ST JOHN volunteers have received the gift of a new ambulance from the Freemasons.

In a ceremony on Saturday afternoon, deputies, St John volunteers and members of the Freemasons degree of Mark Master Masons gathered at the temple in St Martin’s for the handing over of the keys.

The vehicle is one of 50 funded by a capital grant by the Mark Master Masons through their Mark Benevolent Fund to the Order of St John with the specific aim of providing new ambulances, at a cost of £3.2m.

In a speech before officially handing over the keys, Raymond Smith, the Pro Grand Master of the Mark Master Masons, said it was an ‘absolute honour’ to gift the ambulance to Guernsey

Jurat David Hodgetts, chairman of St John Guernsey, and until recently the island’s leading Freemason, was fighting back tears during the ceremony.

‘Seventeen years ago we received an ambulance from the masons, and it was still running this year, he said.

‘The pleasure and joy our volunteer side have is not only do we support events, but if one of the emergency ambulances is unavailable this can be immediately put into service.

‘This vehicle is a wonderful example of masonry supporting the community, so that we, St John, can support the community.

I can’t think of a nicer thing than to receive the keys to a beautiful vehicle like this, the voluntary side will be immensely proud.’

The ambulance will be used by volunteers in their work providing first aid cover at events around the island. Each year volunteers attend around 150 events, including Liberation Day, sporting fixtures, summer shows and school fetes.

Nikki Harrison, chief operating officer of St John Guernsey added: ‘We are delighted to be getting this new ambulance for Guernsey. I would like to thank the Mark Master Masons for their ongoing support of St John and their generosity in fundraising.

‘The replacement vehicle will soon be seen at public events around the island where we provide first aid cover. I know our volunteers will appreciate the new working environment and updated features, as will members of the public who need first aid treatment.

Derek Upton, Provincial Grand Master of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of the Channel Islands said: ‘I and all the Mark Master Masons are immensely proud to be associated with the providing of this ambulance, which we hope will contribute to the safeguarding of the community which we all enjoy being part of, and where we live, work and relax.’

‘The Mark Master Masons pledged just over £3.25m. to enable a two-year programme to provide up to 52 replacement, state-of-the-art ambulance and support vehicles in their provinces.’

Images courtesy of the Guernsey Press.

A local freemason, Sean Petralia has been undertaking a number of challenges this year to raise money for the Guernsey Inflammatory Bowel Disease Support Group. His son, Zak, was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease 10 years ago which is a thoroughly unpleasant, chronically painful and deliberating disease of the small intestine.

It is unforgiving and doesn’t care about your diet, age or how fit and healthy you are.

Sufferers have to learn to live and deal with it as there is no cure. Groups like the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Support Group in Guernsey provide essential support to those afflicted with IBD locally and raise funds where further specialist care is needed.

Please support Sean in his numerous challenges this year as he prepares to put himself through the wringer and raise funds for all local IBD sufferers and hopefully improve their lives.

So what has he done and what will he be doing? Well the list is as follows:
May – Ironman triathlon (70:3) Mallorca – COMPLETED
June – Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon in San Francisco – COMPLETED
September – 5KM swim from Guernsey to Herm

You can support Sean by making any size donation via https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sean-petralia.

It will motivate him and make the challenge that more worthwhile.

Thank you all.

20th September, 2017.

Grow Ltd receive £25,000 from Masonic Foundation

Image courtesy of the Guernsey Press.

9th September, 2017.

The Deputy Provincial Grand Master Keith Reade gives a talk on the history of the Freemasons at the Masonic Centre open day.

Guernsey’s Freemason Lodge opened their doors to the public on Saturday in a bid to share their history, highlight their core principles and disprove accusations that we are a secret society

Presentations were held throughout the afternoon at the Masonic Centre in St. Martins, which is the home to nine of the ten lodges across Guernsey & Alderney.

Islanders were invited to look around the different lodge meeting rooms and facilities.

Deputy Provincial Grand Master Keith Reade said it was important to clarify what the free masons do and debunk some common misconceptions. We are often accused of being a secret society, but we are absolutely not.

Image courtesy of Guernsey Press

9th June, 2017.

The Provincial Grand Master and Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Guernsey & Alderney provide personal delivery of the Tercentenary Banner to the Provincial Grand Master of Hampshire and Isle of Wight, Rt.W. Bro. Michael Wilkes.

Image courtesy of Guernsey Press

20th May, 2017.

The year was 1917
The year is 2017

The Provincial Grand Master of Guernsey and Alderney, Rt.W.Bro. David Hodgetts, LVO was accompanied by Rt.W.Bro. David Williamson, Past Assistant Grand Master for the United Grand Lodge of England and Rt.W.Bro. Kenneth Rondel, Provincial Grand Master of the Province of Jersey and many local and visiting Freemasons in support of the Tercentenary, with family and friends.

The march from the top of Smith Street, down and long the High Street concluded with a line of Freemasons to the town church where a Service of thanksgiving to celebrate “The Tercentenary” was given, to all masons, family and friends.

This was followed with a Luncheon at St. Pierre Park Hotel.

