Braham Djidjelli

Essex Freemasons fund eyes on the sea to help save lives

New state of the art CCTV cameras will ensure that eyes will always be on the sea looking out for people in distress and saving lives around the Canvey coastline, thanks to a series of grants from Essex Freemasons.

The money, totalling some £3,600, has been donated to the Coastwatch charity situated in the grounds of Canvey Island Yacht Club. It is one of the busiest areas in the country for call outs to rescue people in difficulty, which means that CCTV has become a vital tool to assist volunteers on the ground.

Grahame Harris, Station Manager at the Canvey HQ, explained: “Because of the tidal situation which can catch out unwary visitors and the large numbers who enjoy being on the sea the Coastguard record more incidents around the Canvey and Southend area establishing the Southend RNLI Station as the busiest in the country.”

“This is why we needed to install CCTV to ensure that we always had eyes out to sea to provide a record of incidents and ensure that rescue teams can reach those in distress as quickly as possible. This is why the money from Essex Freemasons will make such a difference.”

The £3,600 needed to fund the new TV system was made up from donations from St Katharines Chapter which meets at Rochford, a direct grant from the Essex Freemasons Community Fund and additional donations from St. Katharine’s Lodge and from Counos Lodge which meets at Southend.

“One of the members of St. Katharine’s Lodge, Bill Blissett, is a volunteer at Coastwatch, Canvey,” said Keith Frost, Charity Steward for St Katharines Chapter. “He told us of the need to raise money to pay for new CCTV equipment and once we knew how it would be used, our members were pleased to authorise a donation.”

Members of St Katharine’s Chapter and Lodge and Counos, together with other senior Essex Freemasons turned out in force to see how the money had been spent and the difference the new CCTC system will make. They are pictured with Station Manager Grahame and volunteers Bill Blissett and Joanne Stapleton.

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Freemasons donate £1140 to Maldon Saints Youth Football Club Defibrillator Appeal

Having seen Maldon Saints YFC appeal for funding to purchase Defibrillators, the Brethren of Mitre Lodge No 9307, (many of whom live in Maldon), decided to donate £500 towards the cost. However, this amount was not sufficient to purchase all that was necessary, so the Secretary of Mitre Lodge asked the Brethren of the Maldon Masonic Lodges if they would join in and also support Maldon Saints YFC with their appeal.

All were pleased to join in, and they were, Lodge of St Peter, Beeleigh Abbey Lodge,

Daen Ingas Lodge, Wheel of Fellowship Lodge, Frederick Leistikow Lodge, Coromandel Chapter, Frederick Leistikow Chapter, and Plume Chapter.

The Grand Total was increased from £500 to £1140 which therefore allows Maldon Saints to buy the Portable Defibrilator and the Training for the members who will operate it.

The Donation was made on Saturday the 4th September by Dave Harrop the Master of Mitre Lodge and Paul Beech the Chairman of Maldon Masonic Hall on behalf of the Maldon Lodges.

Pictured are:-

From the left, Matt Elderton Maldon Saints YFC Fundraiser, Paul Beech Chairman Maldon Masonic Hall, Dave Harrop Worshipful Master Mitre Lodge, Darren Suitmore Chairman Maldon Saints YFC.

Also present from Maldon Saints YFC were Zeta Conway Secretary and Paul Height.

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Essex Provincial Grand Stewards Golf Day

The eagerly awaited Provincial Grand Stewards Golf Day finally took place at the South Essex Golf Club on Friday 31st July 2021. The originally planned Spring Event that had been months in the planning, had to be rescheduled twice in May and June, creating significant logistical planning implications.

Undeterred, the organising team of Stewards, myself included, led by WB Christian Webb, maintained their positivity, and constant communication with the changing circa 20 x Four Ball teams (80 participants).  Christian  reported that “the committed brethren and friends were amazingly understanding and patient even after what May have felt like a deluge of calls and emails from me”. 

The day was finally upon us and the teams began arriving at 8am to a full English breakfast and tea. The teams were teeing off on two separate courses and playing the front nine on one and back nine on the other using a team based Texas Scramble format.  After staggering playing teams between breakfast, the driving range and the flawless scheduling of the tee times, we got all the teams off on time to enjoy some great playing and scoring efforts.  

The 80 golfers were supported by us Stewards delivering drinks and snacks and coordinating the nearest the pin and longest drive mini competitions, began to arrive back to a hearty lunch. Even with a little rain during some of the later rounds, teams were arriving back in good spirits, looking forward to what was to follow.  

The Raffle was held first which generated a tidy sum.  Next followed the Memorabilia Auction with a selection of items primarily from across the sporting  world, which proved to be really popular. With John Conteh (Light Heavyweight Boxing Champ) in attendance it, it would have been a real opportunity missed to not invite John to host the Auction, which he very graciously agreed to do.  It’s fair to say he had done this before, and put on a real show, which added to the entertainment of the whole affair, it’s also fair to say the expert selection of items and Jonah Conte’s expert execution definitely led to creating that perfect balance between competition and generous giving. 

The Prize Giving followed, with last place going to a very gracious team called Tinos, and first place overall competition winners being Danny's Banditos.

Other notable guests in addition to our very own Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge - Peter Hollingsworth and Provincial Grand Communications Officer Peter Low, were Tony Cottee of West Ham fame, the entertainer Roger De Courcey from Chelsea Lodge and Ian Watson who donated a pair of signed Anthony Joshua boxing gloves for the Auction and who was also responsible for inviting along along Roger De Courcey and John Conteh.  

Thanks also to our Sponsors, IT Positive Ltd, Belmont Security Systems Ltd and MDG Ltd, organised by WB Dan Broyd.  Also the larger team organisers such as Chris Lee for organising the teams from Lodge of IV along with Richard ‘Juggler’ Austin and Kevin Vance who organised the teams from All England.  

Thanks to our team of Amazing Stewards of Danny Gearing, Paul Bates, Roland Carpenter, Gary Soars and of course our resident provincial Photographer Mike Barrett. 

All in all a really successful day, with all the participants support and generosity generating over £5,200 for the Festival 2022. 

Written by WB Jeff Palmer

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