Saturday 20th of May 2023. The final Community Chest live draw at Cosham Masonic Centre.
What a fantastic presentation evening at our final Community Chest Event. With a massive 1,433 raffle tickets sold, culminating with monies carried over from our previous events. You brethren enabled us, the Admin team, to give away in the collective name of “Local Freemasons” a huge £6,000 to the Portsmouth Community Housing Trust.
At last evening’s event, we were honoured by the presence of our own Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother Jon Whitaker, and unlike our previous events, opted to take a supporting role to the Admin Team asking Graham and Sue on behalf of us all, to present the cheque to the PCHT.
The cheque was received with appreciation and thanks by Rev. Canon Bob White, who is the Trustee and Chairman of the PCHT.
We were also honoured to have in our presence the new Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Tom Coles, and the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire Mrs Arabella Birdwood DL.
Roger Maber introduced the event, giving background to the formation and initiative behind the Community Chest.
Roger explained that this was thought of in conjunction with the News Portsmouth following on from the success of the SEHMFB Raffles that were set up during the Covid Lockdowns.
The Portsmouth News had been involved with Penny Mordaunt Portsmouth North MP and Caroline Dinage Gosport MP in a few of the charities that had been donated to during this 3 year period by the Admin Team (Andrew Coombs, Graham Lant, Sue Lant and Colin Rattley).
Roger also thanked the Lady Freemasons from Portsmouth Lodge of Duty of whom our own Susie is a past master, and we were honoured to have again the support at this final event from the ladies of this wonderful lodge.
Roger’s introduction was followed by Mark Waldron Editor of the Portsmouth News, as it was both Roger and Mark that saw the benefits of this joint venture between our fantastic Masonic Province of Hampshire and Isle of Wight and the Portsmouth News, making the point that this amount of money could not have been raised without the local Freemasons from our Province.
Mark reiterated what Roger had explained and thanked the local Freemasons for their generosity and support.
I must add that the generosity of our Brethren never fails to astound me.
The table was piled high with Raffle Prizes, and both Graham and Sue are going to be busy delivering these prizes to the lucky winners.
A list will be published on the Facebook page giving details of the winners.
Credit to Ross Lucas Young for his amazing photographs of the event.
Another mention is to Wendy Campion of the Blue Box Cake Company, who designed and made an absolutely delicious cake designed in the PCHT logo.
Wendy is a member of Portsmouth Lodge of Duty and has supported the Raffle since the very beginning when we went into lockdown.
I (Colin Rattley), on behalf of the Admin Team, express our thanks for the amazing support from everyone who has donated and played with us since 2020. Thank you all for being loyal supporters of our Raffle as without you all playing along and digging deep into your pockets, we could not have given away nearly £40k since lockdown began at the beginning of 2020. Thank you all.