News 2016

Colin Charles Gale PSGD, Assistant PGM - Celebrates 50 Years in Freemasonry

On Friday 15th January 2016 The Dundas Lodge No. 1255 at Manadon Masonic Hall, Plymouth, celebrated W.Bro. Colin C. Gale PSGD, Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Devonshire 50th Years in Freemasonry. On this special occasion for W.Bro. Gale, a large number of Executive, Provincial Officers and Masonic friends attended this special event. The Worshipful Master, W.Bro. M.E. McDonnell opened the meeting and welcomed into a packed Lodge RW. Bro. Ian Kingsbury JP, Provincial Grand Master. He was accompanied by W.Bro. Nicholas A. Ball PGSwdB, DPGM; W.Bro. Peter J.M. Keaty APGM; RW.Bro. Robin O. Osborn Past PGM; RW.Bro. Michael T. Penny Past PGM and W.Bro. Simon W. Rowe PDepGSwdB, The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent of the HRA along with a large number of Grand & Provincial Grand Officers.

At the meeting the Minutes of 100 years were read, then W.Bro. Peter Keaty PSGD, APGM read the minutes of 50 years ago. Pointing out to the Brethren that the meeting to which then Colin Gale was to join Freemasonry was the 4th Friday in December but as this was Xmas Eve the meeting was differed by dispensation to the 3rd January 1966. The Provincial Grand Master then was RW. Bro. Cyril Henry Crews. The meeting was then held at the Davey Masonic Hall, the WM was W.Bro. R.G. Buxton. It was also noted in the minutes that W.Bro L.S.T. Gale, father of Colin, did the Address and gave the Charge at this his son’s Initiation. He declined to take the Chair as that was the Master’s Job!
The Provincial Grand Master before presenting the Certificate asked W.Bro. Richard Ebrey, The Provincial Grand Secretary to read a citation of W.Bro. Gales life. A few of the points in respect to W.Bro. Gales Masonic journey were as follows: He was Passed on 25th February 1966 and Raised on the 27th May 1966. Because many members were in the services at that time, progression was quick and he was installed as Master in October 1973. His Father this time took no part in the ceremony, again he considered quite strongly that it was the retiring Master’s duty to install his successor. Later in 1976 he took over from his father as secretary of Dundas and continued until 1986 when pressure of work forced him to stand down. He became a Provincial Steward in1982, Past Provincial Senior Grand Deacon in 1984 and Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden in 1991, in 1998 as there was a bit of a crisis in the lodge he came back as secretary until 2004 and again stood down due to health. In late 2004 RW. Bro. Robin Osborn PGM asked him if he was coming back to continue his work in the Provincial Office. Colin had been working with W.Bro. Colin Davies on the new members’ database which had been developed. Seeing this as a challenge to get fit again he restarted work on the database and then the PGM appointed him as Provincial Assistant Grand Registrar.

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In 1955 Colin went to Plymouth College, other notable people who were there at the time in the same year were W.Bro. Bill Daw and W.Bro. Geoffrey Isaacs, former PGM of the Mark in Cornwall and in the year above was W.Bro. Tony Banbury our Provincial Mentor. With Plymouth College as part of his past, he then, with a little arm twisting, joined the Old Plymothian and Mannameadian Lodge No. 6279 in 2009 and has since then taken an active part in the workings of the lodge.

When RW. Bro Michael Penny became PGM he gave W.Bro. Gale a number of projects to do, including merging the different charities in the Province into the Benevolent Fund, thereby doing himself out of the job as Honorary Secretary of the Aged Widows and Fortescue Fund which post he had occupied since W.Bro. Maurice Eglinton had become an Asst PGM in 2007. Other projects included arranging the Festival Dinner at The Torquay Riviera Centre in 2012. He was appointed as Past Grand Standard Bearer in 2009 and became Assistant Provincial Grand Master in 2011.

He was Exalted into Dundas Chapter 22nd April 1975 and became Z in 1986. His Principal Sojourner was at that time a certain Simon Rowe now MEGS. He was appointed Provincial Standard Bearer in 1990 and Past Provincial Grand Sword Bearer in 1999, he joined Devonian Chapter of First Principals in 2003 and was appointed Past Provincial Grand Scribe N in 2004. He Joined Pilgrim Rose Croix in 2003, The Royal Order of Scotland South West Counties in 2013 and has served under 8 PGMs and 6 Grand Superintendents since joining Freemasonry.

