The Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons

West Yorkshire

A heartfelt Gift from the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust.

On Saturday 28th September I went along to the Burley and Wharfedale Scouts and Guides Headquarters , it’s not a hut, to hand over a Defibrillator donated by the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust, also to attend the official opening of the Headquarters itself.

The building cost £500.000 and the money was raised within 5 years with no large donations just weekly fund raising. The interior is superb and ideal for the purpose it was intended and accommodates three hundred and fifty children a week!   I was very impressed by the enthusiasm of the Scouts, Guides and parents and delighted to represent the Trust in presenting them with the Defibrillator  which they were genuinely pleased to receive.

W.Bro.Jim Stanley,

Chairman of Trustees,

Cleeves and Whitehead Trust.

Cleeves and Whitehead Trust. Chairman’s Half Yearly Report. 7th September 2019

Bro. Vice President, Ladies, Brethren, on behalf of my fellow Trustees I have pleasure in presenting the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust’s Half Yearly Report relating to the period between the 3rd March and 7th of September 2019.

We all know that the prime directives of the Trust are to provide pastoral care and support to our Members and their dependents in difficult times, and wherever possible to support local Charities and worthy causes. 

We continue to pursue these directives in the same efficient and swift manner which has become the Trust’s trade mark, with our Care Officer, Liz Nowell,  our newly appointed Provincial Almoner, Paul Leach, and his assistant W. Bro. Alex Steele being kept very busy these past 6 months to ensure that this has been the case and on behalf of the Trustees I would like to thank them all most sincerely.

It’s fair to say that our new Provincial Almoner has had a baptism of fire since his appointment when he took over the reins from W. Bro. Steele. Paul and Alex have been heavily involved in the day to day business of helping the Brethren of the Province in times of sickness or difficulty.  From dropping off the odd Mobility Scooter to organising respite holidays for our members who needed the break from caring for their loved ones. They have taken all these tasks in their stride and done an absolutely marvellous job. 

In addition Paul, his wife Susan and Alex, along with our hard working Secretary, Jim  Reynolds have been involved in the organisation of the Trusts’ annual holiday. The holiday, held again in Lytham St. Anne’s, at the Inn on the Prom, was a tremendous success and when I visited the hotel, all those I spoke to were extremely delighted with the facilities, the food, and the Staff.   Thanks also need to go to Bob Winterflood for all his help and assistance in organising the holiday and in helping to make it a great occasion.      

 Our holiday next year will again be at Lytham and we hope to secure the same hotel. Details of the arrangements will be released early next year, but the Hotel has already been provisionally booked for the 14th to the 20th of June.    
Can I just say as well, that the responsibility of the Lodge Almoners is to provide names of suitable members for the holiday and the final selection will be made in 2020 by the Secretary, the Provincial Almoner and the Care Officers.    

Our Almoners’ Lunch at Ainley Top in April this year welcomed over 170 guests and by and large the event was very successful. Our grateful thanks go out to W. Bro. Tony Hobson and our Secretary, W. Bro. Jim Reynolds for working so hard to make this event go so well.                     

On the 4th of November this year we will again be holding our Almoners’ Lunch at Tapton, and I would like to remind Almoners to return the completed forms they receive, back to their respective Cleeves and Whitehead Trust’s Charity Reps who will pass them on to Tony Hobson without delay.   A lot of time and effort goes into organising these Lunches and he needs plenty of time to ensure that everything is covered and the event goes well. Even if you have no one to propose, please let Tony know so it can be noted.

Following the Charity Stewards Workshops, held earlier this year, our Provincial Almoner has been holding Almoners Workshops. Two have been held so far and have been well attended. There remains two more, one at Brighouse on Tuesday the 10th September, and the final workshop , to be held at Wetherby on Saturday the 12th of October. Both will start at 10.30 am and usually finish around 12 .00 to 12.30pm.

If any of you are free for those dates and your interests lie in the welfare of our Brethren I strongly recommend that you attend at least one of them. Their content is diverse and interesting to say the least and I found the open forum at the end of each meeting to be lively and very informative.

