Lodges and chapters in Dorset have come together in an effort to support Budmouth College with a potentially life-saving donation in the form of defibrillator equipment
Together with the Craft and Royal Arch Provinces of Dorset, Rose Croix, Mark and Royal Ark Mariners, local lodges and chapters have donated more than £2,000 of defibrillator equipment to the school in Weymouth, Dorset. The defibrillator was installed at the entrance to the secondary school building and is available for use by the public.
Graham Glazier, Provincial Grand Master of Dorset, said: 'As Freemasons we believe in playing a key role in our communities and give time and money to charitable ventures. It’s an honour to be able to supply this machine to the school.'
A defibrillator gives a high energy electric shock to the heart through the chest wall to someone who is in cardiac arrest. It's an essential lifesaving step in the chain of survival.
This defibrillator is the latest in a succession of similar donations by Dorset Freemasons who have placed public access defibrillators on all 17 masonic buildings across Dorset. The cost of the Defibrillator was £2,398.80 with donations from a number of lodges and chapters in the local area as well as contributions from the Provincial Grand Master's Discretionary Fund.
Alongside the Province of Dorset, the lodges and chapters who donated were Portland Rose Croix, All Souls Lodge No. 170, Dorset District Rose Croix, Quintus Lodge No. 8118, All Souls Mark Lodge No. 126, Portland Royal Arch Mariners No.133 and Portland Lodge No. 1037.
Geoffrey James Blake has become the fifth generation of his family to become a member of Portland Lodge No. 1037 in Dorset
His heritage stretches back to 1908. His family have been members of the lodge unbroken since 1908 and have supported the lodge for a total of 152 years – with more to come.
Geoffrey's Great–Great Grandfather Joseph Stone was initiated into Portland Lodge in 1908. He served the lodge as Worshipful Master in 1919 and died a member in 1954. During his year as Master, he initiated his son, Lesley W G Stone (Geoffrey's Great–Grandfather), who remained a member until 1980.
Lesley's daughter Esme married George F J Blake (Geoffrey's Grandfather), who was initiated in 1972 and remained a member until his death in 1998. George's son Graham D Blake was initiated in 1979, served as Master in 1990 and proudly initiated his son Geoffrey into Portland Lodge, completing five generations.
The Past Provincial Grand Master of Dorset Harry Barnes was present and even sang the Initiates Song in the dining room after the Festive Board.
Kevin Abbiss from Portland's mother lodge, All Souls Lodge No. 170 in Weymouth, presented Geoffrey with a number of booklets and pamphlets from All Souls library that mentioned the family over the past century. A wonderful evening was enjoyed by all.
Every Province looks for ways to raise money for their festivals. Dorset has decided to do it from a great height, by challenging their brethren to take a 10,000 feet tandem skydive. Little did they know that the first volunteer to take up the challenge would be Mrs Mary Rousell, wife of W Bro John Rousell of Brownsea Island Lodge No. 9689, to celebrate her 70th birthday. A mother of two grown up children and with three grandchildren, Mary has always been an active fund-raiser for Action for Children, and is currently chairman of Friends for Guiding Brownsea Island. Her husband John said, 'as soon as she heard about it she signed up'.
W Bro Ray White, of Portland Lodge No. 1037, who is organising the event did his first jump this year, was so enthusiastic about it he decided that if he could challenge all the lodges in Dorset to send a volunteer to represent their lodge, it would make a great day out as well as raise funds for Dorset’s RMBI 2014 Festival. Jumpers must pay a deposit of £50, and then raise sponsorship to a minimum of £325.
Set for May 2013 at Old Sarum Airfield, Salisbury, Ray is hoping he can attract not only Dorset masons, but also brethren or their families from neighbouring Provinces. He said that there is no upper age limit, and the oldest person to jump at Salisbury was 93.