Guernsey and Alderney Freemasons have donated £2,160 to bring a number of Chelsea Pensioners to the Channel Islands to celebrate Liberation Day on 9th May
On that day in 1945 the towns of both St Helier in Jersey and St Peter Port in Guernsey were inundated by vast crowds of rapturously joyous islanders thronging the seafront to welcome the arrival of British troops.
The subsequent annual celebrations in Guernsey include a parade prior to a church service of Thanksgiving, a cavalcade of military and vintage vehicles of the era and tea dances for liberated islanders. Chelsea Pensioners have been providing a grand spectacle at all of these events for the past 40 years.
Since 2008, lodges in the Province of Guernsey and Alderney have been providing them with substantial financial support to meet the costs involved with their visits.
The Chelsea Pensioners visit the Masonic Centre every year and those who are Freemasons attend a lodge meeting during their stay. In recent years, they have been accompanied on their visits by a party of Ghurkhas.
The visiting party, which was led by Captain of Invalids Royal Hospital Chelsea, Lt-Colonel Johnny Lowe, was welcomed by Past Provincial Grand Master David Hodgetts.