Local charities benefit from 50th anniversary celebration

Valentine’s Day is a time when couples traditionally show affection for each other and give gifts.  However on this special day at O’Brien’s Tea Rooms at Ormskirk Masonic Hall, Aughton Lodge No 7996 hosted a charity cheque presentation event as part of their golden celebrations.

Frank Umbers addresses the guests.

Frank Umbers addresses the guests.

A very warm welcome was extended to the guests and representatives of the various charities by DC Ian Tupling, followed by John Wotton with a brief history of the lodge and the fundraising over the past five years which had led to this event.

Frank Umbers, Ormskirk and District Group Chairman, then presented a chronological history of Freemasonry in England, mentioning in particular the Province of West Lancashire where there are 10,000 Masons within 360 individual lodges, of which the Ormskirk Group has 400 members and 13 lodges. He also pointed out how proud he and the membership were of the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, which is the largest charity outside of the Grand Charity administered in London, stating that in one year it had given to Masonic and non-Masonic charities the incredible amount of £750,000. This money was raised solely by Freemasons and he pointed out that the administration of the charity is undertaken by volunteers who do not receive any remuneration for their efforts.

After his very informative talk Frank had the pleasure of presenting the first cheque to West Lancs Positive Living for £500. This charity is a supported living organisation for adults with learning disabilities; a family-led, not for profit organisation.

Frank then introduced WM Chris Cullen, who was delighted on behalf of the members to complete the presentations. Further cheques were then presented to the following good causes. £500 to Summerhill Primary School Maghull to be used for refurbishment in the kitchen of the reception classroom. £500 to The Alfie Lund Fund; this charity raises money for specialist equipment to meet therapy needs and to give Alfie a more comfortable life and to raise awareness of MECP2 Duplication syndrome.

Chris then presented £500 to Timesavers; an organisation that helps train people with learning disabilities to gain skills to apply for jobs in an office base work environment. £400 to Queenscourt Hospice Southport; providing palliative care for the people of Southport, Formby and West Lancashire.

Further donations included £500 to Burscough St John’s Primary School towards purchasing a large fish tank and £400 to Claire House Children’s Hospice which provides end-of-life care for children and young adults with life limiting medical conditions.

The money presented on the day totalled the magnificent amount of £3,300 and at their celebratory meeting in January a total of £4,800 was also given; £3,000 to West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, £1,000 to Friends of Tithebarn, £500 to Ormskirk Masonic Hall Building Fund and £300 to Dominic Nee.  Dominic was employed by the caterers of the Masonic hall and has taken time out to visit India to assist in helping people with HIV. The money given was to part fund his equipment costs and to help him achieve his ambition.

The event was rounded-off with everyone enjoying a delicious afternoon tea.

Pictured top left: Ian Tupling welcomes everyone, top right: Chris Cullen presents Alfie with cheque and bottom right lodge members and recipients with Frank Umbers (right).

Pictured top left: Ian Tupling welcomes everyone, top right: Chris Cullen presents Alfie with cheque and bottom right lodge members and recipients with Frank Umbers (right).