Festival Launch


Last week saw the launch of the Surrey 2019 Festival for the RMBI at presentations held throughout the province at Masonic Halls in Croydon, Surbiton and Guildford.

The President, R.W.Bro Eric Stuart-Bamford – ProvGM, officially launched the Festival announcing a provisional target to raise 3.25 million over the next five years. While W.Bro Nick Parsons, Chair of Surrey’s Provincial Grand Charity Committee, rallied the delegates with the words, “The 2019 Festival starts right here, right now”.

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Over three days members of the Festival Committee explained the aims and various ways to get involved and donate to over 580 attendees from 214 lodges, 66 chapters and a number of associated organisations. Its Chair, Ian Chandler, gave a heartfelt insight into reasons why it was so important to support this worthy appeal and urged members to become Festival Stewards.

Croydon Launch

He was followed by Provincial Charity Stewards from both the Craft and Royal Arch, W.Bro Paul Crockett and E.Comp Rob Shephard, who fielded questions from the audience.The presentations also included a section on the workings and scope of the RMBI delivered by VW.Bro James Newman – RMBI President, W.Bro John Reuter – Dep.President, W.Bro Christopher Head – Executive Director of Finance and David Innes – Chef Executive. An interesting insight into the Institution’s funding and the way money is apportioned and spent, with particular reference to Surrey.

Fruitful discussions continued after the presentations finished in less formal settings over buffets and drinks, allowing more individual and specific questions to be asked and answered.

It says something about the Province that so far Brethren and Companions have already signed up and shown their participation with 118 of them becoming Festival Stewards, 67 Vice-Patrons, 55 Patrons and 50 Grand Patrons.

The launch can be summed up by the Festival’s motto, “Committed to Caring”, it’s a chance for the Province of Surrey to do just that.