During the last 11 years, just before Christmas, Coventry Freemasons have organised a pantomime for some Coventry schools. However in 2020 due to Covid it was not possible to put on the panto. However 500 goodie bags and the Belgrade’s Theatre Pantomime performance were delivered to five schools. This year they were very glad when, as the infection situation eased towards the end of 2021, they were able once again to run the panto.
Ten Coventry schools were invited. Luckily they had planned the event just before the Omicron variant appeared and most of the schools were able to attend. But unfortunately, on the day of the performance, two schools were unavailable due to Covid infections. One of the schools therefore asked Lady Godiva (also known as Pru Porretta) if she knew anyone who could make a video of the pantomime so their children would be able to enjoy it.
Lady Godiva, who is a member of Coventry Lord Mayor’s Committee for Peace and Reconciliation asked Philip Brown, who is also a member, if he could record the video at very short notice, which he was able to do. As a result, the two absent schools each received a recording of the show for children to view. The pantomime, staged by Chaplin Pantos (https://www.chaplinspantos.co.uk/), was a great success and the children and teachers who were able to attend really enjoyed it.
They loved the balloons which were given out during the interval.
At the end of the performance, all the children received a wonderful goodie bag.
On the following day, Freemason Hosey Davoudian took the videos and goodie bags to both schools. Unfortunately one of the schools had been closed because of their Covid infections, but once the school was reopened he was able to deliver them and the school was very grateful.
Coventry Freemasons did all this at their own individual expense. Freemasons never collect money from the public. Each gives what they can afford. In 2020, Freemasons in England contributed over £51 million to deserving causes and performed more than 18 million hours of volunteer work in their communities.
A few days later, Hosey Davoudian and Warwickshire Deputy Provincial Grand Master Peter Manning presented a cheque to Coventry Lord Mayor for his Committee as a mark of gratitude for creating the video so quickly.
This was just one example of the charitable work that Freemasons undertake. In addition, for example, they support Freemasons in need and their families. They also make significant financial grants to charities that help non-Freemasons to live happy, fulfilled lives and participate actively in society.
Freemasons are the second biggest donors in the UK, exceeded only by the National Lottery. The charities supported make a significant and lasting difference to people in need. Freemasons in Warwickshire aim to benefit as many people as possible and further those causes about which Freemasons and their families are most passionate. One of their largest donations is made to the Air Ambulance Service to which they are a significant contributor.
Freemasons have been working in England for over 300 years and have had many distinguished members. It is unfortunate that they have a reputation of being a secret society, although they admit it is a society with secrets. They feel that the negative ideas of them that have dominated public perceptions in the past have been unfair.
For more information about English Freemasons see https://www.ugle.org.uk/. For Warwickshire Freemasons please contact Peter Manning, Deputy Provincial Grand Master at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website https://www.warwickshirefreemasons.org.uk/