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Sun, 14th June 2020

Obituary ~ Ill. Bro. S. R. Bennett

It is with much sadness that we report the Passing of Ill. Bro. Samuel Royston (Roy) Bennett, 31o who Passed to the Grand Lodge above on Friday, just 2 weeks short of his 92nd Birthday.

Roy was a regular visitor to Newfields, Halesowen where he practised the majority of his Freemasony. He was a much respected Freemason. May he Rest in Peace.

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Mon, 11th May 2020

The District Diary ~ Edition 4 ~ Spring 2020

District of Worcestershire

The District Diary ~ Edition 4 Spring 2020 

 This District Diary is for distribution by the Chapter Recorder to all Chapter members either by email or sent as hard copy by post. This edition follows the Zoom Video Meeting with the District Chapters on Tuesday 5th May,

1. Introduction

INSPECTOR GENERAL, Designate in Charge

V.Ill. Bro. Dr. J.F. K. Marzouk, FRCS, (C/Th),33°

 I would like to welcome you to this, the 4th District Diary Edition - Spring 2020, which comes at a time when we are all still self-isolating and obligated to social distancing. However, if we cannot meet in our Chapters, at least we are able to see each other, even if only across the airwaves through Zoom Video meetings. 

Accordingly, such a meeting was arranged on the 5th of May, and I was thrilled to see that 16 of the 19 Chapters in the District were represented. That was the same day when we could have met either at Wenceslas Chapter R.C. No. 1114 in Kings Heath for their Enthronement meeting or at St. Theodore Chapter R.C. No. 887 not only for the Enthronement but also for a unique occasion, namely that of the Dedication of 2 MWS's Standards for St. Theodore and St. Dunstan Chapter R.C. No. 12 by the Grand Prior, when I suspect a good number of us would have been in attendance in Worcester. God willing this will be re-arranged as soon as normal services are resumed. 

Naturally, we are all disappointed that a number of our gatherings are abandoned, cancelled or postponed, I hope and pray that these days of separation will be soon over so that we are able to once again enjoy this beloved Order and each other's company. I hope to maintain contact with you all by Telephone or email for the foreseeable future.  

Finally, my very dear Brethren, I would like to recommend adopting a uniform Titles' practice throughout the District in that we only address each other as 'Princes' within our Chapters and only after Opening, and are addressed as 'Brethren' after Closing, and elsewhere, including at the Festive Board.  

Meanwhile, stay safe my friends

Joseph

 2. Supreme Council 

All and any correspondence received has been disseminated as necessary through the Chapter Recorders.

 3. District

 On Tuesday 28th April the Inspector General, District Recorder, Past Inspector General, Chapter Recorder and Father, joined a District Zoom Video Meeting to share what should have been the day of Promotion to the 30° at Supreme Council of E & P Bro. Simon Jinks.  Bro. Simon was taken aback when the Grand Prior, M. Ill. Brother Dr. John Railton, 33° joined us and, whilst sympathising with Simon, very eloquently Proposed his Toast.

 The Grand Prior was sincerely thanked and we look forward to welcoming him at some point in time to attend Worcester to conduct the Dedication of the MWS Standards for both St. Dunstan & St. Theodore which should have taken place on Tuesday 5th May where it was also intended to be the District’s 175th Anniversary of our Order Celebration.

 It is hoped that this Celebration can be rescheduled later this year.

The Inspector General continues with his daily telephone calls to the District Membership which are very well received.

 4. Chapters

 The individual Chapters in attendance were then invited to give their reports:

 12 ~ St. Dunstan ~ Alan Workman (Rec) ~ Maurice Hume, (Prel), Presented the apologies of the MWS (John Harmshaw), currently have 37 Members having suffered a recent resignation due to ill health. May 2020 Enthronement postponed. Have 2 Candidates for 2021, and a Joining Member, made reference to the 10-point plan produced for last September’s Seminar. Liked the idea of Zoom and since meeting has received favourable response from his members to hold future Officers Meetings via Zoom.

198 ~ St. Nicolas ~ Robert Vaughan, (MWS & PGM) Martin Preece, (Rec) ~ Chapter in good heart and awaiting confirmation from St Agnes in regard to their Amalgamating/Joining in the new Masonic Year. They have had 2 Perfectees during the year.

