Freemasons the world over, without hesitation and with the greatest pleasure, regularly dip into their pockets for donations into a charity plate, collection, raffle, auction or any other of the many ingenious ways our brethren come up with to raise money for worthy causes.
Much of this is done on trust, having no idea who the eventual beneficiary might be, but just to practice that virtue which is instilled in us from the moment of our initiation. Sometimes, however, it is good to be given an insight into how that money is actually spent. This is the story of how just one instance of many, of a relatively modest donation, has made a big difference.
The story starts with David Brogan, DC of Bryn Lodge No 6553. His daughter, Sarah, has had her difficulties since birth, being blind and with other physical difficulties and speech problems, she has needed constant care, support and stimulation. Sarah is well known to regulars at functions and socials at Bryn Masonic Hall, and despite her difficulties is recognised for her knowledge and associated enthusiasm and excitement for all things musical and theatrical. Sarah attends a group in Wigan called More than Words.
In addition to offering activities aimed at supporting independence, More than Words is an organisation that makes the experience of performing arts, (and sports), accessible to everyone, young people or adults, with disabilities or communication difficulties. Using proven techniques, and through the medium of performing arts, they support people with challenges to express themselves, communicate, and to develop confidence and transferable life skills.
Part of this process involves the production of theatrical performances, dramas, music videos and similar activities, all recorded, edited used as not only entertainment, but also as interactive tools. When they were looking to enhance their facilities to make the experience better, with proper stage curtaining and lights, and a state of the art projector and screen,
David thought the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity may be able to help. The end result was a donation of over £1,200 that funded the purchase of the projector and screen. A shortfall projector was fitted, which being situated high up and close to the screen, giving a creative, interactive, accessible theatre space, creating not only a backdrop for the stage, but allowing students to dance and perform whilst still viewing.
Chris Reeman, Wigan Group Charity Steward, got the chance to witness this for himself when he attended at More than Words to meet founder Sue Seager and present a cheque for the projector and screen. He got a chance to see the equipment in action and meet Sarah and the other performers. It was delightful to see the enthusiasm of the group and the happiness on their faces, as they watched and reacted to past performances on the screen. Chris was blown away by a very professionally presented rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody performed and put together by the group.
So, there it is, a simple example of the use some of our donations go to. Rest assured, they are gratefully received and faithfully applied. Keep it up.