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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Above right: Venus Williams, Georgina and Marion Bartoli

Georgina’s day at Wimbledon
Fourteen-year-old Georgina had a dream realised when she was chosen to toss the coin for first service at the Wimbledon Ladies’ Final this year. Venus Williams and Marion Bartoli would battle it out over the next few hours – but then Georgina knew all about battles over a period of years. A beneficiary of the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys (RMTGB), she had experienced many difficulties and traumas in her life.
     The keen and talented tennis player and musician comes from Bournemouth. She lives with her widowed, pensioner grandmother, as her parents were divorced in 1994 and neither subsequently was able to care for her. As Georgina’s late grandfather was a Freemason, her plight came to the attention of the Trust, which has supported her since 2002.
     The Trust provides a fee bursary so that Georgina is able to attend a small, caring local independent school. As she is a keen tennis player, the Trust is paying for her lessons. A proficient and enthusiastic musician, Georgina’s piano lessons are also being funded by the Trust.
     When asked by the Duke of Kent to choose someone to toss the coin, the RMTGB selected Georgina as, although she had experienced difficult times, she had borne them with fortitude. Knowing her long-standing interest in tennis, the occasion was considered tailor-made for her.
     Georgina’s ‘Day at the Tennis’ began the Friday before the Ladies’ Final, when she and her grandmother were met at Waterloo Station by Trust Welfare Adviser, Sam Maddocks, and the Senior Case Adviser, Gill Bennett. As it had been a considerable time since either Georgina or her grandmother had visited London, Sam and Gill spent time with them, pointing out locations of various shops as well as explaining the vagaries of the London bus and tube systems.
     Collected by courtesy car the next day, the driver gave the couple a guided tour of places of interest along the route before depositing them at Wimbledon, where another guided tour – this time of the grounds – was made before they were taken to watch the men’s singles semi-finals.
     After lunch in the Competitors’ restaurant, Georgina’s grandmother was taken to her seat and Georgina to the Clubhouse, where she met the match Chair Umpire and Championship Referee, Andrew Jarrett.
     At 1.50pm, accompanied by the two officials and on slightly shaky legs, Georgina walked onto Centre Court to await the arrival of HRH the Duke of Kent, Grand Master, Grand President of the Trust, and President of the Lawn Tennis Association, and finalists Marion Bartoli and Venus Williams.
     After a few words of introduction, the coin was tossed and a slip of a girl from Bournemouth with a troubled past was immortalised in front of thousands of spectators and millions of viewers throughout Britain and the rest of the world Said Georgina in a ‘thank-you’ card to the Trust: “I found the coin-toss nervewracking, but I am extremely grateful to have been chosen to do it”.
     Georgina’s tale, although uplifting, is but one of many such that the Trust has to tell. Although similar stories, to lesser or greater degrees, abound in the case files of the Trust, there is always room for more. As Senior Case Adviser Gill Bennett said in an interview recently: “Not only does Trust assistance relieve immediate financial concerns, it also ensures that individual potential, otherwise in danger of being lost, is realised by the beneficiaries.
     “It is undoubted that Georgina is inherently multi-talented – but at least now those talents can be recognised and nurtured as the result of the RMTGB’s endeavours”.

Festival Success
On 6th June 2007, at Carlisle Racecourse, the Province of Cumberland and Westmorland hosted the 22nd Anniversary Festival in support of the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys. The Festival President was RW Bro John Hale, Provincial Grand Master and he was supported at the Festival banquet by over 550 ladies and brethren. A magnificent Festival total of £2,055,749 was announced of which £1,742,022 came from the Province. The Trust is immensely grateful to the Freemasons of the Province for all the hard work that went into producing such a result. During dinner Miss Jemima Philips, former harpist to the Prince of Wales, and a recipient of TalentAid, entertained the guests.
     The guest of honour was RW Bro David Williamson, Assistant Grand Master. In his address Bro Williamson paid tribute to the Provincial Grand Master and in particular noted his long service and extraordinary dedication to Freemasonry.
     The President of the Trust, VW Bro Andrew Stebbings reported that the Trust is currently supporting 17 beneficiaries from the Province. Over the last 5 years over £337k has been spent by the Trust on these beneficiaries alone.

Helping young people
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T: 020 7405 2644
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    Andrew Stebbings, RMTGB President (right) with John Hale, PGM Cumberland and Westmorland and (left) David Williamson, Assistant Grand Master

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