Oban Ma­sonic Lodge hosts fun day help­ing raise thou­sands for char­ity

The Oban Times - - News - SANDY NEIL sneil@oban­times.co.uk

A WEEK­END fun day or­gan­ised by Oban’s Ma­sonic Lodge has so far raised £ 5,215 for two char­i­ties.

Satur­day’s fun day, run by Oban Com­mer­cial Lodge No. 180, sported games such as a bungee run strewn with lol­lipops, beat-the-goalie, and even an old fash­ioned co­conut shy, along­side craft and burger stalls, a bouncy cas­tle, face paint­ing, and a gen­er­ous raf­fle.

Spo­radic down­pours at times cleared the field at Oban Lorne Rugby Club on Glen­cruit­ten Drive, with hun­dreds of adults and chil­dren div­ing for cover in the club­house dur­ing the af­ter­noon, but the play quickly re­sumed.

Three teams from the Oban and Taynuilt Ma­sonic Lodges also com­peted in a foot­ball tour­na­ment, won by Taynuilt’s Lodge St Mo­den No. 985.

All the at­trac­tions and tick­ets raised money for the Lodge’s two cho­sen char­i­ties: the Spe­cial Baby Care Unit En­dow­ment Fund at the Royal Alexan­dra Hospi­tal, Pais­ley, and the St An­drews Univer­sity Al­ter­na­tive For­mat Suite, which pro­duces au­dio books and Braille prints for stu­dents with spe­cial needs, thanks to one paid and 50 vol­un­teer mem­bers of staff.

One of the fun day’s or­gan­is­ers, Kenny Pear­son, said the event fol­lows a suc­cess­ful fun day five years ago, which raised thou­sands of pounds for the Oban Hospice, and he hoped this year’s would do the same for the Spe­cial Baby Care Unit.

He said: ‘My son was born ear­lier this year and he needed a lot of treat­ment, which spurred me on to ask the lodge if we could put an event on again this year.’

Mr Pear­son was joined by fel­low or­gan­is­ers, Scott and Karen MacAl­lis­ter, whose son Rian, a for­mer Oban High School pupil and tal­ented stu­dent at St An­drews Univer­sity, trag­i­cally died last year aged 21.

Rian, who was blind due to a con­di­tion called op­tic nerve hy­popla­sia, had just grad­u­ated with a de­gree in me­di­ae­val his­tory and Mid­dle East stud­ies.

Karen ex­plained: ‘The St An­drews Univer­sity Al­ter­na­tive For­mat Suite made a huge dif­fer­ence to his life – it made work ac­ces­si­ble. It was re­ally cru­cial to Rian’s univer­sity life.’

Speak­ing on Satur­day af­ter­noon, Scott added: ‘ So far the day’s raised £ 3,000, which will be split be­tween the two char­i­ties.

‘There’s still the ceilidh this evening, so we’re hop­ing to raise more.

‘The com­mu­nity and the Ma­sonic Lodge have been fan­tas­tic and very sup­port­ive.’

The Oban Com­mer­cial Lodge’s Right Wor­ship­ful Mas­ter, Brother Ken­neth Ste­wart, praised ev­ery­body’s ‘ex­cel­lent ef­fort’, and ‘the large num­ber of qual­ity do­na­tions, and peo­ple who came out to sup­port, de­spite the weather’.

The fun con­tin­ued at a ceilidh in the Ma­sonic Lodge on Al­bany Street, Oban, with mu­sic by Ge­orge Noble Disco, and Kenny Pear­son and friends.

Pho­to­graphs clock­wise from top left: El­lie MacNiven and, be­hind, Emma Roxburgh, of Oban Lorne Ladies Rugby Club demon­strate the bungee run 15_T34 Fun Day - bungee run; Rob­bie De­war, 3, cel­e­brates with his aun­tie Caro­line Rear­don and cake in the club­house, af­ter win­ning a co­conut at the shy 15_T34 Fun Day - cake; Two year- old Paloma from Oban met Mickey and Min­nie Mouse at the fun day 15_T34 Fun Day - mice; El­lie MacNiven and Emma Roxburgh are in the zone 15_T34 Fun Day - skill zone; Left to right, 13-year- old Ar­ran from Dun­beg poses be­hind his stall with Ab­bie, 5, and So­phie, 7, from Oban. 15_T34 Fun Day - sponge; 11-year- old De­clan Thom­son from Oban knocks off his first of two co­conuts 15_T34 Fun Day co­conut.

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