 316 ~ Gervase Paganel ~ Gordon Stacey ~ (Rec). Currently in a state of flux. It had been anticipated that they would amalgamate with St. Edmund King & Martyr given that the Dudley Masonic Centre was closing. However, this is not the case as St. Edmund’s have taken the decision to move to Halesowen and Gervase Paganel are moving to the new James S. Webb, Masonic Centre, Stourbridge, DY8 1SP, from the commencement of the new season. Draft By – Laws have already been submitted and are awaiting confirmation from the Membership.

 344 ~ St Agnes ~ Reg Willshire (MWS) ~ Looking forward to Joining St. Nicolas. Membership 100% behind the move especially where St. Nicolas have agreed to acknowledge the “incorporation” of St. Agnes with St. Nicolas.

 Note: DR informed meeting that SC had been made aware of the amalgamation in order that St. Agnes can be closed at the end of the financial year (June 30th). Admin requirements will be met asap.

 606 ~ St Ann of Malvern ~ David Barnett, (MWS) Keith Evans, (Rec) ~ 19 Members all in good health save for the sad loss of Roger Broomfield, 30° some 10 days ago and whose funeral was taking place PM today. Enthronement should be taking place tomorrow.

 615 ~ Halesowen ~ Keith Owen, (Rec) ~ Final Meeting of this Masonic Year should have taken place yesterday. MWS and Officers continuing in Office for another year. Delighted to have welcomed 6 Members from St. Mary’s Abbey on their Closure 3 of whom are already in Office including MWS. Expressed some concern in regard to current subscriptions in arrears and the requirements as stated in their By-Laws.

A discussion then took place and it was suggested that it needs to be dealt with sensitively and on a case by case basis.

 The Almoner is doing a very good job in communicating with the members.

 688 ~ St Mary & All Saints ~ Tim Wooldridge, (Rec), Keith Layton, (Prel), Vivian Fogarty, (PS), ~ MWS sends his apologies ~ currently have 30 Members and all appear to be in good health. No Candidates in the pipeline, but we are looking forward to and hoping to be able to celebrate our 50th Anniversary in November.

711 ~ St. Francis of Assisi ~ Gary Talbot, (MWS), John Phenix, (Rec) Joseph Marzouk, (PS) ~ 26 Members the majority of whom appear to be OK. Had the sad resignation from Richard B W Price, 30°, who, following a stoke, is now paralysed on his left side and is now in a Care Home. Recently Celebrated his 85th Birthday and was overwhelmed by the number of cards he received. (Not quite Capt. Tom. But nevertheless, very welcome). It included a card from the District.

Our 2nd General, E & P Bro. Peter Griffiths is also in a Care Home following his recent surgery and it is unlikely we will see him again in the Chapter.

Have an 87-year-old Candidate who it is hoped??? to introduce in September.

 730 ~ St. Edmund, King & Martyr, Not represented but the IG has been in contact with the majority of members and received a comprehensive report which included the details of the MWS who is currently undergoing treatment.

862 ~ Breme ~ Not represented but again the IG has been in contact with the majority of the Members.

 876 ~ St. Kenelm ~ Peter Hartley, (MWS) Tom Doherty, (Rec) ~ Great to welcome the MWS all the way from Devon. Officers remaining in place for a 2nd year. No Candidates but trying to recruit. Currently have 14 Members of whom 12 remain Active.

 883 ~  Merston Culy ~ Joseph Marzouk (Acting MWS), John Phenix, (Rec), Gordon Stacey (PS), ~ Following the sad loss of Norman Burden the IPS, our IG Designate in Charge, Joseph, continue to develop, mainly with Joining Members, one was due in March and two others are due to join as and when we next meet. Currently have 18 Members.

 887 ~ St. Theodore ~ Keith Layton, (MWS),Geoff Perry, (1st Gen), Maurice Hume, (PS),~ Sadly, our meeting today was to act as Hosts for the Districts 175th Anniversary, part of which was to be the dedication of the Standards of St. Dunstan’s and ourselves by the Grand Prior, and would also have been our Enthronement Meeting. This has had to be postponed due to the current situation.Our Raphael, Ian Napier is currently undergoing treatment.

