The latest achiever of the MCF 2021 Festival Grand Patron status is Thornton Lodge No 8008. Whilst this is very commendable, this might not seem a very remarkable fact in itself. However, the amazing thing is that Thornton Lodge is the smallest lodge in the Southport Group and one of the smallest in the Province of West Lancashire.
With a total of 18 subscribing members, not all of whom are active Masons, this small but enterprising lodge has managed to make a total donation of £4,500 to the MCF 2021 Festival, giving them the coveted Grand Patronage status. A very big achievement that will be the envy of many.
Group charity steward Martin Lockyer, who presented the certificate to outgoing WM Bill Gallagher, had occasion to read letters of congratulations from the Regional Charity Steward John Wrennall, Festival Chairman Phillip Preston as well as from Festival Vice President David Winder, all of whom offered their congratulations on such a tremendous achievement. Martin followed this up with a personal message from the PrGM Tony Harrison, which had been relayed to him earlier on that day. APrGM Robert Wright was also able to offer his personal thanks for their efforts.
Martin, commenting later said: “This is a textbook example of how to support the MCF 2021Festival and if a small lodge like Thornton Lodge are able to do this, then there’s no reason why other lodges can’t follow their example.”
The main driving force behind this fundraising, Tom McKenzie, was asked how they had managed to achieve this in such a short space of time. “It is a team effort”, he responded, “one of the main things we do is pack bags for customers at local supermarkets, which brings in a huge amount of cash and enables us to achieve our goals. It was also supplemented by a generous personal donation from Mike Davies, our mentor and tyler.”