On presenting the 50 year Certificate the PGM thanked The Provincial Grand Secretary for the citation and commented that in the month of November 2011 when W.Bro. Colin Gale received APGM and he at the same time was invested as DepPGM remembering that day well, taking the salient points of the citation he especially thanked W.Bro. Gale on behalf of RW.Bro. Robin Osborn for his work done on amalgamating the charities and for all the assistance he had given him since, as well as all the work done for the Province, He said ‘you have given great service to our Province and your work done has been exemplary in all the tasks you have taken on overseeing the Mentoring, IT systems, the MFST fishing scheme and the establishment of the Armada Group which is growing in strength by the day in this Province, you have also agreed to oversee Recruitment in the new year, a very busy and capable APGM’

The PGM then read a poem written by W.Bro. Christopher Yard as he was attending another meeting and had given an apology along with W.Bro. G. Rodgers who was on holiday. On replying W.Bro. Gale thanked all those who had turned up to support him and made special note of W.Bro Clifford Heard PPrJGW and W.Bro. Norman Tozer PPrJGW who both as members of The Lord Roborough Lodge were Masters at the same time as Colin in 1973/4, as well as many others who had made friendships over the years. Photos were then taken of the Certificate presentation, a photo with W.Bro. Heard and Tozer and W.Bro. Colin Gale with 3 Provincial Grand Masters of our Province. Under the direction of W.Bro W.S. Daw acting as Provincial DC the Province then retired. The celebrations continued at the festive Board, The Dundas Lodge presented him with a Glass and a bottle of Plymouth Gin. A wonderful evening was had by all and another landmark in W.Bro. Colin Gale’s Masonic journey.

Article & pictures by W.Bro John Smerdon PAGDC

Harmony Lodges Unite for the Gavel

gavel harmony 156W.Bro. Stephen R Scull. P Prov Grand Sword Bearer, who founded, organises and is Secretary for many years now, the Harmony Association in UK and is secretary of Harmony Lodge 156 in Plymouth.

These fraternal visits to various Harmony Lodges, Which include... Plymouth,Cardiff, Brighton and Budleigh Salterton, to mention just a few!! It's all about claiming the Travelling Gavel.

It is now the turn of The Lodge of Harmony 372 Budleigh Salterton who claimed it back from Harmony Lodge 156 Plymouth on Monday 1st February 2016 after being cared for By WM Alan Mark, for a period one year. He naturally was a bit reluctant to hand it over as W.Bro. Alan used this gavel in the East at every meeting bar one, in the past twelve months. So the Travelling Gavel goes East of our Province, for one year and I wonder which Harmony Lodge ,will claim it next !!

The presentation of the Gavel, was followed by an excellent 1st Degree ceremony, at which we welcomed Bro. Lee Harris. our latest Initiate to our Fraternaty.

Editorial and Picture by W.Bro. Joe Sevieri. Jnr PPrGSwdB

Pictured: W.Bro. Chris Potter WM Lodge of Harmony No. 372 left , receiving the Travelling Gavel, from W.Bro. Alan Mark. WM Harmony Lodge No. 156

W.Bro. Wes Nicholls in London Marathon bid.

wes nichollsPictured right is W.Bro. Wes Nicholls of the St. Margaret’s Lodge, Topsham. He is pictured after his latest training run pounding the streets of Newton Abbot and Torbay in preparation for this year’s London Marathon where Wes is hoping to raise £1700 for Heart UK (registered charity 1003904).

If you would like to support Wes you can sign up on his Virgin Money giving page HERE

Wes is hoping to achieve a time of around 4hrs 15mins and chose this charity after losing his mum in 2014 to heart failure and dementia.

Burns Night at The Lord Robrough Lodge No.5789

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At the lodge regular meeting on 27th January 2016, 72 brethren attended to listen to a very interesting talk on Masonic Ritual by W.Bro. Reuben Ayres - ProvGOrator.

Afterwards the brethren were treated to a superb Burns Night Dinner, where W.Bro. Ian Hamilton gave 'The Address to the Haggis' supported by W.Bro. Martyn Graves on the bagpipes and our W.M.

After the meal was completed, one of our newer members won the Chivas 21 year old single malt whisky (to the envy of all the others who didn't win!)

W.Bro. John Pritchard, W.M. who donated the special bottle of whisky, then presented the £200 raised by the whisky draw, to W.Bro. Roger Lillicrap, M.E.M.H. Chairman of the Trustees, for the building fund.

