On a Saturday early in December 2019 the Lodge of St Simon held their annual carol service & Christmas dinner, this was open to all their brethren and their family’s as well as friends and guests. For many years Steve & Yvonne Gillmore from the Salvation Army based at Whitleigh, Plymouth, supported by members of the Salvation Army band have provided the music for the carol service.

Yvonne tells the story of Christmas and gets all the children present involved in the story telling in between singing carols, on the night a donation of £250.00 was made to the Salvation Army, this will be used to help in the vulnerable in the community at Whitleigh Plymouth.

Afterwards everyone attended a fantastic festive board of roast turkey with all the trimmings, followed by Christmas pudding and custard in the vestry of the Victoria Masonic Hall, St Budeaux, Plymouth.

Coming forward to the present day the members of St. Simons Masonic Lodge are proud to announce that as part of the spring 2020 disbursement of the William Alexander Kneel Fund (WAKE) the Salvation Army at Whitleigh, Plymouth, has been granted a further sum of £1000.00.

Disbursement from 2019 and due to coronavirus 2020 cheques sent by post

The money raised for donation by the “WAKE Fund” is financed, (usually around £50,000 per year) through a trust conceived by the Right Worshipful Brother William Alexander Kneel, our Provincial Grand Master from 1970 to 1984, the late owner of Kneels laundry & dry cleaners (now Johnston’s). This fund now stands at £2 million, the interest earned is given annually to local non masonic organisations who are in need of help. Since the first disbursement in 2001 over £820,000 has been given to over 900 worthy causes selected by members of the 131 Masonic lodges based in the county.

Where normally we would attend a disbursement meeting for the presentation of the cheque, because of the coronavirus measures in place as regards social gatherings, the cheque was sent in the post and gratefully received by the Salvation Army, it will be used to enhance the good work the Salvation Army already do and put to good use in these uncertain times.

W Bro Clive Eden PAGDC
Provincial Press Officer