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Order of Women Freemasons' Lodges around the country have recently been having fun whilst raising money for their chosen charities. Each year the Master of each Lodge can choose a charity of her choice to raise money for – quite often this is a charity close to her heart or a local charity in her area. Members of all ages and backgrounds, often along with friends and family, attend these events which also provide opportunities to strength and make long-life friendships. Just some of the fundraising events in June have included: 
Members of the Isle of Wight Lodge were busy arranging a number of charity fundraising events. They, along with family and friends, enjoyed fun and friendship at a ploughman’s lunch and coffee morning. Both events raised fabulous amounts for charity. 
Further north in Luton members of the Order’s Luton lodge had a great time with friends old and new at a barbeque organised by the Master of the Lodge and her husband. They turned their garden into happy memories of the Jubilee and Coronation. Through the generosity of everyone who attended a wonderful amount was raised for charity. 
To raise money for their chosen charity Faversham Abbey Lodge in Kent hosted an afternoon cream tea - scones, strawberry jam, cream and cakes were in abundance whilst members of all the OWF Norfolk and Suffolk Lodges joined together to raise money for their charities at a joint Sunday luncheon. Again - all raising money for charity. 
Click here to see the list of charities supported by lodges in 2022/23. 
Members of The Order of Women Freemasons were proud, honoured and priviledged to be invited to march in the London Gay Pride Parade on 1st July representing The Order of Women Freemasons, United Grand Lodge of England and Freemasons around the world. It was the first pride parade where they marched together and what a celebration it was!  
Our members said of the day "The fellow Freemasons we met were admirable in their respect and unity over common values. It was truly an honour to participate – we are pround to be LGBTQ+ and even more so proud to be freemasons". 
Over 300 members of the Order of Women Freemasons recently gathered in Cardiff for the annual Enthronement Meeting of the Most Worshipful Grand Master Zuzanka Daniella Penn. 
Despite the national train strike members from all over United Kingdom attended and some flew in from South Africa. The weekend, as always, was a happy occasion where members met up with old friends and made new ones. 
The Order of Women Freemasons is the oldest and largest Masonic organisation for women in the country with over 300 Lodges and works on the lines of regular male Freemasonry. It was born as the Honourable Order of Antient Masonry in 1908 and on 5th June at a meeting in Notting Hill Gate eleven men and women constituted themselves into a Grand Lodge with Dr Reverend Cobb as the first Grand Master.  
The Order’s first Grand Master, William Cobb, was the Rector of St Ethelburga-the-Virgin within Bishopsgate for over 40 years. He was an Anglo-Catholic and had a deep interest in the principles of natural law and equality. A controversial figure, he held services based on the revised 1928 prayer book and conducted marriages which omitted the words ‘obey’ and ‘serve’ and was willing to marry divorced people provided they were the innocent party. He worked on behalf of the women’s sufferage movement and in the field of marriage and divorce law reform. He became a co-mason in 1905 and was also a member of United Grand Lodge of England. 
William Cobb served as Grand master for four years and was succeeded by Marion Halsey since which time all of our Grand Masters have been women.  
Now in her 12th year as Grand Master, Most Worshipful Bro Penn continues to successfully guide the Order through the challenges of the 21st century. 
The Order of Women Freemasons signed the Armed Services Covenant at a ceremony held at their headquarters in Notting Hill Gate on 21 March 2023, led by Zuzanka Penn, the head of the Order of Women Freemasons (OWF). 
Zuzanka was joined by two Chelsea Pensioners and members of the Order with Military connections. By signing the Armed Forces Covenant, the Order of Women Freemasons will be able to demonstrate its support to members of the Armed Forces in several areas. 
The Order of Women Freemasons has many connections with the Military through its members, who, over the years, have included Lady Dorothy Haig, who set up the Lady Haig Poppy factory in Scotland to give financial assistance to ex-soldiers and the Royal British Legion. Also, Dame Florence Burleigh Leach, CBE, who founded the Women’s Legion, and who enabled the Women’s Volunteer Reserve (WVR) to be accessible to women from all classes of society. In 1917, she oversaw the WVR move into the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps, among others. 
Mrs Penn said: “It is my great pleasure to sign the Armed Forces Covenant on behalf of the Order of Women Freemasons. This document represents our ongoing commitment to supporting active and retired military personnel. We are proud of our long-standing relationship with the Armed Forces and will continue to promote their welfare, support, and respect amongst all our members.” 
The OWF was honoured to have Air Commodore Perkins with them on this memorable occasion. Air Commodore Perkins signed on behalf of the Ministry of Defence, thanked the Order of Women Freemasons for supporting the Armed Services community and said that their pledges welcomed all Armed Forces Community members into their organisation. 
They also recognised their skills and commitment, acknowledging the valuable contribution they can make and supporting the flexibility of membership due to mobilisations and deployment for serving personnel and their families. 
Consecretated in March 1963, Lodge Offa No. 159 in Leamington Spa, has this weekend celebrated its 60th Anniversary. The members were honoured and delighted to receive The Grand Master, Most Worshipful Brother Zuzanka Penn who attended the ceremony and festive board afterwards. 
Keeping it in the family, the new Master of the Lodge Offa is pictured below with her very proud 93 year old mother, a member of the Lodge. 
The Order of Women Freemasons Grand Charitable Trust has announced the Order's support for those affected by the Turkey and Syria earthquake with a donation of £50,000 which will be sent to the Disasters Emergency Committee Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal. 
Our members' thoughts and prayers are with the people of Turkey and Syria who have been affected in so many dreadful ways by the earthquake. 
The Order of Women Freemasons has recently donated £25,000 to the Stroke Association. 
During Queen Elizabeth's 75th Platinum Jubilee Year members of the Order of Women Freemasons voted to support the Stroke Association of which The Queen was Patron. Lodges throughout the United Kingdom and Spain held fundraising events which included skydiving, cycling challenges, afternoon tea parties, raffles and dinner dances. 
During a period of five months Lodges raised over £16,500 and together with funds from the Order's Grand Charitable Trust the total sum sent to the Stroke Association was an amazing £25,000. 
The Stroke Association supports people to rebuild their lives after a stroke providing specialist support, fund critical research and campaign to make sure they receive the very best care and support to rebuild their lives. Many members of the Order of Women Freemasons or members of their family and friends are grateful for the support they have received when needed. 
"My husband suffered a stroke 12 years ago and the Stroke Association wer extremely supportive during his recovery" - Liz 
"I had a stroke in 2012 and subsequently TIA' and the Stroke Association has been both supportive and informative. Thank you" - Denise 
Charity is always at the forefront of a Freemason's mind. This was certainly the case for our member, Nina, who recently participated in a sponsored skydiving event. Nina raised more than £1200 for The Stroke Association, a national charity of which Queen Elizabeth II was Patron and which the Order of Women Freemasons is supporting during the Platinum Jubilee Year. 
Members of The Order of Women Freemasons join the nation in mourning the passing of Her Majesty. 
The Order of Women Freemasons has once again been invited by the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) to participate in the London Open House event on 10th and 11th September between 10am and 5pm. 
This is a perfect opportunity to see inside Freemasons Hall, United Grand Lodge of England's beautiful and magnificent art-deco building on Great Queen Street - the superb mosaics in the Grand Lodge Temple are not to be missed! 
During your visit come and say hello to our members who are there informing the general public about women's freemasonry. 
Click here for information on the London Open House event at United Grand Lodge of England. 
Photo: inside Freemasons Hall, United Grand Lodge of England 
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