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About MCF News

A message from the PGM

PROVINCIAL GRAND LODGE
OF DEVONSHIRE

22 April 2020


Brethren all,


We are now over thirty days into lockdown and complying with the sensible guidance from Government and United Grand Lodge of England. We know this will save lives and together we can defeat this terrible virus.

My Executive and I want you to know we are so proud of you and your families for your compliance and patience in following these new and temporary rules.

But I want to go further, and praise you all for the ways I learn you have been helping others in the community. I have had so many examples of the good works that are currently being undertaken by our members.

Above all to those of you who are in the front line, risking your lives to care for others, we salute you and thank you for making us all proud to have you as Brothers. We thank you and your families for quietly putting into action the principles by which we live and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

At the beginning of the confinement to our homes, I suggested that lodges ensure every member has the contact list of other Brethren and that in conjunction with the Almoners – all members are contacted personally. This identifies those who need help and also encourages us to chat and keep in touch. I hear this has been much appreciated and I hope it becomes a regular activity as the lockdown weeks go by and before we can meet again.

I know many of you are communicating electronically and I too have been holding meetings on Zoom, which does enable me to see which of my Executive are getting tea in bed!

As your Provincial Grand Master I love to hear of the many acts of kindness which are constantly being undertaken. Here are just two examples:

  • Over the Easter weekend Benevolent Lodge 303, Teignmouth, allowed a non-Mason and his son to cook Sunday roast dinners in their kitchen at for nearly 150 people and which were delivered free into the community. Well done Benevolent.
  • WBro. Mark Bowes-Cavanagh of Courtland Lodge 6706, donated 7000 hand sanitizers from his company to NHS care homes, schools and surgeries. Thank you Mark.

It does not go unnoticed that many more of you are working so hard to serve your community and I know it will continue – thankyou.

The UGLE Covid19 Response Group shares all our initiatives via our PGM’s Regional groups and in conjunction with the MCF, it is fully supportive of all we are doing. Meetings are held on a frequent basis via WhatsApp and they are keen to share ideas to enable best practice throughout our order.

The support and advice and sensible guidance we have received from UGLE since the beginning of this situation cannot be praised enough, we must all be grateful.

I expect most of you are aware of the Covid 19 Relief Chest that has been opened, by the MCF, and is ready to receive donations. I want to make it clear that if you choose to donate to this fund your contribution will be counted towards the total of the 2023 Devonshire Festival. Your contributions to this Covid19 relief chest will also count towards a Steward’s Festival Jewel.

I know we are all sorely disappointed that we were not able to hold our annual Provincial Grand Lodge Meeting at Torquay. Those newly appointed and promoted officers will be entitled to wear the collar for that office from the 20 April 2020. It upsets me, as much as you, at not being able to make that presentation on the stage. I am truly sorry Brethren and I congratulate all those promoted for what you have done so far in Masonry to deserve this recognition. Well done!

Let’s just hope that after we get through this dreadful situation we may be able to enjoy the rest of this year together.

I would also take this opportunity to thank my two Provincial Wardens: WBro. Rob Summers and WBro. Antony Eldred for their dedication and support. This of course came with heading up another year of dedicated active Provincial Officers.

I thank them for the incredible amount of £2,202 raised for our MCF Festival.

Those of you that are alone in your homes be reassured that you are part of a very caring organization that will help you through these difficult times. VWBro. Simon Rowe, WBro. Peter
Balsom and I are united in our endeavours to help you if we can.

Indeed we appeal to you all to join with us and the other leaders of the Provinces of Cornwall and Somerset for the 9 o’clock toast each day.

This dreaded virus has brought normal life to a standstill but given us a period of time to spend in quiet reflection on life. All the material things that we may crave for pale into insignificance and makes you realise it is the love and care we show for each other that is the most important.

You are all very precious and special people please keep safe and well.


Ian


RWBro Ian Kingsbury JP
Provincial Grand Master of Devonshire

Categories
Charity MCF News

Community Action: Exeter Deaf Academy.

