Raquel Payá Corona crisis averted by local Masons.
WM 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 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)
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 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.
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.
One thousand, four hundred euros raised for under-privileged children.
On Saturday, 19th October, the Provincial Grand Lodge of Valencia, held their annual Ladies Night at the Hotel Grand Bali, in Benidorm. This is one of the most prestigious Masonic gatherings of the year, held by the Province and run under the auspices of the Provincial Grand Master, R.W. Bro Michael Shilan and his lovely wife Muriel.
It is a time when hundreds of Freemasons from all over the Province gather together to pay tribute to, and say thank-you to, their long- suffering wives. Throughout the Masonic year most Freemasons attend an enormous number of meetings and many charity functions to raise money for the less privileged and deserving causes. Throughout the year our wives have a lot to put up with. Either through not seeing their husbands for a sufficient amount of time or being asked to help out at various functions.
In general, our wives do so without thought or complaint, sometimes at a huge cost to themselves and always taking valuable time and effort. This meeting is our way of saying thank-you for all their help and support. I think most Masons would agree that without the constant support of their better halves they would not be able to do as much, or enjoy their Masonic tasks to the same extent.
The meeting opened at 6.15 pm, with a cava and canape reception. Later at 7.15 a meal, consisting of a variety of tapas, followed by steak or fish and then fruit salad and ice cream was taken by all. Music was supplied, in the first instance, by the ever-popular W. Bro Ian Henry who played and sang a large variety of music in his usual, excellent manner.
Later, local group, Black Glitter, took over and played many songs designed to entice the, by now replete, diners onto the dance floor. They succeeded!
For the slightly more formal aspects of the evening, the Master of Ceremonies, W. Bro Clifford Gingell, presided over the proceedings with his usual efficient style. The loyal toast to HM King Felipe VI was given by R.W. Bro Michael Shilan, the toast to the Ladies was given by W. Bro Ivan Beckett, our Provincial Grand Secretary, and the Ladies song was also rendered in an excellent manner, again by W. Bro Ian Henry. Mrs. Muriel Shilan then responded to the toast giving an eloquent and witty speech, despite being quite emotional, which was much appreciated and enjoyed by all.
A grand charity raffle was held which raised the magnificent sum of one thousand, four hundred euros. This money, along with other monies raised throughout the year, will be used, by the Province, to sponsor under-privileged children to go to a summer school in Guadalest. This has now become an annual event, having been supported for the last five years. Each year we have managed to support more children than the last and this year we managed to sponsor a record sixty-three children, (despite aiming for only fifty originally) to visit the school. For the coming year we would hope to beat the record yet again. This was an immensely successful evening with the Ladies, Masons and Guests thoroughly enjoying themselves.
A fantastic night was had by all who attended on Sunday, 3rd November, in the garden of W Bro Darrell Clayton and his lovely wife Sally, in Gata de Gorgos, which they kindly opened to Masons and their invited guests for this superb charity event. As this was the very last charity event being held at their home, they certainly made sure the evening went off with a bang. Everyone enjoyed a huge barbecue of different meats, accompanied by various salads and baked jacket potatoes, which were delicious, and supplied by ‘ The Black Apple’ Restaurant in Jalon. Some of the ladies also made Yorkshire parkin and chocolate brownies which were had as a sweet surprise desert.
Entertainment during the evening was provided by ‘ Gatecrash’ a terrific local band who soon had everyone up dancing. WBro Ian Henry and his lovely wife Gill were also there to entertain everyone with a couple of very popular numbers. Local saxophonist, Frank Abrams, also turned up and joined in with the band. A great and varied selection of singing and dancing!
A superb charity raffle was held which raised six hundred and thirty euros which was expertly organised by W Bro Trevor Bagnell, the Provincial Grand Charity Steward and a separate auction was then held to win a full day trip on the yacht ‘Tricky D’ which raised a further two hundred and forty euros. There was also a separate smaller raffle for a designer handbag with a one hundred euro voucher for the Oceana Club Restaurant. Our thanks to everyone who donated and brought such a wonderful selection of raffle prizes.
The evening was finished off with a fantastic firework display accompanied by the Classical sounds of Tchaikovsky. It was a superb finale and a fitting final tribute to all the hard work put in over the years by Darrell and Sally!
Fireworks were sponsored by, Your Dream Wedding in Spain, Heidi’s Flowers in Jalon , Javea Luxury Villas, Michael and Muriel Shilan of Humpty Dumpty , Margaret and Malcolm March and Grant a Wish.
The grand total raised on the night to support local charities within the Province was one thousand, six hundred euros. Very grateful thanks to all the helpers and everyone who came to support the event on the evening.
On Wednesday 30th October 2019, Lodge members from the Santa Faz Lodge, W Bro Bryan Green, W Bro Ugo Fischetti and W Bro Brian Parry presented a cheque for one thousand, seven hundred and seventy-five euros to the Colegio Nazaret Alicante.
