Provincial Grand Lodge of Valencia

Masonic meetings may now take place subject to approval by the PGM and the ProvGSec.

Lodges should submit a Safety Plan, including the name(s) of their designated Safety Officer(s).

A Message from R.W. Bro M.A. Shilan

Provincial Grand Master of Valencia

STATE OF ALARM

Brethren,

On Tuesday 5th May the Provincial Executive Committee met, by video conferencing to discuss what form of guidance could be given to Lodges as the current State of Emergency Lock-down restrictions start to ease.  Uppermost in our thoughts was the need to safeguard the health of our Brethren whilst also bearing in mind the requirement not to create any greater risk for their partners or their families.

We have a requirement to comply with Government regulations and Grand Lodge instructions.  The committee acknowledged that Government guidance is changing but central to all requirements is social distancing and this makes the carrying out of our ceremonies very difficult.  The restrictions placed on the number of people who could meet in a group greatly hinders our larger Provincial events.

IMPORTANT DATES IN THE CALENDAR

The Provincial Executive Committee, therefore, decided at this early stage, to cancel the Provincial Golf Tournament and the Provincial Ladies Night planned for 2 July and 17 October respectively. Both events would expect to have a considerable number of people attending thus adding to health and safety problems and possible confliction with Government regulations.

Making these decisions now will reduce any concern about risk to our members and their partners. Unnecessary work and planning for the events will be avoided should circumstances not allow our events to proceed due to Government restrictions.  At this moment in time there are limits on how many can play golf at any one time and hotels are not yet open thus adding to our concerns about both of these events.

A decision will be taken later with regard to the holding of the Provincial Lodge of Instruction scheduled for 21st November 2020.

LODGE MEETINGS

We are currently restricted by Grand Lodge in holding any Lodge Meetings until the end of May. The Provincial Executive Committee strongly recommend to all Lodges that they hold no regular Lodge meetings during June, July and August which would require members to convene in a building.

As the majority of Lodges do not hold meetings during the months of June, July and August the curtailment of meetings should have minimal impact.

LODGE OF INSTRUCTION MEETINGS

The same Government restrictions and the safety of our members, that was uppermost in our decision to recommend no regular Lodge meetings in June, July and August, applies to Lodges of Instruction.  However, in this instance, Lodges may choose to be creative about how they continue to ensure the enthusiasm of our members by developing their knowledge by holding Zoom Lodge of Instructions.  Some are already doing this; however, they should not be used for practicing ritual and parts of ceremonies.

ZOOM MEETINGS

There is little doubt that our members have risen to the challenge of Lock down and many have been introduced to many methods of social media and, in particular, the ability to hold video conferences.  There is a great advantage in holding video conferences in that they keep us all closer and we can see that all are well.  Please don’t forget absent brethren – they may be absent because they are not well and need help.

We have skilled brethren who can help to organise Zoom meetings so if you need help just ask the Provincial Secretary.

At some time in the future we may create a calendar on the website to register dates and times for important Lodge Zoom meetings.  Any organiser should ensure that all entrants to the group are personally known.  It is safest to issue invites and issue a meeting number and password.

At the start of each video conference meeting Lodge Secretaries should be given the authority to record the meeting for assistance in producing minutes but no other recordings should be allowed and the secretary should destroy the recording after the minutes have been circulated and agreed.  No part of any recording should ever be sent to a third party.

SAFETY OF OUR CENTRES

Discussions will take place with the Management Committees of both of our major masonic centres in Quesada and Costa Nova to ensure that before any meetings are held that we are all satisfied with the health and safety standards.

Where Lodges meet in venues other than Quesada and Costa Nova the Lodge will be required to ensure that the health and safety standards are being complied with.

INSTALLATION MEETINGS

A small number of Lodges have already had to cancel their Installation Meetings. Once the Masonic Season gets underway these can be held. The majority of Installation Meetings start from September. Hopefully by then we will be in a less dangerous environment.

The current masonic year has been drastically foreshortened and some current WM’s may be unhappy that they will not be able to preside over the usual number of Lodge meetings and events. Lodges will have to consider whether to extend the period of the current Master by delaying the Installation meeting or allowing the current Master to rule for another year after his current part year or indeed do nothing.  These are just some options, but it is for individual Lodges, through their GP committees, to decide how they are going to resolve this problem.  However, remember that the current Master cannot serve more than two year’s consecutively.

