ISSUE 20, January 2007
Editorial
Historic: Dr Thomas Barnardo - children's saviour
Travel: South African journey
London Gala Evening: Royal Masonic Variety Show
Centenary Celebrations: Scouting's milestone
Quarterly Communication: Speech by the Pro Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes
Supreme Grand Chapter: Speech by the Pro 1st Grand Principal and Report of the Cttee of General Purposes
Library and Museum: Facets of Fraternity
   Specialist Lodge: Internet Lodge - Masonry on the Web
Special Events: Spamalot and the Alternative Hair Show at Grand Lodge
Freemasons' Hall: ADelphi System - A computer revolution
Mark Master Masons: Duke of Kent at 150th anniversary
Breeches Bible: A Lodge locker's secret
Masonic Arboretum: Planting an idea
Education: Events and The hoodwink
Masonic Charities: RMTGB and Grand Charity and Legacy appeal and RMBI and NMSF
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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Below
Brother Lloyd is pictured wife his wife Elaine and daughter Jemima, Assistant Grand Master David K Williamson and his wife Margaret, Rosemary Chawner and Past Provincial Grand Master Kevin Chawner, with Mary Palmer and the late Assistant Provincial Grand Master Haydn Palmer when the Masonic Garden was dedicated.

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Masonic pride of place at the National memorial Arboretum


    The simple, yet symbolic Masonic Garden at the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas in Staffordshire is a permanent memorial to all brethren who gave their lives for peace and freedom.
    Masonic involvement in the Arboretum started when Staffordshire’s former Information Officer, Roger Manning, realised the significance of Freemasonry supporting the concept and talked to members of his Lodge, St John’s of Lichfield No. 1039.
    The Masonic Garden was adopted by the Lodge, which made the initial financial contribution and introduced the concept to the leaders in the Province. The then Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Thomas D C Lloyd, now Provincial Grand Master, committed his support and it was soon adopted.
    By early 2002 sufficient money had been contributed by Lodges across the Province for a substantial plot to be bought. The site was dedicated in June that year, during Freemasonry in the Community week.
    The Assistant Grand Master, David Williamson, assisted by the then Provincial Grand Master, Kevin Chawner, cut and turned the first sod in the presence of some 400 Freemasons, their families and friends together with local civic leaders and the Lord Lieutenant of the County.
    Six months later a yew tree hedge was planted around the plot. Sadly it did not survive, and a second planting took place the following winter.
    Around £20,000 has been spent so far and Staffordshire Masons gratefully acknowledge the contributions from the neighbouring Provinces of Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Shropshire and Cheshire.
    More funding is needed to complete the garden which, in plans drawn up by retired architect and Deputy Provincial Grand Master John E Griffiths, includes a stone arch at the entrance.
    Bro Griffiths, explaining his thoughts on the design, said: “It is a very open and exposed site and I wanted the ashlars to be protected as if they were in a forest glade, enclosed by a hedge, with one entrance.
    When the hedge is fully grown, and we have the arch in place at the entrance, it will beckon people, draw them in, to see what I call the pearl within.”
    The costs of the garden have been kept down by the contribution of Eddie Ford, a builder by trade from nearby Burton and a truly operative Mason, who laid the chequered paving and supervised the positioning of the two ashlars, each weighing three and half tons.
    Bro Lloyd was on hand to welcome the Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent, when he made a detour to see the garden during an official engagement at another area of the Arboretum last October.

Peter Atkins is Information Officer for the Province of Staffordshire

NATIONAL MEMORIAL ARBORETUM

The National Memorial Arboretum was conceived by the founder director, David Childs, after visiting the USA and seeing the Arlington Cemetery and the National Arboretum in Washington DC. He thought the concepts could be merged into a meaningful living tribute in the UK, which would acknowledge the sacrifice made by the whole nation so that people could live in peace and freedom. Today, it pays tribute to those who died in war and also reminds people of the 80 million lives lost in conflicts in the 20th and 21st centuries. Warwickshire Royal Air Force Lodge No. 9456 created Masonic history when they held the first Lodge meeting at the National Memorial Arboretum on November 1, last year (2006). More than 40 members spent the day at the Arboretum, which began with a visit to the Masonic Garden and included a Lodge meeting in the Visitor Centre during which the Master, W Bro Paul Brennan, initiated his son Gary Stephen. The day ended with a Festive Board provided by catering staff at the Arboretum. The National Memorial Arboretum is open every day, except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, from 10am. Admission is free, and a visit is highly recommended. www.nationalmemorialarboretum.org.uk www.pglstaffordshire.co.uk


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