Presentation of Community Support Vehicle to St John Suffolk

stjohn suffolk 16

A glorious spring morning welcomed over 20 East Anglian Mark Masons to St. Margaret's Church in Lowestoft for the handover of the St. John Ambulance donated to Suffolk by the Mark Benevolent Fund (MBF). The final of three vehicles donated within our Province (one for each County), this one is a Community Support Vehicle.

Following a sincere Service of Dedication led by the Rev’d Michael Asquith, I handed over the keys of the vehicle to Mrs Anne Chaplin a representative of St. John Ambulance Saxmundham. Claire and I then had a ride in the new vehicle, that was exciting, such a pity there was no "blues and twos"!

HM Lord Lieutenant for Suffolk, Clare, Countess of Euston spoke most warmly of the Mark Masons generosity and assure us that this would be communicated to Her Majesty who was always interested in the work of the St John.

After the presentation we then retired to the Lowestoft headquarters of St John for refreshments and an opportunity to talk with the St. John volunteers who will be using the vehicle. They were all very pleased with their vehicle and were eloquent in their praise for our charity the MBF.

On behalf of the Mark Masons of East Anglia I take this opportunity to thank the trustees of the MBF for providing our Province with the three vehicles to ensure that St John and our communities have the ability to care for those in need.


Breckland Mark Lodge and EAMBA Grant to Thetford ATC

EAMBA Breckland Mark 2493

Breckland Mark Lodge took advantage of the East Anglian Mark Benevolent Association match funding scheme, which resulted in a donation of £701 to 1109 (Thetford) Squadron, Air Training Corps.

Based at RAF Barnham Camp, the ATC managed to fund the purchase of a minibus, but needed assistance to get it on the road. Realising the enormous benefits of the vehicle, the EAMBA more than match-funded the Breckland donation, with a total grant of £701 paying the tax and insurance for the first year.

Provincial Grand Master Paul Norman made the presentation to the group at RAF Barnham, accompanied by members of the Province and Thetford Mark Lodge. Earlier in the evening we heard from Flight Sergeant Dave Towells, who gave an insight into the good work both he and his staff undertake and how the vehicle will be used.

In order to allow as many staff members as possible to drive it, they selected a fairly new eight seater vehicle with an enclosed section at the back for their camping equipment, overnight stay items, mountain bikes etc. One real benefit is they can now use their own vehicle for away trips such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, rather than relying on several cars.

We were all impressed by the cadets and the facilities they use at RAF Barnham, with the addition of the minibus certainly enhancing the training and activities available to them.

Richard Pryor
Provincial Grand Senior Warden