As if we need reminding of the fact that the summer had slipped away, when the strident tones of the alarm announced the arrival of the day of the final East Kent Fishing Charity's event of the season and it was still dark - groan! However all gloomy thoughts of short days were dispelled on the journey to Chart Fisheries in the beautiful Weald of Kent as we enjoyed a morning of clear blue skies, a warming sun and pockets of mist trapped in the low ground. As my good friend Bro Len Hopkinson remarked after extensively quoting Keats - 'not even a coarse fisherman could fail to be moved by the beauty of the day'!
Yes indeed, this was to be the last of four events in 2011 in what can only be described as a highly successful season of fishing for disadvantaged young people. With a now well established and enthusiastic team, all of the usual routines had swung effortlessly into action as we prepared to receive our fishing partners from the Portal School, Dover. At the stroke of ten and promptly on cue, a group of very excited young men disembarked from their transport, each one keen to learn and anxious to get started.
From the outset the competition was fierce to be the most successful young fisherman of the day and in barely no time at all, excited cries heralded the first of many catches of the day. The school staff in attendance were surprised and amazed in equal measure by how attentive the young people were and how they remained focussed on what they were doing. It was also heartening to witness the obvious rapport being generated between the casters and their young charges, evidence if any were needed, of the benefits of our work within the community.
We were very pleased to receive the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Roger Odd, who met with all of the young people and kindly agreed to award the certificates of achievement and prizes. In his closing address, Roger paid tribute to the members who gave their time so freely in support of such a worthwhile cause and for the happiness they generated.
Particular thanks are due to Ray Smith, Event Organiser, Len Hopson, Caster Manager, Pat Flanagan, Branch Secretary and Tim Pierpoint, Branch Treasurer - thanks guys for all your hard work in preparing for and delivering a wonderful season.