Great Eccleston Lodge No 8895 held a ‘family, friends and gentlemen to dine’ evening at Wyrebank, Garstang, which superbly showcased many of the attributes of Freemasonry and undoubtedly left a positive impression on the many non-Masons present.
The attendance in the lodge meeting itself was swelled by a fraternal visit of brethren from St Michael’s-on-Wyre Lodge No 8348 and after the business was concluded with skilful alacrity by WM John Nelson the brethren eagerly joined their guests in the Wyrebank bar before taking their places in the superb banqueting suite.
John welcomed everyone and explained some of the principles of Freemasonry, saying that one of the main ones – charity – would be exemplified by presentations made by the lodge later in the evening.
Following a superb meal, immediate past master Stuart Mowbray took the microphone to present cheques to some of the charities and good causes favoured by the funds raised during his year in office.
First up was Len Wiseman of Garstang Scouts followed by Amy Holland of Garstang Girl Guides who both gave an excellent and interesting resume of the work they do with young people in the community.
Stuart explained that sometimes charity has to begin at home and the Masonic meeting place in Garstang needs constant care to continue to maintain the very high standard of accommodation, not only for Masonic use, but as a first class venue for weddings and other functions. He was therefore delighted to present a cheque to William Richmond, the Wyrebank treasurer, for the on-going refurbishment fund.
The final presentation was one which was literally close to Stuart’s heart. After suffering a heart attack he had cause to be eternally grateful for the work of Heartbeat in Preston and was proud to present a cheque to Michelle Hunt to help continue their valuable work.
Thanking Stuart and the lodge for their generosity Michelle briefly explained the work undertaken by the Heartbeat cardiac rehabilitation charity and how support such as that shown by Great Eccleston Lodge was essential to their continued operation.
Furthering the success of the evening in driving away the winter gloom was comedian Dusty Young who is one of the top Irish comedy speakers in the world. His gentle and typically Irish humour had everyone in fits of laughter and was a wonderful conclusion to a highly enjoyable evening.