Romania Update

Romania Update

I am pleased to inform you that arrangements have been finalised to undertake the consecration of the Ion Creanga Lodge in Craiova on Thursday 24th June to be followed by the consecration of the Matei Corvin Lodge in Hunendora on Saturday 26th June.

This has been made possible following the general resumption of Mark masonry in Romania during recent weeks. Whilst some social distancing restrictions are still in place, such as the wearing of face masks when attending meetings, several installation ceremonies have already been conducted as has the advancement of up to 10 brethren at regular meetings.

R.W. Bro. Michael Whelan the Provincial Grand Master of Dorset and I will be flying out direct to Craiova with Wizz Air from Luton on Thursday 24th June departing at 0800 and arriving at 1305. The timing of the consecration meeting is yet to be finalised, but will be early evening. The following day we will travel by road to Hunendora, a journey of approximately 4 hours. The consecration of the Matei Corvin Lodge will probably be scheduled for about 1100 Saturday morning with a festive board to follow. The nearest international airport being at Timisoara, about 2 hours away by road, we intend to travel there Sunday afternoon, before flying back to Luton Monday morning at 0625 with Wizz Air arriving in Luton at 0705.

Whilst all Lodge consecrations are both important and symbolic Hunendora promises to be quite spectacular as it will take place in Hunendora Castle, one of the seven wonders of Romania.
Should any brethren be interested in travelling out to Romania to attend either or both of these meetings please notify me as I can assist in facilitating travel within Romania and our Romanian brethren can also assist in arranging hotel accommodation.

RW Bro. Derek Thomas
Past Prov.G.M.

Provincial Appointments 2021-2022

R.W.Bro. David Powell, has been pleased to announce the following Appointments and Promotions as per the attached list.  Due to the total suspension of Masonic activity over the last twelve months the Provincial Grand Master has decided to reappoint the majority of the active Provincial officers for a further year.
The Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge will again be held as a Virtual Business Meeting scheduled for Saturday 29th May 2021 (details as previously circulated), and these appointments will take effect from that date.
Mark Well,  
Wm. Andrew L Crump
Provincial Grand Secretary
Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons

A Short History of the Mark Benevolent Fund

A Short History of the Mark Benevolent Fund

The 2018 Festival was rather special as it commemorated 150 years since Reverend George Raymond Portal (admitted a Canon of Winchester Cathedral in 1881) founded the Mark Benevolent Fund.

Reverend Portal strongly believed it vital for the Mark Degree to have ownership of a benevolent fund. The M.B.F. was established with the sole objective of providing immediate financial aid to eligible Mark Master Masons or their close family, who may be in distress. Significantly, it was to encourage all Brethren to practice the habit of donating freely and without hesitation.

Portal considered this code of conduct would provide the Order with a clear and distinctive charitable motive, a noticeable purpose with which Mark Master Masons could readily identify. It was abhorrent to Reverend Portal for there to be any delay in supplying aid to those in need, thus the Latin dictum which became the guiding principle for the Mark Benevolent Fund, and which the charity embraces to this very day:

“Bis dat qui cito dat”

“He gives twice who gives promptly”
“A gift given without hesitation is as good as two gifts”

Celebrating 150 Years

To mark the occasion of the Fund’s Sesquicentenary, the Trustees of the Mark Benevolent Fund pledged £2.6 million to the Hope for Tomorrow charity, for the purchase of up to ten mobile chemotherapy units for the use of the NHS in rural locations throughout the UK.

In addition to the Mark Benevolent Fund celebrating its Sesquicentenary, it is vital to reflect on the dedication, work ethic and enthusiasm of Reverend Portal. Not only was he the founding father of the Mark Benevolent Fund but he was also its drive and inspiration. Undoubtedly, without his untiring endeavors and perseverance in the early years, and the continuing support of the membership, the M.B.F. would not have become what it is today. Indeed, we thank him and the many thousands of Brethren whose involvement and hard work has helped mould the charity and ensured continuous growth and development.