It was all hands on deck when Blackpool Lodge of Tranquillity No 6544 decided to support the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) by conducting a special raffle that offered a spectacular prize of a sea crossing to the Isle of Man for a car and two passengers, plus two nights’ accommodation.
The ferry crossing had been sponsored by the IOM Steam Packet Co and the accommodation was donated by assistant secretary of the lodge Allan Albiston who is Captain of the IOM Steam Packet Ferry ‘Ben My Chree’.
Would be sailors were inspired by the raffle and dug deep into their pockets to raise an impressive £500. Considering the close relationship that the sponsors have with both the Isle of Man and Lancashire, it was decided to support the RNLI on both sides of the Irish Sea. Consequently, the £500 raised by the raffle was split equally between Douglas RNLI and Fleetwood RNLI.
Allan Albiston met with Coxswain of the Douglas lifeboat Neill Corran and Lifeboat Operations Manager Alec McBride in Douglas to present the £250 to the Douglas RNLI. Coxswain of the Douglas lifeboat Neill Corran is, coincidentally, also the boatswain on the ‘Ben My Chree’.
It was master of Blackpool Lodge of Tranquillity Lodge Colin Wade who visited the Fleetwood RNLI to present the remaining £250 to Lifeboat Operations Manager Captain David Eccles and Deputy Launching Authority Joe Bottomley.
There was no sinking feeling from either Neill Corran or Captain David Eccles on receiving the donations and both were delighted to have the opportunity of thanking the lodge and Freemasonry in general for its generous support.
Both Colin and Allan sailed home feeling fully satisfied and proud of the efforts of their lodge members.