A very busy year of Tercentenary celebrations have added to the ongoing 2019 Festival activities.
Tercentenary celebrations in the community
Masonic Centres across Hertfordshire opened their doors to the public and encouraged members, their families, and friends to visit and appreciate 300 years of Freemasonry. Tours of the Temples answered some of the “secrets” of Masonry, while presentations and discussions informed guests about the organisation’s charity, history and museum.
Many other Tercentenary celebration events were organised and held across the Province. Clay Pigeon Shoot Days in April and September, Golf in June and September. Dining at the Girls School in July, and the Picnic in the Park event on Saturday 22 July. Hertfordshire had 2,600 visitors to the Herts Family Fun Day in 2016 whilst 1,400 visited the Middlesex Garden Family Fete. The awful weather took its toll but did not deter 1,500 visitors or dampen the Masonic spirit.
The Provincial Grand Master asked each Lodge to nominate a small local charity for a £300 special Tercentenary PGL Herts celebration award. 30 charities were chosen from the 142 nominations and cheques were presented by Lodge Charity Stewards.
MCF Community Awards
Eight charities in Hertfordshire were chosen from 137 Lodge nominations to share a total of £79,000 as part of the MCF Community Awards. The vote was launched in June and closed at the end of July. Herts members, friends and family topped the voting scheme. The eight charities were awarded grants between £4,000 and £25,000 depending on how many votes they received.
The generosity of the Herts Masons for the 2019 Festival continues to amaze me. We currently have over 2,100 members qualifying as Festival Stewards. 200 Vice Patrons, 209 Patrons & 71 Grand Patrons. 44 Chapters and 152 Lodges are now using the gift aid envelopes to gain the 25p in the £1 from the Treasury. Over £72,000 gift aid has been claimed.
The Province currently stands at an impressive £2.31 million donated toward the £3 million target.