If the Lodge’s decision requires a change to the Installation date, then this must be approved by a Dispensation from the Provincial Grand Master.  No charge will be made for any Dispensation related to the current crisis.

The usual procedure for the election of the M.E., Treasurer, Tyler, Auditors (and Orador) at a meeting prior to the Installation meeting may not be possible now.  There is no objection on this occasion for Lodges to have such elections at the Installation meeting as one of the first items on the Order of the Day provided that the Lodge Summons clearly states this will be happening. The Summons must be sent to the Provincial Secretary as normal.

Some Lodges use a ballot system to elect their Master Elect and some declare him if there is only one candidate.  Any Ballots and Elections must be carried out at the Lodge meeting and not by Video Conference voting.  Any changes in elections procedures which do not conform to the Bye Laws of the Lodge should request a Dispensation from the P.G.M. Again, this will be granted without charge on this occasion.

EXTENDED WORKINGS for the INSTALLATION CEREMONIES

The Grand Master has removed the Dispensation for English Speaking Lodges not to use Extended Workings for the Installation Ceremonies.  This change was due to be implemented from September of this year.  Due to the lack of opportunity to practise the longer ceremony, Lodges who find it difficult to comply with the change may invite another Master to do the Installation or choose to continue with the shorter version for this year.

Sincerely and fraternally

Michael Shilan

Local Freemasons help Raquel Payá school

Raquel Payá Corona crisis averted by local Masons.

WM R.W Bro Danny Coburn.

RWBro Danny Coburn
R.W Bro Danny Coburn.

The Freemasons of local Lodge, Arenal Deportiva, have made a donation of two thousand euros to the Raquel Payá special needs school. This is one of the charities selected for support by the Worshipful Master of the Lodge, Right Worshipful Brother Danny Coburn during his now extended year in Office.

Due to the requirements of the school in normal times and in particular at present, and particularly to the many hardships and problems caused by the current coronavirus pandemic, there are many more calls on the school’s very limited funds than would be expected.  In particular there is a greater demand than usual for staff uniforms which, as you can imagine, are very heavily used and need washing twice per day.  This means that each of the one hundred staff, need two uniforms, a total of four thousand.  These cost forty euros each! So, it is no small undertaking to constantly supply new, clean uniforms.

When the Masons of the Lodge heard of this, they felt they should offer immediate help.  A special vote was held between all members, as there would not be possible to attend a Lodge meeting due to the ongoing lock-down.  The Masons all voted in favour of making this immediate donation to help the school.  In addition to a generous donation of two thousand euros from the Masonic Homes of Valencia organisation, the Lodge agreed to donate a further donation of two thousand euros to permit the purchase of the full four thousand uniforms required.  These will be given in the immediate future.

Sadly no new photos can be provided at present due to the lock-down and social distancing.

 

Local Freemasons Lodge holds its annual Ladies Night.

106 year old joins the festivities.

On 15th February, local Freemasons from Javea 40 Lodge held their annual Ladies Night at Salones Carrasco in Javea.

W. Bro. Nigel Parker, and his wife Mrs Susanne Parker, invited sixty-four Lodge members and their invited guests to join them for an excellent meal, followed by enthusiastic dancing to the sounds of local husband and wife duo, Double Impact, featuring the ever popular Ian and Gill Henry.
The substantial proceeds, of six hundred euros, from the evening are to be donated to the Javea charity Todos Juntos Javea to address the needs of local children suffering from autism.

Among the many guests attending was the still, remarkably sprightly, one hundred and six-years old Rosa Schaller, grandmother of Javea 40’s previous  Worshipful Master, W. Bro Jens Gerl.  Rosa still enjoys her wine, cava and the odd glass of whiskey and, quite honestly, never changes from one year to the next. A great testimony to the medicinal benefits of wine and above all a happy life.

 

Freemasons of Las Salinas raise four hundred euros for charity.

Charity money raised by Las Salinas Masons

On 17 January 2020, Las Salinas Lodge No.79 held an early Burns Night Supper to celebrate the birthday of the well known Scottish poet, Rabbie Burns’ who was born on 25 January 1759.

The evening was very well organised by W Bro. Clifford Gingell. The celebration was held at the Quesada Bowls Club and more than eighty Masons, their lassies and invited friends of the Lodge attended.

 

The night started with the traditional Selkirk Grace given by the Master of the Lodge, W Bro Keith Carter. The haggis was then piped in and the address to the haggis was given by W Bro. Clifford Gingell.  The feast continued with a tot of whisky followed by the traditional haggis and neeps, then followed by steak pie and dessert.

