The Second Outing in 2016 of the East Kent Masonic Fishing Charity

The EKMFC Volunteers and Students

The EKMFC Volunteers and Students

Coarse fishing is a well-organised recreational pastime that is almost impossible to describe. It is an activity that creeps into your blood and once caught, it is almost incurable. It is widely practiced in the many fresh water lakes situated in East Kent, not only as a sport, but also for organised charity events, notably the East Kent Masonic Fishing Charity. This Charity’s aim is to provide a countryside fishing experience to people with “Special Needs”. Their guests are invited from local schools, adult centres and similar training units for disabled and disadvantaged people.

On Thursday 12th May 2016 the East Kent Masonic Fishing Charity organised their second  event of the year by inviting students from St Anthony’s School, a behaviour and learning school in Margate, and the Bower Grove School, a community day special school in Maidstone. The event was held at Horsham Lake in Upchurch - a mixed course fishery offering excellent fishing.

A studious fisherman

A studious fisherman

Patiently waiting for a bite

Patiently waiting for a bite

On their arrival the students with their teachers were welcomed by the School Liaison Officer and given the usual briefing on the safety precautions. Each student was then assigned a caster and they proceeded to the lake to start fishing and compete in the various categories. During the course of the morning David Graeme, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, who also visited the charity at the previous event, was welcomed by the Branch Chairman Peter Brooshooft.

A delighted student with her first catch

A delighted student with her first catch

A happy chappie

A happy chappie

After a very successful morning and after many fish were hooked, a klaxon was sounded to alert the young anglers that lunch was being served – a barbecue with all the trimmings was awaiting them.  Following lunch, a short session of fishing continued and, on completion, all participants attended an award ceremony where David Graeme presented special awards to each youngster.

The success of the event was summarised by Kevin Wiley a teacher from Bower Grove School who said: “Thank you to all the people involved with today’s fantastic fishing. The pupils had a great time and that is thanks to the great rapport all the casters struck up with the children. I think your chaps have started off some new anglers on a lifelong hobby. Jack Christmas left school dancing and singing a song “I love fishing” to a tune of his own making! And Craig’s foster carer saw the pictures of his fishing, gave him a hug and said he would make sure they got his granddad’s rods and he would take him fishing. These were the pupils I saw but the others were already asking when they could go again and saying what a great day they had had.”

David Graeme congratulates a student on receiving his certificate

David Graeme congratulates a student on receiving his certificate

The Horsham Lakes owner receives a certificate of appreciation

The Horsham Lakes owner receives a certificate of appreciation

For many of the young anglers the first fish landed is a memory that can almost be compared to a first kiss and something that will be remembered fondly. The memories will remain well into their old age and no matter how many fish they catch in their lifetime, the first one will always be special.

This was another successful event for the East Kent Freemasons’ Masonic Fishing Charity which continues to make a valuable contribution to the community.

The next event will be held at Manor Fisheries, Love Lane, Headcorn, Ashford, Kent, TN27 9HJ on Thursday 14th July 2016.

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