Ramsgate Freemason bequeaths £114,000 to Chatham and Clarendon Grammar School

Picture of Richard Dixy, a visiting volunteer standing next to the MCF banner

A Ramsgate Freemason has bequeathed £114,000 to the town’s Chatham and Clarendon Grammar School.

A Ramsgate Freemason has generously donated £114,000 to Chatham and Clarendon Grammar School in Ramsgate, a well-established institution that has been delivering top-quality education for many years.

The schools have a long and celebrated history, with Chatham House School being founded in 1797, and Clarendon House School opening its doors in 1905. The schools amalgamated on the 1 September 2013, the school has achieved an impressive record of success in GCSE and advanced level exams, but as with most schools in the modern era, financial support is essential to maintaining its high standards.

School Sign

When the Old Ruymian Lodge of the East Kent Freemasons informed the school that they had £114,000 to donate, the staff and students were overjoyed. This incredible sum had been left by the late Norman Poole, a former member of the Old Ruymian Lodge who was keen to support the education of future generations. On the 15th of December 2023, a delegation of 12 students from Chatham and Clarendon Grammar School, along with the head of the sixth form Graig Lowis and the school’s business manager Chris Freeman, arrived at the Masonic centre in St Lukes Avenue, Ramsgate, to receive the cheque from the Master of the Lodge, Johnny Symaka.

Speaking at the presentation, Johnny Symaka said, “We trust the donation would be instrumental in improving the educational experience of students at the school.

The values of charity, friendship, integrity, and respect that are central to freemasonry, and he pledged the continued support of the Old Ruymian Lodge to the school and its students”.

Picture of the Worshipful Master Johnny Symaka
The Cheque being presented to the students

Upon receiving the cheque, Chris Freeman expressed his gratitude and delight at this unexpected windfall. He outlined some of the ways in which the money would be used, including an investment fund to support bursaries for underprivileged students who wished to attend university, as well as purchasing a new minibus to replace the aging existing one and updating equipment in science and other departments. “This generous donation from Ramsgate Freemasons will help ensure that Chatham and Clarendon Grammar School can continue to provide the highest standard of education for generations to come”.

The Students along with Lodge members inside the Lodge building.
A group photo of all those that attended the presentation.

Article by WBro Phil Heath, Press & Public Relations, East Kent Freemasons. 

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