Freemasons continue to help local communities.

Help for Local Communities

During these strange and difficult times, when Coronavirus has caused so many problems to so many people, it has become increasingly difficult for local Freemasons to raise and distribute money for the many needy and worthy charities in the Province of Valencia.  Almost all of our meetings have been, and continue to be, for the foreseeable future, completely suspended under the current lockdown regulations.  Unfortunately, this means that our social and charity events have ceased almost completely.  However, the Provincial Grand Master of Valencia, RW Bro Michael Shilan, has determined that as much help as possible should continue to be given.  Local Masons are nothing if not ingenious, and so some important donations have continued to be made.

Recently, Worshipful Master, W Bro Ted Cooper, and the Brethren of Dama de Elche Lodge No 163, have donated one thousand litres of fuel oil to the Elche Children’s Home for the provision of heating and hot water to keep the home, and especially the children, who range from eight to eighteen years old, warm in the coming winter months.  This will be the tenth year of Masonic support for this home.  Donations have also been made to Paul Cunningham Nurses and DEBRA (butterfly children).

The Worshipful Master of Regeneracion Lodge No 132, W Bro Martin Jiminez, together with Germanies No 08, Genesis No 61 and White River No 153 Lodges, have been collecting food and non-perishable goods for the Valencian Food Bank.

The Freemasons of local Lodge, Arenal Deportiva No 65, have made a donation of two thousand euros to the Raquel Payá special needs school.  This will pay for much needed new uniforms for the staff which now need to be replaced much more often, due to the now increased need for more frequent cleaning.  This is one of the charities selected for support by the Worshipful Master of the Lodge, RW Bro Danny Coburn during his now extended year in Office.

Recently, Javea Lodge No 40 presented local charity ‘Todos Juntos Jávea’ with a cheque for two thousand, five hundred euros to pay for the installation of a hot and cold air conditioning system at the Jávea Autism Association centre.   Visiting the centre, W Bro Malcolm March, Worshipful Master of Javea 40, together with W Bro Peter Farrell the Lodge’s Charity Steward, presented a cheque to Raquel Maldonado, one of the therapists.

The Worshipful Master of Santa Faz Lodge No 48, W Bro Greg Hustler and the Brethren of the Lodge have started their Christmas Children’s Charity appeal – “Add a little extra to your basket”, in conjunction with the International Club, and are collecting any non-perishable food for the Cruz Roja in the El Campello area. This will make a huge difference to those who are unable to afford such items during this Pandemic.

Caledonian Lodge No 68, under Worshipful Master Melvyn Young, have donated two hundred euros to the Butterfly Children’s charity, DEBRA.  This was raised from the collected ticket money for their Annual Ball after it was cancelled due to the Covid 19 pandemic.  A fantastic effort from all.

W Bro Freddie Samrai of Caledonian Lodge No 68 and his wife Carole are providing the Cruz Roja with Christmas Gifts for Children, including filling many, many shoe boxes full of toys, in order that each child shall receive at least some Christmas presents.

There have been many more donations from our members from Lodges all over the Province which are just too many to detail. We will continue to try and help those charities most in need until we are able to resume our normal activities.

Some pictures of the Valencian Food Bank drive.

Freemasons provide warmth for autistic children.

Blessed relief for autistic children.

Local Freemasons help Jávea Autism Association  

Recently, the Javea 40 Freemason’s Lodge presented local charity ‘Todos Juntos Jávea’ with a cheque for two thousand, five hundred euros to pay for the installation of an air conditioning system at the Jávea Autism Association centre.  Visiting the centre, W Bro Malcolm March, Worshipful Master of Javea 40, together with W Bro Peter Farrell the Lodge’s Charity Steward presented a cheque to Raquel Maldonado, one of the therapists.

 

Malcolm said that in these difficult times and working within all the coronavirus restrictions, local Freemason’s took great pride in continuing their charitable activities. He said that he had been surprised and shocked to discover that the autism centre had been operating without a satisfactory heating or cooling system. With winter rapidly approaching, he said that Javea 40 had been very pleased to arrange for this to be fitted in order to improve the working conditions for all the young people and their dedicated team of therapists.

Forty-four children, teenagers and young adults, together with their therapists, were attending for therapy, in a large apartment, supplied by the Ayuntamiento, with no heating or air conditioning.  We can all understand how unbearable this must have been in the harsh heat of summer and now as the cold winter months approach. The centre, which was set up in 2015 with 19 children, has rapidly increased in numbers.  While the families pay for the therapists and there is some help from the Ayuntamiento, the Jávea Autism Association relies upon charitable donations, particularly from Todos Juntos Jávea for much of the essential equipment and support.

