Covid-19 Provincial Activity

Thank you from so many grateful recipients of PPE supplied by Buckinghamshire Masons

Bucks Freemasons are continuing their community support as the impact of this pandemic continues. It is great to know that this is still appreciated, as shown by the continuing letters of thanks we are receiving.

‘I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Freemasons of Buckinghamshire. We were taken by surprise when we received a call from you to ask if we needed any face shields. We left for home on this day very happy and we really felt that people cared about us.

The generosity and kindness you have shown to the Croft is overwhelming and having the correct PPE ensures that staff are safe during this difficult time of Covid-19.
Once again thank you and thank you for lifting our spirits.’
Kind regards
Louise and Alison – The Croft Care Home


‘Thank you to the Buckinghamshire Freemasons for your kind donation. We really value the fantastic support we receive from our local communities. We continue to make sure we have sufficient stocks of PPE for all our staff and the visors you donated will greatly help with this. They will be used in line with Public Health and Government guidelines when caring for residents.’
Best wishes
Steph – Sir Aubrey Ward House Care Home


‘A big thank you Gary and the Buckinghamshire Freemasons. It was very good of you to supply these face shields. Many thanks indeed.’
John and Vibeke – Ascot Towers


‘On behalf of our staff and residents I would like to say thank you so much for your very generous donation of face visors. These are essential to provide added protection for our staff in creating a protective barrier for the face and as part of essential PPE to fight the virus, it offers reassurance to our residents and their families.’
Windsor Lodge Care Home


‘The visors will provide additional protection to carers who are doing a great job looking after the residents living at Farnham Common House, thanks again to Buckinghamshire Freemasons.’
Farnham Common Care Home


‘Gary, thank you and the Buckinghamshire Freemasons for your very generous donation of Face Shields. It is hugely encouraging to see the Bucks Freemasons continuing to support Thames Hospice especially during these trying times.’
Sarah Bissell and Margaret Thomas – Thames Hospice


‘Hi Gary, thanks a million to you and your Buckinghamshire Masonic colleagues for the face masks. You are doing a brilliant job in helping to protect vulnerable people in this time of crisis. We are most grateful.’
Very best wishes
Bert and Cindy – Ascot Towers


‘We were really grateful to receive the Face Visors. We were struggling to locate visors in these worrying times. Our staff are very appreciative of these and we are all very thankful to the Buckinghamshire Freemasons for supplying us with them.’
Regards
Michele – Hazlemere Lodge Care Home


‘Dear Gary, thank you and your fellow Buckinghamshire Freemasons very much for the visors you kindly delivered yesterday. In these times of troubles it is so comforting to know that there are many who care. My late Husband’s eldest son and a close friend of mine ( both sadly deceased ) were both Masons. I know that you do good works and commit your time and energy for others. So Gary, thank you so much for keeping us safe and please pass our thanks to your fellow Masons.’
Dawn and John Cairns

 

Thank You

During the recent Pandemic, Bucks Freemasons have been doing their bit to help folk. It is great to know that it has been appreciated, as shown by the selection of Thank You letters we have received.

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

Pies and Easter Eggs for families at Aylesbury Womens Refuge

Pies and Easter Eggs for families at Aylesbury Womens Refuge

The (MCF) Masonic Charitable Foundation and the (BMBF) Bucks Masonic Benevolent Fund come to the rescue again, this time for the unfortunate Women that have had to isolate with their children in the Aylesbury Womens Refuge

Does anybody recognise the Pie Makers in the photos? They could be Pepsi and Shirley from Bananarama, the pop group from the Eighties who are now working as the in house Caterers from the Aylesbury Masonic Centre.

One of their greatest hits was, “It ain’t what you do” they have now turned it around 360 degrees into, “It is what you do” when they make pies and other food for the vulnerable and needy as required.

Today it was 25 pies and Easter Eggs for the unfortunate Women and their Children at the Aylesbury Womens Refuge, as stated above this is funded by the (MCF) as well as the (BMBF) , W Bro Phil Blacklaw APGM from Bucks Province has taken the lead, he is a very much a “one size fits all” kind of guy as he doesn’t turn anybody down.

Good News Stories Compliments of the Brethren from our Great Fraternity of Buckinghamshire.

Keep Safe, Keep Well, Stay Home

Image

Proud to be a Freemason

Image

Proud to be a Freemason

Bucks Freemasons have a lot to Thank the (MCF) Masonic Charitable Foundation for as they are allowing us to spread the Good Name of Freemasonry in general further and further during this crisis by funding this goodwill that we are imparting to those less well off than ourselves.

This was the 2nd Food/Provisions parcel that has been generously donated to the elderly Residents of Prebendal Close (MHA) Masonic Housing Association.

Thank you from Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Thank you from Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Thank you to everyone who donated more than 12.5k Easter eggs to our hospital and community staff!

