A Freemason with very little time for rest and play
In addition to their Masonic activities, Freemasons have a number of other interests and the website team wanted to give some examples from the Freemasons of East Kent. This is the first in our series of posts about Freemasons at work, rest or play, and Daniel John from Herne Bay seems to have very little time for rest or play as you will discover below.
Daniel has been a Freemason since February 2011 when he was initiated in the Union Lodge No 127, meeting in Margate. He is also a member of the Alfred Wootton Holy Royal Arch Chapter No 127, that also meets in Margate.
Daniel worked as a production manager at a local printing company for 25 years before retraining for his current occupation as a Funeral Director. About his current vocation, Daniel said: “This role is all about helping those who are often in great need with difficult circumstances that they feel unable to cope with”. “My role is to help them with the immediate problems that seem insurmountable, taking care of them through every step of the preparations and being with them on the day of the funeral.”
Daniel is married to Charlotte who worked for the National Health Service for many years before joining the Human Tissue Authority in London and then moving to her present position in the private sector, still involved with the Medical Profession.
Together they have been involved in charitable work for a few years. They started by fundraising to build a well in Uganda with the Fields Of Life charity as well as sponsoring a little lad at a school for deaf children near Kampala.
Daniel said: “We found that the funds we were sending for the lad were being used to actually feed all the children at the school, rather than specifically supporting him and his individual needs. We don’t have any problem with this as any need, however great or small, has to be addressed by those in charge, but we did feel that we wanted a more hands-on approach where we could be intimately involved with those we were helping.”
The Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster
With the forthcoming 30th anniversary of the disaster at Chernobyl on April 26, 2016, Daniel and Charlotte felt drawn to search for a charity that supports the people who are still suffering the effects of radiation in that area.
The Chernobyl Children’s Life Line (Herne Bay) Link was therefore set up under the banner of the main Charity, with Charlotte as the Chair and Daniel as Vice-Chair. They raise funds by holding events such as Barn Dances and Craft Fairs and they sell donated items at boot fairs to raise funds throughout the summer months.
Daniel and Charlotte recently returned from a fact-finding trip to a resettlement town called Borodyanka in Ukraine, 100 km from Chernobyl, where they delivered some aid.
Daniel said “The plight of those we saw on our recent trip is dire. We were shocked to the core over some of the living conditions there. This is one of the hardest positions I’ve ever willingly placed myself in. The area we went to cannot be classed as safe yet people live there because they have nothing else.”
Please contact Daniel and Charlotte for full details of their appeal which can be summarised as follows:-
- £1,500 to refurbish a school kitchen that has not changed since it was built in 1986,
- £500 to provide some musical instruments (the school has none),
- £350 to provide some sterilisation equipment for the hospital (long term, it needs a new autoclave),
- £15 a month to sponsor a family that is suffering from terrible poverty (plus £1.25 to cover the bank transfer to the family)
Daniel went on to say: “Charlotte and I will return to Borodyanka in February 2016 with more aid and donated musical equipment for the school, medical equipment for the hospital and desperately needed clothing. So far we have a clarinet, flute, trumpet and a guitar, protective equipment for the sterilization department staff and an assortment of clothing.”
He added that: “In the Family Sponsorship Programme, since returning to the UK, we have found sponsors for the ten families we visited while we were there, nominated as being the most in need. We now have a further two families who need our help and more are being added to the list as their details are sent to us.”
To find out more about their work or to offer your help, please contact Daniel and Charlotte using the form below.