Charity within the Province
The Provincial Grand Lodge of Stirlingshire has been led by Brother Andrew A. McKinnon, a Falkirk man born and bred, over the last five years. He will demit Office in June 2015 and can be justly proud of his achievements during his term as Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master.
The Provincial Grand Lodge of Stirlingshire has been staging a number of Charity Sports Competitions for many years and has donated £43,800.00 to various local and national Charities as well as many deserving local causes as a result. The sports include golf, fishing and bowls. Each event was supported by the twenty-three Masonic Lodges in the Stirlingshire area. An analysis of the donations made by the individual Lodges themselves to local good causes in their area shows that over the last four years they have collectively donated £105,000.00.
When the Grand Master Mason of the Grand Lodge of Scotland announced that his nominated Charity for the next five years would be Prostate Scotland the enthusiastic cycling members of the Province of Stirlingshire got behind this venture. Their main motivation however was the fact that a number of freemasons and close friends had either had treatment for the condition or were presently undergoing treatment.
A few get-togethers were arranged among the peddlers and it was resolved that the best way to involve all twenty-three Lodges in the Province of Stirlingshire was to organise a Sponsored Cycle Event. The aim would be to cycle between all of the Lodges over two days with the hope that each Lodge or individual members of a Lodge would sponsor the event.
Many training sessions were held as not all those who were interested in taking part were proficient and seasoned cyclists. Fitness levels and confidence grew as a result. After a series of Committee Meetings it was resolved that the cycle run was achievable. Feedback from the Lodges had also been positive. Indeed a number of private sponsors had also agreed to support the event after approaches by members. It was therefore resolved that the participants would take part in the cycle run over the two days of Saturday 18th October and Sunday 19th October 2014. The total distance covered would be in the region of 100 miles. The organising committee instigated a number of fundraising functions such as whisky tasting, cabarets, prize bingo and even a stage show in various Lodges prior to the event taking place.
Fourteen cyclists together with first aiders and support crews assembled at Lodge Loch Lomond No. 1483, Milton of Buchanan on the morning of the 18th October on what was a bright and occasionally sunny day. They were flagged off by the Provincial Grand Master Brother Andrew A. McKinnon and called at Balfron, Bannockburn, Stirling, Bridge of Allan, Alloa, Tullibody, Tillicoultry to finish day one at Lodge Craiginnan Dollar No 850.
The enthusiasm of the cyclists was somewhat blunted at the start of day two. Unfortunately the weather had become squally with torrential rain and strong winds overnight. Notwithstanding this the intrepid cyclists set off from Lodge Clackmannan No 1303 via Kincardine, Stenhousemuir, Grangemouth, Polmont, Falkirk and Bonnybridge to finish that day in Lodge St. Andrew (Denny & Loanhead) No 176 tired but well satisfied with their achievement. All Lodges along the way had generously donated sponsorship to the nominated recipient Charity.
A final reckoning of the funds raised revealed that the handsome sum of £14,671.38 had been amassed from the many sources of sponsorship. This will further be augmented by tax concessions. The cyclists assembled at the Kelpies, Grangemouth on Sunday 18th January 2015 where a cheque for this amount was presented to Adam Gaines, Director of Prostate Scotland.
The picture shows Brother McKinnon, Provincial Grand Master presenting a cheque to Mr. Gaines in the presence of all of those who took part or privately sponsored the event.