On the afternoon of the 10th August at the Renal Unit in Maidstone Hospital a cheque for £4,000 was presented to the Kent Kidney Patients Association (K.P.P.A.) by a group of Maidstone Freemasons: Mick Packham of Belvidere Lodge, Les Tasker of Robinson Lodge, John Beadle of Agricola Lodge, Alan Chitty of Duke of Kent Lodge, Chris Harbord of Bearsted Lodge and Jim McDonald of Monckton Lodge - all past masters of their lodges in 2007 and known locally as the “007s”.
It all started back at the beginning of the year when two of the 007s had a chance meeting with Alan Kilburn a fellow Freemason from Hoo. Alan had recently had a Kidney removed and was extolling the virtues of the Kent Kidney Patients Association who had provided him with extraordinary care and support during his darkest moments.
It was suggested to the 007s that it might be a good idea to organise a charity function to raise money for the Association. The idea was taken up and steps were taken to organise a Charity Dinner Dance at the Maidstone Masonic Centre on the 30th April. The event was publicised and very quickly tickets were selling fast and the event was soon a sell out with the maximum capacity of 130 tickets sold. Click here to read a report on the event.
Music for the dancing was provided by the Cymbolic Penalties, an excellent function band made up of East Kent Freemasons, of which Alan “Pinky” Kilburn is an active member. The Cymbolicks provided their services free of charge to assist with the fund-raising. Click here to read more about the Cymbolick Penalties.
The 007s liaised with The Cornwallis East Kent Freemasons’ Charity, an organisation set up to support and enhance the charitable activities of Freemasons Lodges in East Kent. The 007s own lodges sponsored the event and from their support, ticket sales, a raffle and an auction on the night, the grand sum of £2,500 was raised. This sum was generously supplemented by a further £1,500 from The Cornwallis East Kent Freemasons Charity bringing the total to £4,000.
This money was sorely needed by the Kent Kidney Patients Association to fund their work. They give support and advice to new and existing kidney patients, provide holiday respite at their caravans in Coombe Haven Hastings, give financial help to patients in need, support and pay for the Kent Transplant Team to attend the British Transplant Games each year, amongst many other activities. In an added touch of poignancy the cheque was handed over by Alan Kilburn whose story prompted the whole event. This is just one further example of Freemason’s charitable work within the community.