The Site For Freemasonry in Buckinghamshire supporting the BMCF charity no: 1007193

Donald Gibbons - 60 years a Freemason

On Monday 7th November 2022, the Provincial Grand Master, RW John Clark was delighted to present Bro Donald Gibbons with a Long Service Award recognising 60 years in Freemasonry.

Making Magic Moments Last a Lifetime

At the start of 2022, the Bucks Masonic Centenary Fund donated over £12,500 to local organisations and individuals.

Five Points Installation

The 10th of September 2022 marked a very special day for Five Points Lodge No. 8197 and in particular for the incoming Master, Sean Bolton. Sean has, and lives with Cerebral Palsy.

Florence Nightingale - The Last Midnight Walk

Saturday 16th July saw the last Midnight Walk for the Florence Nightingale Hospice.
 
Established in 2010 originally as the Gemstone Walk, its popularity grew and grew. From the inception the Buckinghamshire Freemasons have been heavily involved as sponsors and marshalls for the event.
 
This year, 2022, saw the biggest turnout to-date of walkers, approximately 850 selecting to walk either a 5 mile or 10 mile route.  An event of this size needs safety marshals and this is where the Buckinghamshire Freemasons stepped in.
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Lee Buckingham of Haddenham lodge put out a request to all Aylesbury Vale based lodge secretaries calling for volunteers. It was going to be a long night. 
 
69 marshalls in total of which 48 were either Masons or connections of representing 11 different lodges.
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Promptly arriving for registration at 10:15pm, Lee began the safety & event briefing to all the volunteers at 11pm. By 11:45 the early point marshalls set off to their allocated point wearing hi-vis.
 
Through the night the marshalls once given the clear by a back marker, then moved on to their 2nd allocated point.
 
The two “Tail End Charlie’s” for the night were Tom Crowford for the 5 mile walkers and Guy Farrow for the 10 mile walkers, both members of Buckingham 591 lodge.
 
The last walker crossed the line at 05:01
 
The event since it began in 2010, including this final walk, has raised approximately £1,000,000 for the charity and we, Buckinghamshire Freemasons, can proudly say we have been there for the whole journey.
 
A huge thank you to all the volunteers, without them the event could not happen.
 
Here’s to the next event, where Bucks Masons will answer the call again.
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Group of people with signed armed forces covenant

Buckinghamshire Province Signs the Armed Forces Covenant.

On Friday 26th November the Province marked its commitment to the armed forces in signing the Armed Forces Covenant at The Household Division Lodge. The covenant was signed by Deputy Provincial Grand Master VW.Bro. Hugh Douglas-Smith on behalf of Buckinghamshire Freemasons and Major Spencer Jones of the Coldstream Guards on behalf of the Ministry of Defence. The signed Covenant will be displayed on the Secretaries desk at future meetings of the Lodge.

The Armed Forces Covenant is not a charitable organisation. It is a promise from the nation to those who serve or who have served, and their families, which says we will do all we can to ensure they are treated fairly and are not disadvantaged in their day-to-day lives.

Friends, wives and partners were invited into the Lodge room to witness the signing, before joining 60 people for a white table dinner. Guests enjoyed a musical performance by the Drums and Pipes of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards, based at the Mons Barracks in Aldershot.

The individuals in the band were;

  • Pipe Major Thomson
  • Pipe Sgt Pinter
  • LCpl Wilson
  • Dmr Turner
  • Dmr Howard

The Household Division Lodge was formed in May 1994. The intention of the Lodge, as set out by its founding members, is to bring together men of all ranks who have served, or are serving with any of the seven regiments of the Household Division, together with members of other regiments who have served for not less than twelve months.

The Lodge currently supports two charities;

The Household Cavalry Foundation - https://www.hcavfoundation.org

And Blue Acre Horse Rescue - https://www.blueacrerescue.co.uk

A black and white picture of Prince Philip

Death of The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

It is with great sadness that we hear of the death of the Duke of Edinburgh. Our condolences and best wishes go to Her Majesty the Queen and the entire Royal Family. Aged 99, Prince Philip lived respected, died regretted.

A picture of an organ

THE NEW NORMAL: BRITISH PEOPLE ENJOY THE FIRST ORGAN CONCERT OF THE YEAR FROM HOME

Freemasons’ Hall has announced its first Organ Concert of 2021, which will take place on 30 March, at 7pm.  

The event, being held virtually, will showcase the magnificent Willis pipe 0rgan, which resides in the Grand Temple of Freemasons' Hall in London, an art deco masterpiece completed in 1933.

The concert is to be given by Carl Jackson, MVO, director of music at the Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music and he has held organ scholarships at Downing College, Cambridge as well as his current base of Chapel Royal.

Before his current role at Hampton Court Palace, Mr Jackson taught at Goldsmiths’ College and he has held positions at Croydon Minster and St Peter’s, Eaton Square. He has also appeared regularly on television with the Chapel Royal choir and features with them on CDs. He was appointed MVO in the 2012 New Year Honours list.

Dr David Staples, Chief Executive of the United Grand Lodge of England, commented: “It is an honour to welcome Carl Jackson to perform for our first Organ Concert of 2021. The various lockdowns the country has faced during the pandemic have left many people feeling isolated and lonely. The virtual concert will bring world-class music and joy into people's homes whilst also giving the audience an opportunity to take in some of the stunning architecture of our headquarters here in London.”

The concert will be held at Freemasons’ Hall, which was designed as a pentagon to suit the irregular area in which it is located. Built in the central courtyard of the splendid art deco building, the Grand Temple is rich with multi-coloured details of blue, gold and white.

While enjoying the concert online, attendees will be able to experience the splendor of the Grand Temple, including the majestic 1.25-tonne organ with its ornate pipes as well as the stunning mosaics that surround the ceiling.