 

3rd March 2017

Why DO they roll up their trouser legs and bare their breasts ?…………………Read on to find out……………….

Image courtesy of Guernsey Press

September 2016

Guernsey and Alderney Freemasons donate more than £35k to support local groups.

Representatives from all the groups attended a special gathering at the Masonic Centre, St. Martins and received their cheques from the Guernsey and Alderney Freemasons.

Provincial Grandmaster David Hodgetts said the organisation was keen to support as many local groups as possible. We decided to support a number of local charities and selected them by the good work they were doing on the island.

The money was raised by members of the society.

Charities supported were; Riding for the Disabled, Home-Start, The Guernsey Society for Cancer Relief, the Guernsey Sports Association for the Disabled and the Guernsey Chest and Heart Unit.

Image courtesy of Guernsey Press

May 2016.

A group of visiting Chelsea Pensioners and Gurkhas were once again welcomed to the Guernsey’s Masonic Centre yesterday for a behind-the-scenes tour.

The Guernsey Masons have supported the Chelsea Pensioners’ Liberation visit to Guernsey for more than 10 years.

The visitors attended a tour by Provincial Grand Master for Guernsey and Alderney, David Hodgetts, who showed them around the temple in St. Martin’s before presenting the group with a cheque to help cover the costs of their visit.

The pensioners travel to the island every year for several days around Liberation Day, for a holiday and to take part in events to mark the occasion. They are joined by the Gurkhas, whose trip is sponsored by Specsavers.

There were several first time visitors and all enjoyed a warm Guernsey welcoming.

Image courtesy of Guernsey Press

January 2016.

Guernsey and Alderney Freemasons donate £1,525.

The cheque will go toward the hospice’s £1.3m yearly running costs, where as much as possible is spent of frontline services.

Local Provincial Grand Master David Hodgetts handed over the cheque and said the Freemasons gave donations to hospices throughout the country.

This is the 16th year that we have done this and it is from the Freemasons as a whole.

Image courtesy of Guernsey Press

15th September, 2015.

Guernsey and Alderney Freemasons donate more than £30k to support local groups.

Representatives from all the groups attended a special gathering at the Masonic Centre, St. Martins and received their cheques from the Guernsey and Alderney Freemasons.

Provincial Grandmaster David Hodgetts said the organisation was keen to support as many local groups as possible. We decided to support a number of local charities and selected them by the good work they were doing on the island.

The money was raised by members of the society.

Charities supported were; Guernsey Jumbulance, Headway Guernsey, the Guernsey Sailing Trust, Wigwam and The Bailiwick of Guernsey Scout Association.

Image courtesy of Guernsey Press

8th May, 2015.

A group of visiting Chelsea Pensioners were given a behind the scenes tour of Guernsey’s Masonic Centre.

Jurat David Hodgetts, Provincial Grand Master for Guernsey & Alderney, showed them around the Temple in St. Martins before presenting the group with £1,700 to help cover the cost of their visit.

Image courtesy of Guernsey Press

16th April, 2015.

On 16th April 2015, the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys held a Special General Court to inform members about exciting proposals to restructure the charity.

Over 250 Patrons, Grand Patrons and representatives of Patron Lodges travelled from across England and Wales to Rickmansworth to attend the meeting.

The proposed changes are outlined in full on the RMTGB website, but, in summary, the proposal is to consolidate the activities of the four existing central Masonic Charities and to create a new overarching charity with a President, Chief Executive and Trustee Board, a single staff structure and a single brand. It is believed that these changes will help reduce current duplication of effort and improve efficiency across the central Masonic Charities, resulting in improved, simpler and streamlined support for beneficiaries.

Over the past 227 years, the RMTGB has continually evolved to provide the best possible support for its beneficiaries and to improve the way it interacts with and benefits the Craft, as well as society in general. The future changes set out at the Special General Court will ensure that central Masonic Charity not only survives, but thrives in the years ahead.

The meeting was held in the spectacular chapel at the Royal Masonic School for Girls, which is nestled within the stunning grounds of Rickmansworth Park. Five key speakers gave an interesting and informative presentation outlining the proposals: Mike Woodcock, President; Keith Emmerson, Deputy President; Les Hutchinson, Chief Executive; and Council members Tony Harvey and Mike Codd. The presentation was followed by a lively question and answer session.

At the end of the meeting, Mike Woodcock asked for a show of hands to see how many of those attending were in support of the proposed changes. Every single person in the chapel indicated that they were. The formal vote will take place at the Annual General Meeting of the charity on 5 October 2015.

To find out more about the Special General Court and the proposed changes to the central Masonic Charities, visit the RMTGB website.

17th February, 2015.

Guernsey and Alderney Freemasons donate £1,500 to Les Bourgs Hospice.

The £1,500 will go towards general running costs of the hospice, which currently stand in excess of £1m per year, according to the hospice director, Jo Boyd.

Tony le Tissier, a mason for 44 years explained that Freemasons had been donating to Les Bourgs for 15 years.

Pictured are Tony le Tissier, hospice chairman Jurat Mike Tanguy, Andrew Guinness and hospice director Jo Boyd.

