Supportive sailors in Lincoln have transformed a £25,000 Tercentenary donation from the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) into a specialist pontoon and a safety boat to transform the way it can help disabled people on to the water

The sailors are members of Hykeham Sailability, a charity launched in 2009 to provide sailing opportunities for disabled people in Lincolnshire, but at that time the group had no boats, equipment, sailing expertise, volunteers, or even potential members.

Led by non-sailing Keven Roberts, who sadly passed away in 2016, the group has secured thousands in funding, inspired and trained numerous volunteers and instructors and worked tirelessly to establish what is now a thriving, vibrant sailability club.

Hykeham Sailability is part of the national RYA Sailability programme, which supports disabled people in learning to sail and sailing regularly. The group’s aim is to give both adults and young people the freedom and confidence to get out on the water.

Lincolnshire Freemasons Walter Cook, Worshipful Master of Doric Lodge No. 362, and Terry Wallhead, from Witham Lodge No. 297, have visited the club to see the equipment bought with the MCF grant.

Freemasons have met in the historic city of Lincoln for more than 200 years – but this Saturday will be the first time that members of the public have been invited to tour their meeting rooms

Created inside the former Nightingale pub in the city’s Nettleham Road, the building will be open to the general public between 10am and 3pm on Saturday 9th June. Visitors will be able to tour the building, see first-hand the rooms in which ceremonies take place and ask questions of members who will be there throughout the day.

Lincolnshire’s 3,500 Freemasons meet in 74 lodges based at 21 centres from Barton and Grimsby in the north to Grantham, Bourne, Spalding and Deeping St James, close to the county boundary, in the south.

The oldest of them all is a Lincoln lodge, Witham Lodge No. 297, which has a warrant dated  23rd September 1793. It meets at the Nightingale Rooms Masonic Centre, which was opened for Masonic business in 2013, having been converted from its former life as a pub by the brethren themselves.

Find out more about the centre, and see an interview and video with Assistant Provincial Grand Master David Wheeler in the city’s media outlet The Lincolnite.

Epic charity run wins award

Lincolnshire mason Larry Riches has raised more than £12,000 for Prostate Cancer UK after he drove his 1914 Model T Ford from Lancaster Lodge, No. 9413, near Lisbon, Portugal, to Witham Lodge, No. 297, in Lincolnshire – a distance of some 2,000km – in 10 days. Larry was recognised for his efforts at the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show at the Birmingham NEC in November. He was presented with the award for Best Contribution to Charity at the Classic & Sports Car Club Awards ceremony.

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