Saturday 8th September was a much-awaited date for the two cyclists. This was the last visit in their cycling challenge……A cooler morning than their last cycle ride to Mildenhall when temperatures soared to just over 30º.
The route was a familiar one, having travelled the first part of it many many times over the course of the cycling visits. The weather was pleasantly cool but not too cold. The Brothers took it easy, cycling side by side down the narrow country lanes taking the time to chat and reflect on all of the journeys and the Lodges visited in the last four years that they had been cycling around the Province of Suffolk.
Arriving in the historic town of Hadleigh they made their way to the Guild Hall where Sportsman’s Lodge were meeting. They were greeted by several Brethren who were there to support the cyclists on completion of their last journey in Suffolk. Some photos with the RWPGM WBro Ian Yeldham & The Festival Chairman WBro Neville Warnes, a quick change into suits and ties and into the wonderful Temple that had been set up in readiness for the meeting. Bro Chris Newsome, the first initiate of Sportsman’s Lodge was raised to the degree of a Master Mason in a most excellent and sincere manner by the WM WBro Chris Warnes, very ably assisted by his officers. There were many visiting Brethren including the RWPGM WBro Ian Yeldham, the DPGM WBro David Clarke and the APGM WBro Keith Huxley and several Grand Officers and Brothers from far and near. An excellent turn out for Brother Chris.
Following the meeting the Brethren sat down to enjoy the Festive Board. The usual good cheer and humour that exists within Sportsman’s Lodge began when the WM went to take wine with his JW, WBro Nick Moulton, who stood to take wine from his hip flask, some 1 gallon in size…..
There was much jovial conversation and camaraderie, with most excellent food. The WM WBro Chris Warnes wanted to ensure that the cyclists were well supported by Sportsman’s Lodge, as both Andy & Nick were founding members and wanted to make Sportsman’s Lodge their last visit, he did not disappoint. Firstly, he announced that the Lodge would be making a donation of £200 towards the cyclists and their challenge. He then presented Sportsman’s Lodge “Half Time Blood Orange Marmalade Gin”….for trial tasting with all profit to go towards the cyclists and the Festival. This coupled with personal donations the sale of Big Draw Tickets and an auction of 5 bottles donated by Sportsman’s Lodge members raised the most amazing sum of £975!!!! This enabled Andy & Nick to present the Festival Chairman WBro Neville Warnes with a large cheque, representing the £20,000+ that has been raised by all of the Lodges they have visited during the course of this challenge.
The donation made by Sportsman’s Lodge has now exceeded £1000 with some additional personal donations made since.
An amazing and fitting end to visiting all of the Lodges by cycle. Many thanks to Sportsman’s Lodge, The WM and indeed all of the supportive Brethren there today.
And once again thank you to WBro Cliff Sargeant and Bro Stephen Martin-Halls, both who turned out to transport the cyclists home, somewhat the worse for wear following the visit to Hadleigh Rugby Club afterwards, a Sportsman’s Lodge tradition to afterwards visit a sporting event!
All of the Sponsored rides within Suffolk are now complete. One ride still remains, a visit next week to ride to Grand Lodge for their September Quarterly Communications meeting, where the cyclists will be accompanied by the RWPGM!!
Miles to date: 2197
Lodges visited: 70
Lodges to go: None!
Money Raised from Lodge visits £20,000+. The total to be confirmed soon….