Portcullis Lodge was honoured to be one of 4 Lodges chosen by the Provincial Grand Lodge to display our banner at the 27 September 2016 AGM. We were cited on the cover of the Program, a copy of which can be found in the Gallery section of the website. The photo at the left shows our banner in the East,
Corn Exchange in Wallingford. As you know, we donated to the fund for replacing the roof and refurbishing the interior. Concern now has been raised that proposed new building nearby will result in future noise complaints shutting down the historic Corn Exchange. Signatures are being sought to show the community is against the SODC proposal. Many people signed the form at the Corn Exchange as against the proposed plans.
'Enough is Enough'. UGLE has placed full page ads in several national newspapers to counter rising negative comments about Freemasonry. You can view the ad written by Dr. Staples, CEO, in the UGLE website. http://www.ugle.org.uk/
OF SPECIAL INTEREST ? - Of possible interest to your partner, there are 2 Ladies Freemason Grand Lodges. A BBC News article can be viewed at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-41804543 which was part of the Victoria Derbyshire programme in November 2017. The Order of Women Freemasons website is at https://www.owf.org.uk/ . The Honorable Fraternity of Ancient Freemasons website is at http://www.hfaf.org/ . Note that both support many worthy charitable causes. COMING EVENTS - let your editor know if you have ideas or news about coming events.
CHARITY. Our WM has identified 3 worthy charities for Lodge financial support, and his recommendations were approved in open Lodge at our February meeting. The charities are: Rosies Rainbow Fund (£1500) www.rosiesrainbowfund.co.uk , Didcot Train Youth Project (£1000) www.didcottrain.org.uk, and Music For Autism (£1500) www.musicforautism.org.uk . More info and some photos will be included in our Charity section once these are available.
Remembrance Day 2017
With other Lodges, Portcullis placed a wreath at the memorial in Wallingford Square on Remembrance Day. Photo in our Gallery.
Portcullis Lodge Donates £1000 to SSNAP at John Radcliffe Hospital
Our WM Shaun Brant and WB Steve Morant (Treasurer) presented a cheque for £1000 to the SSNAP charity on 20 April 2017. A more detailed story is being considered for submission to the Link magazine. SSNAP supports sick and premature babies in the Intensive Care Newborn Unit, as well as their parents. More information can be found at their website http://www.ssnap.org.uk/ . Photo - see Gallery section.
The charity was further assisted by a grant of £25,000 from the Masonic Charitable Foundation - many thanks to those of you who wrote in support of this grant.
CLIC Sergeant Support
Some of our brethren joined our Worshipful Master and many other brothers from other lodges on 28 March at Reading Station as Bucketeers to collect donations for the CLIC Sergeant charity. The team collected the princely sum of £1537.87. The charity's goal: When cancer strikes young lives, CLIC Sargent helps families limit the damage cancer causes beyond their health. A childhood cancer diagnosis is devastating. Life as families knew it, is never the same again. Unfortunately, every day 11 families in the UK are told their child has cancer. ( See photo in the Gallery).
300 Hours Initiative
Portcullis Lodge is progressing well in meeting the objective of 300 hours commuity support to celebrate the 300th Anniversary of the founding of the United Grand Lodge of England. The Assistant Provincial Grand Master's letter suggested the following:
The public’s awareness of the contribution which Freemasonry makes to the community is hugely important to the future well-being of our organisation and therefore we need to develop a position whereby the wider community appreciates the value of Freemasonry and comes to support the organisation. This new initiative is designed to impact directly within local communities. The approach is one based on the gift of time rather than cash and will reinforce the concept of Freemasons providing practical support in addition to the more traditional financial support role that we so often play.
More details will be posted but we are involved in many community activities, such as marshaling at various gatherings and sporting events.
For an interesting news article from the UGLE see the section CHARITY.
