Almost £300 was raised for charity when brethren from Scunthorpe, in the Province of Lincolnshire, set the ritual aside for the second time and showed off the hobbies they engage in during spare moments
At a day’s event under the banner of ‘Beyond the Ritual’ a group came together to show off subjects as diverse as stamp collecting and beekeeping; jewellery making and ropework.
The event was organised by John Cuthbert, a member of St Lawrence Lodge No. 2078, who showed off his aero modelling prowess. John said: 'It was pleasing to see the number of people and their wives who came forward to show off their non-Masonic skills, and there was a lot to interest visitors.'
John, himself a world champion model aircraft maker and flyer, said he was always thrilled to see what brethren could do – from building a Lambretta scooter by Peter Hughes, another St Lawrence member, to the complex ropework of Fred Coles, at the time Worshipful Master of the Lodge of St John No. 7840. 'I taught myself the skill aboard a submarine under the Baltic during the long hours with nothing else to do,' said Fred.
For Pete, he not only completed the nut-and-bolt scooter build project in only a matter of weeks, but also rode the bike to Italy – an incident-free round trip of almost 1,000 miles – to be part of Lambretta’s 70th anniversary celebrations. The scooter is painted grey. 'It matches my sunny disposition,' joked Peter.
Other hobbies include long-time philatelist Mike Craggs, a Past Master of the Lodge of St John No. 7840, who has thousands of interesting stamps and first day covers in his collection.
Pete Adams, Past Master of Pharos Lodge No. 6450, used his love of engineering and design to launch a new business in retirement. A couple of years ago, Pete was looking inside an Avro Shackleton aircraft at Newark Air Museum and was interested by the crew workstation lamps. This interest developed and he now collects and restores all kinds of vintage aircraft workstation lamps. He said: 'Some are very rare and go back to the glamourous inter-war flying boat era. Spares are either scarce or non-existent, and I am in the process of replicating many rare items.'
John Cuthbert also praised the Scunthorpe Masonic Building catering team of Cheryl and Mel, who were there throughout the day selling refreshments. 'They provided all the food, and all the money went straight to charity,' he said. 'That was a wonderful gesture and very much appreciated.
'In the end we were able to collect £280 to give to the Lincolnshire Masonic Charity Association, which, with the money raised the previous year, means we have donated about £600 to support good causes around the Province of Lincolnshire,' he said.