This visit should have taken place in October 2019 with the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro HRH Prince Michael of Kent GCVO, to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the opening of the Home by TRH Prince and Princess Michael of Kent in October 1994, but the visit was postponed and subsequently cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
On arrival at the Home, the ProProvGM and his wife had to provide evidence of their coronavirus vaccinations and negative lateral flow tests, before they donned their face coverings and were allowed to enter the Home, after which they were shown around by the Home Manager, Beverly Roberts.
They were most impressed by the quality of the facilities and care provided to the 55 residents, which were rated ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission in December 2018.
Amongst other parts of the Home, they were shown the new Orangery Extension to the Forrester Wing, which cost approximately £100,000 to construct and fit out, and is primarily used during the day by the increasing number of residents with dementia needs.
In 2019, the Province of Middlesex made grants of almost one third of the total cost of the Orangery Project, as follows: –
|Masonic Province of Middlesex Charitable Trust (MMC)||£15,000|
|Middlesex Province Relief Fund (MPRF)||£10,000|
|Middlesex Mark Benevolent Fund (MMBF)||£5,000|
|PMK Social Club @ Uxbridge Masonic Hall||£1,300|
The names of all donors are engraved on a signpost, which is located in the exercise area just outside the Friends Orangery (see photograph).
During this visit, the ProProvGM, on behalf of the Provincial Grand Master for West Kent, RW Bro Mark Estaugh (who is a member of Bard of Avon Lodge and Chapter No. 778 in the Province of Middlesex), was invited to present a Long Service Certificate to W Bro Neville Bryant, PAGDC, PGStB (RA), aged 90, who is an honorary member of Good Neighbour Lodge, No. 8378 in the Province of West Kent, following the 60th Anniversary of his Initiation into Freemasonry in Constantia Lodge, No. 6585 (London), but now erased, on 21 October 1961.
Comp Neville will also celebrate the 51st Anniversary of his Exaltation into Royal Arch Masonry in Constantia Chapter, No. 6585 (London) on 19 December 2021.
Bro Neville suffers from acute deafness and the ProProvGM was made to wait whilst he finished his elevenses, consisting of a couple of Jammie Dodger biscuits and a glass of red wine (to which he is apparently very partial) before presenting him with his Certificate, which he was quite naturally delighted to receive (see photograph).
This visit to Prince Michael of Kent Court reinforced the high quality of care and commitment provided by the RMBI to our older Freemasons and their dependents in their later years, and we should be proud of the fact that this Home is named after our long-serving Provincial Grand Master.
A grateful thanks to RW Peter Baker, Pro Provincial Grand Master, for this contribution. (Ed).
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