The Corn Exchange - Wallingford - The 160 year old roof is leaking and a campaign is underway to raise £500,000 for repairs. The Sinodun Players is a registered charity, and Portcullis Lodge is pleased to support the renovastions. The Sinodun Players for many years used the Wallingford Masonic Centre to stage their productions, and our PM WB Dr. Charles Wilkinson (1963) was an active supporter, as was our PM WB Richard Owen. Several children and grandchildren of our brethren have performed with the Sinodun Players in Panto and other productions, so we have many historic and community ties.
Work has begun as of early June with the removal of seats for repairs, stripping the lighting from the walls, and beginning the task of old roof removals. The project is expected to be nearly complete by the end of October. This is a major undertaking and more financial support is woiuld be gratefully received.
See our Gallery secion for a couple of photos.
For further information please see their website at http://www.cornexchange.org.uk/roof-fund-appeal/ and if you can help as an individual or corporate sponsor send them an email atStopSingingInTheRain@cornexchange.org.uk
Portcullis Lodge has provided a donation of £1000 in support of this initiative. Any additional funding would be greatly appreciated.
Portcullis Website - we have applied to the UGLE for CHARTER MARK status, but were advised that the backlog is very lengthy and this could take several more months. As of 1 May 2017 the UGLE has insufficient volunteers and resources to handle the program and will probably not be moving forward. on this.
Our 2016 / 2017 Worshipful Master Shaun Brant designated as the charity for his year 'Footsteps', a very worthy local foundation based in Dorchester on Thames which helps disabled children. The Ladies Gala Banquet held on 22 April raised nearly £3000 f0r Footsteps, and with additional funds from our treasury the charity received £4000. For more on this see Charity / Charitable Activities section.
Their website gives the following: ' Our vision is of a future where all children affected by neurological disorders are given the opportunity to reach their maximum potential and are able to develop physically whilst improving their confidence and independence. Our mission is to improve the quality of life for children and young adults affected by neuromotor disorders, enabling them to receive the intensive physiotherapy they need, regardless of whether their families can afford private treatment or not.'
For full information please see their website at http://footstepscentre.com/
Older News and Events
After our regular meeting on13 December 2016 we held a White Table Festive Board which was well attended by partners, wives, and friends interested in potential membership. The Raffle added significantly to the Worshipful Master's charity drive. Carols were sung to music provided by the Roke and Benson Brass Band, and the attendees provided a £120 donation to the Band in support of their charities.
A Children's Christmas Party was held on 10 December 2016 at the Walloingford Msonic Centre. The Brethren donated money and time to make this a real success, with Father Christmas handing out gifts. See a photo in our Gallery section.
We donated £200 to the Royal British Legion and our Worshipful Master placed a memorial wreath in Wallingford Square on Remembrance Day 2016.
A £200 donation to the South Oxfordshire Daytime Support Services from the Lodge provided funds for a river excursion for their clients which took place on 10 August between 11 AM and 1 PM. This service assists adults with learning difficulties.
By means of a generous contribution from the Berkshire Masonic Charity we donated £1500 to the Wallingford and District Talking Newspapers to support their services to the visually impaired. The Lodge also approved a £1000 donation to the Wallingford Museum, a registered charity, to help them provide storage facilities for their artifacts and historic materials, and a toilet for the disabled.
We also donated £500 to the Benson Scout Group, and £500 to the Cholsey Scout Group. These donations will be applied to purchasing tents and kit for the scouts, and for a minibus. Scouting is a registered charity.
While not charity per se, we gave £500 to the Berkshire Masonic Buildings Trust to support their work. Note that our own Masonic Centre benefited from a loan to refurbish 3 flats some time ago.
We also gave £1000 to the Wallingford Museum to aid their project for storage and toilet facilities for the disabled. The story was carried in the monthly Window for Wallingford magazine, and our Provincial Grand Lodge magazine 'the Link'.
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Site migrated 31st January 2016 Published 24th April 2016 Last update 10 February 2018