Making Good Men Better

PGM re-lays the foundation stone at UH Coventry

Wednesday, 6 November, 2013

In 1937, a foundation stone was laid with full masonic ceremony at Coventry and Warwickshire Hospital by the then Provincial Grand Master, former Coventry Mayor and JP, Col Sir William Fitzthomas Wyley. When the old hospital was knocked down, the foundation stone was recovered through the efforts of Mr Haydn Burgwn of the University Hospital, the late W Bro Rodney Pitham and, more recently, V W Bro Victor Keene.

Today's ceremony was an unusual and symbolic service that re-sited the foundation stone in the Faith Centre garden at the new University Hospital in Coventry, marketing seven decades of healthcare in Coventry.

The Provincial Charity Steward, W Bro John Hayward reports:

"In a specially written service, entitled 'A Symbolic Re-Laying of the Foundation Stone of the old Coventry and Warwickshire Hospital', the Stone was symbolically re-laid by the present Provincial Grand Master, R W Bro David Macey, accompanied by a procession of the members of the Provincial Management Team dressed in their regalia, together with prominent members of the Hospital and Province. All present witnessed the application of a silver trowel to the stone during an address by the PGM, and a blessing by the Provincial Grand Chaplain, W Bro John Cowan.

"The service commenced with a welcome from the Hospital’s lead Chaplain, Rev Simon Betteridge, and included a reading by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, W Bro Michael Morris, together with a blessing by the Chaplain of the Faith Centre, Mr Mahashi Shrimani, accompanied throughout by music from the Provincial Grand Organist, W Bro Peter Summers. Present were many Acting Provincial Officers, associates of the Hospital, and Masters of Lodges in the Coventry area.

"At the conclusion of the ceremony, the PGM presented a cheque for £1,000 to Rev Betteridge, to be used for the Faith Centre and garden. In closing, the PGM expressed his thanks to all concerned, particularly W Bro John Cowan and especially to the Provincial Grand Secretary, W Bro Chris Rogers for his work in preparing the service but who was unable to be present."

Chief Strategy Officer at UHCW NHS Trust David Moon said: "It is an honour for this stone, with its illustrious history, to be laid here at University Hospital.

"This stone shows how this remarkable relationship between the Masons, the hospitals, and the people of Coventry and Warwickshire that has remained, even with the introduction and changes to the NHS”.

The service was given full coverage by the local press.

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