Enough is Enough

“For too long we have been unjustly singled out.  We are an organisation whose whole tenet is about helping individuals become better people, with values of honesty, integrity and service to others.  Membership of Freemasonry is not only positive for them as individuals, but also for society at large.

Sadly, too many Freemasons have to exercise caution in response to prejudice and discrimination they fear they will face.  We want the day when every Freemason can proudly declare themselves a member of our great and historical organisation without fear of retribution, suspicion or damage.”

Dr David Staples, Chief Executive of UGLE

enoughisenough

Peter’s New Wheels

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Peter and his family

Members of Hungerford Lodge gathered recently to surprise Thatcham resident Peter Congerton with a mobility scooter.

Peter and his family were invited to the Newbury Masonic Centre for a private tour before being shown round the building. Significant items were explained to them before Lodge Charity Officer, Nick Stephens, presented Peter with a brand new mobility scooter.

Peter has spinal issues and was saving up to buy himself a scooter so that he could help his wife with the weekly shop but due to his injury, he needed one with special suspension costing £1,900. Nick, who has known Peter and his family for a while, stepped in and offered to ask the Masonic charities for help.

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Freemasonry explained

Peter was overwhelmed and, as is typical of his generation, felt that others were far more deserving than him.

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Peter’s new ride

He was grateful for Nick simply spending time with him. In one email he included the following lines

An illuminated light from the shadow

That gives without asking or wanting

Who treats everyone with the same respect

And I want to thank you friend for

being that light from the shadow

Your kind ways always bring a smile to my face.

Peter is not a freemason and, until his tour of the Newbury Masonic Centre, knew nothing of the Craft, however, he has summed up the spirit of Freemasonry beautifully.

Peter gave up work many years ago through poor health and now has daily seizures due to epilepsy, resulting in many falls. He has recently been to the Royal Berkshire Hospital for an operation on his spine and was told he had a 1 in 6 chance of coming back from the operation. Thankfully the operation was successful and he was able to come home.

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A little something for Linda

Peter was promised formal support for his return home, however after a month he is  still waiting. He needs a stair lift as he cannot walk or get upstairs and he has received very little physiotherapy. Until the stairlift is fitted, he is reduced to sleeping on the sofa which  is upsetting for Peter and Linda, his wife of 39 years.

The Hungerford Lodge will be keeping an eye on this family with a view to providing help where the normal mechanisms cannot.

When eight is better than six

We are delighted to say that as our Lodge goes from strength to strength we are planning to revert to eight meetings a year. Even better news is that the Treasurer has not increased the fees to cover this extra enjoyment!

Here is our 2018 Programme. Come and visit us and join in the fun.

 

The Spirit of Christmas Presents

Berkshire Freemasons help bring a little Christmas cheer to one local family

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At a recent meeting of the Hungerford Lodge, the members entertained their partners and friends with a meal and Christmas Carol singing, accompanied by the Hungerford Town Band. The members met briefly in the Masonic Centre, a short walk from “The Legion“, whilst their partners and guests were entertained at the Legion by the Lodge’s Stewards.

3In a change from the traditional Auction, it was decided to run a White Table evening with raffle. In Masonic circles, a White Table event is one where the members conduct a limited amount of Masonic business before joining their partners and friends for a meal.

One tradition that has been maintained despite the move from Hungerford to Newbury has been the link with the Hungerford Town Band. They have traditionally led our carol singing and, in turn, we have been staunch supporters, often helping to fund new instruments for up and coming musicians.4

The raffle was well supported as usual with the Stewards working their usual magic to extricate money from all of the members.11

This year there was an especially poignant reason for the members to dig deep. Our Charity Steward had been become aware of the plight of a local family who are experiencing extreme financial difficulties.

The eldest daughter, who is nineteen, has recently been diagnosed with brain cancer. She has since undergone over 50 hours of surgery which has sadly left her with many issues including being blind in one eye and difficulties walking.

The family are struggling to live day to day as the mother is now a full time carer and therefore unable to work. The Government support processes are involved but can take up to 16 weeks for money to come through.  They are currently reliant on the local food bank and other handouts while their paperwork is processed.

When our Charity Steward, Nick, visited them to understand how the Berkshire Masonic family could help, he asked the young lady what she would like for Christmas and her reply was simply a pink handbag. Her eight year old sister asked for some Sylvanian family dolls, whilst the mother was just glad to have her daughter home.

This story touched every heart and the members of the Berkshire Masonic family have done everthing they can to ensure that this will be a great Christmas for this family. “Saint” Nick and a few elves visited the family to deliver three Christmas sacks of presents. The members raised £300, some of which has been used to put credit on prepay cards for both telephone and electricity.

Needless to say, a few tears of grateful joy were shed but this family are starting to look to the future. There is the small matter of 10, yes ten, medical appointments in January but the recovery process is beginning.

The members of the Hungerford Lodge are pleased to have been able to help this family and wish them, and everyone, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

If this story has sparked your interest in Freemasonry and you think you might like to join us, we would love to hear from you.

