Our 2016-2017 Worshipful Master Shaun Brant and his Lady, Susie (pictured) welcomed more than 100 attendees to the Gala Banquet held on 22 April 2017. The ladies looked ever so sparkling and a wonderful time was had by all, dancing the night away with music by The Daisy Chains, an all female band.
The menu included prawn cocktail, chicken breast stuffed with cream cheese and wrapped in proscuitto, and chef's special cheesecake, all beautifully prepared by the Wallingford Masonic Centre caterer.
The event raised nearly £3000 for the Footsteps Foundation charity, based in Dorchester on Thames and helping children with neurological disorders. We wish to thank all the Brethren and their guests who were most supportive, contributing several unique prises for the auction and the raffle.
Photo below shows WB Shaun Brant (IPM) and WB Ed McTeague (PM) presenting the cheque for £4000 in total to the team at Footsteps. Well done, brethren, for your support of this worthy charity helping children.
Portcullis Lodge Donates £1000 to SSNAP at John Radcliffe Hospital
Our WM Shaun Brant and WB Steve Morant (Treasurer) presented a cheque for £1000 to the SSNAP charity on 20 Aprill 2017. A more detailed story is being considered for submission to the Link magazie. SSNAP supports sick and premature babies in the Intensive Care Newborn Unit, as well as their parents. More information can be found at their website http://www.ssnap.org.uk/ . Photo - see Gallery section.
The letter at the left really says so much about the wonderful work that SSNAP is doing.
WB Atkins presenting the £1500 Donation to the Talking Newspapers
SUPPORT FOR ROKE & BENSON BRASS BAND CHARITIES
At our 2016 Christmas Festive Board we enjoyed their lead on carol singing, and helped with support of the band's three charities. In total the band raised £1,022 over the Christmas period to be split between
The MS Therapy Centre, Didcot
The Haematology Ward at the Churchill Hospital
SeeSaw - for bereaved children
Hope for Tomorrow - Portcullis Lodge was pleased to donate £500 to the Hope for Tomorrow charity as part of the effort by the Mark 2017 Festival. This charity provides mobile chemotherapy treatment in several areas of the country. For details of their work see http://www.hopefortomorrow.org.uk/
FREEMASONS SUPPORT THE WALLINGFORD DISTRICT TALKING NEWSPAPER
The Wallingford District Talking Newspaper (WDTN), now in its 30th year, provides audio versions of the local weekly newspaper, The Wallingford Herald, a monthly round-up of village and parish magazines and a monthly recording of the Benson Bulletin. For the first 24 years the recordings were made on cassette tapes, but in April 2010 WDTN went digital. The recordings are now put onto USB memory sticks and every listener is provided with a player – designed specifically for people with visual impairments – on which they listen to their talking newspaper and magazines. Freemasonry is pleased to support worthy and charitable needs in the communities in which we live. Portcullis Lodge No. 6672, regularly meeting in Wallingford since 1948, is one of many Lodges under the administration of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Berkshire. One of our members suggested we support the good work being done by the Talking Newspaper. We therefore applied to the Berkshire Masonic Charity for funding, and were granted a donation of £1500 to be used to improve and supplement services to the visually impaired.
The Talking Newspaper recordings are sent out by post in wallets with a reversible label that the listener uses to return them when they have finished listening. Because “articles for the blind” are entitled to free postage there is no cost to WDTN or the listener. In fact, WDTN is able to provide the whole service completely free to all the listeners because of the generosity of local organisations such as the Freemasons, Rotary/Inner Wheel, Comrades Club and the annual street collection, as well individual donations and bequests. With this money it has been possible to purchase and replace all the electronic equipment needed for making the recordings, and the memory sticks, digital copying machine as well as the players issued to listeners.