 908 ~ Oldswinford ~ Ekkehard (Ego) Schirrmacher, (Rec), Graham Perkins, (Alm), ~ Have had 1 Resignation due to Ill Health but have gained 2 new Perfectees, Colin P T Brown and Richard Macey and a Joining Member, Geoff Watkins, giving us a Membership of 23. Currently due to revise our By Laws due to our move from the Talbot Hotel to our New James S. Webb Masonic Centre. Unfortunately, our plan to move all our Regalia and equipment was thwarted by the lockdown. Our Almoner, Graham Perkins, has kept in regular contact with our Membership.

 918 ~ Bordesley Abbey, ~ Not represented but again the IG has been in contact with the majority of the Members.

 970 ~ Worcester ~ Vivian Fogarty, (Acting MWS), Stuart Rothero, (Rec), Maurice Hume, (MWS Elect.), ~ Obviously very disappointed at being unable to hold our Meeting at Kings Heath which would have seen the Installation of our Inspector General Designate in Charge and our own Enthronement and where we were ready to have 150+ Attendees. We have 2 Joining Members, one of whom is John Denton who is due to receive his 50 Years of Service Certificate next year. Hopefully we will be able to reorganise that Meeting either in October or March of next year subject to when we can resume normal activity.

 994 ~ Evesham ~ Ian Fothergill (PS) ~ The Chapter is in good heart and we have 4 Candidates in the Pipeline who we are hoping will retain their interest once the lockdown allows us to return to normal service. It has already been agreed that our MWS and certain Officers will continue in post for a two-year period. We were delighted to welcome Charles Dyer and Maurice Hume as Joining Members especially as they are the Preceptor and a Deputy Preceptor of the MRCCI.

 1022 ~ Northfield ~ Allan Bretherton, (MWS), Stuart Rothero, (Rec), ~ Allan has already accepted that he will complete 2 years in the Chair. The Promotion of Phillip Hill to 30° was due to take place on the day the suspension of all masonic activity was suspended. We look forward to seeing him receive his honour in due course. We have been delighted to welcome back Brian Adams and look forward to the return of Steve Taylor following their sad absence due to bereavement. We have unfortunately a Member, George Bradley, who is now in a Care Home.

 1114 ~ Wenceslas ~ Rob Waldron,(MWS) Kerry Parkes, (Prel) ~ The Chapter are in good spirit and have had 1 Perfectee during the year. Our Enthronement Meeting was due tonight but the Officers have accepted covering 2 years. From a recruiting perspective we have considered a White or “Red” Table evening in an effort to bring the Order to the attention of many and it was forwarded as a suggestion that this could be something for the District to consider? We currently have 15 Members of whom 14 are active and have discussed the possibility of seeking Amalgamation/Joining another Chapter.

 5. Conclusion.

 The Inspector General thanked everyone for taking part and was delighted to see so many Chapters represented.

 The DR reminded Recorders that he will be forwarding the Blank copies of the Provincial Year Book Form for completion.

 The PGM reported that there will be a Year Bookproduced this year but it may well be an electronic copy rather than printed.

 It has been agreed that we will hold another District Zoom Meeting on:

 Friday 17th July at 11:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mon, 11th May 2020

An uplifting message from the Inspector General Designate in Charge

Brethren All,

In these difficult times please read this inspiring and uplifting text from our Inspector General Designate in Charge.

Boaz 

        ‘In strength’ or more literally ‘In him is strength’

                                       Bro. Dr. Joseph F. K. Marzouk

BOAZ is the ‘word’ which we, as Freemasons, love so well. It is the first password, or the second if you are on the Continent, which we have all learned when we were first Initiated. But we were only given an abridged account on its origin and briefly instructed in its import. It is my intention in this short paper to expand on that, in a small measure, if I may.

Boaz features frequently in many Masonic Orders, e.g. Craft, Royal Order of Scotland and Scarlet Cord, to mention but a few, however, I make no apology that this exposition is more suitable for the ‘Christian Masonic Orders’, but in the words of a former and much respected Ruler and my confidante, and I quote: “those not of the faith may pick and choose what seems appropriate for them”. With that in mind, I will try to give it the ‘proper’ perspective, even at the expense that it may not appeal to all. Nevertheless, I hope that you will, whatever your persuasion, enjoy the sentiments expressed therein, and please take from it only what you see fit for you.