Exeter Royal Academy for Deaf Education has been located in the City for over 190 years. It is a bi-lingual day and residential school which welcomes deaf children and young people, aged between 5 and 25 from across the UK.

Its aim is to give students the confidence, communication skills, education, and support network they need to achieve their goals.

The success of the academy has meant that it’s current facilities no longer meet the needs of its Students and Staff. It has therefore been decided to move to a new purpose built Campus in Exmouth. The new buildings will include a range of up to date facilities to cater for a diverse range of needs including autism, epilepsy, physical and multi-sensory disabilities.

It is hoped that construction of the new buildings will be completed later this year.

The work of the Academy first came to the attention of Devonshire Freemasons when their Leader, Provincial Grand Master Ian Kingsbury, heard a presentation at The House of Lords by Steve Morton, Director of Development for the academy.

Inspired by what he had heard, Ian returned to Devonshire determined to help those affected by this very
difficult sensory disability.

To this end, he approached the Devonshire Freemasons Benevolent Fund Committee who agreed an immediate donation of £5,000.

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Masonic Charitable Foundation

Following this initial donation in October 2018, an approach was made to the Freemasons’ central charity the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) who have agreed further funding of £28,380 to equip a Multi-Sensory Immersive Space within the new centre in Exmouth, bringing the total donated to £33,380.

Recently Devonshire Freemasons’ Chief Fundraiser, Reuben Ayres, accompanied by Clive Eden, visited the Academy. Here they met up again with Steve Morton and Appeals Manager Sarah Shaw and presented them with a certificate confirming the £28,380 which is going to support the wonderful work undertaken by the Academy.

When presenting the certificate, Reuben Ayres said:

‘Young people all need us to be there to help them grow for the future, none more so than those with a lack of hearing who are denied the normal things that we take so much for granted in the world we live in.’

Reuben Ayres, Provincial Charity Steward, Province of Devonshire

Explaining how the donation would assist in the Academy’s work, Steve Morton said:

‘We are extremely grateful for the ongoing support from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Devonshire and now the Masonic Charitable Foundation. Without the support of generous organisations like these we wouldn’t be able to change the lives of some of the most vulnerable Deaf young people in UK.

Our work helps young people, who have often been isolated in the past, to access education and opportunities for development which ultimately will enable them to have more independent lives.

The immersive room is there to help those facing the greatest challenges to benefit from our work and Ian, Reuben and their fellow Freemasons have played a large part in making that a reality.’

Steve Morton, Director of Development.

To find out more about the exiting new development at Exeter Royal Academy for Deaf Education

Click Here

Categories
MCF

Aimee’s Story

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Better Lives brings you real life stories of people who have been helped by The Masonic Charitable Foundation.

For more information visit www.mcf.org.uk

This is Aimee’s Story

Better Lives | Beneficiary Aimee with her grandfather Frederick. Aimee who’s grandfather through his masonic connections has helped fund her University education. 25th June 2017 Photography by Gareth Iwan Jones (www.garethiwanjones.com)
After Aimee’s father died at the age of 45, her Freemason grandfather, Frederick, stepped in to support the family through the financial strain that followed. Eventually his savings started to run low and he turned to the MCF to help his granddaughter through her education.

“The MCF made sure I had all the resources and equipment I needed to study. I graduated from Cardiff University with first class honours in Psychology and have since completed my PHD. I’m now studying for a doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Oxford! That was the goal I had in mind when I was first studying – I’ve finally got there after nine years!”

Better Lives | Beneficiary Aimee with her grandfather Frederick, Grandmother Barbara and mother Jenny. Aimee who’s grandfather through his masonic connections has helped fund her University education. 25th June 2017 Photography by Gareth Iwan Jones (www.garethiwanjones.com)

“I’m extremely grateful for all the support from the MCF. They have been fantastic and have enabled me to pursue a career I really love.”