Members of Hungerford Lodge gathered recently to surprise Thatcham resident Peter Congerton with a mobility scooter.
Peter and his family were invited to the Newbury Masonic Centre for a private tour before being shown round the building. Significant items were explained to them before Lodge Charity Officer, Nick Stephens, presented Peter with a brand new mobility scooter.
Peter has spinal issues and was saving up to buy himself a scooter so that he could help his wife with the weekly shop but due to his injury, he needed one with special suspension costing £1,900. Nick, who has known Peter and his family for a while, stepped in and offered to ask the Masonic charities for help.
Peter was overwhelmed and, as is typical of his generation, felt that others were far more deserving than him.
He was grateful for Nick simply spending time with him. In one email he included the following lines
An illuminated light from the shadow
That gives without asking or wanting
Who treats everyone with the same respect
And I want to thank you friend for
being that light from the shadow
Your kind ways always bring a smile to my face.
Peter is not a freemason and, until his tour of the Newbury Masonic Centre, knew nothing of the Craft, however, he has summed up the spirit of Freemasonry beautifully.
Peter gave up work many years ago through poor health and now has daily seizures due to epilepsy, resulting in many falls. He has recently been to the Royal Berkshire Hospital for an operation on his spine and was told he had a 1 in 6 chance of coming back from the operation. Thankfully the operation was successful and he was able to come home.
Peter was promised formal support for his return home, however after a month he is still waiting. He needs a stair lift as he cannot walk or get upstairs and he has received very little physiotherapy. Until the stairlift is fitted, he is reduced to sleeping on the sofa which is upsetting for Peter and Linda, his wife of 39 years.
The Hungerford Lodge will be keeping an eye on this family with a view to providing help where the normal mechanisms cannot.