Quantock Lodge – Lockdown News.
Here at Quantock Lodge in Watchet, we were fortunate insofar as we managed to have a Standing Committee meeting just prior to the lockdown, at which we discussed forthcoming Lodge donations to local charities.
These are normally finalised at the Standing Committee meeting in April and presented to our Brethren in May.
However, rather than lose an opportunity to provide immediate support to deserving local causes, particularly in these difficult times, a quorum of Lodge Officers was formed whereby nominated charities and others previously receiving Quantock Lodge support were forwarded to Bro Steven Wort, our Charity Steward.
A final list of nominees (approved by the quorum) was distributed to the Brethren of Quantock Lodge via email for their agreement or comment to the contrary by 1st May.
Nothing adverse was received, so I am very pleased to announce that a total of £2,150 has now been awarded to those local causes.
Match-funding from Province was neither sought, nor realistically expected at first because our IPM, W.Bro Chris Crump, had recently received match-funding for his chosen charity, “Somerset Sight”, nominated during his year in office. A cheque for £1,000 was presented to them in March this year.
However, a phonecall discussion was had with APGM W. Bro Martin Slocombe whereupon the subject of potential match-funding was broached in light of the major difficulties currently facing small community charities as a direct result of the Covid-19 situation.
The recent swift action taken in April by PGLS to provide match-funding for local community charities in immediate need was very generously extended to include one such of the Quantock Lodge nominations.
The Soup Kitchen at Watchet’s Phoenix Centre provides weekly meals to those suffering a variety of personal difficulties.
The Phoenix Centre is a community centre in Watchet which exists as a charitable base serving the local community of Watchet and West Somerset.
It currently provides a lunch club for the elderly as well as a ‘days out’ scheme to combat isolation and loneliness. A variety of community groups are based there, including the Soup Kitchen, which is now in receipt of £350 from Quantock Lodge, which includes the £200 contribution from PGLS. This is very timely for them to continue their vital community support.
The Brethren of Quantock Lodge thank W. Bro Martin for his support and assistance.
The remainder of the aforementioned £2.150 was split equally (£200 each) between the following charitable organisations for immediate use ;- Malcolm Bale Charity (donation to Watchet Sea Scouts), PALS Musgrove, Dementia Musgrove, Love Musgrove, St Margaret’s Hospice, Croft House Care Home (Williton), Roadwater Community Trust, Friends of Williton Hospital, Watchet & Williton Wheels Project.
A ‘Phone-A-Brother’ helpline has also been established within the Lodge. Five volunteers (Lodge Officers) have been regularly keeping in touch with all the Brethren of the Lodge and the feedback has been very positive.
While it has been suggested that Lodges may lose members during this lockdown for various reasons (not withstanding from the virus itself) we have been advised by two Brothers, who had not been to the Lodge for a while, that they would like to attend again when restrictions are lifted.
The other very good news is that, so far, the Brethren of Quantock Lodge have come through relatively unscathed and remain in a positive mood. Bro Chris Eveleigh (ex Bicknoller Inn landlord) and his wife Rachel have established a takeaway from their new premises at the Lamb Inn at Silverton but sadly, because of the distance, are unable to deliver locally to the Watchet area. Bro Jamie Williams, a self-employed painter and decorator, has managed to keep himself employed with contract work, and Bro Ian Gabb, a printer / designer, our latest Initiate, has kept himself occupied by producing various posters required during the pandemic.
Last but not least, W.Bro Edward Martin held a ZOOM presentation of his memories of the West Somerset Railway. Coincidentally, one of the guest speakers recalled working with W.Bro Peter Lock’s brother and, because Peter had actually “tuned in” to the broadcast, it brought back some happy memories for him.
The only serious disappointment brought about by the current situation is that we have had to postpone celebrating 60 years in Freemasonry for W.Bro Eric Murrell; this was to be celebrated on Wednesday 6th May 2020. W.Bro Eric had sent me his version of ‘We’ll meet again’ so, to mark his special day, and because it feels appropriate, it will be distributed to the Brethren. However, it is our intention to ensure that this celebration is held as soon as it is safe and possible to do.
The Master and Brethren of Quantock Lodge hope that you all remain safe and well until the current restrictions are lifted and we can all resume Freemasonry and enjoy the company of our families and friends once again.
W.Bro. Alex Moran. WM & LCO Quantock Lodge 4446.
Posted by W.Bro Andy Baird. Exmoor Lodge LCO and PGLS ACO SW.