Lodge Mauldslie cheques in for Carstairs Junction
Masonic Lodges across Scotland quietly support good causes in their local communities – this year alone donating £1.2 million.
For far too long, that support has gone under the radar and that’s something Lodge Mauldslie hopes to rectify.
Nelson Stokes, treasurer of the Carstairs Junction lodge, contacted the Gazette and asked us to publicise its latest cheque presentations.
On May 21, three cheques were presented by the small committee – £1000 to Carstairs Junction Primary School and £250 each to Carstairs Junction Nursery and Carstairs Junction Welcome All Hub.
While fundraising in the past year has been difficult, Lodge Mauldslie has been fortunate. Its lodge premises are used by the Playbarn, which offers before and after school care – bringing in an income.
Nelson also managed to secure grant funding to help good causes locally.
He explained: “We received some money from the Arnold Clark Community Fund as well as a business grant from the government, as all our social events at the Lodge have been cancelled due to the pandemic.
"That enabled us to present these cheques, as we usually do, to local good causes.”
Lodge Mauldslie celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2019 but, like many other lodges across Scotland, falling membership is now a concern.
Nelson hopes to attract more men along to meetings, should they resume as normal in September.
He said: “We do a lot for the local community, from fundraising to a Christmas dinner for the elderly.
"But we really need new, younger members to join to ensure the Lodge’s future. It’s really difficult to get new blood in because people lead such busy lives these days.
"There are also many myths surrounding the Masons; it’s an organisation with secrets, yes, but it’s not a secret society! You can find out what it’s all about in countless books.”
While there are a few female lodges across the country, Lodge Mauldslie is solely for men aged over 18, of any race or religion.
Nelson added: “We usually meet once a month and there’s a great social aspect to it. It’s a friendship society.”
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