The first Masonic Secret Santa Meeting was held by Loxford Lodge No. 5621 on 14th December 2021 at The Square at Upminster. All the presents were known but the children who received them were a secret
Instead of an alms collection the Brethren brought presents for children needing specialist care at Addenbrookes Hospital spending Christmas away from home. At the request of the Hospital’s Charity Trust the presents were not wrapped so that the staff could give an appropriate present to each child who would gain the most, as some have limited mobility and/or special needs and needed toys that have music, sound or lights.
A huge ‘Thank-you’ by the hospital was extended to all the Essex Freemasons who donated presents and money during a special 25 Days of Christmas Fundraiser in honour of the late Alexander Badman who was Master of the Lodge in 1995 and 2011. Alex’s son and Lodge Steward, Harry, explained:
'The appeal is looking to become a yearly event, growing each year, and, Covid permitting, allowing more people to join in with direct fundraising. However, the recipients of the funds will look to change each year so more and more children are supported. In 2022, the fundraising is looking to fund Christmas presents for Children in shelters across Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire, depending on funds. The target is going to be raised to £2,500 off the back of an incredible year. If anyone would like to join the team, please contact me and I would be more than happy to help!'
John Cannon, the Lodge Secretary, said the Meeting was also successful in that Mustafa Ibrahim Mustafa was welcomed back as a re-joining member and Alex Dring was fervently initiated into Freemasonry by the Worshipful Master, Richard Capener. John Cannon delivered the Charge and an Explanation of the First Degree Tracing Board was given by Paul Scothern.
The grateful appreciation of the Province was conveyed by the Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Lodge, Martin Howse, who was delighted to confirm Loxford Lodge had also qualified with Platinum status for the Essex 2022 Festival.
Charity Steward, Mike Moisley, said 'We had a very busy meeting and as you can see from the pictures there were plenty of presents donated for children at Addenbrookes Hospital. In addition, the raffle monies were topped up to £500 from the Lodge of Instruction funds and also put towards buying presents'.
The children who were at Addenbrookes in special care over Christmas may not know about Freemasonry or the £51 million given to deserving causes in 2020 alone, but for the 27 Masonic Secret Santas who met at Loxford Lodge on 14th December 2021 all the presents were known but the children who received them were a secret.