Origin

In the Scriptures, and again my apologies for the very few whose VSL is not the Bible, we are introduced to the person and Character of Boaz, for the first time, in the opening verse of the 2nd Chapter of the Book of Ruth, Ruth 2:1. In there the blessed Ruth, whose name in Hebrew means beautiful or lovely friendship, “happened to come to a portion of the field belonging unto Boaz” Ruth 2:3. This wonderful character is so precious to the Jews and to Christians alike, as well as  to us as Freemasons, for we learn from the final verse of that Book, Ruth 4:22  the words which so easily trip off our tongues, about Boaz as “the great grandfather of David, a prince and Ruler in Israel”,  and after whom “the left hand Pillar at the porch way or entrance of King  Solomon’s Temple” is so named, 1 Kings 7: 21 & 2 Chron. 3:17.

Such is the significance of the man that his name is repeated 24 times in the scriptures, and he is included in the genealogy of the Lord Jesus Christ, Matt. 1:5.

Application

Someone has once said that ‘The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed, and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed’. I suggest that this typically applies to the subject in hand.

In accordance with Jewish Law, Boaz became the Kinsman Redeemer of Ruth, Ruth 4:4, and to the Christian, Boaz is a perfect type or shadow of the Lord Jesus Christ as our perfect Redeemer, Rom 5. Moreover, in his relationship with, and betrothal to, Ruth we have a wonderful foreshadow of Christ in relation to His Church, Eph. 5:22-32, namely, as “the bride, the Lamb’s wife”, which is the New or Holy Jerusalem, as we read in the Book of Revelation, Rev. 21:9-11, but that is for another day.

The import of the word is ‘In Strength’

Let us now carefully consider and meditate on the meaning and significance of the very special name of Boaz.

Boaz, in Hebrew, means ‘in strength’ or more literally ‘in it, or rather, in him is strength’, this is quite appropriate given the circumstances in which the story began in the first Chapter of the Book of Ruth, (N.B. it will be helpful at this juncture to read all of this short Book, it is unputdownable), but you may remember that amidst the weakness, namely that of a universal famine, which led to separation and tribal emigration, and had sadly ended in a significant loss of life and major household death; first, that of the husband and father, Elimelech, whose name in Hebrew means ‘My God is King’, but alas, God was no longer the Ruler of his life, then the two sons, Mahlon meaning ‘Sickness’ and Chilion meaning ‘Pining away’ or ‘labouring in vain’, such that the bereft wife and mother Naomi, whose Hebraic name means ‘pleasant or grace’, who in her despair and bitterness “said unto them, call me not Naomi, but call me Mara” Ruth 1:20,  which means ‘bitter’.

Is this not dissimilar to the situation the whole world finds itself facing at the present time? God is no longer honoured as king and the merciless “prince of this world” i.e. the Devil, John 12:31, is rampantly active in “seeking whom he may devour” 1 Pet. 5:8. Humankind being subject “to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience; among whom also we all had our conversation, viz. manner of life, in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and we were by nature the children of wrath, even as others” Eph. 2:2,3.  As the sins of immorality and greed prevailed, then sickness and disease is spreading, i.e. Mahlon, and all the nations are now idling away in vain, i.e. Chilion, typified by the effects of the current coronavirus infection leading to the universal spread of disease and global economic disaster on such an unprecedented scale of international ruin. For “we know that the whole creation  groaneth and travaileth in pain” Rom. 8:22.

Remember that “as in the days of Noah” Matt. 24:37, before the universal deluge; no one, except one man, Noah, was found righteous in the sight of the Holy God. Likewise, in our day and age of this generation, where the fear of God is not before the human eyes, the result is a worldwide sickness and ruin, typified in this coronavirus infection. However, in the midst of such universal weakness and death, it is my firm belief that, as in the story of Ruth, out of this disaster there must come a revival, an awakening which the world is badly in need.