W.Bro. John Sevieri, PAGDC

Freemasonry Opens its Doors to Local Historians

Thirty four members of the Tavistock Branch of the Devonshire Association and Tavistock Local History Society attended a presentation entitled ‘Freemasonry and its historic connection with Tavistock’ at the Freemasons’ Hall in Pym Street, Tavistock on Saturday 16th Jan. The evening was hosted by Worshipful Brothers: Graham Snell, Keith Johnson and Joe Sevieri as part of a county-wide promotional initiative.

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The guest of honour was Mrs Ann Cole, a member of the Tavistock History Society, who had been inspired to help organise the evening because she was interested in finding out more about her family’s’ links to Freemasonry. Research revealed that her grandfather, Bro. James Maddock Cole [1853-1949], a farmer from May Tavy, was initiated into Queen Victoria Lodge No. 2655 in 1901, before joining Dunheved Lodge No. 789 [Cornwall] in 1906; and then latterly Bedford Lodge during the 1920s.

In recognition of this fact, W Bro. Graham delivered a short presentation about Bro. James and his time as a member of Freemasonry. Of this Mrs Coles said, ‘I remember my grandfather well, he was a wonderful man and he would have been proud to know that we were talking about him.’

The talk also highlighted the names of a number of local Freemasons in times past – including some that were known by members of the audience - as evidenced by the gasps and excited whispers that accompanied the presentation. At the conclusion of the presentation a number of the audience made it known that they too had Masonic family connections and that they were similarly interested in discovering more about Freemasonry. Interestingly, one audience member turned out to be the granddaughter-in-law of W Bro. Dr. Frederick William Arbuthnot Watt 1st Assistant Provincial Grand Master of Devonshire 1961-1971; a fact that she only discovered that night. Until that point his granddaughter-in-law had only known that he was a member, stating that he didn’t talk much about it.

The presentation Team will be giving further talks throughout the year – for further details or to request a presentation e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

300 First Aid Boxes donated to Local Communities

As part of their Tercentenary Celebrations, Devonshire Freemasons are combining with the Devon Communities Together (DCT) Charity to provide 300 First Aid boxes to as many local community & Sports centres and Village halls as possible throughout the county covering villages as far apart as Axminster, Okehampton, Clovelly, Plymstock, Rockbeare & Rattery at a cost of over £7000.

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Devon Communities Together are a charity with over 50 years of experience. Their aim is to keep the heart of local communities beating, helping resolve matters important to their future being. Devon has over 500 community buildings mostly run by volunteers and the DCT are there to enable them to retain and develop a local identity by giving advice and support to local communities, shops, village halls, post offices and health and welfare services.

When presenting the 300 First Aid Boxes To Elaine Cook, CEO of Devon Communities Together, Worshipful Brother Andy Vodden MBE, Chairman of the “Masonic Tercentenary Committee” said “as an organisation we have been a part of local society for nearly 300 years so it seems right that the Freemasons of Devonshire should continue to support the welfare of our local village communities in this way, the safety of everyone is of paramount importance to us all” When Receiving the First Aid Boxes Elaine Cook said “The support and generosity of the Devonshire Freemasons will be much appreciated by the halls on receipt their free first aid boxes. DCT are committed to supporting and encouraging halls as key organisations within their communities, and we are very thankful for the opportunity to linking up with the Masons to provide some much needed resources.

Pictured Left to Right are
1. Andy Vodden, Elaine Cook.
2. Bob Wood, Elaine Cook, Andy Vodden.
3. Bob Wood, David Kinross, Elaine Cook, Clive Eden, Andy Vodden.

Any Further information required can be obtained from Clive Eden (see above), or David Kinross at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Plympton Freemasons mark the start of 300 years of Freemasonry in England...

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The first recorded Freemasonry under the United Grand Lodge of England was the formation of four Lodges within one square mile within the City of London on 24th June 1717. June 2016 will therefore see the start of our 300th year.
To help celebrate the Tercentenary, Devonshire Masons will be providing a First Aid Kit free of charge to at least 500 village and community halls and other worthy causes in Devon. (There are nearly 5,800 masons in Devon - meeting in 137 lodges).

The First Aid Kit will bear a Masonic logo demonstrating that it was given by Devonshire Freemasons in an act of care and outreach in our community.

