Members and guests of the Middlesex Shooting Sports Lodge, No. 1702 took part in a 100 bird shoot at the Star Gun Club close to junction 9 off the M25 near Leatherhead (stargunclub.org).
But on this occasion the poor “birds” were made of clay.
These artificial clays are referred to as birds but on the day some of them were made to represent rabbits rolling rapidly through the grass.
This particular event is organised each year and the Worshipful Master and Charity Steward of the Lodge decided that the charity that would benefit would be the Quest Riding for the Disabled (www.questrda.org
Donald Campbell, a member of and Past Master of the Lodge, provided details of the competition as well as a background story to the formation of the Clay Section as part of the broader MMSA.
He said, “The involvement of Middlesex province in organised Masonic Clay Shoots goes back to the end of 2003 when as a new Master Mason I asked the then secretary of the MMSA a question, “you mention on your website that you have a clay section, what Clay activities are there ?” The answer was ‘anything you organise’.
The MMSA Clay section was born in March 2004 with its first shoot at the A1 Shooting Ground off the M25 near junction 23”.
Since then the Clay Section has competed against other local Provinces and at each of the National Masonic Competitions.
A Lodge for Shooters –
He continued, “in 2010 a number of shooting Brethren were returning from a meeting in London and it was suggested by the VW Bro Peter Baker at the time, that it might be a good idea to form a shooting Lodge.
This could be done by taking over a Lodge that had falling membership and was ready to hand in its Warrant.
Thus, the Middlesex Shooting Sports Lodge, No. 1702 came into existence by with the “take over” of Sub Urban Lodge in April 2011.
The name change came a short while after with approval of the Most Worshipful the Grand Master”.
Although the Lodge had changed its name, essentially this allowed the continuation Sub Urban Lodge, which had been consecrated in 1877, to continue in another guise.
The new “tenants” normally hold a ‘clay shoot’ prior to each lodge meeting and often a rifle event at Bisley prior to the September meeting.
The Lodge’s Annual Charity Shoot and Shooting Lodge challenge was formalised in August 2016.
As with all clay shoots, the competition is an individual one, the highest score wins.
With the Masonic competitions this is expanded by splitting the individuals into masons and non-masons and ladies, although there are often have “lady masons” competing.
There are prizes for “Masonic High Gun” and also “Guest High Gun” and as there are often many Provinces taking part, there is a team competition where the “team” is chosen from the top three shots from the Province.
The Shooting Lodge challenge has the twist in that the teams are made up of masons from a ‘Shooting Lodge’”.
The term High Gun refers to the best shot on the day, essentially the shooter who came first.
Due to COVID restrictions there only 24 participants made up of Lodge members, other masons and their guests. The only other Province to take part was the Suffolk Masonic Clay Shooting Society. Middlesex subsequently visited Suffolk on September 12th to compete in their charity event.
On this occasion the Lodge raised £530 towards the chosen charity – Quest RDA
To view the results of the day and photos click HERE
To view more photos click HERE
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