Hants and IoW Freemasons get behind front line workers’ day

Jon Whitaker who heads the Freemasons in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and who also volunteers for St John Ambulance

Freemasons across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight swung behind the inaugural NHS, Social Care and Frontline Workers’ Day by displaying banners at their centres.

The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE), the governing body for Freemasons, invited its 200,000 members to fly the specially designed flags at 10am on 5 July.

The day is dedicated to the NHS, social care and front line workers who have saved so many lives during the pandemic. It is also a day to remember those workers who died.

The UGLE is one of the core supporters of the day, alongside the Cadet Forces, English Heritage and the Women’s Institute.

A £5 donation from every flag and length of bunting made will be equally divided between NHS Charities Together and the National Care Association.

Freemasonry for Women and the Order of Women Freemasons have also joined in the initiative, as Freemasons aim to set a record for the number of flags raised simultaneously across the nation.

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.

“It is a special day of celebration and commemoration of those within the NHS, social care and on the front line, 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 during the last year and they deserve our gratitude, our applause and all the support we can give.”

Jon Whitaker who heads the Freemasons in Hampshire and Isle of Wight, a province that includes Christchurch and Bournemouth, said: “It’s right that we support those within our communities who have done so much during the pandemic.

“Our centres across the province have been flying banners, bunting and flags and helping to raise money.”

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, Freemasons have been supporting the NHS in many different ways.

They have donated more than £2.5m so far to the Covid-19 effort and completed 18.5 million hours of volunteering to help those in need each year.

The donation is being used to help with food, personal protective equipment, supplements for hospitals and hospices, funds for NHS workers and ambulances.


Editor’s note:

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.

For further information please contact:

Provincial and masonic information:  Provincial Marketing Officer, Roger Maber, email: roger@guessens.com  tel: 07802605499

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Editors’ notes:

  • Interviews available on request


Livia Ferreira, public relations manager, United Grand Lodge of England

Email: lferreira@ugle.org.uk

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7395 9208 | Mobile: +44 (0)7539 578699


Michelle Worvell, director of communications and marketing, United Grand Lodge of England

Email: mworvell@ugle.org.uk

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7395 9290 | Mobile: +44 (0)7538 512669

About the United Grand Lodge of England:

  • The Premier Grand Lodge, which became the United Grand Lodge of England, was founded at the Goose and Gridiron Pub in London in 1717.
  • It has 48 Provinces across the country and more than 7,000 Lodges, with students over the age of 18 able to join one of the 85 University Scheme Lodges.
  • Freemasons use four important guiding principles to help define their path through life: integrity, friendship, respect and charity.
  • One of the oldest social and charitable organisations in the world, Freemasonry’s roots lie in the traditions of the medieval stonemasons who built our cathedrals and castles.
  • Membership is open to people from all backgrounds and the organisation’s aim is to empower members to be the best they can be – it’s about building character, supporting members as individuals and helping them make a positive contribution to society.
  • Freemasonry is one of the largest charitable givers in the country, contributing more than £48m to deserving causes in 2018 alone. Freemasons do not only donate money – more than 18.5 million hours of volunteer work are undertaken by Freemasons every year.