Freemasons across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight will be marking the inaugural NHS, Social Care and Frontline Workers’ Day on July 5.
The fraternity is one of the core supporters of the event alongside English Heritage, Women’s Institute and the Cadet Forces.
Freemasons lodge buildings as well as individual members will be flying flags, banners and bunting at 10am to mark the day and show their thanks to those who have saved lives, and to remember those who have died from Covid-19.
A £5 donation from every flag and length of bunting made will be equally divided between NHS Charities Together and the National Care Association.
The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) will be joined in the event by the two grand lodges of women Freemasons – Freemasonry for Women and the Order of Women Freemasons.
The aim is to set a record for the number of flags raised simultaneously across the nation.
The UGLE is divided into provinces of which Hampshire and Isle of Wight – which includes Christchurch and Bournemouth – is one of the biggest.
At 11am on July 5, Freemasons are planning a moment’s silence to remember frontline workers and all those who died from Covid-19.
The day continues with a toast to the NHS at 1pm, raising a cuppa to the NHS during afternoon tea at 3pm, followed by an address to the nation at 6pm.
At 8pm, the Freemasons will join the nation in an evening clap for NHS workers, while church bells are set to ring 73 times to celebrate 73 years of the NHS. Closing the celebrations at 9pm, there will be a #timetotoast for all NHS workers.
Bruno Peek, pageant master to the Queen and creator of NHS, Social Care and Frontline Workers’ Day, said: “We are delighted that Freemasons, whose members come from all walks of life, are playing such a high profile and active role to start this special day of celebration and commemoration of those within the NHS, social care and on the frontline who undertake so much for us all, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 52 weeks a year, without any thought of their own safety.”
Dr David Staples, chief executive of the UGLE, and a consultant in acute internal medicine at Peterborough Hospital, said: “We are facing the greatest global pandemic in living memory, and the NHS has never been so tested in its history.
“Its staff have been stretched beyond comprehension over the last year and they deserve our gratitude, our applause and all the support we can give.
“We are encouraging not only our 200,000 members, but the entire population to celebrate the day honouring and remembering the NHS workers with a complete programme of events on 5 July.”
Jon Whitaker who heads the Freemasons in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and is a St John Ambulance volunteer, said: “It’s important to thank those who have been on the frontline battling Covid and our members will be doing just that.
“And we hope as many people as possible join us is saying thank you, but also remembering those who have died.”
To find out more about NHS, Social Care and Frontline Workers Day and to register your participation in the event, please visit: www.nhsfrontlineday.org
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There are around 9,000 Freemasons in Hampshire and Isle of Wight, and over 250 Lodges. Although Freemasonry has been an open and transparent organisation for some time, there are still many misconceptions. Essentially, Freemasonry is a society of men concerned with moral and spiritual values based on integrity, kindness, honesty and fairness. It is one of the world’s oldest and largest non-religious, non-political, fraternal and charitable organisations.
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Provincial and masonic information: Provincial Marketing Officer, Roger Maber, email: firstname.lastname@example.org tel: 07802605499