Fresh from duty bringing colour to the Lincoln cityscape whilst raising money for Lincoln's St Barnabas Hospice, ‘our’ Imp has come home to the Province
With Peter Brooks, one of Lincolnshire's two APGMs, doing the bidding panel at the Lincoln Cathedral auction the Province bought our sponsored Imp for £4,500. The auction marked the end of a six-week window in which members of the public were encouraged to follow the Imp Trail and see all 31 exhibits. It's estimated that 68,000 people did exactly that, taking a billion steps around the historic city in the process.
Freemasonry's involvement with sponsorship of the Imp, in partnership with the Freemasons' charity the MCF, was seen as a novel way of donating to the Hospice funds we would ordinarily have given anyway in direct donations. Said Lincolnshire's Provincial Grand Master Dave Wheeler: 'This way we were able to actively promote awareness of Freemasonry to the community at large, and to show that we are a happy and enjoyable organisation committed to making life better in the communities in which we meet.
'Until any of us has had personal experience of the work done by Hospices and their dedicated staff, we can’t fully understand the vital role they play. We should never underestimate the value of such high levels of compassionate care, offered at the most difficult times in our lives – but it doesn’t come cheap. That’s why Freemasonry will continue to provide financial support.'
During the Imp Trail's display, Freemasonry's Imp was seen not only by those walking the trail, but also by tens of thousands more driving into the city, since it was placed at Newport Arch, a major thoroughfare since Roman times. The trail was the third of its kind in the city organised by the Lincoln Business Improvement Group. The group's Corporate Manager Sharon Stone said: 'We would like to say a big thank you to you the Freemasons and all our other sponsors for their contribution since the launch at the New Theatre Royal in October 2019. It has been an adventurous journey over two years, but everyone has pulled together and made it the success it was.'
The Imp Trail should have gone live in 2020, but was cancelled until this summer because of the pandemic. The Imp will now live at The Lincoln Masonic Centre, from where it will travel to events around the Province.