I was prompted to write this article at the time of universal fear and uncertainty when a strength of character and the courage in spirit is most essential to face the dreadful pandemic of SARS-CoV-2, aka coronavirus infection, causing the deadly COVID-19 disease, which at the time of writing (5th May 2020) had spread throughout the surface of the Globe, afflicting well over 3.7M people and regrettably had claimed the life of more than 255K worldwide, which is continually and incessantly rising, by the tens of thousands, every day. However, it is my earnest wish that we can glean from the teaching of the character of Boaz some encouragement, so that we should not despair.

Dearly beloved Brethren, as it was then in the days of Ruth, out of the womb of all tragedy there we find something unimaginably beautiful is born, which if the tragedy had not occurred, never would have arisen such a blessing. She had found, in Boaz, a Kinsman Redeemer; in him she found love, contentment, riches and imperishable inheritance, which eventually culminated in the blessing of all blessings, i.e. the birth of the Saviour of the world many generations later, who in the midst of spiritual weakness to the extent of our eternal ruin, damnation and death, the ‘true’ Boaz appeared, there and then, “for when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly” Rom. 5:6.

Even if the profane world still thinks that “the preaching of the cross, to them that perish, is foolishness; but unto us who are saved it is the power (strength) of God. Because the ‘foolishness’ of God is wiser than men; and the ‘weakness’ of God is stronger than men.”      1 Cor.1:18 & 25. “God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us  together with Christ” Eph. 2:4,5.

Exhortation

As individuals, as Citizens of the world and as Freemasons we take courage from the charges in our Ritual, and without sounding to proselytise, I would like to take some comfort from the experience as humans of faith in general and as Christians in particular. 

Although our pathway, particularly as Christians, along which we must walk is not always, in human terms, pleasurable, it most certainly is never, ever easy, and we may be weak during the journey in this troubled world, but “we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us” Rom. 8:37 and in the power of our saviour we are able to share with the Apostle Paul in saying “when I am weak, then am I strong” 2 Cor. 12:10. Along with Job of old, we may triumphantly sing “thou hast strengthened the weak hands” Job 4:3 adding with Isaiah “and confirm the feeble knees” Isa. 35:3. Because we “know that our redeemer liveth” Job 19:25 

Therefore, we remain unshaken, for “what shall separate us from the love of God? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any creation, shall be able to separate us from the love of God” Rom. 8:35-39, and not even that invisible sub-microscopic enemy, coronavirus.

In conclusion

My dear friends, whatever may pass, and whatever may lie ahead in these uncertain times, we are able to confidently praise the Lord, and join with the committed believers of all the ages who passed through periods of distress and turmoil, and boldly sing with e.g. Miriam and Moses who led the Israelites to sing after their liberation from the Egyptian bondage; and with David, the sphered King, who twice survived the javelin and spear of the irate King Saul; and the rebellion of his own son, the evil Absalom; and with the Prophets in and after the Babylonian captivity,  in saying respectively, “the Lord is my Strength”, “my Song”,  “my power”, “my rock and my fortress”, “my shield” and the horn of “my Salvation” Ex. 15:2, 2 Sam. 22:33, Ps. 18:2, Ps. 28:7 & Ps. 118:14 and finally Isa. 12:2.

Finally, my friends, in the words of the prophet Joel: “Let the weak say I am strong” Joel 3:10 and in those of St. Paul “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” Eph.6:10, because “we know that all things work together for good to them that love God (or more accurately translated, who are loved by God), to them who are called according to His purpose” Rom 8:28

May we recite those ever meaningful words “In strength I will establish this mine house to stand firm for ever”, accordingly we proceed onwards and upwards with undiminishing resolve. 

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Sun, 26th April 2020

"Et or &" Message to all Members from the Inspector General Designate in Charge

As we enter into the 7th week of Masonic Lockdown, I am sure that you are, like me, missing very much our gatherings. But I trust you agree that the wisdom of Supreme Council in an early implementation of social distancing and self-isolation, even before the Government's, has thus far helped in reducing the rate of spread of the infection amongst our numbers. 

 Notwithstanding, our thoughts and prayers are extended to the few who are affected directly and to the many suffering indirectly, that is all of us, but more especially to those who became sick and those experiencing its debilitating after effects and above all to those sorrowing and grieving the sad loss of loved ones, may the God of all comfort fill your hearts with the glow of hope, and may the good Lord shorten those days. And armed with the virtues that characterise our Order, Faith will support you when tempted to despair, Hope will cheer you on your road, and Charity will sustain you in every trial.

