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Nottinghamshire Masons, the MCF and the Widows Sons donate £10200 to Nottinghamshire Blood Bikes

Nottinghamshire Freemasons have been instrumental in the purchase of a new Nottinghamshire Blood Bikes motorcycle, which was on display at the Nottingham Ice Arena during a presentation event to commemorate the saving of over £1 million to the NHS.


Nottinghamshire Blood Bikers are purely a volunteer group of motorcycle enthusiasts, who give up their own time, so that lives may be saved by transporting blood products and human tissue across the county.




At the presentation, the Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Councilor Carole McCulloch gave a speech, outlining the tremendous savings that Blood Bikes are able to provide to the National Health Service.






In essence, every pound spent by the Blood Bikes works out as the equivalent of £8 saved by the NHS.


The chairman of the Provincial Charity Committee Worshipful Brother John Paul Pawlik, was on hand to present a cheque for £5000 which when combined with the £5000 matched funding from the Masonic Charitable Foundation, applied for by the Provence enabled the purchase of a brand new Motorcycle.


The new Masonic Provincial Plaque, fresh from the printer, was presented to the Charity by Worshipful Brother Peter Dyson a member of the PCC committee.





President of the Nottinghamshire Widows Son Masonic Bikers Federation, Worshipful Brother Richard Wheelhouse and Vice President Brother Dale Sinclair, were on hand to complete the Masonic Charitable Contributions by presenting a donation of £200.


The positive impact that Freemasons make in our Provence, continues to expand, making a difference to those in need.


John P Pawlik

Chairman of the Nottinghamshire Provincial Charity Committee




The Widows Sons & Nottinghamshire Chapter



Who are we?

Quite simply we are all Master Masons with a passion for motor bikes and Freemasonry. We are a Masonic Bikers Association.


What are we or more to the point what aren’t we?

As a whole group we are not a Lodge, a Royal Arch Chapter, or a Conclave, we are simply a group of like-minded Freemasons who have formed an Association now known as THE WIDOWS SONS MASONIC BIKERS ASSOCIATION (WSMBA). We are the only Motorcycle Association recognised and approved of by UGLE.


What we do?

We Meet as Freemasons and we Ride Motorcycles as Brothers AND IF WE CAN RAISE MONEY FOR CHARITY & HAVE FUN, THEN WE HAVE HAD A GOOD DAY.


Let’s start with a short History of the Widows Sons


History


The Origins:


The Widows Sons originated in the United States of America in 1998 with the first group (in biking circles known as a ‘Chapter’) being organised and chartered in Illinois.


It was, and still is in the USA, called the Widows Sons Masonic Riders Association. Originally formed for Motorcycling Masons to raise charitable funds for widows and orphans.


There are now some 170 Chapters across 40 States of the USA with a membership of over 15,000, with Ohio alone having over 700 members. There are more members in ‘Chapters’ in Canada, Brazil, The Philippines, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, & Italy. All Master Masons, all motorcyclists. Truly a Brotherhood of Bikers within the Brotherhood of Freemasonry.


SO ….Widows Sons in the UK:


In 2004 after due enquiries and investigations with our American Brothers a charter was issued by the Florida Chapter of the US Widows Sons Masonic Riders Association to form the first Widows Sons Masonic Riders Association in the UK.


The first group of 5 like-minded Freemasons met in room 7, at Provincial Grand Lodge, Goldsmith Street, in Nottingham in June 2004 and formed the first UK Chapter then known as the National Chapter of the Widows Sons England, using the by-Laws provided by the Florida Chapter.


These By-Laws where soon re-written to be more aligned with ‘Grand Lodge type By-laws’ and changing the name to Masonic Bikers to distinguish us from our American Brothers, and to fit in with our aims of raising money for Charity in general, as the American By-laws required money raised and to be used solely for widows and orphans, as the USA has limited Social Welfare available.


Immediately the word started to spread and our membership grew, by 2009 we had more than enough members to form 4 new Chapters around the UK, two of these were the North East Chapter, and North West Chapter, both these Chapters are still going strong today with the NW Chapter being the largest in England with over 60 members and as many associate members, non-masons, partners wives etc.


Since 2009 membership has increased year on year at around 17% with a growth rate far in excess of Freemasonry in general. Today nearly every Province in the UK is represented as well districts overseas such as Gibraltar, Portugal and Holland.


