On Friday 22nd September 2023, Good Neighbour Lodge No. 8378 of the Province of West Kent, the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution’s Lodge, paid a visit to Connaught Court, in York, to hold a masonic meeting. This is the RMBI Care Home that services the Provinces of Yorkshire, North and East Ridings, Yorkshire, West Riding, Lincolnshire as well as part of the Province of Durham.
Since 1850, the RMBI have provided care facilities to masons and their dependents. This began with the opening of Asylum for Worthy, Aged and Decayed Freemasons in Croydon. Currently, the RMBI, now part of the Masonic Charitable Foundation, operate 17 homes with a mix of residential, nursing and dementia care. More information on the RMBI can be found at https://rmbi.org.uk/
Good Neighbour Lodge No. 8378 was founded in 1972 within the Province of West Kent, with a traveling warrant to enable it to fulfil its purpose of taking masonry back to the masonic residents of the RMBI homes. The members of this unique Lodge are also members of Lodges in Provinces all over England. This was Good Neighbour’s first visit to the northern counties since the COVID pandemic and the resumption of the Lodge being able to return to meet in the RMBI’s homes.
With the meetings being in a home, they are designed to be enjoyable for all, and often lectures are utilised to provide an enjoyable day for the members of Good Neighbour Lodge, their visitors, and our VIP ‘s, especially the home residents, who choose to attend.
At the meeting the Province of Durham was well represented, with 4 members of Good Neighbour, including the Worshipful Master, David Pearce, Treasurer, Matthew Peace, Secretary, Jonathan Russell and one of the Stewards, Stuart Major, being in attendance, along with 8 visitors from the Province of Durham.
After tea and coffee, the Lodge was opened, short items of business were dealt with and the main item was delivered – a talk on the Masonic Life and Times of Rudyard Kipling. This talk was ably delivered by Malcolm Sweet of the Province of Durham. We were pleased to have in attendance the Provincial Grand Masters of Yorkshire, North and East Ridings, David Chambers, and Yorkshire, West Riding, James Newman OBE, a Past Master of the Lodge, along with the Assistant Provincial Grand Master of the Province of Durham, Andrew Moule. The meeting was followed by drinks to socialise before the festive board, where the residents’ guests, the Lodge members and visitors, were intermingled with the residents to enjoy an evening of fraternal harmony.
The members of Good Neighbour Lodge were pleased to be able to bring a fun masonic day to the residents of Connaught Court and thank them and the staff at the home for their hospitality.