In the beginning, the WM of St John’s Lodge No 2825 elected the charity steward Peter Green and begot him a charity pot. Now the pot was formless and empty; a shadow was cast over the lodge and the spirit of charity was hovering over the members. And the WM John Earnshaw commanded: “Let there be a generous giving.” And there was a generous giving.
John saw that the giving was good and divided the good into Masonic and non-Masonic. He further divided the Masonic into Masonic Charitable Foundation 2021 Festival and the Masonic Club Building Fund. And John saw that it was good.
And so it came to pass that, with generosity in their hearts, the brethren of the lodge did give freely to the Masonic Charitable Foundation 2021 Festival and amassed a magnificent sum in excess of £4,500. Much joy descended on the powers of the MCF and it was decreed that a certificate be presented to the lodge in recognition of it achieving Gold Patron status, the first lodge in the Blackpool Group to attain the distinguished accolade.
To mark the happy achievement, Regional Charity Steward Ted Rhodes did sojourn for many miles to be in attendance at the lodge’s Sunday lunch and there did make the valued presentation to master of the lodge John Earnshaw. And much rejoicing was heard. It was a magnificent moment and a credit to the brethren of the lodge and an example to others. The festival is not yet one year in existence but St John’s Lodge has already achieved this tremendous milestone.
But St John’s Lodge was even cannier when it came to supporting the Blackpool Masonic Club. As a matter of course, the lodge would have made a donation to the club to support the continuing improvements in the facilities at the Masonic Hall in Adelaide Street, but on this occasion, the lodge opted to purchase an undisclosed number of tickets in the club’s annual Christmas raffle.
A wide selection of prizes were available and the lodge scooped 16 of them, ranging from boxes of chocolates to bottles of wines and spirits; from a meal for two at Dahlia’s Kitchen to cans of beers and lagers. As the lodge’s charity steward Peter Green observed: “The lodge now has raffle prizes for its lodge meetings throughout the year and we can raise far more money for charity. We decided that the purchasing of the raffle tickets represented a good investment for our continuing charity work.”
One has to admit that St John’s Lodge has certainly developed a successful strategy for its charitable work. The proof is clear on two counts – Gold Patronage of the Masonic Charitable Foundation 2021 Festival and a ready supply of raffle prizes for their lodge meetings. What is equally important is that the Blackpool Masonic Hall has also greatly benefitted, and that can’t be a bad thing. And so, there endeth the lesson!