On 2 January 2013, W Bro Tony Welland raised £1,000 for the 2016 Festival Appeal by doing the world's highest bungee jump from the Macau Tower at 764 feet at the age of 77.
W Bro Tony is a member of Lymington Lodge No. 7984. You can watch his jump in the clip below.
Well done Tony!
The Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys has recently awarded grants amounting to £85,000 to four charities that are working to alleviate the effects of poverty and improve educational outcomes for children and young people.
The grants have been made from the RMTGB's Stepping Stones scheme and will be used to fund specific projects aimed at transforming the lives of hundreds of children and young people throughout England and Wales.
The four charities being supported by these latest grants are:
1. Child Victims of Crime
Child Victims of Crime was established by police officers in the wake of the Warrington bombing in 1993. It aims to relieve poverty, sickness, trauma and distress in children as a result of a criminal offence and to promote social inclusion and personal safety.
A grant of £20,000 has been awarded to help establish a counselling service for child victims of crime.
2. The National Autistic Society
The National Autistic Society supports over 100,000 people per year who have been affected by autistic spectrum disorder. NAS has over 100 branches nationwide, seven specialist schools, residential and employment support, outreach, training and social programmes.
A grant of £10,000 has been awarded to support befriending schemes in Reading & West Berkshire, Cardiff & Newport and Glasgow & South Lanarkshire.
Sense supports and campaigns for children and adults who are deafblind. They provide information, research and advice to deafblind people, their families, carers and practitioners. Services include assisted living, day programmes to learn life skills and specialist advice regarding education and technology.
A grant of £24,335 has been awarded to support the provision of a speech and language therapist for children such as James (pictured above), who are deafblind.
SkillForce works in over 150 schools in Britain, helping young people achieve their academic potential via an alternative curriculum. They combine classroom learning and outdoor activities to motivate their beneficiaries, aiming to prevent them becoming NEETs (not in education, employment or training). 79% of their instructors are ex-service personnel as SkillForce began as a Ministry of Defence project.
A grant of £30,000 has been awarded to help deliver SkillForce’s ‘Community, Character, Contribution’ curriculum to young people in Nottinghamshire.
Since the Stepping Stones scheme was launched, the RMTGB has awarded grants totalling almost £500,000 to 24 non-Masonic charities. Together, the grants will have improved the lives of more than 1,200 children and young people.
Further grants are expected to be awarded from the scheme later this year and applications from non-Masonic charities registered in England and Wales that are working to improve the lives of disadvantaged young people are welcome. Please visit www.rmtgb.org/steppingstones for more information.
Sergeant Jason Griffiths of 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery, Royal Citadel, Plymouth who was undergoing 6 weeks training in the Californian Desert, was amazed to get a phone call from his wife, Nikki telling him that he had won a brand new Seat Ibiza car in a draw organised by W.Bro. David Purdey.
The winning ticket was bought for him, as a present, by his father-in-law Worshipful Brother Arthur Blamey, Charity Steward of St Lawrence Lodge No. 9323, Ashburton.
Jason said the prize was his best Christmas present ever. He and Nikki and their three daughters, Megan, May and Macy live in Bere Alston and are now looking forward to enjoying family trips out in their new car. The keys were given to them by then Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother Michael Penny who was delighted that the prize had gone to such a “super family”.
The draw was made at the dinner marking the culmination of the 5 year 2012 Devonshire Provincial Festival for the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys held in Torquay when the magnificent total of over £3.8M was announced.
The photo shows (L to R) R.W.Bro. Michael Penny, Jason and Nikki Griffiths
The Order of the Secret Monitor has made a generous donation of £35,429 to the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys.
At the Annual Meeting of Grand Conclave, held in Birmingham on Thursday 8th November 2012, a cheque was presented to RMTGB council member Eric Bourne, who thanked the Order for their support:
"On behalf of Council, present and future beneficiaries of the RMTGB, I thank the Order of the Secret Monitor for its very kind and generous donation.
