Freemasons from the Lodge of Amity No. 137 in Dorset gave up their time to redecorate a local charity’s building
Members of the lodge assembled at Barnabas House, a facility of the Diverse Abilities charity in Poole. Armed with paint brushes, rollers and gallons of white paint they set about transforming the appearance of the building.
Dorset Freemason Martin Barker said: 'I was Master of the Lodge of Amity last year when our members donated over £2,000 to the Diverse Abilities charity. When I heard that the outside of Barnabas House needed painting, I realised that this was a project where our lodge could also provide practical help.'
Barnabas House is a lively day centre for adults with a disability. It is a place where they can meet and make new friends, acquire new skills and enjoy a wide range of experiences.
A Barnabas House representative expressed delight at the results, commenting: 'Without the volunteers from the Lodge of Amity we would have had to spend many hundreds of pounds out of the charity’s limited funds to do this.'
The Lodge of Amity is the oldest Masonic Lodge in Dorset, dating back to 1765. It meets once a month in a magnificent grade II listed building in Poole.
Members of the oldest Masonic Lodge in Dorset have given £2,000 to help fund local charity Diverse Abilities
The donation was the result of money raised by members of the Lodge of Amity No. 137 in Poole at social events during Martin Barker’s year as Master of the Lodge in 2017. Martin was delighted to nominate Diverse Abilities as his chosen charity for the year.
Diverse Abilities work to enable children and adults with disabilities to achieve their full potential by providing a lifetime of sustainable support and educational services since 1955. Diverse Abilities supports 700 children and adults in the local community, at a cost of £18,000 per day to run the charity.
Mark Powell, Chief Executive of Diverse Abilities, commented: 'We had a lovely surprise when Martin came into the office with a £2,000 donation from the Lodge of Amity.'
Richard Merritt, Provincial Grand Master of Dorset, said: 'As Masons, we believe in playing a key role in our communities and give time and money to charitable ventures regularly; it’s wonderful that the Lodge of Amity have been able to help this local charity.'
On a hot summers night, the meeting of the Lodge of Amity No. 137 held on 19th July was anything but regular when Wiltshire Freemasons travelled to the Masonic Hall in Poole – the occasion being the Tercentenary banner handover between Dorset and near neighbours Wiltshire
Two Provincial Grand Masters, two Past Deputy Provincial Grand Masters and two Assistant Provincial Grand Masters added lustre to the occasion, which saw over 100 brethren witness the moment when Wiltshire's RW Bro Philip Bullock invited Dorset PrGM RW Bro Richard Merritt to receive the banner and pass it on to the Provincial Grand Master for Somerset.
In a ceremony planned and executed to perfection, the banner took its place in the Lodge room following an insightful explanation of its origins and journey around the South West Provinces thus far.
RW Bro Richard Merritt explained how the banner has travelled from Jersey, through Guernsey and Alderney to Hampshire and Isle of Wight before being entrusted to Wiltshire.
Having now been passed to Dorset, the next destination will be Somerset when RW Bro Richard Merritt will transfer the banner to his Somerset counterpart RW Bro Stuart Hadler during a special presentation ceremony to the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance at Henstridge on 9th August.
RW Bro Philip Bullock thanked the Province of Somerset and in particular, the Master and brethren of Lodge of Amity No. 137 for the generous and warm fraternal hospitality extended to the Wiltshire team.
At the 250th anniversary of the Lodge of Amity No. 137
Guest of honour RW Bro Sir Stuart Hampson, SGW, had a very special surprise when he was reunited with two brethren with whom he attended the Royal Masonic School for Boys in Bushey in the 1960s and had not seen since.
W Bro Chris Bond and W Bro Graham May on seeing that Sir Stuart was to grace the lodge with his presence decided to make his visit a memorable one. Not content with just their presence, W Bro Chris received permission from the lodge to reprise the school’s Latin grace which he recited at the Festive Board much to the enjoyment of their honoured guest.