We received these kind and much appreciated donations from great teams including Rotary Club of Aylesbury Hundreds, Buckinghamshire Freemasons, Gemsatwork, Lindt, Morrisons, Tesco Extra, The Work Perk, Town and Country and Waitrose & Partners.

We hope everyone has a safe and happy Easter!

Image

Deliver-Moo

Image

Deliver-Moo

Colin O’Dell and Brian Neighbour, members of Buckinghamshire Motorcycle Lodge, continued Buckinghamshire Freemasons’ efforts to support our local communities in these times of unprecedented need.

They collected and delivered pre-cooked cottage pies to five separate sheltered housing schemes in the local community. The pies were hygienically prepared and packed by Philip Monday and his team at The Bell Hotel In Winslow.

Over 200 pies were delivered in this first tranche, there are further planned pie and food deliveries to vulnerable persons over the next few weeks. This scheme is proving very popular with the beneficiaries and Buckinghamshire Freemasons are proud to be able to help in this way

Another Egg-straordinary Adventure

Another Egg-straordinary Adventure

In yet another example of Freemasonry in the Community, Jack Gillet (Amersham Lodge) arranged for 500 eggs to be delivered to Marlow Masonic Centre. These were distributed to Wycombe Hospital for the children of NHS Key Workers.

A Huge thank you to Jake, Eddie and the team for this initiative. And, of course, another huge thanks you to all key workers from the Bucks Freemasons.

Happy Easter everyone. Stay in and stay safe. Protect the NHS and save lives!

Image

Freemasons Help

Image

Freemasons Help

After receiving a text from his daughter saying that one of her clients was running out of food, Eddie Irwin from Marlow Masonic Centre swung into action. Peggy is 94 years old and had been unable to leave her house and get valuable supplies. Eddie’s daughter, Georgia, heard of her problems and thought the Freemasons might be able to help.

A list of desired items was supplied and Tony Carter managed to get to the shops and, obeying all social distancing regulations, bought Peggy what she needed and oh so much more! This was duly delivered and made Peggy’s day. And it was paid for by generous donations from the Freemasons of Buckinghamshire.

Whilst checking up on her order, Eddie subsequently found out that Peggy has a stressed son who was facing some legal challenges with a contract that needed to be resolved. Again, Eddie managed to get one of his family (who is a solicitor) to contact Peggy and resolve the issue. Two good deeds in one day!

Well done to all involved in another exceptional piece of community work in these difficult times!

You Can Bank on the Freemasons

You Can Bank on the Freemasons

As their continued drive to assist their local communities and those in need during these unprecedented times, Buckinghamshire Freemasons contacted the foodbanks which serve the Slough, Marlow, Beaconsfield, Aylesbury and Milton Keynes areas to ascertain which food stuffs are in the greatest demand for Buckinghamshire families and individuals who are facing financial pressures.

To supply this demand, Phil Blacklaw enlisted the help of the Bletchley Masonic Centre, Rob Pulford and Annette Buckler, with a view to supplying each of the foodbanks with a substantial amount much needed non-perishable groceries.

The groceries were purchased by # directly from the wholesaler and delivered to the Bletchley Masonic Centre where they were decanted into stillages ready to be transported to each of the foodbanks. The groceries were packaged in in accordance with cross infection control procedures and sealed with Stay Safe Labels donated by XPress Labels Ltd. The stillages were then collected by Mark Palmer and Graham Dearing in transport generously donated by Moonlight Productions and delivered to each of the foodbanks. Each foodbank was delighted to receive their delivery and expressed their thanks and appreciation on behalf of local residents.

Steven Smith of Slough Foodbank wrote “We really appreciate all the support that you have given us on this occasion and over the years. Please do pass on our thanks to all of your members for expressing their support and consideration for the most vulnerable in society at this very difficult time.”

Dave Worrall of Chiltern Foodbank praised the donation saying ‘I am writing to thank you and your colleagues in Buckinghamshire Freemasons for the very generous food donation of 534.5 kilos to Chiltern Foodbank last week. This gift will allow us to feed 76 people for three days and is really appreciated at this time of crisis.’

Buckinghamshire Freemasonry in the Community plans to continue to support local community initiatives during this challenging time and to do what they can to assist those who are experiencing unexpected hardships.

XPress Labels have kindly agreed to donate Stay Safe food and tamper evident labels to any food outlet or charity that is assisting with supplying food to Key Workers. Visit shop.xpresslabels.com for more details.

Image

Social Distancing Bringing Us Closer!

Image

Social Distancing Bringing Us Closer!

Assistant Head of Buckinghamshire Freemasons, Phil Blacklaw, mobilised a number of willing help-ers last week to provide the residents of Prebendal Close Sheltered Housing Scheme.

Many Freemasons have been looking for ways of helping the local community. Phil worked with the catering team at Bletchley Masonic Centre and utilised the wholesalers to obtain many non-perishable staples. This was funded by a generous grant from the Bucks Freemasons.

