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Another Triple Initiation

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Another successful triple initiation was carried out at Severn St Masonic Temple this Saturday 18th February. The members at the University of Birmingham lodge once again navigated the logistical mine field of a triple initiation to pull off yet another memorable ceremony, welcoming three more entered apprentices to the lodges growing ranks. We were also lucky enough to have W. Bro Peter Manning, Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Warwickshire in attendance

Thank you to everyone that came to witness and assist in the ceremony and to all the brethren of University of Birmingham for helping to welcome our newly made brothers to the craft.

HIGH FLYING PAST MASTERS

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On a day of crystal clear skies W.Bros.  Clive Neal-Sturgess (Secretary) and Ron Parker (IPM) left their lodge duties on the ground and took to the air.  The whole of the Province of Warwickshire lay beneath them as they cruised at 3500 feet.  Over the West Midlands safari park near Kidderminster a hard left turn saw the Malverns to the south, Herefordshire to the west and further afield the Welsh hills all poking their summits above the misty ground like little islands. The Worcestershire side was clear, still air, affording us the most comfortable of flights. Over the Malverns, past The British Camp and another left towards Stratford-on-Avon and home.  W.Bro Ron Parker has been flying light aircraft since 1987 and still finds the experience exhilarating. Clive has flown with Ron before but is more used to Business Class in an airliner than contorting himself into a 4 seater!

 

November Initiation

nov_initiationOn the 15 th of November 2016, the University of Birmingham lodge no. 5628, had the honor of initiating three new brothers into the craft. Brothers Reuben McCalla, Ashley Sutherland and Richard Stephen Pinner, all graduates of the universities of Birmingham and Aston.

As always the master, wardens and brethren of the lodge, took on the challenge of a triple initiation and with the help of all involved pull off a very memorable ceremony, one that our new brothers will, we hope look fondly on, as they proceed down their masonic paths, with the help of their newfound brothers.

Installation 2016

 

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Saturday 17th of September 2016 saw the installation of W. Bro Robert Ashford on his 3rd time in the chair since joining the University of Birmingham. The installation meeting saw an excellent attendance from both University of Birmingham Lodge members and visitors alike. We were even lucky enough to to have the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W. Bro. Richard L Barker to open the lodge and witness the days proceedings.

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This meeting saw lodge member Bro. Patrick Galimpin ascend to the chair of Senior Warden, and Bro. Chidi Muorah ascend to the Junior Warden’s chair. The installation went smoothly thanks to the keen supervision of the senior members in attendance and the assistance of W.Bro Humberto Campos serving skillfully as Director of Ceremonies.

After the days proceedings were concluded, members and visitors retired for an enjoyable festive board in Severn Street’s historic dining room to welcome in the coming year.

Mayor of Alcester – Prof. Clive Neal-Sturgess

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Not only does Clive hold down his chair at Birmingham University, act as our tireless Lodge Secretary and that to other orders but finds time to perform civic duties for the good of the community. An inspiration!

The Mayor, who is elected at the Annual Council meeting of Alcester Town Council, acts as the Chairman of every full council meeting, or in the mayor’s absence the Deputy Mayor. The Mayor is also an ex-officio member of every committee; however does not have to sit at every meeting. The Mayor is also consulted by the clerk on the contents of the agenda.

The Mayor is the major representative of the council, especially at events organised by other organisations or councils.

The Mayor, as leader of the council, takes the lead responsibility as the Chairman of the Presidium Committee made up from the Chairmen of the five Council Committees (Town Council Executive Committee) who, along with the information prepared by the Responsible Finance Officer, sets the precept for the coming year along with the terms of reference and projects for each of the committees for approval by full council.

Double Raising

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On the 20th of February 2016, the University of Birmingham lodge no.5628 had the honour of raising two brothers to the sublime degree of master mason. Though we have had many raising in recent times, this one was quite special. This was because, this was the first raisings to be held by our lodge at our new home in Severn street masonic hall.

The day itself was one to remember, particularly by those brothers who have been waiting patiently for this day to finally come. Though nervous, they went through this hallowed ceremony with dignity. Though a very personal ceremony, they were not alone, for they had the company of those brethren both lodge member and visitor alike watching over and guiding them, through a day that they will always remember.

Remembrance Sunday Social – Clay Day

On the 8th of November 2015, the University of Birmingham Lodge no.5628, held its first social of the masonic year. But unlike previous lodge socials, we gave up the comfort  of the Lodge for the wet and muddy fields of a shooting range, and the  fine dining for a bacon sandwich and coffee.

Though the wind was at times strong and the ground sodden, this did not stop the members of the lodge and their guests from having a fun day out. As ever our Worshipful Master, W.bro Ron Parker was first into the thick of it. But far from just being an ordinary day of shooting, the site catered for a wide array of activates for the members and their guests to take part in. These included shooting, archery, falconry, quad biking etc. But as our time there was limited, we stuck to the shooting and archery for this time round, but hope to expand to other events next time.