A Presidents Governing Board was created which administers and governs all Widows Sons Masonic Bikers Association (WSMBA) of England & Wales and its Districts Overseas. Scotland has its own Charter and is still know as Masonic Riders Association. As per the accords in the original Charter that was issued by Florida once the PGB was formed, we were now an independent and self-governing entity, totally independent from the USA. Although close links are still maintained with our American brothers.


The original National Chapter formed in Nottinghamshire was swallowed up and eventually was no longer part of the Widows Sons.


In 2014 Nottinghamshire again had some representation as part of the East Midlands Chapter. East Mids grew to such a size that in 2023 it split into 3 Chapters representing Leicestershire and Rutland, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. Therefore, the Widows Sons had returned to it’s Birthplace in the UK.


Our Goals


What Are Our Goals:


· Introduce the pleasures of motorcycling to our Masonic Brothers.

· Raise Masonic awareness in the world of motorcycling.

· Support our Regular Masonic Lodges through regular attendance and visits, assisting with or attending meetings and Lodge events and bringing new initiates into Freemasonry.


So, how do we achieve this?


1. To introduce the pleasures of motorcycling to our Masonic Brothers.


We invite as many Masons as possible who are already motorcyclists or who have an interest in them, to come and join us.


This can be achieved by visiting Lodges, having stands at local events, particularly those with a leaning to motorcycles and generally get out and about in the public domain.


It was surprising just how many Masons are unaware of who we are and what we do.


Just by being out there gets us noticed and questions ask. We have turned bikers into Mason & Masons into bikers.


Most Chapters meet at least once a month, mostly at the weekend. In the Summer months ride outs will take place. Nottinghamshire also hold midweek natter nights hels on the second Tuesday of the month at the Wheelhouse pub in Wollaton, where events will be planned, and members updated on what is going on locally and nationally. During the Winter most bikers put their bikes into hibernation as a protection against the salt on the roads. However, this doesn’t prevent us from meeting, and we continue to have monthly meetings that generally involve a full English breakfast.


2. Raise Masonic Awareness in the world of motorcycling.


Our Chapter has an associate support group which is open for membership to anyone with an interest in Motorcycles and raising money for Charity, many wives, girlfriends and family are members of this group. This makes the Widows Sons very inclusive and I believe is a major contributing factor to it’s success.


3. Support for our own Lodges.


We regularly attend our members own Craft Lodges either individually or as a group, if possible, particularly at a Raising as that is when they become eligible to become a Widows Son. At these events we would ask the Worshipful Master permission to wear our cuts at the Festive Board and even present the new member with his Chapter and WSMBA patches. We also attend the Lodges of other Widows Sons Chapters across the country.


4. We Raise Money for Charity.


Nationally we raised the following amounts:


2016 - 2017 raised around £80,000 (we had around 550 members)


2017 - 2018 £…100,000


2018 - 2019 £162,000 around 900 members


2020 – 2021 Majority was in Lock Down


2022 – 2023 £144,308


Many National as well as local Charities have benefited from help by the Widows Sons.


Lifelites have just received £10,000 (January 2023) from the Widows Sons MBA and we are now Platinum Donors for the Charity for Children with Limited Lives.


Notts Widows Sons have only just started with Charitable giving. So far we have organised an Easter Egg Run from Goldsmith Street to Fountaindale School.


We have just started to run a food box scheme at local hospitals for parents of children that are kept in overnight, when food and drink is not readily available.


We have donated £200 to Blood Bikes,(This event), £200 to Biker Mental Health First Aid, and £220 to a local Guide group.


How Do I Join or Become Involved.

I hear you ask…….!


It is easy to join, the criteria is simple – you must be a Master Mason in good standing with your Lodge and ride a motorcycle.

Contact our Secretary at secretary@notts.wsmba.uk for an application form or pop along to a natter night at the Wheelhouse pub, Wollaton, 19:00 to 21:00.


Come along to 3 ride outs, or social functions with the Chapter. If you like us and we like you then you will be invited to join.


For Notts it costs £35 to join the Widows Sons with annual dues currently set at £10.


Associates can join for £5 a year and Juniors are free.


Richard Wheelhouse ,President of the Nottinghamshire Widows Son Masonic Bikers Federation





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