The Masonic Fishing Charity was set up to bring interactive fishing and countryside experiences to people with special needs. Our past Assistant Deputy Grand Master is associated with the charity and Forester Lodge has been a firm supporter of the charity. This year Forester Lodge sponsored the annual fishing day which was very well attended and a great time was had by all.
The day was attended by WM WBro Keith Jebbitt, IPM WBro Rob Hall and ADC WBro Dominic Hall. WBro Rob presents an account of the day’s activities:
The day started well with bacon and egg rolls and hot coffee or tea and introductions all round. This was, as usual, well received by the dozen or so Fishermen / Caster, volunteers.
An hour or so passed during which time there was some general fishing chat and the organisation of name tags and registration of the expected 20 visitors complete with carers and drivers etc. Two mini buses arrived at about 9-45 and things got started. Each visitor, or pair of visitors, was allocated a Caster to fish for / with them.
At 10-00 another minibus turned up and we realised we had more visitors than expected. At 10-30 another two minibuses arrived and confusion set in. 40 plus visitors, plus carers !!
However, Hugh Nolan, the organiser of the function took it in his stride, and we finally managed to get everyone sorted out.
Keith and Dominic were run off of their feet distributing cold drinks around the lakes, and making sure that nobody was left thirsty, as well as caring for the general wellbeing of all, while I tried to record names, register the guests and issue name tags, hats, and protective glasses, etc.
Fortunately the weather was perfect, and on the plus side, plenty of fish were caught. All of the visitors enjoyed themselves immensely, and the look of joy when they landed a fish was amazing.
A sumptuous barbeque lunch was provided, and the owners of the fishery provided the service for the catering. Fortunately, in spite of the extra numbers, there was enough food and drink to go round and everyone had their fill.
Both Keith and I had chats during lunch with various staff and carers, and they all agreed that the fishing day was one of the highlights of the visitors year, and that some were still talking about last year’s event. After lunch Keith presented medals to various visitors and there was much laughter and chat amongst our guests.
Visitors started to leave at about 2-30 and when they had gone it seemed very quiet. The Casters then had the opportunity to carry on fishing if they so desired.
Altogether a very worth-while use of our donation, and an extremely happy and beneficial day for everyone involved.
Due thanks should be given to Hugh Nolan, Ken Birnie (Who unfortunately could not be present on this occasion) and the volunteers who give up their time, along with the many Sponsors that make these events possible. Thanks also to the owners and Staff at Chigborough lakes, who also give of their time, and allow us to use this beautiful venue.