As the brethren decide to donate another £500 to them, the crew invited the brethren of the lodge to the lifeboat house to show them how the money is spent as a thank you to the lodge for the financial support they have given over the past few years. The WM Steve Kirkbride accompanied by 10 members of the lodge went along for a guided tour. All of the brethren were really impressed with an informative talk on the work and training undertaken by the volunteer crews, the machines, boats, quad bikes and drones they have at their disposal for undertaking rescues. The crew commit their time and effort freely, they receive no payment at all, and operate independently from the RNLI with no funding from the RNLI, or the government, but are used by the coastguard on a regular basis. The Southport Offshore Rescue Trust have saved over 400 lives so far.
WM Steve Kirkbride and his wife Sue, local licensed victuallers have for many years supported the group with events and gatherings. Steve and Sue have for the last four years, (on behalf of Southport Temperance Lodge), organised a Charity BBQ at the Lakeside Inn to raise money for SORT. Following the presentation the lodge held their 2023 annual lodge BBQ at the Lakeside Inn, courtesy of the Steve and his wife Sue, where all the proceeds went to SORT. All the revenue raised will be gratefully received and faithfully applied.
During his year in office Steve and the lodge have organised a number of events to increase donations to the SORT. This included his Ladies Evening and following a regular lodge meeting, a talk by members of Semper Fidelis Mark Lodge from Lytham St Annes was arranged. The talk on the Mexico Disaster which was the worst lifeboat disaster in UK history with the loss of 27 lifeboatmen, 14 from the Southport lifeboat Eliza Fernley with only two crewmen surviving. The remaining deaths were on the St Annes boat. 92 people attended the talk and the festive board and raffle which followed.
However, following the lodge meeting and talk, one of the youngest members, (34yrs), had departed to the Grand Lodge above following a short but brave fight with cancer. He had received, (as we’ve come to expect), excellent care and compassion from the staff at Queenscourt Hospice. It was decided therefore that the monies raised should be shared between SORT and Queenscourt Hospice. Each received a cheque for £500 and this was the cheque presented to the lifeboat crew on the night of the visit. A further £550 was raised at this year’s BBQ and that will be presented at a later date.