 Finally, my Very Dear Brethren, having finished the first round of alphabetical 5-a-day, forgive me if I haven't been in touch, either because I exhausted the daily quota or I did not know your telephone number or email address, please get in touch, I will try to remedy that in the second round starting tomorrow. But my relief is in this communication, which I have strangely entitled 'et or &'! Did you know that was at some stage the 27th letter in the English Alphabet? It is therefore the umbrella under which I send you all my best wishes and trust you will stay safe, and until we meet again be of good cheer.

 Kindest regards

Yours Sincerely & Fraternally

Joseph 

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Mon, 13th April 2020

The District Diary Easter 2020 Edition.

The Ancient & Accepted Rite

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District of Worcestershire

The District Diary ~ Edition 3 Easter 2020

  This District Diary is for distribution by the Chapter Recorder to all Chapter members either by email or sent as hard copy by post.

 1. Introduction


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INSPECTOR GENERAL

Designate In Charge

V\ Ill\ Bro. Dr. J.F. K. Marzouk, FRCS, (C/Th),33°

 Brethren, it is my privilege, though quite poignant, to introduce this, the 3rd Edition of our District Diary, which was brought forward because of the turmoil caused by a dreaded sub microscopic infectious deadly agent called coronavirus which has turned the whole world upside down. At the time of writing, the test-proven infected individuals topped 1.5M, which claimed the life of 90K, both numbers are unceasingly rising. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected, our consolations for those who lost dear ones and our support is pledged to those who care for the sick and the dying. 

 Much have happened since the 2nd Edition on 2nd December 2019, for it was only 2 days later that Supreme Council announced the retirement of our much beloved Past Inspector General,

V:. Ill:. Bro. Dr. Richard N Hoare, 33*, at his request, after admirably leading the District for nearly 8 years. I have the honour, but the unenviable task, to follow in his footsteps, as of the 1st February 2020, as Inspector General Designate in Charge. I have said repeatedly, his is a very hard act to follow. I am sure you join me to wish him, with his dear wife Pat, our very best wishes for a long, happy and healthy retirement.

 I was supposed to be Installed as Inspector General on 30th March 2020 at Worcestershire Chapter Rose Croix No. 970, and whilst the preparations were in earnest, and with 2 weeks to go, Supreme Council in conjunction with UGLE, MMH and all other Governing Masonic bodies, quite wisely suspended all gatherings and activities to prevent the spread of the deadly COVID-19 disease. Although it was disappointing, it pales to insignificance compared to the unimaginable suffering of the entire world, may the Lord look graciously on us and shorten these days. 

 Until we meet again, and I trust we will meet again soon, take good care of yourselves and of all your loved ones. Show kindness to each other, compassion to the bewildered, assistance to the lonely and needy, and be strong in the Lord and His might. 

 Stay safe, my friends.

Joseph Marzouk

 2. Supreme Council

 Following the continued development of the coronavirus it perhaps naturally followed that on 17th March we should receive a letter from the MW The Grand Master and our Patron, HRH The Duke of Kent informing us that all Masonic activity should cease for a period of four months with immediate effect.

 Ironically this was the day of the Higher Degrees Meeting at Grand East where E & P Bro. Phi Hill of Northfield Chapter was due to receive his 30°. Unfortunately, Phil had already had to withdraw on Medical advice.

It also means that E & P Bro. Simon Jinks of St. Francis of Assisi Chapter would not be attending for his Promotion on 28th April and our 3 Members, Ill Bro’s Michael Baxendale, Keith Evans and Phil Hannah would not be receiving their 31° on 19th May.

 Once we are able to return to normal activity it is quite obvious that our Order will, like all others, have a myriad of catching up to do.

 3. District

 Since the last edition in December the District has seen a number of historical events commencing with the Retirement of our Inspector General,V. Ill. Bro. Dr. Richard N Hoare, 33°

 a) On Saturday 25th January V. Ill. Bro. Richard and some 43 Members of the Order, including the V. Ill. Bro. Ian Crowe, 33°, the Inspector General for the District of Gloucestershire and Herefordshire, met at St. Francis of Assisi Chapter together with a unique combination of 2 Inspectors General Designate; both members of the Chapter; namely Ill Bro’s Stephen W. Fowler, 32° and Joseph Marzouk, 32° who were Promoted to the 33° on 30th January and became the V. Ill. Inspectors General Designate in Charge of the Districts of Warwickshire and Worcestershire respectively.

