Seven-year-old James Kelly was given his yellow teddy (now called “TLC”) when he arrived in Accident and Emergency with a broken nose. The teddy went a long way to making him feel less apprehensive, and made the visit to hospital much less stressful for James and his parents.
James’ father, Ian, is a relatively new member of Brownlow Lodge no. 2131 in Ellesmere, Shropshire, and has recently become Charity Steward. James took a liking to the teddy lapel badge which his Dad wore, and was given one of his own to wear on his school jacket. Soon it became obvious that James’ teddy was not alone and some of James’ friends as well as other boys at Bellan House School in Oswestry were also sons of Masons with their own teddy badges.
The links did not stop there – James’ music teacher turned out to be a Steward in Fitz Alan Lodge no. 1432, and one of his class teachers was married to another member of the same lodge. One thing led to another and the Bellan House link inspired masonic visits between several lodges, including a North Wales contingent from a Wrexham lodge. Thanks to Ian, James and “TLC” the work of this wonderful charity is spreading still further, and new friendships are being forged!