This money was collected from various fund raising events held by Santa Faz Lodge during the last year which included, a Valentines Lunch, a Charity Walk and a Master at Home Party.
The Colegio Nazaret Alicante has been in existence since 1957 providing boarding, education and other services needed by children at risk, and their families, in the Alicante Province. This donation from Santa Faz Lodge will be used to provide much needed support for the increasing number of ‘at risk’ Children in and around the Alicante community.
W Bro Bryan Green was delighted to present this cheque from funds raised during his year in Office to support this very worthy cause and he confirmed that Santa Faz Lodge would continue to support Colegio Nazaret with more fund raising events which are already planned for the forthcoming year.
In the attached photo are W Bro´s Bryan Green, Ugo Fischetti and Brian Parry, representing Santa Faz Lodge, and Director, Leoncio Calvo Gomez representing Colegio Nazaret Alicante. Sr Gomez added how grateful he was to the Lodge for the gift and said they would make very good use of the money in the coming weeks.
Target reached to send 50 underprivileged children on holiday
On Friday the 28th of June at the Bonalba Golf & Spa Resort near Alicante, The Provincial Grand Master, R.W.Bro. Michael Anthony Shilan, hosted this year’s Provincial Charity Golf Tournament.
Our biggest event to date. Registration opened at 8am and after a quick practice at the nets for some, all 102 players were out on the course for the “Charity Pairs Texas Scramble” which was started with the letting-off of a rocket at 9.15am to signal that play should begin from the various tees around the course.
The weather was fantastic, but very hot out on the course for the players and after play was over it was back to the clubhouse for a well deserved drink, a Raffle, the Prize Giving and an Auction, followed by Tapas and refreshments.
This year saw the first award of the John William Harvey Memorable Trophy, the first winning Masonic pair being Bob Watkins and Nigel Parker of Java Lodge No.40 for the best Masonic team score of 78 (including joint handicap).
The best Score of the day was from Campbell Lamont and Jon Wills Gross with a very respectable 68.
2) Adrian Candela and Tim Richards net 61 +8
3) Eric Owens and Mike Tucker net 62+11
4) Chris Van Bemmelen and Helmut Treiber net 63+ 9
At 3.00 pm a Raffle was held and the prizes were awarded. This was followed by Tapas and Drinks.
A culmination of a wonderful day’s golf at Bonalba Golf Club (Bonalba Golf & Spa website). On the day, the Provincial Grand Master also received two cheques, one from White River Lodge No 153 for €1,050 and one from the Logia Tribunal De Las Aguas Mark Masons for €350. An amazing total of approximately 5,000€ was raised from the Sponsorships, Raffle, and Auction on the day.
The Province sends sincere thanks to all participants, to the Bonalba Golf Club for providing a wonderful course and all of their amazing support, the greens were cut to perfection and to W.Bro. Richard Davis of Santa Faz Lodge No.48 who was our host at the Golf Club, and Bro Mike Wyatt, for his knowledge of the game and organisation on the day with an amazing band of willing helpers.
To our Sponsors and players, a big thank you. To all the supporters on the day and who helped leading up to the tournament many thanks, but most of all to the Lodges for their support they have given to the PGMs Charity the Children’s Summer Camp.
When this amazing total raised at the Charity Golf Day is added to the other contributions from all Lodges in the Province as well as other events we are able to send 50 Children on this Wonderful holiday.
My sincere thanks for all your support.
W.Bro. Trevor Bagnall Provincial Grand Charity Steward.
WITH VERY GRATEFUL THANKS TO OUR GENEROUS SPONSORS
BONALBA GOLF CLUB, BONALBA HOTEL, RICHARD SAMUELS, THE FOUNDATION-MICHAEL TAYLOR, IBERIAN FUNERAL PLANS, DEVERE SPAIN, CIUDAD PATRICIA – SENIOR RESORT, MR. & MRS. HAROLD LUESLEY, MRS. ROGER DYER, ROBERT & HEIDI, PETER HASELL, R.W.LON WHITEHEAD, JIM & KATE HHURLEY, GREEN NINETEEN- (BONALBA GOLF SOCIETY), LA MARINA HACKERS, MR. ERIK PAESMANS (BONALBA GOLF DONATION), CLUB QUESADA, MAMA MIAS-BONALBA GOLF SOCIETIES, MICHAEL REEVES, SANTA FAZ LODGE-REFRESHMENTS, EDI RENT A CAR, JR COUNTRY CLUB – QUESADA, CAMPBELL LAMONT GOLF, LILIANE-BONALBA GOLF, UNION JACK GOLF HOLIDAYS, TWO VOUCHERS, KARINE DEGOEDT & PETER VAN DER MEE.
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.