"It is, of course, gratefully accepted and I can assure you that I and my fellow members of council will ensure it is faithfully applied.
"Thank you for your generosity."
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Provincial Grand Steward's Lodge has made a generous donation of £25,000 in support of the Province’s 2016 Festival Appeal for the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys.
During the Lodge's full-to-capacity Installation meeting, held on Saturday 24 November 2012 in Southampton, a cheque was presented to Provincial Grand Master Michael Wilks (bottom-right) shortly after he had inducted the new Master into the Chair – an annual tradition for this Lodge.
The Provincial Grand Master then handed the cheque to his 2016 Festival Appeal Director, Geoff Tuck (top-right), who presented it to RMTGB Council Member, Michael Codd (top-left) allowing the donation to be immediately accepted and credited towards the Lodge's Festival total.
For more information about the Appeal, visit the 2016 Festival page.
Photo: Nigel Lush
Photo: Steve Waterhouse
Freemasons and their families from the Province of Devonshire have raised a magnificent £3,836,625 in support of the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys.
The result of the 2012 Festival Appeal, which lasted almost six years, was announced during a memorable night at the Riviera International Convention Centre in Torquay on Saturday 17 November 2012.
Over 600 Freemasons and members of their families gathered to celebrate during a banquet of local food before the final result was announced by RMTGB Chief Executive, Les Hutchinson.
During the announcement the Province's top performing Lodges in terms of total and per capita donations were also revealed: Loyal Lodge of Industry (No. 421) raised a grand total of £61,321 and Lodge of Union (No. 444), with only 30 members, had raised an average of £1,581 per member.
Following the cheers which greeted the final announcement, the President of the RMTGB, Mike Woodcock, thanked the members of the Province for their hard work during the Appeal and spoke about the importance of the charity's work:
“Through your kindness and generosity you have helped to support disadvantaged children of our Masonic family and many others who never had half the chances to succeed in life that most of us had. Now they have the opportunity to fulfil their potential and to succeed in life.”
Also present at the Festival was Senior Grand Warden, Hon. Andrew Wigram MVO, who delivered an entertaining speech which recounted memories of his visits to Devonshire before offering congratulations to the Provincial Grand Master for Devonshire, Michael T. Penny, for his Province's achievement.
In his own speech as the 2012 Festival President, the Provincial Grand Master offered further thanks to the members of his Province and the Festival Committee who had been instrumental in the success of the Appeal and spoke of his support for the work of the Trust:
"Every child is miracle and deserves the best start in life that their circumstances allow – that is their basic right and it's their inability to control their own destiny that evokes in us feelings of compassion and care . That of course is the prime motivation of every parent and the Trust when supporting and helping members of our Masonic family."
Other distinguished guests included the Chairman of Torbay Council and a number of Provincial Grand Masters for other Provinces.
During the dinner, harpist and former RMTGB beneficiary Angelina Warburton played a variety of popular classics before a lively performance by the Devon Youth Jazz Orchestra; their trumpeter also being a beneficiary of the Trust.
Are you a Devonshire Freemason? Click here for the full results including individual Lodge totals.
Everyone at the Trust sends their thanks and best wishes to Martin Howitt for his sponsored walk from Fort William to Cape Wrath in support of Lincolnshire’s 2014 Festival Appeal.
Martin kindly provided us with the following overview of the challenge he has set himself:
This walk passes through some of the wildest and remotest parts of the Scottish west coast, indeed of the British mainland. Knoydart, for example, is considered as the most remote and unspoilt region in Britain, a great place to learn your words!
The trail starts at Fort William and heads generally north until finishing at that rugged and most north westerly tip of Scotland, Cape Wrath Lighthouse.
It is a trail of 210 miles and will generally follow the line marked out on the map. Passing through Knoydart, the Wester and Easter Ross areas and finally Sutherland it promises to be my most challenging walk, my last one being the West Highland Way (95miles) in 3 days.
