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Hallam Sunday Lunch

The awful weather that we have experienced lately stopped a few people from attending the Hallam lunch at Clevedon on the 10th of January but it didn't prevent over sixty members, their wives and friends from enjoying an excellent lunch produced by Neil and Zena. It was an opportunity for the Master Andy Gray to announce that the Lodge, together with other Lodges and orders meeting at Clevedon and Nailsea had raised £1600 to donate to the Speech and Language Therapy Service in North Somerset, part of the Weston Area Health Trust. Guests at the lunch were Gillian Oxley, Manager of the Speech and Language Therapy Service and Pat Cuthbert a Speech Therapist working with children in North Somerset. Both Gillian and Pat were able to give us an insight into the scale and scope of the work that they do, they also gave us some idea as to how the cash would be used.

Andy Gray explains why he wanted to help this particular department. Ray Guthrie

At the committee meeting before I became the Worshipful Master of Hallam Lodge I was asked if there was a charity to which I wanted to donate any raffle money that might be collected during my year. As those of you who know me may have noticed, I have suffered from the effects of a stammer all of my life. There was no assistance in schools when I was a child during the 1950's and 60's and I spent all of my time finding ways not to have to speak in public. It was not until I was in my early teens that I was sent to see a speech therapist who provided me with the techniques to manage the problem. I have always been very grateful and this looked like a perfect opportunity to repay her hard work. I contacted Pat Cuthbert who's speciality is working with children who stammer, originally I thought we could raise in the region of £200 to £300 but I have been staggered by the generosity of our own brethren and brethren of other Lodges.

The proceeds from our raffles provided the £500 from Hallam Lodge. The Provincial Grand Master and his team attend one of our meetings during my year, when he heard about the project he pledged the sum of £300 from the Provincial Benevolent Fund. W. Bro. Neil Hurcum took the project on board and enlisted a donation from Portbury Priory Rose Croix Chapter. He, together with W. Bro. Bob Cole also approached Thackray RAM and Southey Lodge. Ian Strickland and I went to Tennyson Lodge. All the Lodges have been very generous in their support for this cause. The full amounts donated were;

Hallam Mark Lodge £500
The Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of Somerset £300
Tennyson Lodge £200
Southey Lodge £250
Thackeray Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners £200
Portbury Priory Rose Croix Chapter £150

I would like to thank everyone for their help, both the response and result were fantastic.

Andy Gray, Master Hallam Lodge No 730

In the photo are Pat Cuthbert and Gillian Oxley from the Speech and Language Therapy Service, with Andy and his wife Margaret. (photo by Ian Strickland)

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