Loyal Or­ange Lodge in Til­ton gives gen­er­ously

Dis­trib­utes over $37,000 to Trin­ity-Con­cep­tion com­mu­nity groups

The Compass - - Front page - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON

HAR­BOUR GRACE, NL — For decades, Loyal Or­ange Lodge Cho­sen Few 153 Til­ton has sup­ported a va­ri­ety of or­ga­ni­za­tions.

While Til­ton may be in its name, the group’s mem­ber­ship comes from all over the Trin­ity-Con­cep­tion area. With the gen­eral mem­ber­ship of this Protes­tant fra­ter­nal group ag­ing more ev­ery year, sev­eral LOLs in the re­gion now cease to ex­ist. Those Orange­man who did re­main are now a part of the Til­ton group. As a re­sult, it has more com­mu­ni­ties to serve than ever be­fore.

In 2017, the group do­nated over $37,000 to dif­fer­ent or­ga­ni­za­tions, in­clud­ing schools, fire de­part­ments, food banks, churches and non-prof­its ac­tive in the health sec­tor such as the Janeway Chil­dren’s Foun­da­tion, Daf­fodil Place and the Trin­ity-Con­cep­tion-Pla­cen­tia Health Foun­da­tion.

“If it’s a bad year, it stays mostly lo­cal,” Deputy Master Chad Gosse told the Com­pass at the Har­bour Breeze Lounge in Har­bour Grace, where the group held a ban­quet din­ner last Tues­day. That night, over $20,000 in do­na­tions was an­nounced in front of 120 in­vited guests.

Within the last 20 years, the group has shared $385,000 with other groups. Those funds are largely the re­sult of the LOL’s bingo night ev­ery Wed­nes­day at the Til­ton Bingo Hall.

When it comes to fundrais­ing, 2017 has in­deed been a good year. The LOL sup­ported 11 schools, three food banks, and pur­chased the Spa­niard’s Bay Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment’s new au­to­mated ex­ter­nal de­fib­ril­la­tor, val­ued at $2,100. The Spa­niard’s Bay-Til­ton par­ish and lo­cal Angli­can Church Women’s group also re­ceived do­na­tions at last Tues­day’s event.

“Fifty years ago, there was a lodge in ev­ery com­mu­nity,” ex­plained Gosse. Now the group has mem­bers hail­ing from

Har­bour Grace, Whit­bourne, Green’s Har­bour, Old Per­li­can and West­ern Bay, as well as other com­mu­ni­ties neigh­bour­ing those pre­vi­ously men­tioned. Its cur­rent mem­ber­ship stands at 44.

“All these vol­un­teer-based groups, they’re dy­ing out,” said Goose. “We’re lucky enough in Til­ton to have one of the larger mem­ber­ships across Canada for the Or­ange Lodge.”

While Gosse him­self is a young man, the same can’t be said of most mem­bers of the Til­ton LOL, which was founded in 1910 and still oc­cu­pies the same Or­ange Lodge build­ing as it did back then.

“As they’re get­ting older, the mem­ber­ship’s de­clin­ing be­cause the ma­jor­ity of mem­bers are pass­ing away,” he said, not­ing six mem­bers of his group died within the last year-and-a-half. “Re­ally, peo­ple need to know if they want to help some­one, if they’re look­ing for some­where to get out and join, there’s places like us that of­fer that as­sis­tance to do so.”

Many of the lodge’s cur­rent mem­bers have fam­ily ties to the group, ei­ther through a par­ent or grand­par­ent. Gosse’s fa­ther and brother are also mem­bers of the group.

In ad­di­tion to the LOL’s fundrais­ing ac­tiv­i­ties, it hosts an an­nual fam­ily fun event that’s free and co­in­cides with Orange­man’s Day, held ev­ery year on the Mon­day clos­est to July 12. In May, the group also hosts a com­mu­nity clean up.

“It’s kind of crazy how much garbage gets col­lected,” said Gosse. “The first year we did it, there was 40-odd bags we picked up.”

AN­DREW ROBIN­SON/THE COM­PASS

Master David Smith, left, and Deputy Master Chad Gosse are help­ing the Loyal Or­ange Lodge Cho­sen Few 153 Til­ton give back to the com­mu­ni­ties it serves.

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