A princely sum for charity

Great Eccleston Lodge No 8895 held a very successful and enjoyable charity evening at Wyrebank, Garstang, when brethren, gentlemen, wives, partners and friends came together to celebrate the lodge’s annual disbursement of donations to charity and good causes.

Bernard Snape (right) gratefully accepts a cheque from Andrew Keith on behalf of Wyrebank.

Bernard Snape (right) gratefully accepts a cheque from Andrew Keith on behalf of Wyrebank.

Assembling in the Wyrebank Banqueting Suite after a short lodge meeting, almost 80 diners enjoyed a superb banquet before WM Andrew Keith announced that during the year immediate past master John Nelson had been in office more than £4,000 had been raised for both Masonic and non-Masonic charities and good causes. Andrew was also delighted to introduce representatives from four of the main recipients of lodge donations.

First was Sue Swire of the Alzheimer’s Society who was presented with a cheque in the sum of £1,000. Sue explained that although the society was a national charity the generous donation would be used locally to further their important work. She warmly thanked the lodge in particular and Freemasonry in general for their caring and ongoing support.

Next to be called forward by Andrew was Bernard Snape representing the directors of Wyrebank, who was very pleased to receive a cheque for £500 for the property refurbishment fund. Bernard said that in addition to providing a Masonic facility for the local brethren, Wyrebank was also a very valuable community asset and it was extremely important that the buildings, fixtures and décor were maintained at a very high standard.

Geoff Hogarth was presented with a cheque by Andrew for the Young Inskip People Group. Young Inskip People is a well-established club for young people in the village of Inskip. Affiliated to Lancashire Boys and Girls Clubs, it now meets in a dedicated facility located in the centre of the village and provides activities and organised learning for juniors and older youths including outings such as canoeing.

Local young people were also very much to the fore with donations being made to Becky Davenport of Garstang Girl Guides and Len Wiseman of Garstang Scouts. Both Becky and Len explained some of the activities their groups provide and the funding challenges they face and expressed great appreciation for the ongoing support shown by Great Eccleston Lodge.

Following the presentations everyone settled down to a session of great entertainment and comedy by Norman Prince, who has been involved in the ‘World of Entertainment’ for over 40 years! After leaving the hugely popular Houghton Weavers Folk Group, of which he was the leader and front man for 24 years, he has spent the past 14 years as a comedian, compere, radio presenter, singer/musician and general all-round entertainer, and is now established as a regular ‘guest comedian’ for the P&O Cruise Line, entertaining passengers from Bolton to Boston, from Queensland to Quebec, and all points in between.

However, on this occasion it was the guests of Great Eccleston Lodge who benefitted from Norman’s fantastic repertoire and superb humour and everyone was highly delighted to show their appreciation.

Andrew Keith presenting cheques to, from left to right: Sue Swire of the Alzheimer’s Society, Len Wiseman of Garstang Scouts, Becky Davenport of Garstang Girl Guides and Young Inskip People representative Geoff Hogarth.

Andrew Keith presenting cheques to, from left to right: Sue Swire of the Alzheimer’s Society, Len Wiseman of Garstang Scouts, Becky Davenport of Garstang Girl Guides and Young Inskip People representative Geoff Hogarth.