When Sumaira joined Surrey 45 in February she was joined at the Festive Board by her extremely proud mother Shaista and father Altaf, a member of Finsbury Park Lodge 1288 who had flown in from Saudi Arabia, where he currently works to share the occasion with her. Sumaira first met members of Surrey Lodge 45 at the Surrey University Freshers’ Fair.
As we celebrate International Women’s Day, Freemasonry for Women is proud to play its part in the empowerment of women both here in the UK and in our overseas lodges. For more than one hundred years women have stood firm in their belief that they were justly entitled to become Freemasons and to be recognised as such.In today’s increasingly busy world many women feel isolated and alone in a society which is still dominated by men. They appreciate the different environment of an all female group.
Freemasonry provides women with support networks, and friendships which span the divisions of race, class or age whilst offering spiritual and personaldevelopment. Our teachings direct us to help those in need and our members are encouraged to raise funds for charity and our members in India have put these principles into practice by actively supporting leprosy communities and schools in their area.
Freemasonry offers women friendship, inspiration and empowerment.
Beverley - a Master in the lodge and in the water!
Beverley the Worshipful Master of Unity Lodge 58 in Letchworth was given a day pass to miss the 3rd meeting of the new lodge in order to compete in the 1500m of the British Masters Swimming Championships which were being held in Swansea and simultaneously compete in the Welsh Championships. This is her story ….
I came into Freemasonry, reading of its morality and
Life’s circumstance had knocked my confidence and Vitiligo,
a trauma-based skin condition had manifested over my entire body . It took
courage to journey through to the Masters Chair and each step forward was a constant
My work hours however were getting longer and meetings
harder to get to. So when I was given an opportunity to be involved with
forming a new weekend lodge , it felt like the perfect solution -therefore
I decided , with my girls’ encouragement ,to train for a
charity swim raising funds for the Fraternity and Independent Age. As a child,
I was a competitive swimmer but facing the swim suit after more than 30 years
and now covered with giraffe patch skin, was terrifying. After six months of
four times a week training, I proudly completed the 10k open water challenge ,
Having trained that hard, the next step into competitive
swimming again, you would think would be simple but I was going into the
unknown. A woman in her fifties facing the pool, body aches and long hours of
training but unless you try to do something beyond what you have already
mastered, you will never grow.
I was accepted into the Barnet Copthall Swim team,
completing my first race in November ‘19. Having entered a few competitions, I
had a call to say that I had qualified to swim in the first leg of the British
Masters Championships in Swansea.
I am so grateful for the friends I have made in our fraternity who have showed kindness and constant support throughout this experience. I hope I’ll prove that courage doesn’t mean that you don’t get afraid -just that you don’t let fear stop you!”
The result of all her hard work was a 3rd place in the 1500m event of the British Championships and into further events at the end of April and a double win in the Welsh Championships in the 800m freestyle and the 200m medley.
Everyone should join!
It was amazing, everyone should join!” Those were the words of Lisa, a new Companion who along with Barbara travelled from Calahonda Lodge 53 in Spain to be Exalted into Royal Arch Freemasonry in Chapter of the Holy Sepulchre No. 6 at Rochford, Essex. The three Principals, Z, H and J and the Principal Sojourner delivered a beautiful ceremony to ensure that these two candidates had a day to remember. This was the first ceremony for MEZ Sue, H Elaine and J Angie since the Installation in November last year. Not even the presence of the 1st Grand Principal and the 3rd Grand Principal put them off. Anyone familiar with Royal Arch knows the important part played by the Principal Sojourner and Iskra certainly rose to the occasion. Proud Preceptor Jenny, (standing on the right) was delighted with the Officers. Director of Ceremonies Chrissy (Standing on the left) kept everything moving smoothly.
Spreading the word in the Midlands
On 17th February
the WM of our Ambassadors project at Coventry, W Bro Patricia Garraway was
invited to deliver a talk for a Friendship Evening at Solihull Lodge 8088 about
Freemasonry for Women and the work of Ambassadors Lodge 13 in helping to
establish new lodges. She spoke about the formation of our overseas lodge in
Spain, Romania, India and America and imparted the exciting news that
Ambassadors 13 will once again be travelling to India in January 2021 to
consecrate three new lodges.
She also spoke about the
project in Coventry which will lead to the re-dedication of Centrum Lodge No.
46 as a University Lodge meeting at Dalecote House in Coventry and working with
the Province of Warwickshire.
Despite battling ill-health Patricia’s efforts should see this project come to fruition in August of this year. To show their appreciation the lodge members had a collection for a charity nominated by Patricia which was the Derby & Burton Hospital Charity, one of whose projects is the provision of ‘nicer’ hospital gowns.
Carole returns to work
On February 12th W Bro Carole returned to work as WM of Grace Bilantz 34 when she was beautifully installed by the amazing Helen. We are sure that Helen wont mind us mentioning that she is 85 years young and came to the rescue when the outgoing WM was unable to attend the meeting due to work pressures. Grace Bilantz 34 is one of our London lodges meeting at our headquarters, 402 Finchley Road, London NW2 2HR.
Discover Freemasonry event at Great Queen Street
On 6th February, GM Christine and Grand Secretary Maxine attended this event at Great Queen Street, organised by Metropolitan Grand Lodge to promote Freemasonry. Hundreds of people attended, amongst them many women and we were pleased to be able to discuss Women’s Freemasonry with them.
Our Northern lodges are always working to support local charities . In January Michele IPM of Bond of Friendship Lodge 48 was delighted to present £250 each to her two chosen charities; the Alzheimers Society and Dementia Cafe.
Michele pictured centre was surrounded by volunteers and cafe users. Receiving the cheques are Judith from the local Alzheimers Society and Maureen a volunteer.
And not to be outdone, Sue the WM of Sesame 26 presented a £400 cheque to Michelle from the Trinity Hospice
On February 2nd Bharati Lodge No. 56 celebrated the Installation of its 3rd Worshipful Master when Bro Anju was installed into the Chair of KS. It’s going to be a busy year for this our first Indian lodge with the prospect of 8 candidates to admit for the prospective new lodge in Chennai and 6 candidates for another prospective new lodge in Bengalaru. WM Anju was Installed by Bro Sujini who be will be the first WM of the prospective new lodge in Hyderabad.
Working together in Unity
Sunday February 2nd saw our newest Lodge, Unity 58 perform its first ceremony. Bro Rose was Raised to the degree of a Master Mason by WM Beverley. Unity meets in the uniquely special surroundings of The Cloisters at Letchworth. Unity was consecrated in October 2019 as a University Lodge to work together with the Province of Herts in our Uni Schemes.
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