This year has seen a great increase in the number of local families who are struggling financially, particularly due to the various lockdowns and the general restrictions placed on both businesses and families. So, when the Javea based Red Cross launched an appeal for Christmas presents, for needy children, our “Dinner Ladies” set to and raised a magnificent sum of more than seven hundred euros.
The ‘Dinner Ladies’ are the wives and partners of the Freemasons of Javea Lodge No 40.
This fantastic sum was enough to fill twenty large bags with gifts for the boys and girls aged between three and sixteen years.
Pictured here is Mrs Margaret March with Mrs Muriel Shilan the wife of our Provincial Grand Master, and RW Bro Michael Shilan himself, whose shop, “Humpty Dumpty”, received some of the many gifts. Shown here with the car loaded ready to deliver to the Red Cross depot in Javea.
Margaret and the Red Cross wish to thank all the Ladies for their generosity. RW Bro Michael Shilan also congratulated the ladies on their tremendous effort. Hopefully, these children will have a better Christmas than they would otherwise have had. Many, many thanks to all the generous and warm-hearted donors who gave so many gifts.
During the very hard year that many of us have recently suffered our thoughts are naturally turning towards happier times: the upcoming Christmas season and, in particular, the children who will enjoy that very special day. Unfortunately, there are still many children who will not be able to celebrate as well as the rest of us. It is these children whom we most want to help.
As a result, several local Freemason’s Lodges including Caledonian Lodge, Las Salinas Lodge and Torrevieja Installed Master’s Lodge have arranged collections and donations to try and help them as much as possible. One such initiative was started by WBro Freddie Samrai and his wife Carole, who organized a “Christmas Shoebox Drive” for the Cruz Roja in Torrevieja, ie to collect shoeboxes filled with toys for the under privileged children of Torrevieja. After doing this for several years this has now become something of an annual event.
Fortunately, many of our friends and Brothers have very big hearts and more than one hundred boxes have now been donated. So, it is hoped that many more children will have at least one present to open on Christmas morning, even in these very difficult times. Children are our future and this generosity will hopefully give them some good and happy memories. All this has only been made possible by the kindness of so many good and generous people. So, to all of you a very big thank you on behalf of all of these under privileged children of Torrevieja.
During these strange and difficult times, when Coronavirus has caused so many problems to so many people, it has become increasingly difficult for local Freemasons to raise and distribute money for the many needy and worthy charities in the Province of Valencia. Almost all of our meetings have been, and continue to be, for the foreseeable future, completely suspended under the current lockdown regulations. Unfortunately, this means that our social and charity events have ceased almost completely. However, the Provincial Grand Master of Valencia, RW Bro Michael Shilan, has determined that as much help as possible should continue to be given. Local Masons are nothing if not ingenious, and so some important donations have continued to be made.
Recently, Worshipful Master, W Bro Ted Cooper, and the Brethren of Dama de Elche Lodge No 163, have donated one thousand litres of fuel oil to the Elche Children’s Home for the provision of heating and hot water to keep the home, and especially the children, who range from eight to eighteen years old, warm in the coming winter months. This will be the tenth year of Masonic support for this home. Donations have also been made to Paul Cunningham Nurses and DEBRA (butterfly children).
The Worshipful Master of Regeneracion Lodge No 132, W Bro Martin Jiminez, together with Germanies No 08, Genesis No 61 and White River No 153 Lodges, have been collecting food and non-perishable goods for the Valencian Food Bank.
The Freemasons of local Lodge, Arenal Deportiva No 65, have made a donation of two thousand euros to the Raquel Payá special needs school. This will pay for much needed new uniforms for the staff which now need to be replaced much more often, due to the now increased need for more frequent cleaning. This is one of the charities selected for support by the Worshipful Master of the Lodge, RW Bro Danny Coburn during his now extended year in Office.
Recently, Javea Lodge No 40 presented local charity ‘Todos Juntos Jávea’ with a cheque for two thousand, five hundred euros to pay for the installation of a hot and cold air conditioning system at the Jávea Autism Association centre. Visiting the centre, W Bro Malcolm March, Worshipful Master of Javea 40, together with W Bro Peter Farrell the Lodge’s Charity Steward, presented a cheque to Raquel Maldonado, one of the therapists.
