting the close working relationship between the Craft and Royal Arch.

That Address (which is on the Website) highlighted our close affinity and support of other Orders and Degrees. Whilst “Pure Ancient Masonry consists of three degrees and no more, i.e. those of the Entered Apprentice, the Fellow Craft, and the Master Mason, including the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch”, our membership of other Orders and Degrees is to be celebrated and supported. Members of other Orders and Degrees retain their memberships and are keen Ambassadors for both the Craft and Royal Arch and we should not think that we have any different concerns than they do. By developing stronger working relationship with other Orders, we can also learn from what they are doing right.

To ensure your views and ideas are being listened to I will be initiating a “Conversation” with our membership, both Craft and Royal Arch. We want to learn and develop together and ultimately increase the proportion of those subscribing Craft members who complete their journey of pure ancient Freemasonry by being Exalted into the Holy Royal Arch. I will be assisted in this exciting venture by E.Comp. Gwilym Jones, Past 2nd Provincial Grand Principal, the ProvGSE and others.

One of the items of conversation will be your preferred wishes for the Provincial Meetings, location, and type of event, meals, timings and days of the working week or Saturdays – should the Craft and Royal Arch meetings be joint or kept separate? The quality and cost-effectiveness of our Masonic Centres will no doubt provide a stimulating topic of conversation for you to engage with.

I am grateful to E.Comp David Suter, Past 2nd Provincial Grand Principal for providing a Ritual Support Team to assist Chapters when emergencies happen, such as key personal not being able to attend and deliver ritual. Remember Companions, the emphasis should always be on the quality of the ceremony for our Principals (at Installations) and our Exaltees.

I again wholeheartedly recommend to all of you Installed First Principals to consider joining Hendre and Lord Swansea Chapters, where you will receive a warm welcome.

As we look back over the last year, with great pride in our Active Provincial Officers we now look forward to those whom I have Invested today to carry the Baton and maintain the standards expected by our illustrious predecessors.
It is a great honour for me to be the one investing you today, on behalf of the Province and I offer my personal thanks and gratitude to all those who have made today such an enjoyable success and in particular, the Provincial Grand Scribe E, Provincial Deputy Grand Scribe E, our new Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, Provincial Officers on duty, the Office Team Volunteers, Cardiff Masonic Hall Management & Staff and the “Set up Team” and for those who will so kindly pack away after we close this Convocation.

Finally, Companions, I am not sure who wishes to claim the honour of having been a subscribing member of the Holy Royal Arch the longest here today but I can tell you that the newest is Companion Rob Fry, who was Exalted into Llantwit Major Chapter just last evening and I am sure we welcome him into our Chapter Family.

Diolch yn fawr!