Saturday 18th of April saw the Mon Mark Charity Gala Dinner at the Holiday Inn, Newport when 195 brethren and guests of the Mark Province of Monmouthshire came together in support of Mark Charities.
During the course of an evening of fine food and entertainment and laughter, the charity raffle raised the sum of £1000.
The toast to Mark Masonic Charities was proposed by the W.Bro David Powell, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master and was responded to by Right Worshipful Brother, Derek Thomas, the Provincial Grand Master who was accompanied by Mrs Enid Thomas.
The new venue for the Charity Gala Dinner has proved a great success with every lodge in The Mark Province being well represented. Well done everyone.
After Derek Thomas, our PGM, had overseen the supply of a Defibrillator to all the Monmouthshire Masonic Centres, W,Bro Jonathan Roberts has undertaken the job of training the Brethren in their use.
The training courses started at Newport in February and a second was done more recently in Blackwood. He is intending to visit Chepstow and the other centres in the near future.
Use of the machine was just part of the training. Learning to give life saving CPR (which is short for cardiopulmonary resuscitation) on a number of dummies was also included as can be seen from the photographs.
Johnathan was thanked for the time he had spent and the excellent way he had carried out the training.
The Monmouthshire Mark Mason’s officers mess met for Lunch at Castleton Masonic Hall on Sunday afternoon 22nd of February. The second of the Masonic season.
In all, a total of 91 members and wives sat together for a relaxed afternoon of dining and chat.
A bumper return on the raffle elicited a general response of thanks from our Provincial Grand Master to everyone who attended and contributed towards making the lunch a happy and memorable event.
Christmas is the time for celebrating and giving and so it is particularly concerning when we hear of families struggling at this special time of year. Our Provincial Grand Master was especially concerned to hear of a young boy with severe learning difficulties whose most effective means of communication with others is an iPad but, due to a series of difficult circumstances that had befallen his family, was without one for significant periods in the day. Further enquiries uncovered the reality of a family struggling at this time even to make ends meet let alone provide a level of festive cheer enjoyed by the rest of us at this time of year. In conjunction and collaboration with Professionals , R.W.Bro Derek and his wife Enid personally undertook and oversaw the provision of an iPad for the young boy and a hamper of considerable size , laden with appropriate fare. Gift vouchers were also included to provide for the young boy’s older sister.
Our Provincial Grand Master is especially keen to reinforce the message that at all times the Mark Degree ensures its donations are centred on the point of need and are whenever possible done in as timely manner as can be achieved. R.W.Bro Derek also wishes to thank Bro Paul McGrath and W.Bro Norman Davies for their invaluable assistance. Pictured with R.W.Bro Derek are Mrs Darya Brill- Williams, Head Teacher and Mrs Cheryl Buck, Senior Teacher of Pen y Cwm school who collaborated with this initiative.
What started out as a simple attendance by the Provincial and Deputy Provincial Grand master to Belgium District Grand Lodge, snowballed into a full blown winter excursion. Such was the interest generated by the Brethren of the Province, that 32 Mark Brethren and their respective partners eventually made the trip via Luxury coach.
The four day trip took in the sights of the historical city of Ghent and a day in Brussels, where the ladies assailed the Christmas markets while the brethren attended the District meeting. The District brethren greeted the block of visitors enthusiastically as did R.W.Bro Keith Emerson Deputy Grand Master, who was also visiting.
The long weekend was deemed a resounding success by all who attended. Future plans are being made for further such excursions….. watch this space!
The Provincial Grand Master has been please to make a donation to the Abergavenny and District deaf and hard of hearing class. It had come to his attention that this small but highly valued group were in need of financial assistance to secure premises for the class to run for the coming year . The very timely intercession of the Mark degree has now ensured the class has access to suitable rooms for the foreseeable future.
Pictured is R.W.Bro Derek Thomas presenting a cheque to Mrs Jo Glynn a group Member on 16th January. The Lady on the left at the rear is the instructor, Mrs Chris Coventry . The Spaniel dog in the picture is a highly trained “hearing dog” that provides invaluable assistance to one of the more severely impaired members of the group.
Early in this Masonic season our Mark Provincial Grand Master, R.W.Bro Derek, announced his intention to donate a sum of money to each Masonic hall in the Masonic Province of Monmouthshire, irrespective of whether a Mark lodge met within the building or not.
The donation to Rhymney Masonic Hall was enthusiastically taken up by hall committee members, Bro Alan Chamberlain (Ashlar 109) and W.Bro Roy Veale (Ashlar 109) who found four antique chairs for sale on the Internet, purchased them and had enough of the donation left over to have them re-covered. The chairs will now be used in the dining room at top table for the Worshipful Master, senior visitor, Senior and Junior warden’s respectively.
Pictured is the Provincial Grand Master, R.W.Bro Derek Thomas and Deputy Provincial Grand Master, W.Bro David Powell in their Mark regalia presenting the chairs to Hall committee members, Bro Alan Chamberlain and W.Bro Roy Veale in their craft regalia.
Although Rhymney Masonic Hall does not have its own Mark Lodge, a great many Mark men meet as members of its established lodges.
Banner dedications are always happy occasions and the Maius RAM banner dedication proved to be no exception. Almost 20 yrs to the date of consecration, this RAM lodge, based at Risca now has it’s own banner. In a packed temple, the Worshipful Commander , W.Bro Keith Barnett, called off and the brethren were joined by wives and family members to witness this landmark event. A full Provincial team were in attendance to add lustre to the occasion. There wasn’t an empty seat to be seen. The colloquy between the Worshipful Commander and Provincial Grand Master , R.W.Bro Derek Thomas, was delivered with solemnity and dignity, the banner was paraded around the Lodge accompanied by the principal officers. The Provincial Grand Chaplain delivered a fascinating oration on the differences between a flag and a banner. At the completion of the dedication, the Provincial Grand Master retired from the lodge accompanied by the provincial team , the wives and family members to finish the evening with a celebration dinner.
Picture shows Provincial Grand Master , R.W.Bro. Derek Thomas and Worshipful Commander, W.Bro, Keith Barnett with the newly dedicated Maius RAM Lodge Banner.
Torfaen Mark Lodge Member, Bro. Phil Godsell has been ordained “Deacon ” in the Church of Wales by the Bishop of Monmouth. This has been the culmination of many hours and years of hard work, and on Saturday last at St Woolos Catherdral his ambition was finally realised. Bro Phil will begin his Holy Orders at Cyncoed Parish. He is now titled Reverend Phillip W Godsell. I know that you will all join with me in wishing Phil and his wife Kelly every joy and happiness in his new calling.
Picture shows The Rev. Bro Phillip Godsell just before the service of his ordination at the Deanery, St Woolos’ Cathedral.