Turning Tragedy into Positivity –
When Karen Davidson, the wife of the Worshipful Master Laurence Davidson, nearly died from the rupture of a double brain aneurism, the members of Harrow Temple in Unity Lodge, No. 1310 were shaken to the core. Karen had been given only a 5% chance of survival.
Karen’s father, Eddie Tish, had been a senior and well-loved member of Harrow Lodge before its amalgamation. Following the sad and early death of her mother Karen attended the Masonic Girls’ School in Rickmansworth. Her first husband was also and still is a member of the Lodge, so Freemasonry is very much in her blood.
After four weeks in a deep induced coma, followed by a very slow recovery, things became more positive and there is every hope that over time her recovery will continue and Karen will get back to her old self (not in age, though).
While all this grief and anxiety were taking place, Laurence had been asked what he wanted to do about his and Karen’s Ladies’ Festival Weekend, which had been scheduled in Bournemouth over the weekend of 27-29 September.
He and Karen had visited venues and secured a booking in the Hallmark East Cliff Hotel; plans were in place and, sadly, this would have been the second time for Laurence to be unable to attend his own Ladies’ weekend. But, he didn’t let that thwart him and the plans for the Weekend.
“Let’s go ahead”, he said, “put in a new President and raise money for the Neurological Hospital in Queen Square, Holborn, where Karen’s life had been saved”. The hospital has its own charity, the National Brain Appeal, and Laurence considered that to be the natural charity of choice.
W Bro Malcolm Gwyn took on the role of Festival President, accompanied by his wife, Patti. Only 48 people were booked on the weekend, but the Hotel waived the minimum numbers clause so that Laurence did not suffer a financial penalty.
A quiz was held on the Friday night with the winning team handing back its winnings to the charity. Ladies’ gifts were waived to keep additional funds for the charity, but Malcolm and Patti Gwyn generously ensured that all the ladies were given a candle, which they were asked to take home and light for Karen. On the night there was also a raffle and an auction
Tony Dellow, jeweller at The House of Hatton, on learning of Karen’s plight, insisted that his £200.00 fee for work carried out on our Master’s collar should be donated to the chosen Charity. Members of the Lodge, who had been unable to attend the Festival bought raffle tickets and made donations. Over £1,500.00 was raised for The National Brain Appeal. This was a great example of the generosity of Freemasons when presented with a problem.
All had a fantastic weekend; the weather behaved itself; the food was great and the dancing made “Strictly” look like a church hall barn dance !
See: – www.nationalbrainappeal.org
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