The Immortal Memory was presented by W Bro. Frank Wallace.
The address to the Lassies was given by W Bro John Chandler and a reply was given by the wife of Brother Frank, Mrs. Maggie Wallace.

 

A charity raffle was held which raised just over four hundred euros which will be donated to a Masonic charity at a later date.

Music and dancing then continued until well after midnight.midnight. The night was enjoyed by everyone.

Local Freemasons collect for children’s charity.

Freemasons donate 170 Christmas boxes to underprivileged children,

Recently local Freemason, Freddie Samrai, and his wife Carol, organized a “CHRISTMAS SHOE BOX DRIVE” for the underprivileged children of Torrevieja.

With much support from other Lodges, over one hundred and seventy boxes have now been donated.  A private donation of a children´s car seat, booster seats, push chairs and various other children’s items was also made.  Hopefully, every child will now have a gift to open on Christmas morning.  All of the other Lodges, already support many other charitable causes but, have found it in their hearts to dig just a little deeper to help these children. The whole experience has left many of them very emotional with the over whelming generosity of so, so many kind people.  THANK YOU all very much on behalf of the children of Torrevieja.

The money from the Lodges was raised by holding raffles, theme events, BBQ’s and many other individual private events. They were kind enough to donate some of these monies to the “CHRISTMAS SHOE BOX DRIVE.”

At this point everything went into over-drive and many people started to donate independently.  All of these boxes were given to Alimentos Solodarios de Torrevieja who will give these out to the children on Christmas Day.

Many thanks must be offered to the following Lodges who donated; including  White River Lodge, Dama de Elche Lodge, Old Tower Lodge, the Installed Masters Lodge, Torrevieja Chapter and Caledonia Lodge. Donations were also received from Salvador Artesano, Torrevieja Christmas Shop San Luis, and many other anonymous donors.

Provincial Grand Master visits El Preventorio.

The Provincial Grand Master, R.W. Bro Michael Shilan, and his good lady Muriel visit El Preventorio children’s home in Real de Gandia.

On the 18th of June the Provisional Grand Master of Valencia, RWBro Michael Shilan, gave up some of his valuable time to visit El Preventorio children’s home in Real de Gandia. He has been trying to visit for some time but always something has prevented him from doing so. He was determined to make the visit with his lovely wife Muriel despite flying to Italy early the following day. Both the Provincial Grand Lodge of Valencia and various individual Lodges have supported the home for many years, most recently, by contributing towards the provision of new beds and mattresses for all the children.

He was greeted, on arrival at the home, by Mrs Silvia Barnish, who has acted as liaison and translator for many previous Masonic visits and spends a large proportion of her life helping and supporting the home. Mrs Barnish then took the Provincial Grand Master on a tour of both the home and the adjacent school. He was very impressed by both. He first visited the school and was impressed by the facilities provided, many via charitable donations and with the help of many volunteers.

He then toured the home and was impressed by the cleanliness and good order seen. The children are generally responsible for keeping the place clean and tidy and obviously do a very good job. He saw the dormitories which are generally divided into rooms each containing three beds. Any children with siblings are usually placed together where possible and older children generally get a room to themselves. He then visited a quiet area which is especially prepared for lonely or sad children who want to speak to someone but often don’t know how to do so. In this case they can go to the quiet area and use a toy phone to speak to one of the adult carers or a teacher. They then sometimes feel able to speak more freely than face to face. There is also a special cuddly toy which they can hold should they need a hug or some special comforting. In this case an adult will go and sit quietly with the children and hopefully calm them down and offer some comfort.

Unfortunately, because of his early departure tomorrow the Provincial Grand Master was unable to stay for the excellent paella lunch provided which was followed by birthday cake to celebrate this weeks birthdays and some very nice looking iced cup cakes which disappeared as if by magic.  But, before his departure, he said that although it was very sad that such a home was necessary,  the children concerned were lucky to be at this one. The love and care shown by the volunteers and carers was obvious and it was also plain to see that they were, in turn, loved by the children.

He also thanked Mrs Barnish for giving up her time to show him around and said that he was grateful for finally being able to visit the home and see for himself how it was run and how the children were looked after. He found it a very useful and interesting visit and said he would like to return as and when possible. His next visit will be to meet the children in Alicante in July when many of them will be sponsored by the Masons for a ten day summer school.