Last year local Freemasons donated two thousand euros to set up a multi-sensorial stimulation room at the autism centre and Malcolm March said that Javea 40 would continue to provide additional support in future whenever possible. He was proud and thankful that Masonry had been able to help and make a much valued improvement to the lives of these children and young adults.

Provincial Grand Lodge of Valencia

Grand Lodge Decreto No 1288 has suspended Masonic meetings until the 30th November 2020.

DECREE no. 1.288, on October, the 26th, 2020.

 I, Oscar de Alfonso Ortega, GRAND MASTER OF THE GRAND LODGE OF SPAIN

CONSIDERING:

 That at this time Spain, along with all European countries, is suffering from a second wave of the pandemic caused by the virus COVID-19, which is increasing significantly the number of new infections.

That the Government of Spain decreed yesterday the State of Alarm in all the national territory.

That all Autonomous Communities have imposed restrictions on both the mobility of persons and the maximum authorized limit on attendance at social meetings.

That, as stated in previous Decrees, the health and personal safety of the Brethren is a priority issue and it must be safeguarded by the Order.

That the Grand Advisory Council of the Grand Lodge of Spain, together with all Provincial Grand Masters, has unanimously adopted the decision to suspend, until 30 November 2020, all Masonic activities in al Lodges under jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Spain, including this suspension, without limitation, ritual ceremonies, Festive Boards, Temple visiting, speeches and celebrations, as well as any other event or meeting related to Freemasonry.

That, depending on the evolution of the health situation in Spain, the Grand Advisory Council, together with Provincial Grand Masters, will decide on the extension of this extraordinary measure.

HAVING STUDIED:

 Article no. 17 of the Constitutions, which establishes that the Grand Master has among his fundamental prerogatives “To direct the Order by means of Decrees and Resolutions sanctioned with his signature and seal”.

Decree no. 1.288 – continuation –

Article no. 20 of the Constitutions, which states that the Grand Advisory Council “carries out the day-to-day executive management of the Grand Lodge of Spain and is competent to act in all matters relating to the administration of the Order”.

I DECREE:

 To suspend, with immediate effect, and until 30 November 2020, all Masonic activity of all Lodges under jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Spain.

 The date when all Masonic activity will be suspended officially will be extended as need arises in relation to the developing health crisis in Spain, of which the Brethren will have due notice through the official channels.

 An official notification of this Decree shall be mailed to all Provincial Grand Lodges, members of the Grand Conclave and to all Lodges within our jurisdiction through the Grand Secretary.

Granted by I, the Grand Master, signed by my own hand and with the Grand Seal affixed on the 26th October 2020.

 

 

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.

 

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.

Freemasons spread happiness at Per Ells day care centre in Turis.

Freemasons distribute presents at Per Ells day care centre

Local Freemasons Lodge, White River No 153, recently attended the Per Ells school for Children with special needs in Turis,* to celebrate the Tres Reyes Festival, deliver gifts and hopefully spread a little joy to the school children, and the young at heart who attend the centre. As many will know, this celebration to commemorate the arrival of the three wise men is more important to Spanish children as this is when most receive presents.

All were gathered at the centre entrance, eager to get a glimpse of the three Kings, as they arrived particularly as they were delivering sweets. This is a tradition that has been celebrated in Spain for many centuries, and also in most Spanish speaking countries in the West. The three kings were actually Freemasons dressed for the part and joined by one member of staff.

This Lodge has been coordinating this activity for the last six years and in, addition to presenting gifts to the children, the Lodge supports the school financially, with several large donations over the past six years for building improvements, maintenance, etc.

The Freemasons dressed as the Kings were WBro Keith Alcock and New Mason Bob Harris. The third King was played by a member of staff at the centre.

Together with most of their ladies, the group included W Bro’s Ian Skipper, Adrian Brooks, Keith Alcock, Frank Wallace, David Watts, Sergio Svalina and our new Initiates Bro’s Andres Massa and Bob Harris.

Each of the children and youngsters received a present or two and enjoyed the celebrations as do all Spanish children at this time of the year.

*(Per Ells – Amics del discapacitat de Turis – check www.perells.com)

Local Freemasons visit the San Jose Obrero Orphanage in Orihuela.

Surprise one thousand euro gift for the San Jose Obrero Orphanage.

Recently Freemasons of Caledonia Lodge visited the San Jose Obrero Orphanage, in Orihuela, to present them with a surprise Christmas gift of one thousand euros for the benefit of the children.

