Ayr­shire Blue­bell Lodge makes charity do­na­tion

The Arran Banner - - News -

Ar­ran chair­man John Cor­bett was joined by col­leagues from the Ayr­shire Blue­bell Lodge of Free Gar­den­ers who vis­ited the is­land to make a £1,000 do­na­tion to the MS So­ci­ety.

They met at Lam­lash Ma­sonic Hall, home of Lodge St Mo­lios 774. The Or­der of Free Gar­den­ers – fraternal so­ci­eties which that were founded in Scot­land in the 1600s – have largely faded into obscurity so the Ayr­shire lodge was in­sti­tuted in 2003 for the pur­pose of re­tain­ing the tra­di­tion.

Orig­i­nally lodges were formed to en­sure that the mem­bers would have ben­e­fits paid to them in time of hard­ship, par­tic­u­larly when ill­ness or death pre­vented the man of the house from earn­ing his wages. This was par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant for peo­ple prior to the mod­ern era of in­sur­ance and so­cial se­cu­rity.

To­day, they mainly en­deav­our to archive and preserve the fab­ric of the Lodge and in par­tic­u­lar the old re­galia worn by its mem­bers. They hold two meet­ings each year at var­i­ous lo­ca­tions through­out Ayr­shire and have held sev­eral meet­ings on Ar­ran over the years.

Since they no longer need to pro­vide fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance to mem­bers in the old fash­ioned way, the or­gan­i­sa­tion now uses their funds to con­trib­ute to char­i­ta­ble causes. Numer­ous char­i­ties have ben­e­fited from th­ese do­na­tions, in­clud­ing the Ar­ran Moun­tain Res­cue Team, and at a small cer­e­mony at the start of Au­gust, the MS So­ci­ety were the lat­est ben­e­fi­ciary to ben­e­fit from this res­ur­rected an­cient or­der.

Billy Kirk­patrick of the MS So­ci­ety re­ceives a cheque from Ayr­shire Blue­bell Free Gar­den­ers chair­man John Cor­bett.

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