Feb 28

Hampshire Anniversary

Province of Hampshire formed 250 years ago today, Happy Birthday Hampshire Masons

Feb 17

Sandown Lodge No.1869


The last week has been spent on the Isle of Wight in the company of Bear Carer Nick Hooper and his family living in Shanklin. Nick is a member of Sandown Lodge. Early in the week in the care of Nick an evening was spent at the Sandown Lodge of Instruction, a most enlightening evening of practice for those brethren attending. The main purpose of the week was the privilege to share with brethren, guests and accompanying ladies at a special meeting of the lodge on Thursday 16th. February.

After a short business meeting everyone gathered together at Festive Board to celebrate the UGLE Tercentenary. Various presentations were delivered by brethren of the lodge which included a history of Sandown Lodge and also 300 years of Freemasonry in England. All very interesting and worthy of celebrating. Many new friends were made and several opportunities for pictures to be taken.

A joyous time was had by all. Thank you to all those present for such a warm and friendly welcome and in particular to Nick Hooper and his family.......Square Bear.

Feb 4

EGM Southampton

The first Square Bear visit of the 2017 has certainly been worth waiting for. Yesterday evening over 300 brethren from across our Province of Hampshire and Isle of Wight gathered together at the Novotel in Southampton. The occasion was the annual EGM, but not just any EGM, this was a Special General Meeting.

This was a celebration of many facets. Top of the list of celebrations was the honouring of 73 brethren who have been awarded Provincial Promotions and Appointments, almost 60 of those brethren were able to attend and the Provincial Grand Master R.W.Bro. Michael J. Wilks was most pleased to receive each brother in turn to present them with their collar and jewel and offer his personal congratulations.

The next order of business was to recognise those lodges who had not yet been presented with their 2016 Festival Gavels in recognition of those lodges achieving their platinum award.

Already the gathering brethren were thoroughly enjoying this wonderful occasion when it was now time to celebrate the Formation of the Masonic Province of Hampshire some 250 years ago and the recognition of 300 years since the establishing of the first Grand Lodge in London. The tercentenary

celebrations of the UGLE will be undertaken across the province throughout 2017.

W.Bro. George Mars, the Provincial Grand Orator presented a most interesting lecture on the history of masonry from its inception in 1717, and in particular within the Province of Hampshire and its eventual joining with the Isle of Wight. A most interesting and informative piece of work superbly delivered by the Provincial Orator.

Two musical interludes were provided by the Provincial Choir, these were performed to a high standard and confirmed in their lyrics the values of Freemasonry and the good humour in which we all undertake our work together.

Before closing the meeting the PGM addressed the brethren again congratulating those brethren and lodges who had been honoured. He also again thanked everyone for the hard work and achievements in supporting the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys in our 2016 Festival and informed all that now was the time to continue and further our support for local charities, but continuing the theme of supporting young people how important it is to enhance our support for those terminally ill and life limited children and young adults who receive care from Naomi House and Jack's Place in Winchester, and also the specialist facilities for young people established as part of the Earl Mountbatten Hospice on the Isle of Wight. The Lifelights Charity which provides the necessary technology and back up training to these establishments will require our ongoing charitable support, and the PGM encourages brethren from across the province to do all we can.

Brethren continued to enjoy one another’s company after the meeting at a sumptuous Festive Board where the PGM took opportunities to take wine with the Heads of Other Orders they being invited guests, all those brethren who had received honours and then with all brethren present in recognition of the six areas of the province from which they hail.

A tremendous evening with so much to celebrate and enjoy together. A terrific start to 2017.


Feb 3

Celebrations Ahead

Many congratulations to the brethren of Hampshire and Isle of Wight receiving honours at the EGM in Southampton this evening, all well deserved. It is also the occasion of officially launching the UGLE Tercentenary Celebrations within the Province and also marks the 250th anniversary of the Province of Hampshire. Very much looking forward to meeting friends old and new.....Square Bear.
Dec 21

Merry Christmas

Best wishes for Christmas and 2017 for all the followers of Square Bear adventures. Very much looking forward to celebrating UGLE Tercentenary Anniversary
Dec 21

Jubilee Lodge No.8755

After the excitement of the S.W. Area Carol service last Sunday Ray Turner assumed the role as bear carer on behalf of Jubilee Lodge. The following evening, Monday 12th December, was the visit to Jubilee Lodge meeting in Bournemouth. The formal Lodge meeting was very short as it was the Christmas white table but a special Square Bear position was provided in the temple in order to oversee the proceedings from the Secretary’s table. Later bear introductions were made at the festive board to Hugh, a bear donated by Twynham Lodge for the purpose of raising monies for Cystic Fibrosis and other worthy causes.
Some lovely pictures with Hugh for you to enjoy. Thank you Ray and Jubilee Lodge brethren and guests for a great evening.
Dec 12

South West Area Carol Service

The wonderful adventures in the South West area of our province continued on Sunday 11th December. Whilst with bear carer Richard Waldy, Worshipful Master of Bourne Lodge, safe keeping duties were handed over to Richards daughter, Miss Bethany Waldy (till she fell asleep).
The special occasion was the South West area carol service held at the Parish Church of St Alban in Bournemouth. The congregation were joined by the Provincial Grand Master Michael Wilks, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master Graham Williams and the SW Area Assistant Provincial Grand Master Geoff Tuck and the Mayor and Mayoress of Bournemouth. The service was led by the Provincial Grand Chaplain, W.Bro Rev Robin Nash with help singing the carols from the South Wessex Operatic Society.
The carol service was very much enjoyed by all and many joined together afterwards for tea and mince pies. Bethany was an exceptional bear carer and the time spent with Richard and his family has been lovely. The bear caring duties have now past on to Ray Turner of Jubilee Lodge. There are sure to be more Square Bear adventures ahead.
Remember 2017 is the Tercentenary of the United Grand Lodge of England, and in February 2017 the 250th. Anniversary of the Province of Hampshire. Please celebrate these important occasions and consider hosting Square Bear to help share a record of your event.
See you again soon!