Fishing Cap
If you tell someone a story often enough it’s difficult to sift fact from fiction, particularly in the world of angling. The truth can become indistinguishable from fantasy and myth. If you believe some angling stories that are bandied about, you could just end up missing out on some good sport. Like many anglers, the volunteers of the East Kent Branch of the Masonic Fishing Charity rarely hit the water without a hat on. It protects the head against the sun and it helps to reduce the glare. Importantly it complies with the Masonic Fishing Charity Health and Safety Regulations. But it also brings good luck! Or at least that is what these anglers believe.

On Thursday 27th April the East Kent Branch of the Masonic Fishing Charity gathered at the Horsham Lake Fisheries in Upchurch, Kent. The volunteers were eager to kick off their first event for 2017.  Students were due to be attending from the Abbey Court Community Special School in Strood and the ISP School in Sittingbourne. Both schools are community day schools providing education for children who have profound severe & complex learning difficulties.

Delighted at his first catch

Delighted at his first catch

Look what I caught

Look what I caught

Under the direction of the event organiser, Warren Muckell, the volunteer casters and helpers swiftly organised the equipment and fishing gear. The Caster Secretary, Len Hopson, checked that all was in place at the designated fishing swims and then they waited for the guests. On their arrival the students, teachers and carers were welcomed, and briefed on the safety procedures. Each student was then assigned a caster and they proceeded to the lake to start fishing.
Catch the smile

Catch the smile

A very proud student

A very proud student

Later in the morning Assistant Provincial Grand Master, David Graeme, was welcomed to the lakeside. He was given an intensive tour of the course to meet the casters and their charges. David has visited the East Kent Branch of the Masonic Fishing Charity on numerous occasions and has taken a keen interest in the workings of the charity.

After a very successful morning and after many fish were hooked, the lunchtime klaxon was sounded. This alerted the young anglers that a barbecue with all the trimmings was awaiting them. A short session of fishing continued after lunch before proceedings were brought to an end. Afterwards all participants attended an award ceremony where David Graeme presented certificates and medals to each student.

Presentation of certificates
Presentation of certificates

The first event of 2017 was indeed another successful occasion about which East Kent Freemasons can be proud. Their branch of the Masonic Fishing Charity is making a very worthwhile contribution to the community.

If you were to ask a dozen anglers what the best bait/flavour was for any given species,
like as not you will get twelve different answers.

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