The original organ was installed in 1933 by Henry Willis, the third generation of an extended family line of organ builders. It originally had three manuals and 43 stops, giving a total complement of some 2,220 pipes, and was the last big organ built by the Willis firm. After 80 years it was in need of a complete renovation, which was carried out in Durham by Harrison & Harrison in 2014 and included the cleaning, repairing and re-voicing the existing mechanisms, as well as mounting a new case of some 400 pipes on the east wall.

Free tickets are available to book via: https://event.bookitbee.com/32027/freemasons-hall-organ-concert-30th-march-2021-carl

A collection of goods

Bringing a Ray of Sunshine to Ward 9

After the success of the freezers to COVID wards at Stoke Mandeville Hospital last week, Buckinghamshire Freemasons again partnered with Paula Tompkins and her team to bring a little joy to the staff of Ward 9.

Buckinghamshire Freemasons provided a fridge and microwave so staff can store and heat their meals when there isn’t enough time to leave.

A coffee machine and microwave were also supplied by Paula and her team.

In addition to practical solutions, the Buckinghamshire Freemasons also provided some pamper packs for the staff including hand cream, face cream and body mist. Haddenham Lodge also provided lip balms.

Delivered once again by Bill Smithson, one ward sister said ‘Oh, wow! This is so great and we can now have a hot lunch...so exciting!’

Such is the success of these projects that Buckinghamshire Freemasons has a dedicated contact for NHS personnel in need of some help. If you are a member of NHS staff and would like some assistance then please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Once again, thanks to all our NHS workers from all of the Buckinghamshire Freemasons.

People wearing face masks with 2 boxed freesers

Support for our local NHS

After seeing a Facebook post asking for assistance to purchase two freezers; Buckinghamshire Freemasons immediately made contact with Paula Thompkins from Haddenham who was leading the fundraising,
 
The request for assistance was made to support the staff of Covid wards at Stoke Mandeville Hospital who due to the pressures of working, are often unable to stop for meals and relying on ice cubes as a means to stay hydrated during their shifts.
 
Staff can now take in food and provide easy access to this important, hydrating ice. With thanks to the generosity of the public, one fridge had been funded and Bucks Freemasons immediately paid for the second.
 
Bill Smithson, of Haddenham Lodge, arranged to pick up the freezers from Paula and deliver them to the hospital with the help of Steve Smirthwaite. They were gratefully received, with one ward sister saying "we never wanted to ask for anything or be a burden because we know so many people are out of work, so this is incredibly kind and we can't thank you enough”.
 
From all Buckinghamshire Freemasons, we thank all our frontline healthcare staff and will be providing coffee machines and fridges for other wards in the upcoming days to help those working in unimaginable environments..
Image showing multiple meals in plastic tubs

Helping SHOC (Slough Homeless Our Concern) and Carers in Buckinghamshire

In September 2020 the Deputy Provincial Grand Master contacted W Bro Eddie Irwin (of Marlow Masonic Centre) to see if he would be able to assist with a project on behalf of the Province to provide  meals for Slough Homeless Our Concern (SHOC) and Carers in Buckinghamshire.

On 11th October, the evening before this was due to begin, Eddie’s sous-chef ,Josh, broke his hand and would therefore be unable to assist. A call was put out for ]assistance and In stepped W Bro Gary Fraser (Iver Lodge) and his wonderful partner Julie Robins who both very kindly said ‘we’ll see you in the morning’ and have given up every single morning since then to help.

On Christmas Day, the team were in the kitchens from 05:00 and delivered a full Christmas meal with all the trimmings, as well as meals for Bank Holiday Monday. 

The team prepared 65 freshly cooked meals daily, using fresh, locally sourced produce.  With the funding provided, they  will continue to make meals until the end of January 2021, by which time will over 4,800 meals will have been cooked including dietary requirements such as vegetarian, gluten and lactose free.

A special thank you to WB Martin Wing and Heatherton Lodge for their massive support collecting the meals from Marlow and delivering to SHOC.

In addition, Eddie and his team were contacted by WB Steve Jones (Stokenchurch Lodge) to see what they  could do for the One Can Trust.  With the help of WB Tony Martin and the Brethren of Marlow Masonic Centre, they raised over £3,000 towards this. 

With Eddie’s contacts within the catering industry he secured massively discounted produce turning this £3,000 into £6,000.  This has been a huge help to the One Can Trust who advise we have helped in excess of 4,000 families over the 3-month period.  There is one more delivery left to make in January.

Thanks go to Eddie and all those who have supported him in this fantastic endeavour.

Freemasons and staff with teddies.

Teddies for Loving Care returns

These bears are part of Bucks Freemasons Teddies for Loving Care (TLC) initiative.

Teddies for Loving Care has distributed over 1 million teddy bears to children's A&E departments across the UK. Not only do the teddy bears comfort and calm the children, they really do make the nursing staff's job somewhat easier in appraising and befriending the often distraught kiddies. Not every child receives a teddy, but those that do, get to keep it and take it home.

Lou Amey a member of Fenny Stratford Lodge of Freemasons, which meets in Bletchley, has been involved with the delivery of the teddies to MK Hospital for several years. On this latest delivery he was accompanied by the Assistant Head of Freemasonry in Buckinghamshire, John Clark, John's wife Sarah and TLC co-ordinator Mel Shah.

Mel Shah, who organises the distribution of the teddies throughout all of the children's departments in Buckinghamshire hospitals, said: "This delivery of teddies represents just one month's supply and brings the number of bears delivered to Milton Keynes to 650 this year alone. They have made such a difference to the sick children, comforting them during their recovery. All of the teddies are purchased by funds raised and donated by local Freemasons."