In November 2006, John Donoghue of St Aldhelm’s Lodge No.2559 in Dorset was admitted to Guy’s Hospital, where he donated a kidney to his daughter Tara. For John, it was a life-changing experience seeing first-hand the suffering of so many young people. Since then, John has participated in many fundraising ventures. Last year it was Freemasonry and the RMBI in particular that benefited.
John and his friend Trevor Woodford set off on their touring bikes from Gibraltar to Poole, a formidable distance of 1,500 miles. John raised funds for the 2014 RMBI Dorset Festival and Trevor for Cancer Research UK. The final total was more than £3,000 – approximately £2 per mile. The RMBI encourages everyone within the Festival to think of ways to raise money and is committed to offering as much support to all fundraisers as it can. When it comes to fundraising, John’s motto is very clear: ‘I believe that it’s an honour to be a mason and it’s our duty to try and make a difference to those less fortunate than ourselves.’
This year, six Provinces were represented, with a team of 10 Provincial Stewards from Essex taking part. The ride, which included non-masons,
is known as the Master’s Ride. A main charity is selected each year to receive at least £100 from each rider. In addition, riders are encouraged
to support any charity selected by their Master or Province.
This year’s main charity was WheelPower, which helps disabled youngsters participate in sport and lead a more fulfilling life. Other worthy causes included the Mark Festival, the Essex Festival, the British Heart Foundation, the Motor Neurone Disease Association, Cancer Research UK and the Barford Court Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution Care Home. Some of the riders cycled the final part of the journey with children and grandchildren.
Paul Sully, from Middlesex, has organised the event for the past seven years, and the £30,000 pledged for this year’s event brought the total raised to more than £140,000. Next year’s ride is planned for Saturday 23 June. As the Paralympics will follow shortly after, it has been decided to run the event again in aid of WheelPower, who are the main charity sponsoring British wheelchair sport. Further details are available on the Middlesex Provincial website at www.pglm.org.uk.
Peter Reeves commented, ‘It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but being able to donate a worthwhile sum of money to Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support made it all worthwhile.’
James Reeves, a former soldier and Iraq veteran, set the pace up the mountains. ‘After the third one, the soles of my feet felt as if they had been beaten with a baseball bat,’ laughed climbing companion Mark, after completing the three peak challenge.
To donate, please go to www.justgiving.com/Pete-Reeves or www.justgiving.com/Mark-Best1.