Following a number of discussions with Bro. Martin Carver, our JW, W. Bro. Les Leek, our Communications Officer and the WM Bro Martin volunteered to follow in Capt Tom Moore’s footsteps and raise money for the NHS Charities through a “Just Giving” page and the Masonic Charitable Foundation, by running, what in the end proved to be, a 200Km Marathon over a number of days, concluding at the Houseman Memorial statue in Bromsgrove High Street on Saturday 30th May.
It commenced on 12th May at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch where Martin commenced as Spiderman before running through, over a number of days, the 31 Districts of Redditch dressed in one of his 3 costumes, Spiderman, Batman or Superman.
Following on from that success he then met with the Provincial Grand Master and Senior Nursing Officer at the Worcester Royal Hospital before running through Worcester, stopping for a photo shoot at the Guildhall and finishing at the Worcester Masonic Hall on Rainbow Hill where he was welcomed by our WM.
The next “Marathon” was through Birmingham commencing at the QE Hospital where Martin had a magnificent “Clap In” on the approach road lined with Hopsital Dr’s, Nurses and staff before running past the City Hosp;ital in Dudley Road and concluding at Heartlands Hospital in East Birmingham, the route traversing Birmingham from West to East.
The Final Run commenced once again at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch, through Finstall to the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bromsgrove, where, once again, he had an emotional “Clap In” by the Nursing and Admin staff before finishing by running through Bromsgrove and concluding in the High Street, where he was met by W, Bro. Patrick Firminger, PSGD, APGM, Chairman of the Worcestershire Festival 2022 Committee for the MCF, and the WM together with his family and friends.
The WM then, thanks to Martin’s sterling efforts, presented the APGM with a cheque for £1,000 for the MCF: this brought the Lodges contribution to just over £20,000; and then presented a Certificate of Achievement to Martin for his magnificent efforts both for the NHS and MCF Charities.
On Tuesday evening 1st September the Chapter was due to hold it’s Regular Convocation at Redditch. Unfortunately due to the Covid-19 restrictions the Companions had all apologised for non-attendance. This meaning that our June Convocation which could not be held and with this one Abandoned due to being unable to form a quorum it was necessary to organise a Virtual Business Meeting to ensure that certain administrative requirements could be conducted. Some 12 Companions were in attendance with apologies having been received and recorded from the remainder.
In essence this meant that the current Principals and the Treasurer were all Declared to remain in office for a further year, subject to their being any significant changes in the current situation. This will require us to obtain a Dispensation for our MEZ to remain in Office for a 3rd year.
The Minutes of the December 2019 Convocation and the June cancellation were approved by all present.
Scribe E reported that we had received 2 Resignations, one of whom had been made an Honorary Member and the other very generously donated his Chapter account monies to our Charity Fund.
The Charity Steward gave an up to date summary of our Charity Account, including this generous donation and it was agreed to place £100 with the RMCO. It was also established that Companions should give consideration to suggesting donations to local charities prior to Christmas.
The Treasurer, in giving his report, stated that the Chapter’s finances were in good order and he asked the established Auditors if they were willing to conduct the audit in November and that was agreed.
The Almoner gave his report and it was good to see one of our Companions, who had been in sick-bay, attending this meeting and stating that he was making good but slow progress.
There being no further business the meeting was closed with the hope that our December Convocation may be able to take place.
On Friday 30th October a “Rule of 6” Meeting of the Lodge was held at Redditch Masonic Hall at 11:00 am to conduct the necessary administrative business of the Lodge.
Those present were the WM, IPM, Secretary, Charity Steward, Director of Music and our Grand Officer.
This was followed in the evening with what must be the most unique Trafalgar Night Mess held vis Zoom with some 46 Brethren in attendance which included our Mess President for the evening, W. Bro. Capt. David Swain, RN, PJGD. Metropolitan Grand Secretary, the Provincial Grand Master, The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent with several other Grand Officers and Visitors “Taking Passage” from as far afield as Holland.
All the normal formalities were conducted with the PGM responding to the Toast to “The Rulers Supreme and Subordinate” followed by the most eloquent and absorbing talk and slide presentation by W. Bro. David Swain on his 35 year distinguished Naval Career prior to him then proposing the Toast to “The Immortal Memory.”
The WM, as is his want, in responding to his Toast focused on the Lodges Charitable affairs during the year and added his grateful thanks to both the Provincial Charity Fund and the MCF for their support. £1,250 had been donated to “Redditch Night Stop,” £1,000 to “Forgotten Feet,” £1,000 to the 2022 Festival. The WM then auctioned a unique Special Boat Service China Mug which raised £500 and would be added to the £250 that the Lodge had already agreed to donate to the Special Boat Service Association.
A very fitting Response to the Visitors Toast was given by W. Bro. Tony Wright of Athol Lodge No. 74 from the neighbouring Province of Warwickshire
Everyone present agreed that the evening was a tremendous success, and all were invited to the next Trafalgar Night on Friday 29 October 2021 when it is hoped we will all sit down at the festive board in Redditch.
W. Bro. Ian M Fothergill