The lake at Longshaw Fishery

There has always been something fascinating about water and the way it shimmers and shines like diamonds on a bright, breezy summer day. Consider a glass-flat lake and the way it reflects its beauty and magnifies all the nature above it. Water is mesmerising as are the amazing fish that call it home.  There is a magic in fishing which holds a mystery that is hard to explain until you see its effect on people. Vulnerable and disadvantaged children from various parts of East Kent are uplifted after a day’s fishing with the East Kent Branch of the Masonic Fishing Charity. Adults with learning difficulties, and those who need support and recreation after a serious illness, also benefit from the experience. It is for these reasons that the charity’s volunteers spend time at the lakes to inspire their guests to fish.

One of the many fish caught
Catch the smile

A typical event hosted by these dedicated volunteers was held on Thursday 21st September 2017 at the Longshaw Farm Fishery. This is a coarse fishing venue which is situated between Herne Bay and Canterbury and is abundant with carp, bream, chub and roach. On this occasion the charity hosted adults from the Fifth Trust Charity near Canterbury that provides a safe and fulfilling way of life for adults with learning difficulties. They were accompanied by a patient from the Stroke Association in Margate.

On their arrival the guests, accompanied by their supervisors, were welcomed by the School Liaison Officer and given the usual briefing on the safety precautions. Each guest with his allocated caster then proceeded to the lakeside for an enjoyable days fishing.

During the course of the morning David Alexander, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, was welcomed by the Branch Chairman Peter Brooshooft and taken on a tour of the lake. Not so long ago David was a volunteer with the charity with the role of media officer. As no stranger to the charity and its volunteers, David is well acquainted with its objectives and the excellent results it achieves.

Presentation of certificates
Presentation of certificates

After a very successful morning and after many fish were hooked, a klaxon was sounded to alert the anglers that lunch was ready. A barbecue with all the trimmings was served, after which a short session of fishing continued. On completion, all the anglers and their casters attended an award ceremony where David presented certificates and medals to each participant.

On completion of another successful event the committee, casters and helpers are looking forward to 2018 when they can contribute again to this worthy cause. They see for themselves how it improves the lives of vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young people across East Kent.  East Kent Freemasons can be proud of the very worthwhile contribution that their Branch of the Masonic Fishing Charity is making to the community.

The charm of fishing that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.

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