WDTN enjoys the services of approximately 60 volunteers - a majority of whom are the readers whose voices are heard on the weekly and monthly recordings. Other “jobs” include the producers/technicians and the copying machine operators. Three readers are used for each edition, so that there is a variety of voices on each recording. As well as sending out individual copies of the recordings WDTN has recently started sending a copy to a local organisation that provides care and support for people with learning disabilities. This recording is then sent on, by email, to all the houses managed by the organisation so that the recordings can then be listened to on their computers. Copies are also sent to a number of local care homes for the elderly. It is planned, in the future, to put the recordings on to a website so that they can be listened to that way. As technology develops, so we need to keep pace and adapt accordingly. WDTN is one of seven talking newspapers in Oxfordshire and is part of a nationwide network of talking newspapers, all serving visually impaired people and others who have difficulty reading a newspaper for whatever reason, in their local communities.
Volunteers Reading and Recording News from the Wallingford Herald
BENSON and CHOLSEY SCOUT GROUPS SUPPORTED
From the June 2016 Edition of the Benson Bulletin community newspaper:
Before a precis of section activities, we must offer our sincere thanks to the Wallingford Freemasons, in particular Portcullis Lodge, who very generously presented 1st Benson Scout Group with a cheque for £500 to enable us to purchase some much needed cooking and tent equipment, a donation that will provide benefit to the Group and children of Benson Parish for many years to come.
We also gave £500 to the Cholsey Scouts to help their purchase of a van, and were pleased they placed our Portcullis logo on the vehicle.
DONATION TO WALLINGFORD MUSEUM
The Lodge donated £1000 to the Wallingford Museum to assist in providing improved storage of historic artefacts and to modify toilet facilities for the disabled. The Museum is a registered charity, staffed by dedicated volunteers, and its finances depend entirely on donations, visitor entrance fees, and shop sales of books and souvenirs.
Photo shows Bro. Jacob Khokhlov, who initiated the idea for the donation, presenting the cheque to Steve Capel-Davis, head of the Board of Trustees, with other officers and volunteers present. The Mayor of Wallingford, Ros Lester, also attended and is most supportive of the Museum.
The Museum will soon apply for planning permission to build a climate controlled storeroom to replace the existing shed, and to provide toilets for the disabled. Space for storage has essentially been fully utilized. This will eventually give much needed space to improve displays in the upper floors.
Opened in 1981 and expanded in 2005, the Museum is housed in the medieval oak-beamed Flint House (Grade II listed) on the High Street. Annually, the 2000 or so adult visitors, with about 1000 children paying no fee, provides an income of about £8500 for maintenance, utilities, and improvements to the displays. The guest book indicates visitors were very much impressed with their experience.
Portcullis Lodge is pleased to be able to support such worthy projects which benefit the community. Should anyone know of a possible corporate or private sponsor who might be interested in helping to support the Museum please contact the curator, Judy Dewey, on 01491 651127 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Some photos of the museum - the centre photo is the current storage shed!
(This story was carried in the September 2016 edition of The Link magazine)
Portcullis Lodge 6672 Supports Daytime Services for Disadvantaged and Learning Impaired Adults
Several of the service users from the Wallingford centre of South Oxfordshire Daytime Services enjoyed an outing on the Thames River on 10 August 2016. The group boarded the Rivertime Boat Trust boat at the Henley Rowing Museum, a very scenic part of the river, with lunches and treats packed and ready to make the outing even more enjoyable. Portcullis Lodge 6672 was pleased to be able to provide funding of £200 for this event.
Anne Sargent, manager of Daytime Support Service said ‘Thanks again for the money for the boat trip. The service users and staff are very grateful for the kind donation.’ Without a donation the service users would find it difficult to personally fund this special social event. Some photos of the group boarding for their adventure are shown below.
Oxfordshire has 7 Daytime Support Centres. Organised by voluntary groups and Oxfordshire County Council, they provide places where people can receive care and support and have fun socialising, while feeling at home and retaining their independence.
These centres support adults with physical disabilities, older frail adults, people with dementia, mental health problems and learning disabilities. Services are tailored to a person’s individual and cultural needs. They also provide a valuable break for carers.
For further information please see their website at https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/cms/public-site/daytime-support
The Rivertime Boat is ideally suited for disadvantaged children and adults, and is fitted out with a lift to make boarding easy for the disabled. Should you need further information please see their website at http://www.rivertimeboattrust.org.uk/.
(This story was carried in the October 2016 edition of Window for Wallingford magazine)
Site migrated 31st January 2016 Published 24th April 2016 Last update 10 February 2018