What do you do with your teddy bear on a glorious summer’s afternoon? Have a picnic, of course. And who better to organise a picnic than Teddies for Loving Care (TLC) and East Kent Freemasons? On a cloudless Saturday,10th June, schools and children from across the Province and other organisations from the local community came together in Harrietsham for a splendid afternoon of family fun.
TLC Appeal (East Kent) President John Grumbridge and former Deputy Provincial Grand Master Roger Odd kicked off proceedings by officially opening the Picnic at 1.30 pm.
Among the many fund-raising attractions were a Coconut Shy, Tombola, “Drop a Penny on Teddy’s Nose”, a Cake Stall, Apple Bobbing, and “Putt a Golf Ball on to a Fiver”.
The East Kent TLC Committee provided for free an inflatable bouncy slide, dragon assault course, ball pool and castle. Also featured were Face Painters, Balloon Modellers, Magic Tricks, an Animal Corner with Alpacas, and, most importantly, a Teddy Bears Medical Centre. Many of these attractions were manned by Freemasons and their families and by the Province’s own TLC team.
Every child under sixteen was given a picnic box full of goodies and a voucher for a free Ice Cream from the on-site Ice Cream Vendor. For the adults, there was a scrumptious barbecue and a licensed bar.
Kent Police and the St John’s Ambulance team were present, along with Maidstone Fire Brigade, who brought with them their fire-fighting equipment for eager children to climb over.
The Provincial Events Team were also there, showing off their recently refurbished Mobile Display Unit, which was the focus of a great deal of interest.
Master of Ceremonies Jake Jackson introduced the afternoon’s vocal entertainer, Miss Holiday Swing, who kept the adults enthralled with some delightful singing.
Meanwhile, Brother Carey Jack organised sports entertainment for the children, including egg-and-spoon races and lots of other energetic pursuits.
As the day drew to an end it was time for the main raffle, the star prize being a wheelbarrow full of Booze, which was won by one happy lady who had attended with her family and bought her lucky-number programme on the day.
Everyone seemed very appreciative of the efforts of the team and said how much they had enjoyed themselves.
Roy Brooks, Secretary of the TLC (East Kent) Appeal and member of the organising committee, said, “It’s great to see so many different parts of our local community come together under the banner of Freemasonry to enjoy such a happy day. It’s “Freemasonry in the Community” at its very best”.
At six o’clock their Mummies and Daddies then took them home to bed, ‘cos they were tired little Teddy Bears.
Report edited by John Ray. Photos: Mark Howell and Tim Grimes.