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PICTURES: Coronavirus puts centenary party on hold but Ullapool freemasons give local groups cause to celebrate instead


By Hector MacKenzie

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Phil Ellis, Master of Lodge St Martins, No 1217 handing over a cheque for £1200 to TopherDawson, Chairman of Lochbroom Community Council.
Phil Ellis, Master of Lodge St Martins, No 1217 handing over a cheque for £1200 to TopherDawson, Chairman of Lochbroom Community Council.

Freemasons in Ullapool are using the proceeds of an endowment policy which matured last year to help good causes locally.

In 1995 the members of Lodge St Martins No 1217 took out a 25-year investment plan which they were going to use to finance their centenary celebrations in 2020.

However, due to the coronavirus pandemic the centenary party was cancelled. The brethren were left with around £9000, which was no longer required.

And so, in recent weeks they have begun using the money to support community projects and charities.

One of the first beneficiaries was Lochbroom House care Home, who received £500 for the “Light Up Lochbroom House” project to supply special lights around the interior and exterior of the home.

Lochbroom Community Council received £1200 which will go towards the upgrade project of the children’s playpark in Vyner Place. A second cheque for £1000 followed a few weeks later for another swing park.

A cheque for £1000 was presented to the Ullapool Church of Scotland. The money was used by the Parish Hub “Giving Tree” project which, with the assistance of local social services, helped 16 local families.

Phil Ellis, Master of Lodge St Martins, No 1217 handing over a cheque for £1000 toRev. Heidi Hercus, Minister of the Ullapool Church of Scotland. Looking on is Bro. Andrew Ferrier,member of St Martins.
Phil Ellis, Master of Lodge St Martins, No 1217 handing over a cheque for £1000 toRev. Heidi Hercus, Minister of the Ullapool Church of Scotland. Looking on is Bro. Andrew Ferrier,member of St Martins.

Phil Ellis, the Master of St Martins, who are based in Argyle Street, Ullapool, said: “The members of the lodge were very upset when it became clear we would not be able to hold our centenary events.

“The brethren who took out the endowment policy 25 years ago were very far-sighted indeed and we owe them a great vote of thanks.

“We didn’t want their efforts to be in vain, so we decided to put the money to good use, by helping the local community.

“We are planning to purchase another 25-year policy and hopefully when it matures we will be able to enjoy our 125 the birthday.”

Phil Ellis, Master of Lodge St Martins, No 1217 handing over a cheque for £500 to Ms Anne Napier, Manager of Lochbroom House Care Home.
Phil Ellis, Master of Lodge St Martins, No 1217 handing over a cheque for £500 to Ms Anne Napier, Manager of Lochbroom House Care Home.

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