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Northamptonshire & Huntingdonshire support 151st MBF Festival Celebrations

The 151stAnniversary Festival of The Mark Benevolent Fund was hosted by the Mark Province of Sussex under the Presidency of R.W.Bro. Martin Wilson, Provincial Grand Master, at Brighton on Saturday 6thJuly 2019.

The Festival Dinner was held at the Hilton Brighton Metropole Hotel on Brighton seafront and following the banquet, R.W.Bro. Ryan Williams, Grand Secretary, announced to a packed dining room of over 900 brethren that the 151stFestival had raised a magnificent sum of £1,352,563.  

Our Province was very well represented by Provincial Grand Master, R.W.Bro. Robert Stokes together with Past Provincial Grand Master, R.W.Bro. George Bonham, W.Bro. Brian Elliott, W.Bro. Barry Weigleb, W.Bro. David Balmer and W.Bro. Alan Valentine with their wives Marilyn, Avril, Jane, Susan, Joan and Bennie.

In his toast to the Festival President, R.W.Bro. Dr. John Wright, President of the MBF, congratulated Sussex on their wonderful achievement which had been supported by donations from other Mark Provinces across the country and other masonic orders within Sussex.  I replying, Festival President, Martin Wilson, praised the efforts of all those involved over the ten year period and thanked everyone for attending and supporting Sussex Province.

Earlier in the day we had spent free time in Brighton, including for some a tour of the historic Brighton Pavilion.  Others took a “flight” on the British Airways i360 giant glass viewing pod which, rising to 450 feet above Brighton’s shoreline, gives superb viewing of the city and surrounding South Downs.

The 152ndFestival is to be hosted by the Mark Province of Kent under the Presidency of the Provincial Grand Master, R.W.Bro. Archie Torrance and will be held on Saturday 13thJune 2020 at the Kent Showground, Maidstone. Details of venue, hotels and costs etc., will be forthcoming but in the meantime if any brethren within Northants & Hunts Mark Province wish to attend please contact W.Bro. Barry Weigleb as soon as possible to register their interest.  Barry is contactable by email on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.and telephone 01933 224836.

WBro Brian Elliott


Brethren and Ladies from N&H attending the 151stMBF Festival Dinner at Brighton

L to r: W.Bro. Alan Valentine, R.W.Bro. George Bonham, Mrs Bennie Valentine, Mrs Avril Bonham, W.Bro. Brian Elliott, Mrs Jane Elliott, R.W.Bro. Bob Stokes, Mrs Marilyn Stokes, W.Bro. Barry Weigleb, Mrs. Susan Weigleb, Mrs. Joan Balmer and W.Bro. David Balmer.

The Festival Dinner held in the Oxford Suite, Hilton Metropole Hotel



Presentation to St. John Ambulance of an ambulance support vehicle – 1st December 2018

Immediately after the Provincial RAM Assembly at Corby on Saturday 1st December a presentation of an ambulance support vehicle was made to representatives of St.John Ambulance by the Provincial Grand Master, R.W.Bro. Bob Stokes.

l to r: Alan Boaden– Chairman of the Northamptonshire County Priory Group, St.John Ambulance, Peter Castle - St.John AmbulanceR.W.BroBob Stokes– ProvGM,

W.Bro. Brian Elliott– DepProvGM

The Northamptonshire vehicle is one of over 50 mobile treatment centres, ambulances and support vehicles which are being handed over in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands in a phased programme from October 2018 to early 2019.


The vehicles have been secured by a capital grant by the Mark Benevolent Fund of over £3M to the Order of St.John with the specific aim of providing new vehicles to the operational arm of the Order, St.John Ambulance.

The Northamptonshire vehicle will be put to use at events in the county as volunteers deliver life saving first aid to members of the public.

