Thanks to a donation from Durham Benevolence, and the support of brethren from all around the Province, the Durham Branch of the Masonic Fishing Charity hosted its very ﬁrst event at the Aldin Grange ﬁshing lakes, near Bearpark, in Durham, on Saturday 23rd September
On this bright autumnal morning, the Branch Chairman David Grey, along with Graham Snell, Deputy CEO of the Masonic Fishing Charity, greeted 11 pupils, together with three staff from The Oaks, a large, local authority secondary school, based in Spennymoor, which caters for young people with special educational needs from across South West Durham.
The weather conditions were ideal, apart from a slight breeze; however, they all needed some luck to start catching. This came, surprisingly, in the form of the Provincial Grand Master Eric Heaviside who had come along to support the event. Shortly after Eric’s arrival, the students were into their ﬁrst catch which continued at an erratic rate, depending on where Eric was standing. The enthusiastic shouts of ‘got a ﬁsh!’ continued right up until it was time to break for lunch, by which time 10 of the students had caught ﬁsh.
After the ﬁnal cast of the day, all the participants retired to a barn to attend an awards ceremony where David Grey and Eric Heaviside presented special trophies, medals and certiﬁcates of achievement to each youngster. In response, Harry Wilkinson, the teacher in charge from The Oaks School, thanked everyone concerned for the time given voluntarily by all those who organised the event to bring an interactive ﬁshing and countryside experience to all of his students who had attended this very memorable day.
The Durham Branch held another event more recently at Aldin Grange ﬁshing lakes, which was a recruitment and training day for participants identiﬁed from within the Province. Once again, the venue was kindly provided by Brian Hodgson from Agricola Lodge No. 7741.
To find out more about the Masonic Fishing Charity click here.