Our Provincial Almoner has also been involved in helping to arrange and organise a fundamental change in the way that the Trust will care for our dependents in the future.

As you are aware, following the deaths of both Judith and Philip Mannthe Trustees were mindful that too much pressure would be put on the one remaining Care Officer, Mrs Liz Nowell. Attempts made to replace Judith were unsuccessful, until W. Bro. Alan Oldfield, our Deputy Provincial Grand Master, suggested approaching  West Riding Masonic Charities Limited [ W.R.M.C.L.] to enquire if the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust could use their Care and Support Officers on a “need to basis” taking some of the pressure of Liz Nowell.

Following approval from both Provincial Grand Masters , discussions took place to determine if this would be feasible and I’m delighted to say that the proposals were enthusiastically received by all parties involved in the talks.   

There are two Care and Support Officers,  Sharon Mees, who has already been introduced to you and  Elaine Dunwell who is on her holidays, as is our own Liz Nowell. The two C.S.O’ s are employed by C.H.O.I.C.E.S.an acronym standing for Charity Help Offering Independent Care and Effective Support and is a division of W.R.M.C.L.

These two ladies will, just as Judith, Freda and Liz have in the past, carry out tasks and visits as instructed and agreed by our Provincial Grand Almoner    W. Bro Paul Leach.

Full and further details will be passed on to all Lodge Almoners and their Lodge Secretaries by W. Bro Leach, who is the Trust’s designated Officer responsible for the scheme. This agreement will enable the West Yorkshire Province to maintain the high standards it now holds and for which it is well known for. And let me assure you that in no way will the position of the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust or Members of our Province, be weakened or compromised. Indeed we envisage quite the opposite

The scheme is being run by the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust in conjunction with, and the very kind co-operation of both the W.R.M.C.L. and C.H.O.I.C.E.S who are more than happy to help and assist us in any way that they can and we appreciate that very much. 

It will in no way affect the present procedures Almoners now follow when requesting help from the Trust. Your first point of contact will always be our Provincial Grand Almoner.  

We’ve also seen a change to the Board of Trustees with Dr Andrew Wright retiring and Geoff Kendall being re-appointed to the Finance Committee.     

And I would like to thank those two colleagues for the work they have done for the Trust in the past, and, for one at least, for the work he will be doing in the future. 

I am also pleased to report that the Mark Benevolent Fund has been quite busy in our Province this year. In March, at our AGM, we all saw the Trust and the MBF present a Support Vehicle to the St. John Ambulance, which was enthusiastically received by them , and I am sure will be extremely useful.

In the near future, the MBF is to present a TECH TRUNK to Forget Me Not Children’s’ Hospice, in Huddersfield, an Hospice supported by the Lifelites Charity. This is part of a National Grant worth more than £140,000. 
The TRUNK contains nearly £8,000 worth of Hi Tech equipment such as i-Pads, virtual reality games and other electronic toys for use by the children. 

The P.G.M, the MBF and the C.W.T will be there for the presentation which will take place on the 26th of November.

Still to be arranged, the MBF are proposing to make a presentation to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance Service of a Rapid Response Vehicle at a value of around £32,000.00, for use in the event of the Helicopter ever being grounded. 

Locally the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust’s Grants Committee has been busy working in conjunction with the Provincial Almoner’s team providing financial support to them, to enable them to carry out their duties , and in addition, supporting many small charities, mainly involved with deprived and challenged youngsters.

You’ll also be pleased to know that our Treasurer advices me that the Trusts finances are in a healthy state but he will be telling you more of that himself in the next item on the Agenda.

And finally I would like to welcome W. Bro Paul Levy, our newest CharityRepresentative.  Paul replaces W. Bro. Paul Leach following his appointment to Provincial Grand Almoner. W. Bro. Levy will be covering Paul’s old patch in the Leeds Area. 

And I would like to wish him a long and happy association with us. 

Bro Vice President, you’ll be pleased to know that that now concludes my Half Yearly Report on behalf of the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust.

