All Area Craft & Royal Arch Calendars Updated 10/07/18 in Masonic Diary Dates

The “Masonic Diary Dates” section on the front page now shows the Craft and Royal Arch Area Calendars for the latest July and August 2018 updates.

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Masonic Light Lecture in Area 3 – “The Secrets of the Entered Apprentice Degree. The long & the short of it”

Lecture: “The Secrets of the Entered Apprentice Degree. The long and the short of it.” By: Bro Dr. Robert Lomas

Date: Tuesday 11th September 2018

Venue: Masonic Hall, Cunliffe Road, Ilkley, LS29 9DZ

Parking: South Hawksworth Street Car Park (free after 6.00pm)

Host: Olicana Lodge No.1522

Format: Regular Lodge Meeting

Start Time: 6.30pm

Dress Code: Regalia, Dark Suit & White Gloves

Meal Cost: TBC

For Bookings information please see the Poster attached.

Any questions regarding the lecture should be directed to the Central Area ML Assistant email:

A3 ML 11-09-2018 Entered Apprentice – Olicana 1522

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Disabled people step into a whole new world thanks to virtual reality and The Freemasons

Disabled people supported by a Harrogate charity will be able to step into a whole new world, thanks to the Freemasons.

In a bid to equip customers for independent living, Disability Action Yorkshire is turning to virtual reality to help train and prepare them for a host of everyday life experiences, including supermarket shopping and travelling by public transport.

Members of the town’s The Spa Lodge secured a grant of £2,000 from the Provincial Grand Master’s Fund, which has been used for the charity’s Virtual Independence Project to purchase a Garmin spherical camera, Oculus Go virtual reality headset and a new laptop computer to edit the recorded footage.

Disability Action Yorkshire Chief Executive Jackie Snape said: “Thanks to The Spa Lodge nominating us for this generous grant, our training sessions for customers will be totally revolutionised.

“Whilst many are keen to live as independently as possible, the reality is that some people have had little or no experience of everyday life. Our Virtual Independence Project will change all that.

“Our customers will be able to experience what it is like to travel on a bus independently, travel around a busy shopping centre or supermarket, or prepare and cook a simple meal.

“The aim is that once people have gained confidence in a virtual setting they will then go to try new experiences in daily life.”

Doug Mills, The Spa Lodge Charity Steward, said: “Charity is one of the three grand principles of Freemasonry, and I’m delighted that we have been able to support Disability Action Yorkshire in kick-starting their Virtual Independence Project.

“With the camera, the charity will now be able to develop a series of 360-degree videos, which will help train and prepare customers keen to explore new experiences.

“I tried the headset on myself, and whilst it was great fun I could see a real benefit for those who lack confidence in undertaking simple tasks which, to them, can seem like major obstacles.

“The visit to Disability Action Yorkshire’s Claro Road residential care home proved to be a very satisfying experience, particularly in the knowledge that Freemasons in The Province of Yorkshire, West Riding, have provided financial support to the wider community.”


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250-year-old masonic letter sent from Amsterdam discovered during Skipton lodge audit

A letter written more than 250 years ago in Amsterdam, congratulating the new master of a Leeds Masonic Lodge, has been discovered amongst the pages of a book in Skipton.

In the two-page letter penned in 1762, Lewis Bastide, a member of Golden Lion Lodge, also speaks of his experience with foreign lodges in the Dutch capital, and his intention to form an English lodge in Amsterdam.

The correspondence was unearthed by Chris Hill, secretary of Craven Lodge, during an audit of historical books and documents, where it was found in an envelope tucked into an old copy of a Book of Constitutions.

From records held at The Library and Museum of Freemasonry in London, The Golden Lion Lodge was warranted by the premier Grand Lodge of England on January 8, 1761, and numbered 258 on the Roll of Lodges, and initially called “A Masters Lodge”.

The Warrant for Lodge No 258 was issued by Lord Aberdour, Grand Master, and appointed Sir Henry Ibbetson to be Master, Lewis Bastide to be Senior Warden and George Lawman to be Junior Warden.

During the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, Sir Henry raised a corps of 100 men at his own expense and, in recompense for his loyalty, was created a Baronet.

Lewis Bastide was a prominent merchant in Leeds whilst George Lawman was a master Surgeon in the Army.

The lodge met at various taverns in Leeds including, from 1766, the Golden Lion, Briggate, from which the Lodge took its name in 1772.