This is a solo walk and my aim is to complete in a total of 9 days but with a narrowing weather window I have decided to split the walk into two sections.
Section One will be Fort William to Kinlochewe, around 95 miles and covering the remotest parts of the trail. Carrying my provisions and shelter for 2 nights whilst I negotiate the area of Knoydart I plan to complete this section in 4 days. Weather permitting I intend this to be around the 3rd weekend of October.
Section Two will be Kinlochewe to Cape Wrath, the balance of 115 miles, which I plan to have completed by April 2013, again the timing is subject to an appropriate weather window of 5 days.
With our minds and efforts presently focused on the Provinces’ 2014 Festival I thought it a good idea to use this walk to boost each Lodges contributions. So your sponsorship will be recorded under your name and will contribute to your Lodges Festival Target. You can record your sponsorship at www.justgiving.com/MartinHowitt
My wife will be monitoring my progress and will keep you updated on my JustGiving page.
I hope you consider this a worthy reason to make that one off contribution to the Festival and help not only the RMTGB but also your tireless Charity Steward.
Good luck Martin!
Bro. Rory Windridge of The Eastleigh Lodge (No. 8340) in Eastleigh, Hampshire organised a fundraising event for the RMTGB, where ten members of the lodge (average age 58 years) pulled a 30t concrete truck for one mile along a local country lane.
The oldest member of the team, aged 72 years, was W. Bro Barry Ansell who said:
“It was a good way to keep fit and help the Girls and Boys”.
The team is considering a re-run next year where it might field its ‘senior side’, including its oldest honorary member who celebrates his 101st birthday this year!
The Lodge invited W. Bro Ray Collings, Fundraising Manager of the RMTGB to attend their meeting on 20 October 2012 and give a presentation on the charity which was enjoyed by all the Brethren.
At the festive board, the funds raised from the truck pull were presented to W. Bro Ray Collings by The Eastleigh Lodge’s Charity Steward, W. Bro Steve Privett (a junior member of the team at a mere 48 years).
To conclude the evening, the Worshipful Master, Raymond Caldwell, presented a cheque from the raffle to W. Bro Ray Collings bringing the total funds raised by the Lodge to £2,600.
Thanking the members of the Lodge for their support, W. Bro Ray Collings said:
“I just cannot believe the effort and determination put in by these chaps. The Trust is very grateful for the funds raised by them and Hampshire and Isle of Wight Masons and their families”.
The Province of Nottinghamshire has launched its 2018 Festival Appeal in support of the RMTGB at a special event held in Nottingham on Sunday 22 April 2012.
An unforgettable afternoon at the Royal Concert Hall featured musical performances from the internationally renowned Cantamus Girls' Choir (Choir, background; Director Pamela Cook, right) and rising opera star Nicholas Sharratt (left).
Current RMTGB beneficiary Jasmine Elcock (centre), who has received financial support since her father was made redundant last year, sang at the concert and many other recent cases of support were highlighted throughout the event.
Following the musical performances, the Provincial Grand Master for Nottinghamshire, Robin K. Wilson formally announced the beginning of the Appeal.
During the event, the RMTGB’s President and Chief Executive both delivered short speeches which explained the history and current work of Freemasonry's oldest charity to members of the Province and many members of the public who had also purchased tickets for the event.
During his speech, President Mike Woodcock, himself a Nottinghamshire Freemason, said:
The RMTGB’s work is so important and I know that Nottinghamshire Freemasons, who have an enviable record of charitable support, will help us maintain our proud record of having never turned away a child in need because of a lack of funds.
Members of the Province, together with their families, will be aiming to raise a total of £3m during the next six years and the Provincial Grand Master reported in his speech that great progress has already been made, with over £820,000 being raised before the formal Appeal had even been begun.
For further details about the Festival, including information about donating and fundraising, please visit www.nottinghamshiremasons.co.uk or www.rmtgb.org/2018
A selection of further photos of the concert can be found on our Facebook page.
(Photo credit: Paul Hancock)