Men and women Freemasons join forces for charity

Andrew Coombs presents a cheque to the Elizabeth Foundation from the Facebook draw, with Colin Rattley and Graham and Sue Lant behind
Male and Female Freemasons who joined together in Portsmouth at the start of the pandemic have raised £10,000 for charity.

Husband and wife team Graham and Sue Lant – both members of lodges in the town – and their family members have broadcast a live draw every week on Facebook.

Tickets are sold to members of the organisations who also get to nominate and vote for charities.

There are nearly 100 men and women Freemasons playing each week and buying tickets. The pot is split between the winners and the good causes.

So far 17 local charities have benefited and the draws which were due to end are continuing while the ‘rule of six’ rule remains and prevents lodges meeting with any great numbers.

Andrew Coombs, whose idea it was and who is deaf, said: “At the start of the pandemic we wanted to do something to raise some money and came up with the idea of a weekly draw.

“Luckily Colin Rattley and Graham and Sue Lant were able to launch a dedicated Facebook group.

“It has become very popular with people buying tickets then tuning in to watch the draw. Lots of winners have put their prizes towards the charity donation.

“We have supported many great causes, some of which have seen their incomes reduce during the pandemic despite their workloads going up.

“It’s great that men and women Freemasons joined forces and have been able to raise so much money.”

To stay within the law The South East Hampshire Masons Festive Board Facebook page is open only to Freemasons.

While Freemasons are mainly men, there are two Grand Lodges which represent women and their lodges work in the same way as men’s.

Editor’s note:

There are around 9,000 Freemasons in Hampshire and Isle of Wight, and over 250 Lodges. Although Freemasonry has been an open and transparent organisation for some time, there are still many misconceptions. Essentially, Freemasonry is a society of men concerned with moral and spiritual values based on integrity, kindness, honesty and fairness. It is one of the world’s oldest and largest non-religious, non-political, fraternal and charitable organisations.

For further information please contact:

Provincial and masonic information: Provincial Marketing Officer, Roger Maber, email: tel: 07802605499