W Bro Andy Gentle (Priory 4618) kicked off his attempt to visit all 66 Suffolk lodges by bicycle during the Festival on Tuesday 11th March with a visit to Royal Clarence Lodge (1823) in Clare. He was accompanied by Bro Gareth Evans (Priory 4618) who has joined Andy’s adventure and will be cycling to all of the Lodges as well. They chose Royal Clarence as the first stop in their quest to cycle to all 66 Suffolk lodges because of its close proximity to Sudbury, and also because of the Hall Stone Jewel connection between the lodges. Being their first trip, they were unsure how things would proceed, how they would handle arriving in cycle clothing, how their fellow brethren would react to the challenge and lastly what, if any, sponsorship they might garner. It is safe to say that their expectations were wildly exceeded on all fronts! The warm welcome, the provision of a room to allow them to change, the chance to mention their quest during the risings and finally the much appreciated generosity in the donation of the raffle proceeds all made for a truly enjoyable first cycling visit.
Their quest has two aims, one is somewhat personal as both Bro Gareth and W Bro Andy thought the opportunity to visit all the Suffolk lodges whilst also hopefully making them a little fitter seemed too good to pass up! But the second aim, and definitely the more important one, is to highlight the Festival and maybe act as a catalyst for the fundraising efforts of the entire province. Their progress will be recorded on this site along with any donations raised. If they get anywhere near the same warm welcome elsewhere as they did at Royal Clarence then they seem set for an enjoyable adventure and successful outcome. Donations from Lodges towards the Festival during the quest are more than welcome and will be credited against the Lodges own festival records but in addition you can also sponsor their progress as an individual if you wish. They already have a few personal sponsors (not all masonic either) who have pledged 5p a mile over the course of the quest. One such sponsor is W Bro Danny Rowe (Stour Valley 1224) handing over his first 45p for the journey to Clare.
Last Visit: Royal Clarence (1823) on 11th March 2014. Miles 9. The donation of the raffle, £210 was very appreciated!
Next Visits: Magna Carta (8017) on 18th March 2014.
Royal St Edmunds (1008) 27th March 2014