© Hungerford Lodge 4748

Meet the Freemasons in your community 11th and 12 November – Event Cancelled

Please note that this event has been cancelled. If you would like more information about Freemasonry, please feel free to browse this site.

 

If you watched the Sky One documentary “Inside the Freemasons” and wanted to know more about the Freemasons in your community, there is an opportunity over the Remembrance weekend (November 11th and 12th). Men and women from the male and female Masonic Lodges that meet at the Newbury Masonic Centre will be available to answer your questions and even take you on a tour of the Masonic Centre itself.

The team will be in Northbrook Street near Camp Hopson, the founders of which were both Newbury Masons.

Everybody is welcome and there will be people on hand to answer your questions, to talk to you about the work we do in the community, the criteria for joining and even what members feel that they get out of being a Freemason – it may surprise you.

Father of the Lodge celebrates 60 years’ service

This is the story of one man’s dedication to Freemasonry and the joy it continues to give him.

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Peter George Townsend Ludlow

Peter George Townsend Ludlow is the current Father of Hungerford Lodge. This term is used to describe the member with the longest continuous service to the Lodge. He started his long and illustrious masonic career on 19th February 1957 when he was initiated into the Hungerford Lodge and he has been a constant member ever since.

Progressing steadily through the ranks within the Lodge he was installed as Master on 15th November 1966. His performance as Master obviously caught the eye of the Berkshire Provincial team as he subsequently rose to the rank of Assistant Provincial Grand Master for Berkshire and then on to Past Senior Grand Deacon of the United Grand Lodge of England.

Despite being 90, Peter is a very active Mason. He is a member of a number of Masonic Lodges and other Masonic orders within Berkshire, Wiltshire and Somerset and visits widely. He regularly brings a retinue of guests to our meetings.

Peter is well-loved within the Lodge and his is the calm voice we turn to when guidance is required, for example when the Lodge moved its meeting place from Hungerford to Newbury. When we recently interviewed a young prospective candidate, Peter spoke passionately about Freemasonry’s ability to keep him interested for 60 years as well as the support it has given him through troubled times such as the recent loss of his beloved wife, Daphne. Which other hobby can bring men of 23 and 90 together in this way?

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Peter (in his regalia) flanked by Kenny (L) and Adam (R) who were Passed, together with some of the members and visitors

At our meeting on 21st February, 65 members and visitors saw Peter presented with a certificate thanking him for his 60 years of service to Freemasonry in the Province of Berkshire. This was then followed by a certificate recognising his dedication from the Province of Somerset. Those attending were also treated to a double Passing ceremony for two of our Four Aces.

After the meeting, all present joined Peter at the Festive Board at the Royal British Legion Club in Newbury. No doubt a few memories were shared and new ones created.

© Hungerford Lodge 4748

One Week, Three Visits

Freemasons are encouraged to have one aim – that of being happy and sharing that happiness with others. Hungerford Lodge members are doing our best to share our happiness with others.

When Mark Wiltshire took over as Master, he made it clear that he was encouraging the Hungerford members to visit other Lodges as often as they could and he is leading by example. This week has very busy for the Hungerford brethren, with members attending Lodge meetings across Berkshire and Gloucestershire.

img_0300Hungerford member and past master, Greg Hackney, is the current master of the Perseverance Lodge no 4554 invited Mark to join him to see a new mason initiated. Perseverance Lodge meets in the beautiful Masonic Hall on Portland Street, Cheltenham and was consecrated just two years before Hungerford.

Greg (left) is shown with his father, Phillip (centre) also a past master of Hungerford with Mark.

Whilst Mark was in Cheltenham, your author was in Sindlesham attending a triple passing (second degree) ceremony at the Greyfriars Lodge no 1101. Greyfriars is a Universities Scheme Lodge attracting candidates from the University of Reading. This was a very well executed ceremony and provided a number of pointers as to how Hungerford could streamline our own double passing scheduled for 21st February. A highlight of the evening for me was standing as a petitioner to ask the Provincial Grand Master of Berkshire to seek permission to establish a new Lodge in Berkshire.

img_0307Last but not least, Hungerford members visited the Berkshire Country Sports Lodge no 9810 which meets in Wantage. Bob Meikle, one of our Four Aces, was keen to progress through his next ceremony so the Hungerford team asked the Country Sports Lodge to conduct a ceremony on our behalf. There are strong ties between our two Lodges with a number of people being members of both. The Wantage team readily agreed and provided Bob with a night he will never forget.

The Hungerford Lodge was well represented at this ceremony with all of the men shown above being members. Bob is shown on the back row of the photo with the glass held highest.

Freemasonry is a hobby with an emphasis on being happy and sharing happiness with others. Our member are certainly enjoying their Freemasonry at the moment and seeking to share that enjoyment with as many other Lodges as we can. Perhaps you would like to join us to find out more?

© Hungerford Lodge no 4784