As part of the Devon-wide campaign, Plympton Freemasons have paid for 10 First Aid Kits for use in community buildings and organisations in the Plympton area. They were distributed on Monday 18 January 2016 at Harewood House by the Worshipful Master of Sir Joshua Reynolds Lodge no 4782, W Bro John Hensman in the presence of Plympton’s Stannator, Mr John Gilding.

W Bro John Hensman said “Plympton Freemasons are pleased to be able to leave a visible and lasting legacy of the charitable work that we do”.

The 10 Plympton based organisations receiving First Aid Kits are:

  • St Mary’s Church Hall
  • St Maurice Church
  • Chaddlewood Primary School
  • Plympton Guildhall
  • Betts Guiding Centre Saltram Allotments Association
  • Plympton Priory
  • Ist Plympton Scout Group Cottle’s Lodge
  • Freemasons’ Hall Plympton
  • Plympton Cricket Club

Peter Stabb

Lodge St John’s No 70 Family and Friends Night - 7th January 2016

January saw the Brethren of the Lodge gather at Manadon Masonic Hall under the Leadership of W.Bro Richard Lindford. We were delighted to have the company of family members, friends and especially representatives of five local charities who were to receive donations of £200 each towards their work in the city.

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The Charities represented were; Changing Faces ( a charity that provides camouflage make up and support for those with traumatic, disease or genetic facial and body disfigurement), St Peters Church Youth Camp 2016 for disadvantaged young people, Broadreach Drug and Alcohol Rehabillitation, Heartswell Defibrulators and St Lukes Hospice Cancer Care and Support. The W.M W.Bro. Richard Lindford warmly welcomed all the visitors and asked that W.Bro. N StJ.M. White PPrGSwdB. Lodge Almoner, to give a short explanation of the Principles of Freemasonry and the charitable work that Masons do in the Provinces and the World. This was followed by the presentation of cheques by the Worshipful Master. Each recipient gave a short and passionate explanation of their work and how the money would be applied to their work. A thoroughly enjoyable evening was rounded off by an excellent Festive Board and prospects of a busy year for the Lodge with two candidates for initiation.

W.Bro. N St.J M White PPrGSwdB

70th Birthday Celebrations of St. Margaret's Lodge No. 6128

St. Margaret's Lodge celebrated their 70th birthday in style at their January meeting with a Lodge photo and a birthday cake baked especially for the occasion.

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A full Lodge witnessed the Raising of our new member, Bro. David Morley and then proceeded to the Festive Board in anticipation of a fine banquet.

There were plans for a photograph to be taken of the Lodge Master, W.Bro. Colin Libby and the senior Past Master W. Bro. P. Wilkins cutting the cake with the Tylers sword but unfortunately the eager Caterers beat us all to it! It just goes to show that all the best laid plans can go wrong.

Consecrated in January of 1946, the Installation meeting was moved to March in 1982 as the previous year only 8 members of the Lodge were able to attend due to the deep snow and freezing temperatures that had descended on Devon.

Remember winters like that?!

Martin Heskins

Freemasons present £4,000 to Devon Air Ambulance

On Tuesday 5th April our Provincial Grand Master the Rt. W. Bro Ian Kingsbury accompanied by his wife Toni and W. Bro. Barry White the Provincial Grand Charity Steward visited the offices of Devon Air Ambulance in Exeter, they can be seen here with Tracy Owen and Ambrose the Air Ambulance Mascot when he presented them with a cheque on behalf of the Freemasons Grand Charity for £4,000.

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W.Bro Michael John Bartlett PPJGW

On Wednesday the 13th April 2016 I visited The lodge of Harmony No 372 to present a 50th year service certificate on behalf of our Provincial Grand Master to W.Bro Michael John Bartlett PPJGW.

It was a very busy evening much enjoyed by the large number of Brethren present. I was able to speak at length about Michaels Masonic and personal life, he had been very active in many degrees and still very much enjoys his masonry today, it was pleasing for Michael to have his Brother David and his son Peter present and for them to be able to join in and enjoy the celebrations.

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Victory Lodge Donates to Derriford Hospital Neonatal ICU

Thanks to the suggestion of Bro. Steve Sayles SW of Victory Lodge, The Worshipful Master Tony Crocker his wife Val and the Charity Steward Bro. Graham Hooper took great pleasure in presenting the Senior Sister Katie Oakes with a cheque for £700, to enable the Neonatal Unit to purchase a special chair which will aid new mums to nurse their new born babies.

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Wing Walking for Charity

The heights Masons will go to for benefit of good! W.Bro John Pritchard will be raising the profile and funds for HeartSWell - a local Plymouth heart charity.

