Fitzwilliam Lodge’s second longest serving member, Philip Graham, received a surprise visit at the end of April from three of the Lodge’s senior members. Philip, who was initiated in January 1976, now lives in a care home in Rotherham and is unable to attend meetings.
Phillip was made an Honorary Member to commemorate the wonderful service he has given to the Lodge for nearly 50 years, in which time he has been Treasurer, Director of Ceremonies and Almoner of the Lodge as well as having been the Master in 1987-88.
Paul Paddock, the current Master, Secretary John Beaven and Lodge Mentor Graham Hawley surprised Philip by arriving at his room and presenting him with a beautifully framed certificate honouring his service to Freemasonry and signed by the Provincial Grand Master.
Yorkshire Freemasons give charity a big lift!
For the first time since Rotherham Sight and Sound (RSS) acquired their town-centre headquarters in August 2017 there will be full access for visually impaired people to all three of the building’s floors thanks to a grant of £34,500 from West Yorkshire Freemasons to purchase a lift.
Currently only the ground floor, is available to RSS’s visually impaired clients. A new lift is being installed that will open up two more floors to them on completion of the refurbishment which is due by autumn 2023.
The Rotherham-based Sandbeck Lodge successfully applied to the West Riding Masonic Community Fund for the grant. The installation of the lift is part of a major upgrade of the Ship Hill building which includes new toilet facilities and a café, together with a new entrance and reception area.
Sandbeck Lodge sourced the grant application in memory of one of their members, the late Joe Walker who was a champion of charitable causes both nationally and internationally.
When the Freemasons asked Joe’s widow Margaret which Rotherham-based charity Joe would have wanted them to assist, she told them that he had respect for Rotherham Sight and Sound, which is a division of Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind (SRSB).
James H Newman OBE, Provincial Grand Master of the Freemasons’ Province of Yorkshire, West Riding, said: “I am incredibly proud that the generosity of our members from Lodges across all parts of Yorkshire enables us to support life-changing charities like Rotherham Sight and Sound.
“It is immensely satisfying for Freemasons to know that they are supporting a project that will make such a massive difference to the charity’s visually impaired clients.”
Joanne Ardern, CEO of SRSB / RSS added: “RSS provide opportunity, support, friendship, and services to people with sight and / or hearing loss in the Rotherham area, helping them to achieve whatever they wish to do and whatever they aspire to be.
“This very generous donation will mean our charity can do this more effectively, as we have seen our client numbers grow from 0 to over 2,200 in the last six years and numbers still continue to grow.
“We want to say a very big thank you on behalf of our clients and our charity to the Sandbeck Lodge.”