However, it ceased to meet regularly from December 1780, and was erased on February 1, 1786.

The only information available about the Lodge’s members is a list of names which appears in a volume entitled List of Members 1770.

Chris Hill, Secretary of Craven Lodge, which meets at The Masonic Hall, Sackville Street in Skipton, said: “This wonderful letter was found totally by accident when I was conducting an audit of lodge possessions.

“It was in a plain envelope and fell out of the pages of an old Book of Constitutions. Despite it being there for goodness knows how long, the letter is in remarkably good condition, and is now carefully preserved.

“The contents of the letter are fascinating and give an insight into Freemasonry in Leeds and Amsterdam more than 250 years ago. It’s just a shame the name of the Master Lewis Bastide was writing to congratulate is not known.”


Below is the transcribed letter in full:

To Golden Lion Lodge, No. 285

Amsterdam – the 23rd March 1762

Dear Sir & Brother,

I should have troubled you before now with a few lines had my business allowed me the time to write them, which I hope you will excuse:  the friendship and brotherly love reigns no less betwixt us for all that, at least on my side and I dare flatter myself of its being the same on yours.

It is with great deal of pleasure that I have heard by Brother Geo. Scott that the Brethren have elected you Master of our Lodge, of which I wish you joy. What pleases me the most and what I can say without flattery is to see that our worthy Brethren have recompensed your merits, and that they have done but what you justly deserv’d  by the zeal you have always shew’d for the Craft, and the trouble you have taken in helping to make the Lodge upon a good footing and to maintain a good order in the same, which I doubt not but you’ll continue,  especially now that you are at the head of it, and to which I take the liberty to exhort you  and the rest of the Brethren , and to see our laws well observed by everyone in the Lodge. For what greater beauty and pleasure there can be than to see a good order kept in a Society? It is that only, that creates and maintains a good harmony and friendship amongst the members thereof.

You’ll have heard that I have had the pleasure of visiting some foreign Lodges, where there is Such a good order kept that you would be charmed with if you was to see it. I was admitted to one in Amsterdam where the Baron of Boetzelaer, Grand Master of Holland assisted, and as I had the honour of being placed by him, he asked me several questions about our Grand Lodge at London and how Masonry went on in England to which I answered in the best manner I was able. They did me the honour of drinking our Lodge’s prosperity which I return’d in a proper manner. I have met with some Brethren in Amsterdam, whom were made in England and being desirous to work in the English way I instruct them in the same and am going to form an English Lodge in the said place having accordingly wrote for a Constitution to Bro. Spencer.

I further observe that you are increased in number, and that you are removed to the old Kings Arms. I must beg to tell you upon the first article that you should be very discreet in taking people in; you know what we had resolved upon before I left Leeds, and I hope if we keep them rules our Lodge will flourish and will be composed of good sorts of people. In regard to the other article, that is about changing the Lodge, I did the necessary for the same and paid 2/6d to Bro. Spencer for it which please to note in conformity.

I cannot say to have anything further to write at present but to wish you health, happiness & prosperity in all your undertakings, and to Salute you as well as to the rest of the Brethren, by the number only known of the Enlighten’d mortals and believe me always Dear Sir and Brother

Your most obed’t and Humble Serv’t, and Affectionate Bro.

Lewis Bastide

PS I am afraid I shall not be so happy as to be with you before May. If I can be of any service to you or to any other friend please to give your letters to young Tennant who will take care to forward them to me.


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Bags of cash from the Freemasons helps launch Harrogate District Hospital’s Comfort Bags initiative

Funding from the Freemasons has helped Harrogate District Hospital launch a “comforting” initiative for relatives of patients at the end of their lives.

Harrogate & Claro Freemasons Lodge secured £1,700 from the Province of Yorkshire West Riding’s Provincial Grand Master’s Charity Fund, to kick start the “Comfort Bags” scheme.

Set up by Harrogate District Hospital & Community Charity and Harrogate District Palliative Care Team, the bags are helping enhance both dignity and practical support throughout end of life for patients and their relatives, in the acute hospital setting.

Each year, more than 600 patients spend their last days and hours in the Harrogate District Hospital and Ripon Hospital.

