Redhall Masons’ record-breaking fundraising year

Despite the pandemic and not having attended a meeting since February 2020, the Freemasons of the Redhall Masonic Lodge in Ballycarry have recorded a record breaking year for fundraising.

The impressive sum of £3,400 was raised, and shared out between both masonic and non-masonic charities.

Worshipful Master W. Bro Ross Hawkins said:“Last year was a struggle for many and I did not want the pandemic to see those we normally support fall by the wayside.

“As Freemasons, charitable work is at the very heart of what we stand for and my first thought was for the widows that every year we send a gift and card to let them know they are in our thoughts – this is an important project that Freemasons do across the globe and I didn’t want our widows to miss out, especially at a time when loneliness and isolation were so prominent.

From left: Freemason Ross Hawkins, Dawn McConnell from Hope House, RNLI volunteer Jamie Somerville; Mal Ross, Freemason receiving the funds on behalf of MacMillan and Assistant Grand Master of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Antrim, John Edens.

“We organised a fundraising hamper and were delighted to discover that it was one of our largest ever amounts raised by our lodge.

“The generosity and kindness shown by brethren, their families and friends demonstrates that even in the midst of a pandemic, the core workings of our order always goes that one step further to help those most in need. I am truly grateful for everyone that helped make this happen.”

With such a large amount raised, the Redhall Freemasons were able to allocate funds beyond their original plan and a further four charitable organisations received funds also.

RNLI was one of the charities to benefit and Alan Dorman from Larne RNLI, thanked Redhall Freemasons for their ongoing support.

“The Freemasons normally host an Easter breakfast event which raises funds for us. Obviously this was not to happen and as with all other charities, our fundraising efforts were a real struggle as no-one could host events,” he said.

“This donation was a lifeline to RNLI which relies on such donations to survive.”

Hope House in Browns Bay, which provides accommodation to cancer patients and their carers allowing them time to rest and recuperate, also benefitted. Dawn McConnell said: “We are forever grateful to the local Freemasons for thinking of us during this time. We have been undergoing an extension to the premises so we can provide more people with the care they need and this donation has been a great help.”

W.Bro Hawkins thanked all those that helped with the fundraising effort.

“Charity work lies deep within the hearts of all our Redhall members and it goes to show that during this pandemic our members have been willing to pull out the stops to make sure our great charity work continues.

“Since joining Redhall in 2011 I have met many great people and made many friendships along the way. The generosity and work of our members sometimes goes unnoticed and I think every member of Redhall should be especially proud of this great achievement. It makes me very proud to be a member of the Masonic order and I am especially proud to be a member of Redhall a lodge in which four generations of my family have been members.

Redhall Masonic lodge shared the funds between non-masonic charities - RNLI, Macmillan, Hope House and masonic charities - Widows Fund, Victoria Jubilee Fund and the lodge building fund.