It was an ordinary August day when John Stokoe of Temple Lodge set off from home to meet with fellow members of his Master’s Circle at Berkeley. But the day ended far from ordinary.
Francis Stephen (Frank) Creswell was initiated into Powell Lodge on 23 rd June 1941. He was installed as Worshipful Master in 1961 (Note: In those days even with natural progression it took 20 years to reach the Chair!). He became a founder member of Bristol Installed Masters Lodge in 1967 and was appointed Provincial Junior Grand Warden in 1976.
Frank was renowned for his distinctive booming voice as Lodge Chaplain and in delivering the Proclamation at Installation meetings. His experience as a chorister over many years at St Alban’s Church, Redland stood him in good stead to lead the singing of "The Sweet Nightingale” song at Lodge After Meetings. In 1991 the lodge presented Frank with a masonic gold watch to mark his 50 years in the Craft. Frank was still actively involved with the Lodge well into his nineties.
On his passing to the Grand Lodge Above at a Nursing Home in Almondsbury at the age of 98 in 1996, his personal effects, including his 50 Year watch, were passed to his brother in Hampshire. When he died the watch was passed on to his son, Peter – Frank’s nephew. Although not a mason himself he was anxious to learn of his Uncle Frank’s time and achievements in the Craft and in Powell Lodge and the Province of Bristol in particular.
Brethren, You are no doubt aware that the Government's Cobra Committee met yesterday to review and advise on the on-going Coronavirus situation. Additionally you should all have received an email today from the Grand Secretary, Dr David Staples, outlining UGLE's current recommendations. The Province of Bristol are taking the matter very seriously with the welfare of our members being paramount. As such a previously arranged meeting of it's own "Cobra" committee will be held on Monday, the outcome of which and any further recommendations will be advised to members of the Province on Tuesday.
Until then if you are feeling under the weather – stay at home and wait until you feel better and those over the age of 65 years old and those with hypertension, heart disease, lung disease or diabetes should not attend Lodge for the foreseeable future. Also please be extra vigilant in washing your hands. On arrival at Freemason’s Hall you should wash your hands – hot water and soap – and then repeat at least once more during the evening. Hand sanitizer can also be used.
Thank you brethren.
Jonathan M W Davis
Provincial Grand Master
Dear Brethren and Companions of the Province of Bristol
Last evening, we held an Emergency Crisis Committee meeting to discuss the impact of the Covid-19 virus on our activities. The committee looked at advice from UGLE, the Government and also applied a risk assessment based on the demographics of the membership in the Province. We formed the opinion that this a highly sensitive area for discussion with a large number of diverging views. However, in the light of the evidence under review and the potential risk to the lives of brethren, and their families, we have made the following determinations. Following that meeting, we are making the following statements and recommendations to Lodges and Chapters in the Province. These recommendations will be shared with the other Orders meeting in Freemasons’ Hall.
Brethren, I am sure that you will have already received huge amounts of information on the Corona Virus and this message is simply to offer two pieces of advice, for the benefit of us all.
The DLBs are leading with a new initiative that is underway in the Bristol (South West) area and creating a team of volunteers in the Bristol Province that can work as part of a wider UK scheme.