As theatres across London and the South East went dark due to Covid-19, Bro Luke Francis Senior Deacon of Avondale Lodge 2395, which meets at the Civil Service Club, London, found himself with little to do.
When applications for temporary work failed, Bro Luke discovered an opportunity to volunteer with the Bike Shed Motorcycle Club, based in Shoreditch, East London. The Club had offered its services to deliver much needed PPE equipment from volunteers who made them to those who had a specific need for them. Luke’s first job took him from his home in Sutton to Bexley, to collect a set of scrubs for delivery to a return to work retired nurse from Yorkletts, a small village near Whitstable in Kent.
Since then, Luke has also signed up to deliver oxygen measuring Oximeter probes from The Royal Free Hospital to patients at their home, which requires him to be on standby throughout the night. In all, he has now travelled nearly a thousand miles, often picking up from London addresses and delivering to locations as far afield as Thatcham in Berkshire and Andover in Hampshire. So far, Luke has provided ten sets of cut scrubs, five sets of completed scrubs, over 150 protective visors and large quantities of medical masks.
Bro Luke is still officially a learner rider, so he is limited to riding his KTM Duke125 and is unable to use the motorway network, so some of the journeys have taken over six hours in the saddle to complete. His father, W Bro Graham Francis LGR, also a member of Avondale Lodge, is sponsoring his fuel as part of the family effort.
Bro Luke hopes to soon return to both Freemasonry and his work as a Theatre Technician and Lighting Designer. Still, until then, he will continue to support the fight against Covid-19 and hopes to pass the motorcycle test enabling him to ride a slightly more powerful machine and thus undertake more direct journeys.
This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 41 July 2020 edition.
Arena Magazine is the official magazine of the London Freemasons - Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London.
Read more articles in the Arena Issue 41.