As a permanently invited guest (A.K.A. ‘PIG’) of Royal York Lodge 2709 myself and my wife were invited as guests to their last gathering of the year. A short meeting downstairs in the Lodge, followed by a fantastic festive meal upstairs with lots of laughter and carols. What was already a wonderful evening quickly led into a demonstration of what, for me, Freemasonry is all about, charity.
The lodge had the usual raffle which promptly raised £275, followed in short order by two more donations from visiting Lodges; taking the total figure to £475. This money will go directly to an incredibly brave 14 year old girl called Daisy from Stonehouse, Gloucestershire, who has been fighting leukaemia for over six months now.
Since her initial diagnosis at the end of May 2023, family life has been made a great deal harder by long stints of treatment in hospital at Bristol; her mum and dad taking turns to be at her bedside enabling the other to be there for Daisy’s younger brother back in Stonehouse.
Brother Shaun Jefferies (JD) who brought this request to the lodge has already been involved with raising over £8k with family, friends and Painswick rugby club to assist with her treatment. On this particular occasion this donation was made by Royal York to the family so they can book trips or days out together, spend precious time as a family and make lasting memories.
Charity is at the heart of Freemasonry and nights like this are not at all uncommon among all 82 of Gloucestershire’s Lodges; long may it continue.
Article & Picture by Nick Hartshorn – WM Royal Lebanon