The Worshipful Master of Santa Faz Lodge No 48, W Bro Greg Hustler and the Brethren of the Lodge have started their Christmas Children’s Charity appeal – “Add a little extra to your basket”, in conjunction with the International Club, and are collecting any non-perishable food for the Cruz Roja in the El Campello area. This will make a huge difference to those who are unable to afford such items during this Pandemic.
Caledonian Lodge No 68, under Worshipful Master Melvyn Young, have donated two hundred euros to the Butterfly Children’s charity, DEBRA. This was raised from the collected ticket money for their Annual Ball after it was cancelled due to the Covid 19 pandemic. A fantastic effort from all.
W Bro Freddie Samrai of Caledonian Lodge No 68 and his wife Carole are providing the Cruz Roja with Christmas Gifts for Children, including filling many, many shoe boxes full of toys, in order that each child shall receive at least some Christmas presents.
There have been many more donations from our members from Lodges all over the Province which are just too many to detail. We will continue to try and help those charities most in need until we are able to resume our normal activities.
Recently, the Javea 40 Freemason’s Lodge presented local charity ‘Todos Juntos Jávea’ with a cheque for two thousand, five hundred euros to pay for the installation of an air conditioning system at the Jávea Autism Association centre. Visiting the centre, W Bro Malcolm March, Worshipful Master of Javea 40, together with W Bro Peter Farrell the Lodge’s Charity Steward presented a cheque to Raquel Maldonado, one of the therapists.
Malcolm said that in these difficult times and working within all the coronavirus restrictions, local Freemason’s took great pride in continuing their charitable activities. He said that he had been surprised and shocked to discover that the autism centre had been operating without a satisfactory heating or cooling system. With winter rapidly approaching, he said that Javea 40 had been very pleased to arrange for this to be fitted in order to improve the working conditions for all the young people and their dedicated team of therapists.
Forty-four children, teenagers and young adults, together with their therapists, were attending for therapy, in a large apartment, supplied by the Ayuntamiento, with no heating or air conditioning. We can all understand how unbearable this must have been in the harsh heat of summer and now as the cold winter months approach. The centre, which was set up in 2015 with 19 children, has rapidly increased in numbers. While the families pay for the therapists and there is some help from the Ayuntamiento, the Jávea Autism Association relies upon charitable donations, particularly from Todos Juntos Jávea for much of the essential equipment and support.
Last year local Freemasons donated two thousand euros to set up a multi-sensorial stimulation room at the autism centre and Malcolm March said that Javea 40 would continue to provide additional support in future whenever possible. He was proud and thankful that Masonry had been able to help and make a much valued improvement to the lives of these children and young adults.
Raquel Payá Corona crisis averted by local Masons.
WM R.W Bro Danny Coburn.
The Freemasons of local Lodge, Arenal Deportiva, have made a donation of two thousand euros to the Raquel Payá special needs school. This is one of the charities selected for support by the Worshipful Master of the Lodge, Right Worshipful Brother Danny Coburn during his now extended year in Office.
Due to the requirements of the school in normal times and in particular at present, and particularly to the many hardships and problems caused by the current coronavirus pandemic, there are many more calls on the school’s very limited funds than would be expected. In particular there is a greater demand than usual for staff uniforms which, as you can imagine, are very heavily used and need washing twice per day. This means that each of the one hundred staff, need two uniforms, a total of four thousand. These cost forty euros each! So, it is no small undertaking to constantly supply new, clean uniforms.
When the Masons of the Lodge heard of this, they felt they should offer immediate help. A special vote was held between all members, as there would not be possible to attend a Lodge meeting due to the ongoing lock-down. The Masons all voted in favour of making this immediate donation to help the school. In addition to a generous donation of two thousand euros from the Masonic Homes of Valencia organisation, the Lodge agreed to donate a further donation of two thousand euros to permit the purchase of the full four thousand uniforms required. These will be given in the immediate future.