There’s nothing like a bit of fun and games to keep people entertained and that’s exactly what happened at the 2017 Cornwallis It’s A Knockout Competition
Sponsored by the Cornwallis East Kent Freemasons’ Charity and supported by the KM Charity team, the event was held as part of the United Grand Lodge of England’s Tercentenary celebrations and to help raise £20,000 for Macmillan Nurses.
The head of East Kent Freemasons, Provincial Grand Master Geoffrey Dearing, opened the event at the Aylesford Bulls Rugby Club on Sunday 4th June, where over 200 people took part in the challenge. They made up a total of 21 teams as they ran, slid and tumbled their way across a number of activities including inflatable obstacles and dragon racing – all in the name of charity!
Over a thousand spectators were also present to cheer on the teams before Cornwallis Charity Trustee, Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master Nick Waller, presented the trophy to the winning team from the Spirit of Rugby Lodge.
John Grumbridge, Chairman of the Cornwallis East Kent Freemasons’ Charity, commented: ‘What a fantastic day seeing all sorts of teams having so much fun in doing something that will ultimately help others. I am sure that one or two people will be aching, but the fundraising achievements will have been greatly worthwhile.’
Please scroll through the gallery at the top to view some of the action from the competition
Sixteen members of the Heal family from Sussex are in the same lodge, including former RAF pilot Marc, who won the DFC in Afghanistan for evacuating 29 casualties in his Chinook helicopter while under fire. Marc, 31, flew eight combat missions in as many days. On one occasion his helicopter’s landing site was mortared by insurgents and some of the missions took place without an Apache escort.
Somerset mason James Heal began the family connection with South Down Lodge, No. 1797, in 1963 when he moved to Brighton, followed by his five sons – all of whom went through the chair – as well as three brothers-in-law and seven grandsons.
Four of the five sons were Directors of Ceremonies, while three of the family are Grand Officers and one, Keith Schofield, is the Provincial Grand Mentor for Sussex. His uncle John was Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies and later an Assistant Provincial Grand Master, while his uncle Victor was Deputy Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, both of whom – with his father – have been his mentors.
As well as being an experienced Freemason, Tony has been a national volunteer with The Scout Association for the past 25 years, working in a range of areas including the recruitment and training of adult volunteers. He is also the Provincial Grand Mentor for Derbyshire and Director of Communications for the Derbyshire Festival 2014.
For the past five years, Tony has been the point of liaison between the Kindred Lodges Association and The Scout Association, aiming to promote a better understanding of Freemasonry within Scouting and of Scouting within Freemasonry. As two organisations with similar values and shared challenges, both The Scout Association and the United Grand Lodge recognise the potential that communication between the organisations has for the future and both endorse and support the work that Tony is doing.
In his Prestonian Lecture, Tony will outline the many similarities between Scouting and Freemasonry – as well as some key differences. His research examines the relationship the founder of Scouting Robert Baden-Powell had with Freemasonry and he will also identify some of the many Freemasons who have made a positive impact on the growth of the world’s largest youth organisation.
Tony will additionally describe some of the work that Freemasons are doing to support Scouting today and explain how Freemasonry can learn from an organisation that is growing in membership.
At times entertaining, at times challenging, Tony’s Prestonian Lecture will be of interest to all Freemasons, whether they have a Scouting background or not.
After the Lodge meeting the Brethren moved to the dining room for the Festive Board. More than £500 was collected for charitable causes. Feedback from the event has been extremely encouraging. The Provincial Grand Mentor W Bro Toby Jones announced that this first evening will be followed by a series of similar events for new Masons around the Province.