This is one in an occasional series highlighting The Amazing Masons of The East Kent Masonic Province.
Many of us have spent time and effort, when we are able, in doing good works not connected with masonry. Vic Voss, I think is more than a good example of this, but not unreasonably, over the years has not seen too much reason for publicising it. I thought, however, it would be good just to shed a little bit of light on what he has been involved in.
Vic Voss, Past Master of Union Lodge no.127 in Margate, Area 8 Almoner (which takes up some amount of dedicated time) and a long term member of the Scout movement. He has recently received an award for 50 years’ service to the Scout movement!
One of the areas less known about Vic to most of us is his considerable time and effort in assisting the people of Zimbabwe since 1992. Most of this is linked to his Church and scout activity. Most of his efforts have been involved in Mabele in the region of Matabele.
For this charitable work he has been drilling bore holes and viewing platforms. It is important that he has always been offered accommodation by the villagers even if the sanitary arrangements were not quite up to standard.
He has been personally involved and acted for others in the sponsoring of children for secondary education – this is mostly offered to good prospects who have absolutely no way of doing it under their restricted circumstances. That the political situation there has not made the job any easier is an understatement. Much of this sponsorship has been done by St.Johns Church in Margate in which Vic is involved as donor and linkman.
When you are involved in these projects you soon realize how important some things that now have very little relevance to our society but are very important to the villagers. Sewing machines are an example. Being trained to use one as well as owning one is a great advantage.
Some of the children who Vic has assisted in sponsoring for secondary school have maintained contact with him ever since. One has even managed to visit him here. Her name is Precious Phiri. After finishing secondary school she went to university in South Africa, got married in 2007 and now works back in Zimbabwe, near Victoria Falls, assisting communities with regenerative agriculture.
There are many stories printed in unsophisticated information sheets that are a positive comment to the struggle of these communities. There is one picture in a sheet however that Vic might not wish to be shown – that of him wielding a pickaxe trying to loosen the soil. A lot of villagers were clapping him though.
One chance find of a skill previously unknown within Vic’s remit was that he is one of those with the gift of divining water. How this was discovered we do not know but he has been put to good use wandering round the scrub with his divining rod (if that is the correct description) sourcing the water for a borehole then to be drilled.
Sadly these days of reduced prosperity here have had a negative effect on commitment.
“Truly an Amazing Mason…!”
Some More Photos of Vic and his work [click to enlarge]:
Vic Interviewing Student