At the handover ceremony, Provincial Grand Master, R.W.Bro. Bob Stokes said “18 years ago the MBF carried out a similar exercise donating vehicles in every county so that the charity could continue its life saving mission.  We look forward to continuing our long relationship with St.John Ambulance and the Order of St.John over the coming decades and sincerely hope that this vehicle will provide many years of service for the Northamptonshire volunteers”

In reply Alan Boaden, Chair of the Northamptonshire County Priory Group said “The donation of this vehcicle is wonderful news for both counties and will significantly help enhance patient care and contribute to more lives saved locally.  We are immensely grateful to the Mark Master Masons of the Province of Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire and to the Mark Benevolent Fund for their generosity and we look forward to seeing the positive use made by local St.John Ambulance volunteers in the future as they continue the charity’s life saving mission”

Before presenting the keys of the support vehicle vehicle to Peter Castle, the Provincial Grand Master called upon W.Bro. Rev’d Tony Avery, the Provincial Grand Chaplain who then delivered a dedication address and blessed the vehicle. 

Brian Elliott


Photos: Ian McLachlan/Darren Coleman

l to r: Peter Castle - St.John Ambulance, Darren Coleman– MBF Charities and Communications Co-Ordinator, R.W.Bro Bob Stokes– ProvGM, W.Bro. Brian Elliott– DepProvGM, W.Bro. Richard Bedells– ProvGDC and W.Bro. Rev’d Tony Avery– Provincial Grand Chaplain.


150th Anniversary of the Formation of the Mark Benevolent Association




On Saturday 15thSeptember the Mark Benevolent Fund celebrated its 150th year at a wonderful Thanksgiving Service at Lincoln’s Inn Chapel on Saturday in the presence of M.W. Bro. H.R.H. Prince Michael of Kent, GCVO, Grand Master and Grand President of the Fund. The service commemorated the anniversary of our Order’s unique and amazing Charity and celebrated the first 150 years of its outstanding achievement.






    W.Bro. Brian Bell with the Charities Manager, WBro. Darren Coleman 







At a reception after the service the Grand Master spent time meeting all of those who have made a difference, listening with intent to their stories of support to the Mark Benevolent Fund.






                             The Grand Master in discussion with the Provincial Grand Charity Steward, W.Bro.Brian Bell.




Representing the Northants & Hunts Mark Province, the event was attended by the Provincial Grand Charity Steward, W.Bro.Brian Bell and his good lady, Margaret; they were accompanied by the Provincial Assistant Grand Charity Steward, W.Bro.Jeff Chambers and his partner Jenny.

They, and many other Provincial Grand Charity Stewards were invited as a thank you for all the work they have put in to help continue the Fund’s huge success.





The Provincial Grand Charity Steward, W.Bro. Brian Bell and his wife Margaret accompanied by the Provincial Assistant Grand Charity Steward, W.Bro.Jeff Chambers and his partner Jenny.


Presentation of a new vehicle to St John's Ambulance to take place at Provincial RAM Assembly on 1st December

The Provincial Grand Master is both pleased and proud to announce, that after the Provincial Royal Ark Mariner Assembly on Saturday 1st December a St. John's Ambulance support vehicle will be dedicated and handed over to that organisation for use in Northamptonshire. Funded by the Mark Benevolent Fund the vehicle will carry the emblem of  the MBF and the name of this Mark Province.

The Provincial Grand Master very much hopes that you and your partner will be able to witness the handover which is scheduled to take place 12:10.  After the presentation you are also cordially invited to join the  brethren of the Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariner and their partners for Lunch. The cost of which is £18 per person. (Please return the attached application form for lunch from the link below with your cheque to the Provincial Grand Deputy Secretary) 
This new vehicles is just one of the 52 vehicles which have been secured thanks to a capital grant by the Mark Benevolent Fund to the Order of St John. The donation of over £3 million is providing new ambulances, treatment centres and support vehicles to St John Ambulance. The remainder of the vehicles are being handed over in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands in a phased programme throughout 2018.

MBF hands over first 4 of 52 ambulances to St John Ambulance


MBF hands over first 4 of 52 ambulances to St John Ambulance 


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