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The Sun Lodge No.106 Ladies Festival

The Sun Lodge No.106 Ladies Festival was held at the Royal Beacon Hotel, Exmouth, on Saturday 19th March 2016.

The Master, W.Bro. Chas Boulton and his wife Tania hosted a well attended and a very pleasant evening to honour the Ladies. Following an excellent five course dinner and a very witty speech from Tania on behalf of the ladies, the evening concluded with dancing.

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Rain Fails to Dampen Children's Spirits

Children from the Exeter based Ellen Tinkham School braved the wet and the cold to attend a coarse fishing event organised by the Devon Branch of the Masonic Fishing Charity at the Town Parks Fishery near Paignton on Friday 22nd April 16. The event - sponsored by St Bartholomew Lodge No. 6378 - was, despite the inclement weather, a total success with every guest joyfully catching at least a couple of fish.

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Plymouth History Festival 2016

As part of the Plymouth History Festival W. Bro. Keith Johnson will again this year be presenting his talk on Freemasonry in Plymouth at Mount Edgcumbe Masonic Hall. This is a free event and will be of interest to brethren, their families and their friends. Booking can be made to W. Bro. Johnson at the number shown below.

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W.Bro Wes Nicholls shows a clean set of heels!

W.Bro Wes Nicholls of the St. Margaret's Lodge made a fine effort in completing this years London Marathon with a time of 4 hours 20 minutes and 25 seconds. Not bad for his first attempt!
Wes was running on behalf of HeartUK, his chosen charity after loosing him Mum to heart disease last year.

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W.Bro.(Mathew) Peter Haigh

Initiated in Neptune Lodge No.5150 on 5 May 1966, 3 weeks before 22nd birthday. Founder of Links Lodge No.8431 in September 1972. One of only a few founders who remain members. Through the years a member of Pelican 7878, North Devon Masters 9316. An honorary member of far too many lodges to list.

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More Articles ...

  1. Provincial Grand Lodge 18th April 2016
  2. Wing Walk for HeartSWell South West.
  3. The Lodge of Fortitude presents £1000 cheque to a Local Charity
  4. Lodge of Perseverance No 164 Sidmouth – Donations Evening
  5. "The Widows Sons" Chapter
  6. Per Mare Per Terram Lodge No. 9355 shows that age is no problem!
  7. Something to SHOUT ABOUT!
  8. If it's not bolted down...
  9. Tercentenary Jewel
  10. Worshipful Masters wing walk raises money for defibrillator
  11. Special Presentation Night at Sir John Hawkins Lodge No 3704
  12. Diary Dates - St Aubyns Masonic Widows Association
  13. Provincial Teddy Master gets a day out!
  14. Armed Forces Day Plymouth 2016
  15. Devon Freemasons donate £7500 to local charity
  16. Excester Lodge No. 6228
  17. Letter to all Brethren from Rt.W.Bro. Peter Hawken
  18. Tercentenary Banner
  19. Sons of the Widow
  20. Diary Dates
  21. Listening to the wants of Deaf Children
  22. Presentation to Childrens Hospice SW
  23. Honiton Show 2016
  24. North Devon Masters Installation.
  25. Devonshire Freemasons help with the cost of cancer
  26. Devon Masonic Golf Association Summer Meeting
  27. £18.9 million provided in support
  28. London Marathon 2016
  29. £50,000 to help fund research into Type 1 Diabetes
  30. Davie Masonic Hall Presented with Defibrillator
  31. Celebration of Evensong
  32. Reach for the Stars
  33. Past Grand Master of Nova Scotia visits Bideford
  34. Freemasonry for all generations
  35. Provincial Grand Wardens 2017-2018
  36. Bovey Tracey Lodge hits the headlines
  37. The New Provincial Tie
  38. Grand Master of Romania visits Okehampton
  39. MCF donates £50,000 to Red Cross
  40. Devonshire Mason awarded British Rowing Medal of Honour
  41. The Mark Degree gets a new Provincial Grand Master
  42. St. Margaret’s Lodge Topsham helps Stroke Unit
  43. Miles Coverdale Lodge No. 5069 Goes Underground
  44. W.Bro R.O.J. Taylor P.Pr.J.G.W.
  45. The St Andrew Lodge No.4097
  46. Teddies on the mend
  47. Remembrance Sunday
  48. Surprise 70 year Certificate for W.Bro. Basil Williams