Festival Presentation, Eardulph Lodge No 6645

Eardulph Lodge

The Festival 2021 Roadshow drops into Eardulph Lodge

The East Area Festival 2021 Director, David Hansen, and Festival 2021 Secretary, Paul Quinn, dropped into Eardulph Lodge, in Chester le Street, at the request of Hall Ambassador, Ian Heaviside, to introduce the RMTGB Festival 2021 appeal.

55 Chester le Street brethren had gathered to hear the message that David wanted to get across. He started by opening with the famous quote “A man never stands as tall as when he kneels to help a child!” He went onto explain that the Masonic Festival system happened every 11 years and rotated through the 4 main masonic charities, meaning that each charity gains recognition once every 44 years of a Lodge’s life. This however would be the last festival in this way as United Grand Lodge was in the process of amalgamating the 4 main Masonic Charities. This was incredibly useful as a lot of newer brethren have only been through one festival or indeed have never experienced a Masonic festival, so we all learnt a little bit, extending our Masonic knowledge on that day.

David went to explain what the RMTGB was and how it fit into the Masonic Charity structure, what the charity was involved in, such as Ruspini House, a facility that allows the children of masons to have affordable accommodation in London. Chester le Street has first-hand experience of Ruspini House as the son of the IPM of Finchale Priory Lodge, who has since joined our organisation, has used Ruspini House while he was studying for his Master’s degree at Imperial College. Other areas that the RMTGB are involved in are the Talent Aid scheme, where the children of masons that show talent in sport or the performing arts and the Stepping Stones project, which attempts to make a positive impact on the life of an under privileged child. All of these projects have already had positive impacts on the lives of the children of Durham Freemasons, and will continue to benefit the Province’s children to a much higher rate than what we pay into the charity.

The Festival is having an official launch night on 24th January 2016, when Durham masons take over the Sage Theatre to be entertained by recipients of the Talent Aid scheme, as well as other entertainers, which should make the evening a highly enjoyable night. The cost of the night is £15 per adult with U16’s being able to attend free of charge. This will be an exciting evening and a truly spectacular launch evening. A second fundraising event already booked and will take place on Saturday 2nd July 2016 at Raby Castle and the Gala director, Andrew Foster, will be in touch soon with more details of the Gala.

To assist the Charity Steward a series of seminars have been set up around the Province for late October and early November and these should give the Charity Stewards a good toolkit to assist them in starting to raise the festival funds.

The presentation was ended with the moving video titled “Maddie’s Story”, which certainly did highlight the excellent work that the RMTGB did in assisting children when tragedy strikes a family and if that didn’t move you then nothing ever will.

David then thanked the brethren for listening and opened the floor to any questions, which both he and Paul Quinn answered succinctly and clearly, before telling the brethren the best way to donate. Of course the old fashioned way of donating a set amount each month, for the length of the Festival, but the preferred method of donation is through the continuous giving scheme, with Gift Aid increasing every taxpayer’s donation by 25%. However, although a great sum, in excess of £662,000, has already been raised, the small number of continuous givers needs to be increased and David challenged the attending brethren to break the continuous giving record of 9 new subscribers. At Eardulph Lodge this record was increased by 2 as David and Paul achieved 11 new subscribers.

The presentation was ended with a final quote, which summed up the Festival subscribers, which was “Blessed is the man who gives more than he who receives”.

With the presentation being ended the Lodge was closed and the brethren adjourned to the Festive Board. After eating and to round the evening off perfectly the brethren were entertained by a 17 year old young woman, who sang and played guitar. Chloe Briggs, the daughter of Eardulph member, who is studying at Framwellgate School. Chloe is studying Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Music, and is studying hard for her Grade 7 Voice exams, which we sincerely hope that Chloe does well in.

Chloe was well received by the brethren who enthusiastically greeted the end of each song with thunderous applause, but Chloe deserved it as she was excellent, although Chloe looked totally astounded to receive such a welcome.

Here was a girl who should have been in receipt of Talent Aid, but who had not received any help, why I hear you ask? Well the answer was simple and although her father was a mason, he had never heard of the Talent Aid.

It is our responsibility, brethren, to make sure that this does not happen again so let us totally support the Festival and raise more money than the target we are set, then we can deem ourselves successful!!!