Air raid at the Palace

There was nothing more distinctive at many a South Fylde meeting than the brother with the ponytail tinkling the ivories to add harmony to the meetings. That brother is Tony Jenkins of Lytham Lodge No 6915 who’s distinctive ‘Barnet’ was known throughout the lodges of the Fylde Coast.

The ponytail in all its glory.

The ponytail in all its glory.

Of late, Tony has been a tad unwell due to his battle with cancer, for which he will soon be undergoing chemotherapy, a remedy not known to be kind to the follicularly gifted. However, Tony is made of sterner stuff than that and decided to put his misfortune to valuable use by offering to have his signature ponytail professionally removed. He therefore invited brethren and their families to sponsor this event in aid of charity.

The venue for the event was the Palace at St Anne’s, where a lively little gathering assembled to witness the grand shearing. Presiding over the scissors was Sally Low, wife of the master of Fairhaven Lodge No 5076 Philip Low. Master of the plastic sheet was Tom Goodier, almoner of Lytham Lodge and ensuring order was maintained was master of Lodge of Triumph No 1061 John Topping.

With surgical precision Sally Low sliced through the follicular appendage and the end of an era was signalled. After this Sally gave Tony a spruce modern hair-do to which he quipped: “It certainly feels different!”

The appeal raised the sum of £605 to be shared by the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity and Blue Skies Hospital Fund which supports Blackpool Victoria Hospital, a sum that Chairman of South Fylde Group Ian Ward described as: “Quite remarkable and in keeping with Tony’s generous nature.”

Left inset: Sally prepares to cut. Main picture: The ponytail is going. Right inset: Sally shakes it all about.

Left inset: Sally prepares to cut. Main picture: The ponytail is going. Right inset: Sally shakes it all about.

Master of Lytham Lodge Nick Moon, who has been involved in the event from the start, paid tribute to Tony’s effort by describing him as: “Very brave and very gracious.” Everyone wished Tony the best of luck with his struggle back to good health.