Music to their ears
Surrey masons Fred Scott and John Collins have composed their first piece of music: Sovereign Lord, an oratorio. Her Majesty the Queen accepted a presentation copy of the score to mark her Diamond Jubilee in 2012. John is a retired banker and Fred is a pianist and composer who runs a music agency, regularly performing concerts raising funds for Skeletal Cancer Action Trust. Both are members of South Croydon Lodge, No. 4567.
If you have ever thought about getting help from the Masonic Samaritan Fund, John Collins can throw some light on how simple the process is. In September 2009, he discovered he had three fractured metatarsals, requiring surgery. Collins is not sure exactly what caused the injuries – but for someone who counts bowling, fell-walking, ballroom dancing and gardening among his pastimes, there were some likely culprits.
Some seven months later, he learned that he was not yet on the waiting list for surgery – and that once on the list, he could face a further 12-month wait. Collins was in pain and becoming increasingly immobile. So, in October 2010, he approached his lodge almoner, Bill Brown, and made an application to the Masonic Samaritan Fund. It was granted, and the operation was booked for 8 January 2011.
The operation was a success. A further infection, requiring his foot to be put in plaster again, slowed the recovery process – but despite this, Collins finally got the all-clear in April this year.
Since then, he has got straight back to his allotment where, over the past 45 years, he has nurtured and raised many hundreds of exhibition leeks. Thanks to the MSF, Collins’ life is as fulfilling as it always was.