W Bro Ian Bullock had the pleasure of sitting down with the Director of the orphanage Sr. Vicente Martínez Agulló, who informed him of the history and many achievements of the San Jose Obrero Foundation over recent years.

They now care for and house eighty orphans, of all nationalities, and there is also a day centre with twenty-four places available for children who have  very few other resources. Most of these children arrive at five in the afternoon, do their homework, shower and have dinner before going back to sleep in their own homes.  They also provide sheltered accommodation for young people, helping them to make the transition from orphanage life to becoming self-sufficient in the outside world a little easier.  A very important function as the transition is never easy.

The San Jose Obrero Orphanage is also responsible for the running of the local school, which four hundred children from the Orihuela district attend. In addition, they operate skills workshops in carpentry, hairdressing and car mechanics, which offer a full four years of very useful training with fully qualified staff. After these four years they are able to obtain a Certificate of Competence before leaving the home and hopefully finding gainful employment within local industry.

The motto of the organisation is “No One Grows up Alone”.

Local Freemasons, W.Bro Ian Bullock, the Immediate Past Master of Caledonia Lodge, and W.Bro David James, the Lodge Charity Steward, are seen in the photograph presenting  the Director, Sr. Vicente Martínez Agulló with the gift of one thousand euros, in the form of Primark vouchers, for the benefit of the children of San Jose Obrero Orphanage in Orihuela, on the 23 December 2019.

Freemasons sing for charity

Arenal Deportiva raise €460 for Raquel Paya school.

Recently, local Freemasons Lodge, Arenal Deportiva, held their annual Christmas carol concert. This was held in the popular local Chinese restaurant, Casa Lili which is situated between Teulada and Moraira where more than eighty Masons, wives and their invited guests were warmly welcomed by the lovely Lili for a what turned out to be a great evening of good food, good wine, great entertainment and great camaraderie.

The evening began at seven o’clock with a full house of Masons and guests when the Charity Steward of Arenal Lodge, W Bro Glyn Walters welcomed everyone and soon had us singing the first of many carols. These were to continue throughout the night as Bro Glyn, assisted by the Lodge Almoner, W Bro Ray Guise-Smith tried hard to be heard above the noise and chatter as they led the packed audience through each carol. I am sure there will be at least a couple of sore throats being nursed after this event.

Dinner began around eight o’clock as the first of the four delicious courses on offer were wheeled out by the hard-working staff. These consisted of Chinese delicacies, such as hot and sour soup (which was delicious) Chinese spare ribs, chicken with cashew nuts, meat skewers, spring rolls and several other choices. More carols were sung between each course and the singing progressively became louder.
At nine o’clock a toast was given to ‘Absent brethren’ who, for one reason

or another were unable to be present. This was given by RW Bro Danny Coburn, the current worshipful Master of Arenal Deportiva Lodge in a simple but moving manner.

A charity raffle was held, with a collection of excellent prizes, which raised the excellent sum of four hundred and sixty euros. This will be donated to one of the WM’s chosen charities of the year at a later date. The charity chosen for this event is the Raquel Paya school for disabled children in Denia. This donation will be given in the form of much needed equipment.

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.

Local Freemasons act as Father Christmas.

Huge collection of food and clothing for Gandia Refuge

Freemasons from the local Lodge, Oliva La Safor, recently held a collection for much needed necessities for the Men’s Refuge in Gandia. The Refuge currently houses more than fifty homeless men, most of whom are suffering from mental illnesses and other afflictions and many of whom are dying. In what is becoming an annual exercise, the Masons asked members for their contributions in an attempt to make Christmas just a little better for the residents of the Refuge.

The Masons responded magnificently and arrived bearing a huge amount of donated necessities, appropriately, considering the huge amount brought, mainly in sacks. This consisted of several pairs of new, and unworn, shoes and clothes including shirts, jumpers and trousers. There were also much needed articles of hygiene and personal toiletries though the bulk of the collection was food of various kinds.

The food was almost entirely long-life articles including dried, boxed and tinned food so that it may be eked out over a long a period as possible. Therefore rice, salt, sugar, oil, flour, pasta and tinned fruit and vegetables was the order of the day. This will all be donated to the Refuge in the next few days. Hopefully, it will add a little cheer to the residents.

If you are able to offer anything to the Refuge it would be greatly appreciated. The Refuge is run entirely by volunteers and can continue only due to the charity shown by others. They are always in need of many articles which many people no longer need such as bedding, towels, cutlery, crockery and all the other items listed above. If you have anything which you no longer need but which is still usable please consider donating it rather than throwing it away. You can make a difference. Donations can be given at any time during the day (though preferably not during lunchtime). You will receive a very warm welcome.