Image courtesy of Guernsey Press

November 2014.

Guernsey and Alderney Freemasons donate £2,025 to Alderney’s volunteer ambulance brigade.

Around 10 St John volunteers along with around a dozen local members attended the presentation which was held at Alderney’s Masonic Hall.

The local lodge was asked for ideas on where the funding should be allocated and St John was selected.

The money was raised by members of the society.

The gift will enable the purchase of 2 more portable defibrillators for the island.

The Alderney lodge has 45 members and across the 10 lodges of the Bailiwick there are around 570 members in total.

Image courtesy of the Guernsey Press

13th November, 2014.

Often perceived as mysterious and somehow sinister the 580 members of the Freemasons in Guernsey would argue otherwise. BBC Guernsey’s Gareth Owen went to their temple in St Martin’s to find out more.

Click here for more.

September 2014.

Guernsey and Alderney Freemasons donate approximately £30k to support local groups.

Representatives from all the groups attended a special gathering at the Masonic Centre, St. Martins and received their cheques from the Guernsey and Alderney Freemasons.

Provincial Grandmaster David Hodgetts said the organisation was keen to support as many local groups as possible. We decided to support a number of local charities and selected them by the good work they were doing on the island.

The money was raised by members of the society.

Charities supported were; Guernsey Welfare Service, Male Uprising Guernsey, the Priaulx Premature Baby Foundation, Guernsey Specials Gym, Friends of Guernsey Music Centre, Friends of Samaritans, Guernsey Sea Cadets, The Still Birth and Neonatal Death Society (Sands), the Guernsey Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Image courtesy of the Guernsey Press

May 2014.

St John is grateful for the tremendous support from the Freemasons of Guernsey and Alderney, which have donated funds to purchase a new rapid response car.

The car will be used by paramedics to respond to emergency calls and is equipped with a full range of medical and communications equipment which will enable them to provide life-saving treatment when called to do so.

In Guernsey paramedics are deployed to the most serious 999 calls where their advanced pre-hospital medical skills are required to diagnose, treat and stabilise patients who are suffering from either sudden acute illnesses, or traumatic injuries.

Nik van Leuven, Chairman of the Bailiwick of Guernsey St John Commandery said “St John relies on donations from the public for all the services it provides, and the generous donation from Bailiwick Freemasons is a wonderful example of that support. The car will be put into service immediately responding to some of the 4000 emergency calls that are received by St John on the island each year”.

Jon Beausire, Chief Ambulance Officer said “paramedic intervention is critical to the most seriously ill and injured patients. This car will enable St John to continue to provide high quality rapid response to those in need”.

The car was presented by Jurat David Hodgetts, Provincial Grand Master representing the Guernsey and Alderney Freemasons.

14th December, 2012.

Guernsey Cheshire Home (GCH) received a donation of £37,500 towards running costs from Guernsey and Alderney masons.

Jurat Stephen Jones, chairman of the home, expressed his gratitude to Provincial Grand Master David Hodgetts, saying it was a magnificent contribution to the annual running costs, none of which are state-funded.

GCH provides specialist care with a family atmosphere, and the funds were raised in the islands solely from within masonry, aided by a grant from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity.

15th May 2012.

The head of the Freemason movement in Guernsey has hit out the publication of a list of lodge members in the island.

The list was posted on an internet forum and includes the names of a number of former and present politicians, jurats and bailiffs.

Provincial Grand Master David Hodgetts said the publication of the list raised issues regarding data protection laws.

He said: “It shouldn’t be published and if somebody has published something, maybe they’ll be prosecuted.”

He added that he felt disclosure of membership should be optional.

The list of members was circulated on Twitter shortly after the general election in April.

Jurat Hodgetts said public perception of the group was misinformed, and stated: “I know there’s nothing evil about Freemasonry.”

He added: “We are in danger of being accused of trying to advance ourselves by saying we’re a Mason, and if we don’t say we’re a Mason then we’re secret and we’ve got something to hide.”

He said: “The thing about Freemasonry that people aren’t concentrating on is the fact that the only organisation that gives more money to charity is the National Lottery in the United Kingdom.”

He said: “We’re about trying to make ourselves better citizens, in fact we promise to do so.

“We raise money from our own pockets for charity – that’s what Freemasons are about.”

Guernsey’s politicians are currently not required to declare membership of the Freemasons.

15 March 2012.

Guernsey’s St John Ambulance and Rescue Service (SJAR) has received a £4,000 grant from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity for its marine operation provided by the Flying Christine III, which is supported and maintained by voluntary grants.

The organisation, which celebrated its 75th anniversary last year, used the donation to purchase a life-saving defibrillator machine.

16th September, 2012.

Guernsey and Alderney masons have donated £21,600 to Channel Islands Air Search (CIAS), part of which will help refurbish a vital infrared rescue camera.

Provincial Grand Master David Hodgetts explained he remembered when the Air Search organisation was set up and is delighted to be making a contribution towards the team’s high operating costs. CIAS chief officer Colin Ferbrache said the money would help towards the overall running costs, ‘which are now in the region of £85,000 a year’.