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To mark his Retirement the Inspector General was presented with a Solid Silver Edinburgh Hallmarked Quaich, (the Scottish equivalent of the Goblet of Fraternal Affection),from the District a Toby Jug from the Chapter, (his Mother Chapter), a Music Stand from the Inspector General Designate and a suitable bottle of the wine of his country by Ill. Bro. Maurice Hume, 32°

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b) Once again due to the imposed suspension of activity it has meant that the Installations of the 2 Inspectors General Designate in Charge, which were due to take place on the 18th and 30th March respectively, have had to be postponed to dates to be confirmed.

 c) As part of the District communication effort the Inspector General Designate in Charge has sent to every Member via their Chapter Recorders two encouraging Messages:           

            i) “Fear God but be not afraid”

ii) Gideon’s Sign of the Fleece: Dew or Dry

    ~ a Meditation for Easter Week 

We should all recognise that this particular period of our Christian heritage is the very essence and foundation on which our beautiful Christian Order is built.

 4. Chapters

 a) Several of our Chapters had important events planned which again have had to be postponed. In particular we had what was to be the Dedication by M. Ill. Bro. Revd. Dr. John R H Railton, 33°, the Grand Prior, of the two MWS Standards of St. Dunstan and St Theodore which was to form our 175th Anniversary Celebration for the District. 

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It is hoped that this Celebration can be rescheduled for either Wednesday 28th October or Tuesday 3rd November.

 b) Enthronements ~ It is totally recognised that the greater majority of our Chapters have their Enthronements due during the current suspension period. In due course we will receive directions from Supreme Council as to how this situation is to be resolved. In the meantime, the current MWS and Officers remain in post.

c) With the impending closure of the Masonic Hall at Wellington Road Dudley the two Chapters based there, Gervase Paganel and St. Edmund King & Martyr are in the process of arranging relocation. Gervase Paganel to the new Masonic facility at Stourbridge and St. Edmund King & Martyr to Halesowen. It is anticipated that this will be resolved by the start of the “New” Masonic Season in September.

 d) St. Agnes Chapter are also in the throes of organising the Surrender of their Warrant and the Membership joining their Mother Chapter, St. Nicolas.

 It is to be hoped that all the Members involved in both the Dudley Closure and the Amalgamation at Kings Heath will provide their full support to their respective Chapters.

 5. Current Events

During this period of Social Distancing and Self Isolation it is vitally important that we maintain contact with all our Members. The District via both the Inspector General Designate in Charge and the District Recorder will do their duty and it is requested that all Chapter Almoners ensure they maintain contact with their Membership both young and old and where any one needs assistance to seek to ensure that such provision is obtained.

 We recognise that many Members of the Craft and the Cubitt Club in particular, have offered to assist wherever they can, so please everyone keep in touch with each other to ensure we do our very best to give such help as can be provided.

Final thought in these difficult times

 I’ll tell you a tale, that’s been recently written,

Of a powerful army, so Great it saved Britain,

They didn’t have bombs and they didn’t have planes,

They fought with their hearts and they fought with their brains,

 

They didn’t have bullets, armed just with a mask,

We sent them to war, with one simple task,

To show us the way, to lead and inspire us,

To protect us from harm, and fight off the virus,

It couldn’t be stopped by our bullet proof vests, an invisible army invaded our chests,

 

So, we called on our weapon, our soldiers in Blue,

“All Doctors, All Nurses, our country needs you,”

We clapped on our streets hearts bursting with pride,

They struggled at first, as they searched for

supplies,

But they stared down the virus, in the whites of

their eyes,

 

They leaped from the trenches and didn’t think

twice,

Some never came back, the ultimate price,

So tired, so weary, yet still they fought on,

As the virus was beaten and the battle was won,

The many of us owe so much to the few,

The brave and the bold, our heroes in Blue,

So, lets line the streets and remember our debt,

We love you, our Heroes,

Lest we forget.

Copied from an NHS Facebook.

 

 

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