The Worshipful Master of the City Gate Lodge No. 9890, W Bro James Croft, accompanied by Lodge Charity Steward W Bro Phil Young and the Lodge Inner Guard, undertook a walk from Surrey to Freemasons Hall and then onto the Innholders Hall to open his Lodge, in doing so raised £1,200 for the Metropolitan Grand Lodge’s, ‘Lift for Life’, appeal on behalf of the London Fire Brigade.
In total, the walk covered around fifteen miles starting at 8.15 am in the morning when Phil Young left his Surrey home to walk to Croham Hurst Golf Club, where his Surrey Craft Lodge meets, to be met by Honorary Member, RW Bro Ian Clark, PGM of Surrey Mark. Then onto Croydon Masonic Hall where he was greeted by RW Bro Ian Chandler and other members of the Surrey Executive and, also waiting for him was W. Master James and long-distance walker Malcolm.
The trio then walked the twelve miles from Croydon Masonic Centre to Freemasons Hall along the A23 to Brixton, on to Vauxhall, along the South Bank crossing the river at the Hungerford Bridge, through Covent Garden to Great Queen Street finally arriving around 1.30pm to be met by APGM of Surrey Craft, W Bro Paul Crocket, before eventually making their way to the City to open a packed Lodge meeting at Innholders Hall.
Clearly the long walk gave the Worshipful Master time to learn his lines for on the evening he delivered an excellent ritual when passing two brothers. There was some discord when it was suggested that the W. Master and Phil had left Malcolm, the dedicated long walker for many years, well behind. However, the truth prevailed at the reception after the meeting. “Never let the facts get in the way of a good story!!”
Said a somewhat short of breath W. Master James, “I’m coming to the end of what has been a really fabulous term of office for me and I wanted to mark the support the members have given me during my year in a manner that not only shows my thanks to them but by also marks my year. Of the nearly £1,600 raised, £390 will go to the Province of Surrey Appeal and £1,200 to the London Fire Brigade Appeal”.
W Bro Tony Shields, the Met Grand Charity Steward added “I am delighted that the City Gate Lodge undertook such an unusual way to support the “Lift for Life” appeal. We are now heading towards the final stages of the appeal to raise £2.5 million to purchase two super high-rise rescue lifts to help improve rescue from London high rise buildings. Since the launch of the appeal it has been enhanced by the added purchase of two special emergency response cars and a special cradle which will enable and assist the rescue of handicapped persons from the upper floors of a burning building. The full value of the kit delivered to the London Fire Brigade will be in the region of nearly three million pounds. On behalf of the appeal my sincere thanks James, Phil and Malcom and all who contributed”