A few years ago a friend of mine who is the landlord of my local pub, put a copy of the Provincial Magazine in front of me. He pointed out an article in the magazine about the East Kent Masonic Fishing Charity, which was looking for helpers for their day’s fishing activities for disadvantaged people.
As a very keen angler I was immediately interested as it also mentioned you did not have to be a Freemason to help. I didn’t really know a lot about Freemasonry, but have always been interested in charitable work, so I applied to join the fishing charity. The day arrived and I went to Chart Fishery just down the hill from Chart Sutton. Everyone was very welcoming especially two very friendly visiting dignitaries, Roger Waltham and the late Brian Powell, who both took a lot of time to stop and chat with me.
After another fishing event I decided to think more seriously about joining Freemasonry because I could see the massively positive things they were doing and I felt akin to that. So I went back to my friend and asked him about joining his lodge. Everything happened ever so quickly and smoothly and my day of initiation arrived. What I didn’t realise though was that lots of the organisers from the fishing charity had quietly arranged to attend and I was greeted to a parade through lofted fishing rods at the end of the meeting. It really made me feel special.
I have since gone through all my degrees in the Craft and have become a Master Mason. I have also been appointed as the Event Organiser of the East Kent Masonic Fishing charity and I get so much joy from seeing our fishing days go to plan and watching the participants having a great time and “Catching a Smile” (the charity’s catch line).
By profession I am a web designer and have also been able to help out the Province of East Kent with my skills in their ever-expanding digital media adventure.
In my short time within Freemasonry through the fishing charity, the website work and by visiting other lodges, I have made a great number of friends throughout the Province of East Kent and also further afield. I am soon to join a Royal Arch Chapter and expand my masonic learning.
Editor’s note: If you want to find out more about the Masonic Fishing Charity, please visit their website where you can apply to join them as a volunteer: www.mtsfc.org.uk