In February 2019, the Fleet House Light Blues Club of Hertfordshire (FHLBC) lost a very active member – Charles Wandrag suffered silently with mental health issues and took his own life
The FHLBC hosted an eight mile charity walk around St Albans in memory of Charles on Saturday 29th June 2019. Over 25 people joined together to raise awareness of mental health and many more donated to their cause.
The walk fell on the hottest day of the year, so with plenty of sun cream the group first headed for Old Gorhambury house. Events Secretary Luke Crouch directed the way while Membership Secretary Lee Canon – dressed in a banana man costume – made sure nobody was lost at the back. After a quick rest it was off to find the first pub and enjoy some cold refreshment.
It was delightful to see Charles' widow and mother in-law on the walk standing alongside members of his mother lodge, Halsey Lodge No. 1479, and the FHLBC. Once refreshed the group completed two more pubs and a rather large buffet before arriving at St Albans cathedral, members lit a candle for Charles and proceeded to view the Halsey Lodge emblem on the pulpit.
After nearly eight long hot miles, the gang returned to Ashwell House for a even bigger buffet, a raffle and presentation. The grand total money raised is still ongoing as they are still accepting donations, however they have raised over £3,300.
You can watch a video of the event here.
Masonic gift from 1883
Nearly 800 Hertfordshire masons and their families attended the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban for a service of thanksgiving and the rededication of a pulpit, a gift from English Freemasons in 1883. Most of the original funding for the carved stone pulpit came from the Province of Hertfordshire and three lodges in particular – Watford, No. 404, Gladsmuir, No. 1385, and Halsey, No. 1479.
Its £6,000 restoration, under the guidance of Hertfordshire Provincial Grand Orator and Cathedral Clerk of the Works, George Laverick, was made possible by many lodge donations, as well as three other local orders: Knights Templar, Rose Croix and Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia.
At the service, Provincial Grand Master Colin Harris and Dean the Very Rev Jeﬀrey John both referred to the relationship between the Abbey and Hertfordshire Provincial Grand Stewards’ Lodge, No. 8984, which regularly assists at major Abbey events. The restored pulpit is situated in the crossing of the cathedral, under the great Norman Tower.