Earlier this year, the local Freemasons asked if we wanted some help at Elm Tree Farm. 2017 is their tercentenary, and they were keen to celebrate and do something for the local community. They suggested that a family fun day event could raise both awareness as well as funds. We gratefully accepted and we had a terrific day!
“Not only did they help prepare the site ready for the event, but they also swept the yards, tidied up the woodpile, and cleared some undergrowth next to the market garden. They really put their backs into it!” said farm manager, Keily Elvin.
As they celebrate the 300th anniversary of Grand Lodge, each masonic hall in the country is engaging with their local community to reach out, and help out! Seven Gloucestershire lodges meet at the Park Road building in Stapleton and members ventured across to the Farm, just a stone’s throw away, offering up practical help as well as hosting this afternoon of fun and entertainment.
Round up of the day’s activities
“The barbecue and bar brought in £1,000”, said organiser Steve Manning of Lodge of St Christopher afterwards.
“The folk band, Sons of Derek, gave their services for free. We had two torrential thunderstorms during the afternoon which may’ve discouraged more people from arriving, but it didn’t deter the band from playing on. They were great!”
The Provincial Grand Master of Gloucestershire, Tim Henderson-Ross and his Assistant, Nigel Bridges, were among the many visiting masons and the Outreach roadshow was there to answer the questions of the curious.
“The event drew the public in and was certainly a big hit, not least financially”, continued Steve.
“All the proceeds from the day are going directly to the Farm. Many brethren and their wives contributed food, drink, money, and above all, time. I thank them so much. In addition to the £1,000 taken on the day, lodges are making donations, some of which are being match-funded by Gloucestershire Masonic Charity Action. In total, we should have in excess of £4,000 to present to the charity. Above all, however, we’ve put our name on the map and have demonstrated to Stapleton that we Freemasons, can be part and parcel of the local community.”
Keily explained how the money would be used: “We intend to use the money towards a community space for school groups, holiday club, and private events.
“It will be built in several phases and the money raised from the Masons’ fun day will help fund the first phase. I believe it will be the largest single donation we’ve ever had. Thank you so much!”
The masonic hall is having an open day on Saturday, 8 July, when the public can go along to 140 Park Road, Stapleton, and perhaps get to know their neighbours a bit better.
And of course, don’t forget our national Open Farm Sunday event on 11 June, 11am-4pm.