These were received and packaged up by Phil, accompanied by Rob Pulford and his wife, while at all times obeying the 2 metre rule. They were left at the door for collection.

Graham Dearing then collected them and left them at the door of Prebendal Close. Mark Duncan and the team at Prebendal Close then worked hard to distribute them to each resident.

In a letter of thanks, Beverley Mills, Scheme Manager, said “I would just like to express my thanks and gratitude from myself and all the residents here at Prebendal Close.

I have received many calls and texts from families of the residents that cannot see their loved ones and also from the residents themselves, they were truly grateful and touched by the gesture.

In these troubling and scary times the gesture was a wonderful and very generous thing to do.”

Phil and his team have more excellent works planned in the coming weeks to support more in the local communities of Buckinghamshire.

Thank You - from the Provincial Grand Master

Thank You - from the Provincial Grand Master

As we are glued to our televisions at 5pm each day to see how the action of our government will help us through these difficult times, it is no surprise that, as the lockdown now starts to be even more restrictive, Freemasons everywhere are already in action volunteering to help others.

We have seen an unprecedented sign up of volunteers to the government’s request to assist the NHS, and I am sure that many of these are Bucks Freemasons. It is heartening to notice that the caring values we share as Freemasons, are mirrored across so many segments of society. In Buckinghamshire our new caterers at Bletchley took the initiative and were able to order a supply of groceries through their catering contacts, these have provided a welcome food delivery to each of the residents at Prebendal Close Masonic Housing Association in Aylesbury. The groceries were carefully packed taking the greatest care to ensure that sanitisation and protective equipment were used in the preparation and then distributed to an extremely grateful set of residents and staff. At Marlow Centre Eddie Irwin used his suppliers to obtain and distribute food to some 60 local elderly residents also in isolation. I am sure that we will continue to develop this wonderful initiative throughout the province. I would like to thank Phil Blacklaw and his team and Eddie Irwin and the team at Marlow for their superb effort.

In these challenging times, our Buddy Scheme is being adopted by a growing number of lodges whose members are operating a communication network and keeping in touch with everyone on a regular basis. Our Provincial Almoner's team is in contact with all lodge Almoners to assist. We will try to help in any way we can. The MCF is also standing by to help. Please make sure that you stay in contact with all of your members by using the Buddy Scheme.

I am very pleased to inform you that in addition, we have added a new facility to HeliPAD whereby you can register details of your own personal emergency contacts. You can restrict access to their details to the Almoner, Secretary, WM or the full membership of your Lodge, whichever you prefer. I hope we will never need these, but it is another example of some of the work we are doing behind the scenes to keep everyone safe. If you haven’t already enjoyed the wealth of information in HeliPAD, take the opportunity to get registered now at HeliPAD.buckspgl.org

UGLE and the MCF are also working very hard to assist our members in this time of great need. I would personally like to thank David Staples our Grand Secretary and his team for the excellent guidance they have given and the prompt action they have taken.

Brethren please look after yourselves and others and please keep safe and stay in doors for the next few weeks. Please encourage all others to observe the governments advice.

With my very best regards Sincerely and Fraternally

John Clark
Provincial Grand Master

Image

A Toast to Absent Friends - from the Pro Grand Master

Image

A Toast to Absent Friends - from the Pro Grand Master

Freemasons are inviting the whole country to toast ‘absent friends, and those working on the frontline in the NHS’ at 9pm tonight.

Freemasons are calling for the whole community to ensure no one feels alone, even if they are physically self-isolating, to be remembered in a toast at 9pm tonight.

The 200,000 strong membership organisation traditionally toasts ‘absent Brethren’ to remember those who are unable to attend their meetings in person at the dinner that takes place afterwards.

The organisation is adapting the usual 9pm toast it makes during its dinners and inviting everyone to join in to toast ‘absent friends, and those working on the frontline in the NHS’.

Dr David Staples, Chief Executive of the United Grand Lodge of England, has called for the Freemasons’ regular toast to be a ‘virtual’ toast – using #TimetoToast online – and extended to all those we cannot meet with, yet remain close in our thoughts.

He said: “We want everyone to join in at 9pm tonight and raise a glass to those we cannot be with in person due to the huge challenges facing the country. Stay safe, self-isolate but know that you are not alone.

“We are all unable to do those things we previously took for granted, that are so precious to us all – meeting with friends at the pub or for a coffee, enjoying each other’s company. Being social, in its small way, is something we can still all share. We invite everyone to raise a glass to help raise sprits.”

Christine Chapman, Head of Freemasonry for Women, added: ‘We must combat loneliness by ensuring that, even if we are all in our own homes, we are still connecting across the country. 
Dr Staples and I urge everyone to charge their glass at 9pm and say a toast to absent friends, and those working on the frontline of the NHS.”