ISSUE 23, October 2007

Quarterly Communication: Speech of the Pro Grand Master : Quarterly Communication
Grand Secretary: Exciting times ahead
Historic: Telford - Mason extraordinary
Travel: Cruising round Sicily
Samaritan: Helping the distressed
Younger Masons: The common bond
Jersey: Local Masons guard the Duke
   Classic car run: Down memory lane
International: Joseph Brant - a Masonic legend
Universities Scheme: The way ahead
Grand Chancellor: The importance of external relations
Education: Events : Understanding the symbols of the craft
Specialist Lodges: Australia link
Royal Arch: Why join the Royal Arch?
Lbrary & Museum: Major award for Library & Museum
MQ Signs off
Masonic Charities: Grand Charity : NMSF : RMBI : RMTGB
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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    Charles Best describes the value of being resident at one of the RMBI’s Homes
I wanted a cup of tea, but could not raise the energy to get it. That’s when realisation dawned that I needed care. Having had nine years as a widower, and having to do everything myself, I was now at the mercy of a relentless resurgence of my childhood polio which, I was told, was progressive.
     However, the thought of going into care was quite alarming. Some hard rational thinking and planning was needed, but I had no capital to pay for a daily help, and I was having serious problems with leg fatigue and the consequential stumbling and occasional falling.
     Where on earth could I get the help I needed, and hopefully retain some degree of self respect? It took long enough for the penny to drop, but eventually I telephoned my Lodge Almoner, who obtained brochures and literature on the RMBI.
     The nearest residential care home was at Leicester and readily answered all my telephoned questions, even offering a guided tour for me and my family. As I had no family, my close friend took me to Devonshire Court in Oadby, where we arrived in time for the midmorning tea trolley!
     We were shown around by the manager, who offered me use of a wheelchair to avoid walking problems. We saw a typical room and the various facilities available to residents, which included two electronic organs and a grand piano (music to my eyes), use of an outdoor bowling green and putting green, and spacious grounds.
     The notice board had a miscellany of coming events – shopping trips into town, outings to tea rooms, pub crawls (a sort of excursion into the countryside with a few breaks for refreshments, either at tea rooms, a pub, or a garden centre). Theatre visits did require a modest fee, otherwise apart from personal purchases there were no charges. Transport was by the Home’s minibus.
     Wheelchairs were welcomed at most venues visited. There were regular events within the Home, especially coffee mornings hosted by local Lodges. I was afraid there might be a holiday camp-style routine, but there was no compulsion to join in.
     I made a formal application as soon as possible and was surprised to find a vacancy had arisen within a few weeks. The ordeal of putting my house on the market, deciding what I might be allowed to take, packing and actual moving is best glossed over, but on admission everything was done for me.
     Gradually the room took shape as my home. My large television was permitted as was my invalid scooter. Subsequently, my computer, desk, printer, fax/phone, and three-in-one were brought up to me and installed.
     I now have everything I need to personalise my new home. The staff are superb, nothing is too much trouble, and they cope well with any problems which arise – within, or outside the home. This must be a reflection of the good management.
     Devonshire Court has been my home since December 2006, and during my first few months here I was asked many times how I liked it. My answer was (and still is) the same – “I love it here, to the extent that if you want to get rid of me, it will take a court order.”

Helping older people
20 Great Queen Street
London wc2b 5bg
T: 020 7596 2400
Fax: 020 7404 0724
Web site:

Left: Charles Best relaxes at his computer
Right: The RMBI care home, Devonshire Court, at Oadby, Leicestershire

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