Following a short meeting of the Kingsgate Lodge No 4882 to dispatch Masonic business, members’ wives and guests were invited to join the Brethren in the Lodge Room to receive two presentations.
Jim Mason, the Charity Steward Coordinator for the various lodges and chapters on the Isle of Thanet, gave a talk about charities. He spoke about the history and operation of the Cornwallis East Kent Freemasons’ Charity and, in particular, the local fund-raising charity challenge “Beach within Reach”.
Beach within Reach is a small Thanet- based charity that provides all-terrain wheelchairs for some of the beautiful beaches and surrounding countryside around Margate and Broadstairs. Wheelchairs were provided during the summer of 2016 on seven of Thanet’s sandy beaches and, in some cases, they could also be provided for use away from the beach. The charity seeks to raise at least £40,000 in order to replace all of their existing chairs and ensure that they can provide all-terrain wheelchairs in Thanet for the next 10 years.
Read more about Beach within Reach on their website here.
The twenty-eight lodges and chapters located in the Thanet area of East Kent are combining their efforts to support Beach within Reach. Donations are being sent initially to the Cornwallis East Kent Freemasons’ Charity who, when all donations are in, hope to be able to present a grand total of £10,000 to this good cause. This is one of several ways in which East Kent Freemasons will be celebrating 300 years of Freemasonry in 2017.
Prior to Jim’s presentation, the Kingsgate Lodge Secretary - Stephen Barnes - gave a most interesting talk on the follies built in the grounds of Holland House which overlooks Kingsgate Bay in Broadstairs. The follies were funded by Henry Fox (later Lord Holland) who held several Front Bench offices in Government during the eighteenth century. Stephen said that it was reputed that Henry Fox side-lined monies for the follies from the public purse.
After the presentations, and on behalf of his lodge, the Master of the Kingsgate Lodge, Harvinder Singh Bhart presented Jim Mason with a cheque for £250 for the Beach within Reach Appeal.
The photo shows (from L to R) Bob Hinds (Kingsgate Lodge Charity Steward), Jim Mason and Harvinder Singh Bhart.
Report and photo courtesy of Peter Dickinson