Thank You.

Cleeves and Whitehead Trust Half Yearly Meeting, 7th September 2019

Pontefract Masonic hall and the Charity Representatives and Almoners of the Province gathered together, with the Trustees and Elected members, to receive an up to date report upon the situation of the ‘jewel in the Crown’ of the West Yorkshire Province. Well that is what it should have been but a poor attendance, apparently fifteen Lodges were not represented at all, is something we should be less than than happy with. If you accept the Office of Charity Steward or Almoner, being at the Annual and Half Yearly meeting are a responsibility of the Office, I hope that it strikes a chord and that attendance will be much higher in 2020. 

The Meeting was opened by the Vice President, Bro,Trevor Bolton who welcomed all present.The initial procedural Agenda items were completed including, sadly, a roll call of sixteen Brethren who had passed to the Grand lodge above.. The Chairman of Trustees, Bro. Jim Stanley then gave an informative and detailed analysis of the past six months. This is attached, click here to view, or go to the web site of the Charity where it can be viewed. Financially, despite the reduced income due to the Festival demands, the Trust is financially very happy and the Trustees have approved several Grants to outside bodies, below I give details of two. I will give details of others in the future when reporting on Lodge activities.  

Safe Anchor Trust: £2,000 

Formed in 1995, this local charity based in Mirfield, is dedicated to providing therapeutic boat trips to those who are disadvantaged by virtue of physical or mental disabilities, poor health, social isolation, age or deprivation from within their local communities – primarily in Kirklees and Calderdale. The charity also works with local youth groups such as Brownies, Beavers, Guides, Scouts and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme as well as providing a work boat and volunteers to work in partnership with the Canal & River Trust and other local groups to clean and care for the local environment. The boats are also hired out for functions – including to St Chad’s Mark Lodge which is hiring three of the boats this year!

Brighouse Methodist Church: £13,440

This is the church where the Mark Masons of West Yorkshire have held their Christmas Carol Service for many years and where we have been made to feel very much welcome and at home. The roof of the church is in urgent need of repair as the its covering has failed. The situation was classified by the Inspection Architectsas ‘Of Utmost Urgency’; however, the funds were not available to allow this vital repair work to be carried out. The C&WT was delighted to assist. 

Bro. Mick Ricketts , Social Committee Chairman then confirmed that a Masquerade ball will be held at the Mercure Hotel, Bingley on Saturday, 30th November, overnight packages are selling out fast. 

An open forum then took place where it was almost totally focussed on the demands of Charity Stewards being unable to find out who was donating by standing order to the Trust. Brethren, do as I did a long time ago and tell your Charity Steward if you are donating as such, he then knows not to approach you and all this confusion will disappear.

Finally, Bro. Ian Wolstencroft gave an outline of the progress of the Festival, all Mark Lodges have achieved Grand Patron Status with thirteen at Gold Award level, given the time we have in hand the Province should also achieve Gold Award but we must not rest upon our laurels, much remains to be done. Finally next year’s major event is a cycle ride around the Province visiting all bordering Provinces. It will involve 400 miles of riding over five days, starting on June 20th 2020, W Bro Rod Dyer of Fearnley  No.58 is looking for volunteers and not just for cycling. If riding isn’t your thing, there are a few logistic issues he will need a hand with. Please get in touch to sign up and offer your services. 

Notes for your Diaries;

Almoners Luncheon Monday4th Nov. at Tapton hall and Monday, 6th April 2020 Cedar Court, Ainley Top.

Annual Carol Service at Brighouse Methodist Church on Sunday, 8h December.

Annual Meeting 7th March 2020 at Otley.

Keep smiling,

Bro.Duncan Smith

Communications Manager

Woodland View, Cleeves and Whitehead Trust

Thursday, 6th June 2019 and the Provincial Grand Master, Jim Steggles, his good lady Joan together with Jim and Eileen Stanley, Philip and Ruth Drury and myself visited this NHS Nursing Home, one of the two supported in Sheffield; It is unique in that it is the only such facility in the country managed by the NHS. We were met by Chris Herrett, Sincerity Mark Lodge who drew this deserving cause to the attention of Philip Drury and the rest is history. The NHS home is supported by a dedicated charity, The Woodland View Dementia Support Group. 