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At the shooting stalls, everybody waited eagerly for their chance to show off. At which point, our Worshipful Master decided a contest was in order. We all received our 6 tokens, for a total of 12 shots each. The person who shot the most clays at the end of the social would win a prize. The winner at the end of the day was bro. Adam Doveston, with 8 out of 12 clays. As a prize he won a bottle of red wine, presented to him by the Worshipful Master. But this was not the end of the contest for bro. Adam Doveston, he was then challenged by a member of staff to perform a trick shot. Which consisted of shooting a clay far down range, then once hit, to then shoot and hit one of the small pieces that came off it. To his own and everyone else’s surprise, he made the shots and won the challenge.Ron2

While the clay shooting was the main event, many members and guests, gave up the gun for a bow and tried their hands at archery. This proved to be as equally as popular as the shooting, to the point where a number of our guests now want to take up archery as a past-time. Overall the day was a great success. Filled with fun activates and lots of information, provided by a helpful instructors. The Lea Marston Venue is deeply committed to charitable events and able-bodied users of the facilities are left in no doubt that by partaking they are subsidising the facilities for those less fortunate than themselves.

But before the day came to an end, we all adjourned to the nearest bar, for a well-deserved drink and to reminisce on the day events and the possibility of returning one day.

A New Home And A New Worshipful Master

Severn Street Installation

The 19th of September 2015, was a great day for all of us at the University of Birmingham lodge no. 5628. As, not only did we have the great honour of installing W.Bro Ron Parker for the second time, as Worshipful Master of our lodge. We were able to do this wonderful and honourable ceremony in the beautiful and history drenched surroundings of the Severn Street Masonic Hall, which from that date, will be our new home.

The Installation was a smooth affair, which could only have been brought about by the keen eye and gentle guidance of our veteran lodge officers. But as some of these officers make way for younger members of the lodge, we can be assured that their guidance and knowledge will always be a guiding light in the lodge to both brethren and our new Worshipful Master.

Once the lodge was closed and all masonic work for that day had ceased, all brethren and visiting brothers retired to the elegant surroundings of the dining room, for a wonderful festive board. And there, under the gaze of all the past masters, whose emblazoned names line the walls of that dining room, we made a toast to our new Worshipful Master and to the new masonic year, which lies ahead.

Is This Goodbye?

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We had the final meeting of our 2014-2015 Masonic year on Saturday 18th April 2015, at which we performed a triple passing. We had 2 provincial guests one of whom, W.Bro Philip Hall, has just been promoted to Assistant PGM of Warwickshire and he will be installed for next season.

It wasn’t until after the lodge and excellent festive board had finished that we learnt that it may well be the last time the University of Birmingham Lodge meets at Stirling Road; as we were on our way to the car park we were informed that all lodges would probably have to vacate Stirling Road before September and go to their new homes.

The nearby Apollo Hotel on the Hagley Road has offered all orders meeting at Stirling Road the provision of a home and have been very accommodating it seems, although any move there is expected to be temporary. There are options within Birmingham near to commuter routes and rail station, Severn Street being only one.

We have yet to investigate all and decide upon our best option.

We will let you know where we finally lay our hat!

70 Years and Counting!

70 years and Counting

“WOW!” exclaimed the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies W Bro David Stanford, upon re-entering the lodge. He had just escorted the Provincial Grand Master, RW David F Macey and numerous other distinguished guests and visitors of Grand and Provincial rank, out of the lodge room.

We had just witnessed a very special occasion being only the fourth time in the history of the Province of Warwickshire that such a presentation has been made. W Bro. Michael Roper-Hall, Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden, Certificate of Merit, received a certificate and badge from the PGM to mark his 70th year as an active Freemason.

The PGM sat in the centre of the lodge with the very modest Michael, reminiscing for the benefit of members and visitors Michael’s life and times, skilfully extracting an astonishing history of personal, academic, military and Masonic achievements. At the end of the interview the PGM expressed but one regret, “I only wish I could present you with another Provincial Grand Master’s Certificate of Merit. You deserve it! But if you want to express it as CM² that’s fine by me!”

There followed a flawless and entertaining presentation of the first degree tracing board by the PGM and Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies W Bro Philip Hall.

One would now expect that the very busy Provincial Grand Master had exhausted his repertoire for the day, but none of it, he proceeded to present four Grand Lodge certificates to those recent initiates of the University of Birmingham Lodge who were fortunate enough to be present on the day.

All of this was presided over by our Worshipful Master Alberto Cuomo who is believed to be the youngest serving Master in England having been installed at the age of 23.

Is it any wonder that the Provincial DC’s first words were, “WOW!”?

Ron Parker