By Ian Butler – Holmesdale Lodge 874

“As one begins the journey in Freemasonry, it is Charity that is the overriding principle, which steers the Mason along the path of goodness.

During 2020, the Brethren of Tunbridge Wells used their ‘free time’ to undertake the refurbishment of the masonic centre, encouraged in the hope and expectations for sharing its facilities once again with the community. So when a vaccine was at last available, the centre, and its members, immediately stepped up – to give of themselves to others, freely and without detriment.

Led by our Charities Officer, Duncan Annells, I and many fellow masons have been supporting the Covid-19 Vaccination programme. From assisting the NHS staff in registration of public attendees, being vaccinators themselves, and ensuring the safe arrival to, and departure from, the Tunbridge Wells Masonic Centre.

This has been my contribution, and my pleasure. Commencing with the aged, vulnerable members of the community, accompanied by family, friends and like-minded carers, concerned for their health and wellbeing, I have witnessed numerous anxious, troubled faces upon arrival. But that fear and urgency is replaced with a calmness, a tangible sense of Relief, smiles, jokes, and most rewarding of all, expressions of praise and gratitude for the comfort, concern and care given by Freemasonry in general and by the Tunbridge Wells Freemasons in particular.

Being a Mason of four years has given me a renewed desire for doing good, not just for ones self, but also – more so – for others. And to be doing good, in the company of fellow members, makes for a better life, at the End.

Despite the lockdown restrictions, the supporting action by the Brethren at the centre, has allowed me to meet with Masons from other lodges, from elsewhere within the West Kent province. To chat about a variety of topics of interest and relevance to us as individuals, and of our Masonic services to community.

So, whilst we are not (being able of) performing formally at lodges due to travel restrictions, such activities are still being done in the open, where it matters most, AND circumstances allow. ”