Their residents are all severe dementia sufferers whose complicated needs cannot be met other than in a dedicated, specialised unit. This small, local charity comprises relatives, friends and staff who help and support residents and they try to make life a little better  by raising money for the “extras” which make the days richer. The C&WT was able to donate the funding for a “Tovertafel” (“The Magic Table” in Dutch). This piece of equipment, a projector which displays moving images and sounds onto a flat surface. is interactive, colourful and stimulating. The residents are encouraged by the projections in instinctive participation to engage at a level of physical and social activity rarely seen in people living with dementia at this stage of their journey.  Games can be played both independently and with others, either residents and staff or, particularly, family and other visitors allowing Grandchildren to join in with their Grandparents, excellent therapy. 

We were very impressed by the people we met who included Trustees Mrs. Rita Brooks and her friend, minder (her words not mine) Mrs. Sue Harding OBE, both of whom have been involved for nine years and Jim Sherwin, the Registered Manager. At one point in our discussions comment was made that they could do with another ”Magic Table”, well if you do not ask you most certainly will not get. I would most  heartily concur having seen the impact made, over to you Trustees!  

Brethren Smile, be happy, we are all Mark Master Masons.

Worshipful Brother Duncan Smith P.G.S.D.

Communications Manager

£75,000 FROM LINCOLNSHIRE FREEMASONS GIVES RELIEF TO FLOOD VICTIMS

A DONATION OF £75,000 FROM LINCOLNSHIRE FREEMASONS HAS GIVEN A WELCOME EARLY BOOST TO A RELIEF FUND SET UP IN READINESS FOR THE REBUILDING OF HOMES IN AND AROUND WAINFLEET AFTER THE FLOODS

And in a surprise presentation to Steve Hallberg, Provincial Grand Master of Lincolnshire’s Mark Master Masons, the Mark Masons of Cumberland and Westmorland added a further £2,000 to the pot, taking the donation to £77,000.

The fund has been set up by the Lincolnshire Community Foundation, which is bringing together fundraising efforts behind the long-term recovery plan which will swing into action once the floodwaters have receded.

Already there have been about 500 people from a number of agencies working around the clock to provide an emergency response to the incident, which has forced the evacuation of almost 300 homes.

But it’s the recovery phase that will take time, and that’s where the Freemasons’ donation will be directed. Provincial Grand Master Dave Wheeler said: ‘To see anyone driven from their home by flooding is heartbreaking, especially when it’s in your own community.

‘The emergency response to the incident has been extremely effective through the days after the torrential rainfall followed by the breach of the banks of the River Steeping, but that is only part of the story. The recovery phase will be long, and will take considerable effort.

‘I’m pleased that we have been able to move so quickly in making this donation of £75,000. It underlines that Lincolnshire Freemasons are determined to help put the heart back into this part of Lincolnshire, and we have every confidence that the Lincolnshire Community Foundation will make sure the money is used effectively in making that happen.’

The donation is made up of three Masonic grants of £25,000 each, from The Province of Lincolnshire, the Mark Benevolent Fund, and the Masonic Charitable Foundation. The latter two are national charities subscribed to by Freemasons all over the country, including those in Lincolnshire.

James Murphy, Joint CEO of the Lincolnshire Community Foundation, said: ‘There are lots of people for whom properties in Wainfleet are their “forever home”. We shall be doing what we can to return things to normal for this community. It’s when something like this happens that you find out how good a community is, and Wainfleet’s is particularly strong.

‘The Lincolnshire Community Foundation is working in partnership with the Recovery Coordinating Group to raise funds and support Wainfleet and the surrounding area. Money donated will help to relieve hardship, complete repairs, make good loss or damage, help to prevent the flooding happening again, and to improve the response in the event that it ever does. 100% of donations will be spent in and around Wainfleet.’