The Province of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Tercentenary Celebrations drew to a memorable close on Saturday 11th November at the De Vere Hotel in Southampton.

At the event the Provincial Grand Master Michael Wilks received into his care the “Spare” Square Bear. Yes there have been two bears travelling simultaneously on some occasions.

This evening of celebrations also marks the drawing to a close of Square Bear Adventures, well for the time being at least. The No.1 Square Bear will now reside with Square Bear Guardian Clive Dobson enjoying retirement in Ryde, Isle of Wight.

However Square Bear is hopefully going to reappear in 2019. February 2019 is the 250th anniversary of the Province of Isle of Wight, and June 2019 is the 150th anniversary of the amalgamation of the Hampshire Province and Isle of Wight Province.

The “Square Bear” initiative was launched on the 2nd July 2014 at the AGM of the Province at the Guildhall in Southampton. The aim of this initiative was to share with the freemasonry community and the wider world how we enjoy our freemasonry and the work that we do to support our communities. In particular marking notable anniversaries of UGLE, our Province of Hampshire and Isle of Wight and individual lodge milestones.

These adventures have been followed in a variety of ways via a Square Bear Facebook page, this duplicated in the Facebook Group “Bear on the Square” a Twitter feed squarebear @squarebearmason and for those who do not engage with social media a dedicated website

Friends and followers have engaged with the media from across the world, notably via twitter. Masons and their families across our province have contributed hugely to the success of adventures, many of which were really innovative.

Square Bear has undertaken 128 adventures not just across our province but visits to Scotland, Wales, Lancashire and London.

A selection of pictures from some of the adventures serve as a reminder of enjoyable times. Those included are represented by;

1. AGM celebrations at the Novotel June 2014
2. Glider flight
3. Picnic in the woods
4. Rugby Bastion Lodge Consecration
5. Royal Sussex Lodge Bi-Centenary
6. Dine-a-friend, Purbrook
7. Gurston Down hill climb
8. Portsdown Lodge, Heroic Masons – The Victoria Cross and Freemasonry
9. St. Vincent Lodge “Pirates and Wenches” Ladies Festival
10. Provincial Church Service, 2015
11. Needles Lodge Family BBQ
12. Clay Pigeon Shoot
13. South West Area Carol Service, 2016
14. EGM Launch of Tercentenary Celebrations
15. Landport Lodge Tercentenary Celebrations, visit Exeter
16. South East Area charities presentations
17. Elizabethan Lodge Tercentenary Celebrations
18. Launch of Classic 300 Square Wheels event, Windsor
19. Marwell Zoo Tercentenary Celebrations Family Fun Day

It would be unfair to single out any individuals therefore a great big Square Bear thank you to everyone who has taken part and shared in the adventures which have undoubtedly demonstrated what a wonderful fraternity we belong to. Lets look forward to the beginning of the next 300 years.

Farewell for now............Square Bear