Just before the lockdown started a few members of Saint Padarn Lodge decided to join Freemasons across the U.K. under the UGLE hashtag #TimetoToast and raise a glass at 9o’clock, then with the suggestion & guidance of Bro Thomas Scarrott our first ZOOM meeting started in mid-March before the lockdown was enforced so we could raise a glass in the virtual world face to face.
When we tweeted about our virtual brainwave, we had requests for advice from light blue clubs from across the country.
After starting this experiment we didn’t realise how successful and beneficial it could be in so many ways, our ideas were small with a hope to grow them slowly starting with a chat then we had a trial quiz our format has been copied and developed all over UK now, we then thought could we raise a little money for charity ? So, our Assistant Charity Steward W Bro Ian Brodie got together with the Provincial Grand Charity Steward W Bro Dirk den Hartog who suggested we start an everyday hero account
on the Provincial Festival Page which is on the MCF website
our aim was to raise approx. £100 which we soon met so we decided to raise the target little by little to see what happened. This was always meant to be voluntary donations as we understood that some members maybe on a reduced or no income situation due to the national lockdown. We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the brethren and their families we have even had donations from some of our potential candidates and students which have unfortunately not been initiated yet due to the current restrictions.
Joining our Saint Padarn meetings have been brethren from all 6 lodges in Ceredigion plus brethren from Glasgow, Kansas Tennessee USA, & Saskatchewan Canada.
With one of the driving forces behind this venture Bro Thomas Scarrott having previously lost a bet on another venture he is running for his business customers, he had to get his daughters to make him up in DRAG, so with our fundraising going so well it ended up that the other 2 regular Quiz Masters were too easily coaxed into joining Bro Thomas Scarrott on the DRAG scene to try and boost the donation pot.
On the 7th May our accumulation quiz was coming to a climax and nearing our £1000 target, so Thomas asked his Head of Entertainment Mr Jem Brent to come on line and sing a couple of well-known tunes for us. He gave a tremendous performance to all our ZOOM participants and we are very grateful to him for giving up his time to entertain us. He brought the evening to a fantastic close by lifting the spirits and enthusing everyone ready to celebrate the Bank Holiday and VE Day anniversary under the current lockdown situation.
Since we started this before the lockdown and continuing every week since never dreaming of the success and enjoyment this has brought to its members and their families, we are determined to continue this little project in some form or another while the lockdown continues or until our audience stops turning up.
The members of Saint Padarn Lodge would like to Thank everyone for participating and donating.
Worshipful Master of Saint Padarn Lodge W Bro Chris Samuel will be writing to the members of Saint Padarn highlighting what was being done during the lockdown and said he was over joyed with the efforts of our brethren and congratulated the organisers and participants for their sterling efforts on leading way in the province in to this world of modern technology, he has also recognised the efforts of the younger more able members in creating a rota system to assist our Almoner as well as keeping all brethren in touch with freemasonry and each other especially those who didn’t have the ability to keep up with the modern technologies of this virtual world we seem to now live in. With the fact that they have raised in excess of £1000 is a wonderful gesture of all participants to show their appreciation and support of the organisers of this weekly event. I would also like to thank all those who 18 months ago started organising social events around the area including members wives and families along with potential members by going out for a meal at the odd local hostelry etc, that project along with the University Scheme is putting Saint Padarn Lodge back on a solid foundation for the future of Freemasonry.