At a recent meeting of the Hungerford Lodge, the members entertained their partners and friends with a meal and Christmas Carol singing, accompanied by the Hungerford Town Band. The members met briefly in the Masonic Centre, a short walk from “The Legion“, whilst their partners and guests were entertained at the Legion by the Lodge’s Stewards.
In a change from the traditional Auction, it was decided to run a White Table evening with raffle. In Masonic circles, a White Table event is one where the members conduct a limited amount of Masonic business before joining their partners and friends for a meal.
One tradition that has been maintained despite the move from Hungerford to Newbury has been the link with the Hungerford Town Band. They have traditionally led our carol singing and, in turn, we have been staunch supporters, often helping to fund new instruments for up and coming musicians.
The raffle was well supported as usual with the Stewards working their usual magic to extricate money from all of the members.
This year there was an especially poignant reason for the members to dig deep. Our Charity Steward had been become aware of the plight of a local family who are experiencing extreme financial difficulties.
The eldest daughter, who is nineteen, has recently been diagnosed with brain cancer. She has since undergone over 50 hours of surgery which has sadly left her with many issues including being blind in one eye and difficulties walking.
The family are struggling to live day to day as the mother is now a full time carer and therefore unable to work. The Government support processes are involved but can take up to 16 weeks for money to come through. They are currently reliant on the local food bank and other handouts while their paperwork is processed.
When our Charity Steward, Nick, visited them to understand how the Berkshire Masonic family could help, he asked the young lady what she would like for Christmas and her reply was simply a pink handbag. Her eight year old sister asked for some Sylvanian family dolls, whilst the mother was just glad to have her daughter home.
This story touched every heart and the members of the Berkshire Masonic family have done everthing they can to ensure that this will be a great Christmas for this family. “Saint” Nick and a few elves visited the family to deliver three Christmas sacks of presents. The members raised £300, some of which has been used to put credit on prepay cards for both telephone and electricity.
Needless to say, a few tears of grateful joy were shed but this family are starting to look to the future. There is the small matter of 10, yes ten, medical appointments in January but the recovery process is beginning.
The members of the Hungerford Lodge are pleased to have been able to help this family and wish them, and everyone, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
If this story has sparked your interest in Freemasonry and you think you might like to join us, we would love to hear from you.