On Monday July 10th the Cosham Masonic Centre was the venue for the first Cheque Presentation Evening to be held in the South East Area of our Province, since Tuesday 25th June 2019.
For those of you that are unaware of its purpose, the cheque presentation evening is an opportunity for our lodges to present, in person, the charitable monies they have raised to representatives of their chosen charities. For those charities, it gives an opportunity to advertise who they are and what they do. In financially trying times, such as these, when there are many charities needing money this is very important for them. Particularly the less well-known charities.
Dignitaries in attendance were our own South East Area Assistant Provincial Grand Master Chris Bayliss, Area Chairman Steve Brewster, the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth – Councillor Tom Coles and the Mayor of Havant – Councillor Rosie Raines. APGM Chris Bayliss gave a brief introductory speech to all present, during which he emphasised that charity is the foundation of Freemasonry.
From the seamless running of the event, which was compered by our Area Secretary Jordan Fretter, there had clearly been many hours of work behind the scenes.
21 lodges made a cheque(s) presentation to 26 non masonic charities. This was followed by Luc Semmens, the South East Area Events Lead, presenting our APGM with a cheque for £5000.00 for the MCF, this money having been raised through the Southeast Area Summer Ball.
Cheques to the sum of £49056.91 were presented throughout the evening, which was finalised with our APGM presenting both the Mayors of Portsmouth and Havant each with a cheque for £350.00. The Mayor of Portsmouth will be using the money to support both Homestart and the Portsmouth hospitals charity. The Mayor of Havant is supporting the Hayling RNLI.
To make clear, to all present, the significant charitable sums donated by Freemasons from the Southeast area, the 2022 total of charitable donations was announced as having been £109290.00.
This event has, and through ongoing public exposure will, continue to display Freemasonry in our area in a very positive way.
A particular well done must go to the brethren of the Lodge of Hope 2153. Their continued efforts at fundraising over a three-year period, including through the covid pandemic, enabled them to present cheques totalling £10,000!