Freemasons from the Lord Charles Beresford Lodge No 2404 in Chatham, have made some generous donations to four local charities.
At its meeting in November 2016 the lodge members voted to give £1,000 each to:-
- The Kent, Sussex and Surrey Air Ambulance Trust,
- The RNLI at Walmer,
- Demelza Hospice, and
- The Chatham Masonic Hall Restoration Fund.
On Sunday 15th January members of the lodge, together with their ladies, visited the Lifeboat Station at Walmer to hand over the donation and tour the premises. The presentation was made on behalf of the lodge by one of their Past Masters, Basil Whalley, who lives in Walmer.
The photos show Basil handing the cheque to Wallace Murray, Chairman of the Walmer Lifeboats’ fundraising committee. They are also holding a certificate from the Lifeboat Station to record its gratitude for the donation. As it says “We could not save lives without your support”.
Walmer Lifeboats are celebrating more than 150 years of saving lives at sea. They were established long before the Lord Charles Beresford Lodge, which was consecrated in 1891, and they continue their good work today, relying on volunteers to keep the service going. In 1940 one of their boats took part in the evacuation of Dunkirk and over the years many of its personnel have received awards for bravery.
The Lord Charles Beresford Lodge was consecrated in 1891 by the Provincial Grand Master of Kent - William Archer, the Third Earl Amherst. It received its Centenary Charter in 1991 to mark one hundred years of continuous freemasonry and celebrated its 125th anniversary last year. However, with its membership sadly declining, the lodge members voted to close permanently and hand back the lodge’s Warrant. This sad but momentous occasion will be presided over by the Head of East Kent Freemasons, Provincial Grand Master Geoffrey Dearing, in March 2017.
Report by David Miller and photos courtesy of Chris Boak