Despite the pandemic and not having attended a meeting since February 2020, the Freemasons of the Redhall Masonic Lodge in Ballycarry have recorded a record breaking year for fundraising.
Raising an impressive £3400, the money was shared out between both masonic and non-masonic charities. Worshipful Master W. Bro Ross Hawkins says;
“last year was a struggle for many and I did not want the pandemic to see those we normally support fall by the wayside, as Freemasons, charitable work is at the very heart of what we stand for and my first thought was for the widows that every year we send a gift and card to let them know they are in our thoughts – this is an important project that Freemasons do across the globe and I didn’t want our widows to miss out, especially at a time when loneliness and isolation were so prominent.
“We organised a fundraising hamper and were delighted to discover that it was one of our largest ever amounts raised by our lodge, the generosity and kindness shown by the brethren, their families and friends demonstrates that even in the midst of a pandemic, the core workings of our order always goes that one step further to help those most in need. I am truly grateful for everyone that helped make this happen.’
With such a large amount raised, the Redhall Freemasons were able to allocate funds beyond their original plan and a further 4 charitable organisations received funds also.
RNLI was one such benefactor, with a history of seafarers as members, this is a charity which is very close to the hearts of the Red Hall Masons;
Alan Dorman from RNLI, wishes to thank the Redhall Freemasons for their tremendous and ongoing support;
“The Freemasons normally host an Easter breakfast event which raises funds for us, obviously this was not to happen and as with all other charities, our fundraising efforts were a real struggle as no-one could host events – this donation was a lifeline to RNLI which relies on such donations to survive. During the pandemic many more people were enjoying the local beaches and shores and this has been one of our busiest times for our volunteers. We are forever grateful that organisations such the Freemasons help to keep our boats on the water saving lives.
Local Charity, Hope House in Brownsbay, which provides accommodation to cancer patients and their carers and allows them time to rest and recuperate.
Dawn McConnel from Hope House said of the donation;
“We are forever grateful to the local Freemasons for thinking of us during this time, we have been undergoing an extension to the premises so we can provide more people with the care they need and this donation has been a great help towards that.”
W.Bro Hawkins would like to thank all those that helped make this work and went above and beyond to pull the whole operation together. He comments:
“Charity work lies deep within the hearts of all our Redhall members and it goes to show that during this pandemic our members have been willing to pull out the stops to make sure our great charity work continues.
“Since joining Redhall in 2011 I have met many great people and made many friendships along the way. The generosity and work of our members sometimes goes unnoticed and I think every member of Redhall should be especially proud of this great achievement. It makes me very proud to be a member of the Masonic order and I am especially proud to be a member of Redhall a lodge in which 4 generations of my family have been members.
“Redhall has a great fraternal membership with new members coming through the ranks and I look forward to the day that we can get back to our regular meetings so we can share the friendship, and brotherly love we all crave.”
Redhall Masonic lodge shared the funds between non-masonic charities; RNLI, Macmillan, Hope House and masonic charities; Widows Fund, Victoria Jubilee Fund and the lodge building fund.
To find out more about Freemasonry and the amazing work they do or to find your local lodge please visit www.pglantrim.org.