Feb Saturday 27 2016
Readers of our website may recall that on 29th August 2010 we recorded within our website, the huge donation (still the largest ever single donation in the Bolton MRTs existence) of £40,000.00 from the East Lancashire Mark Benevolent Fund Limited.
The East Lancashire Mark Benevolent Fund Limited is the Masonic Charity of the East Lancashire Mark Freemasons, representing some 96 Masonic Lodges, and their very generous £40,000.00 donation in 2010 was in celebration of the 2010 Centenary Year of the East Lancashire Mark Freemasons.
At the time back in 2010, the East Lancashire Mark Masons also donated £40,000.00 each to our colleagues at Rossendale and Pendle MRT and Oldham MRT.
Such a generous donation of £120,000.00 was used by all three teams at the time to fund their major vehicle purchasing plans – indeed such a donation largely funded such plans.
RPMRT purchased a Land Rover Discovery Mountain Rescue Ambulance, whilst we set the donation against our purchase of three, and Oldahm MRT against their purchase of two, brand new specially constructed Land Rover Defender Mountain Rescue Ambulances.
Since this date, and to honour this fantastic donation, all three teams carry the name ‘ East Lancashire Mark Masons,’ along both sides of the bonnet lines of their vehicles purchased using this donation.
Recently Reginald Foster of the East Lancashire Mark Masons, in January 2016, contacted and spoke at length with our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE, mentioning that the ELMM wished to make a £1,000.00 donation to Bolton MRT.
Over a short period of time, we learnt that the ELMM had also contacted our regional colleagues at Oldham MRT, Calder Valley SRT, Bowland Pennine MRT and Rossendale and Pendle MRT with a similar kind offer of £1,000.00 each.
All the recipient teams were invited to attend at mid day today, a donation hand over ceremony by the East Lancashire Mark Masons, with all teams being invited to send representatives and a team vehicle.
The ceremony took place at the Masonic Hall, Richard Street, Rochdale, and was attended from our team by our Deputy Team Leader Chris Greenhalgh and twenty years in BMRT experienced team member Ken Oakes – who in 2010 was our Team Chairman, who arrived in one of our Land Rovers bearing the titling ‘East Lancashire Mark Masons.’
The donation hand over was made by Provincial Grand Master Alex McLaran, in the presence of Reginald Foster.
For all the MRTs present attending, a huge surprise was in store, as all had been told to expect a £1,000.00 donation.
Apparently with apologies proffered, those present were told it had not been possible to raise this much! a pause in proceedings was followed by the announcement that in fact every MRT present was to receive an amazing £2,500.00 instead!
The grand total of £12,500.00 handed over today was an amazing gift to regional mountain rescue, and will greatly assist all five teams present in their future funding.
We in Bolton MRT extend our fullest and sincere thanks to all in the East Lancashire Mark Masons / East Lancashire Mark Benevolent Fund Limited, for this fantastic and very kind gift, and we further add our thanks for the continuing and appreciated support of the East Lancashire Mark Masons in the Bolton Mountain Rescue Team.