“The Freemasonry in the Community mini-bus was given away to the Weston & District Community Transport group on Tuesday November 6 at the Weston Town Hall. Use of The Hutton Suite in the town hall for this presentation was courtesy of the Chairman of North Somerset Council – Cllr. Terry Porter and Mrs Jan Porter.
“The 2005 diesel Renault Master has 12 seats, air conditioning and a power-operated wheel chair lift operated via the back doors. It has completed 23,000 miles since it was acquired by Somerset Freemasons in 2010 and during these two years it has completed 130 respite-day trips and carried approx. 1,250 people from the many charities and deserving organisations throughout Somerset.
“The groups have included children’s homes, hospices, church groups, care homes, scouts, guides, WI groups, Mothers Union groups, youth groups, nursing homes, retirement groups, Crossroads Care and Young Carers. They have been taken, free of charge, on day trips providing some respite from their usual mundane routines when limited finances did not allow them to hire such a vehicle.
“The hand-over of ownership documents and keys was made by Stuart Hadler, Provincial Grand Master of Somerset Freemasons, to David Ray – the Chairman of Trustees of Weston & District Community Transport. David thanked Somerset Freemasons for the most generous gift and said that the bus would be a morale boost for the WDCT Management Team, the drivers and clients. He added that it will continue to be seen throughout the county of Somerset as a professional addition to their fleet.
“ The project has been supported by Ingram, Hawkins and Nock, the specialist insurance broker to Freemasonry, and also by all the Somerset Masonic Lodges who have contributed to the running costs. The vehicle has been driven over the two-year period by a team of Masonic volunteer drivers.
“Also present at the hand-over were the Mayor and Mayoress of Weston, Cllr. Dave Hitchins & Mrs Carol Hitchins who also praised the masons for their generosity and added that the mini-bus was an asset to the town and villages in North Somerset.