The bags – which contains a blanket, travel pillow, toothbrush and toothpaste, tissues, notebook and pen, hand lotions and essential toiletries, a free meal voucher and a free parking permit – provide very practical items to help improve the comfort of relatives staying for long periods, or overnight with patients who are in the last days of life.

These are items they may well forget to bring with them when they’re in a hurry or didn’t expect to stay long.

Feedback from relatives has been very positive and grateful for the additional support this scheme has provided.

One relative said: “At the moment my mum is receiving end of life care and last night I received one of your bags. It is a really thoughtful touch. Thank you!”

John Birkenshaw, Charity Steward of Harrogate & Claro Lodge of Freemasons, said: “We are really proud to support this innovative scheme which will bring much needed comfort and support to both patients and relatives at a time when it is needed the most.”

Initial funding was used to launch the bags, however ongoing funding is vital to continue to provide this service. Current projections suggest this will require approximately £5,000 per year to fund 300 comfort bags.

The donation of £1,700 from Harrogate Freemasons will make a set the scheme on a firm road ahead and the donation will be used to continue to fund the contents of the comfort bags.

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Goose & Gridiron – Skipton, May 22nd 2018

Anyone considering joining Freemasonry in the Craven and Keighley area?

The Goose and Gridiron is a perfect way to find out more about our organisation and get to know the people involved.

All welcome! Click the poster below for details:

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Harrogate and District Sea Cadets Annual Awards

WBro. Stephen Brown and WBro. Douglas Mills attended the Harrogate and District Sea Cadets Annual Awards at the Cedar Court Hotel where the Mayor of Harrogate, Cllr Anne Jones, presented awards including several for band members.

The PGM’s Fund had approved an application from The Spa Lodge for a grant of £1000 to replace ageing band equipment. The purchase of this new equipment including cymbals, bell lyre and bugle mouthpieces, enhances the cadet’s experience by way of having modern up to date equipment. The old equipment will be used by new members whilst they are learning.

Sub Lieutenant (SCC) Dan Wilding RNR said that “he foresaw a secondary benefit in that they would now be able to market the band in a more professional manner and thus increase their participation in the local community and even offered to play at a Lodge event.”

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Freemasons And Zumba Enthusiasts Raise More Than £7,000 For Harrogate District Hospital’s Nidderdale Ward

Harrogate District Hospital’s Nidderdale Ward has been given £7,148 to purchase new reclining bedside chairs, thanks to local Freemasons and Zumba enthusiasts.

Harlow Lodge nominated the ward as the beneficiary of its fundraising activities in memory of the late Irene Simister, the mother of two of its members, who spent the last month of her life being cared for by staff before her death.

An observation the pair made during the hours they spent at her bedside was the comfort of the chairs, so they set about raising funds to replace worn out and broken pieces of furniture.

Additionally, another lodge member, Fernando Sarmento De Alencar, organised a sponsored Zumbathon at Harrogate High School in aid of the appeal, which raised £4,100.

Harlow Lodge, one of five craft lodges that meet in Harrogate’s Masonic Hall, raised £1,148 which was further enhanced by a £1,900 donation courtesy of the Freemasons Province of Yorkshire West Riding’s Provincial Grand Master’s Fund.

Andrew Simister, Master of Harlow Lodge and Irene Simister’s eldest son, said: “I would like to pay tribute to everyone who has contributed towards this fund-raising initiative for Nidderdale Ward. I can’t thank them enough.

“Whilst the care of patients is quite rightly the hospital’s number one priority, the comfort of visitors is also an important concern, in particular those spending lengthy hours with loved ones nearing the end of their lives.

“The £7,148 raised will certainly be able to fund the replacement of a good number of chairs for the ward’s side rooms.”

David Fisher, Community and Events Fundraiser at Harrogate Hospital and Community Charity, said: “On behalf of Harrogate District Hospital and in particular Nidderdale Ward, I would like to say a huge thank you for the incredible support of the Simister family and their friends who have worked so hard to raise funds to make improvements to the comfort on the ward.

“Harrogate Hospital and Community Charity raises money to help make a difference to the care end experiences of local patients and their families, going above and beyond that which the NHS can provide.

“The staff are extremely grateful for the generous financial support, and in recognition of this, a plaque in memory of Mrs Simister will be placed within the ward.”

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Harrogate Freemasons present trailer to Harrogate charity Horticap

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Spa Lodge’s Christmas Dinner makes headlines in the Harrogate Advertiser!

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