Haddenham Freemasons share the love with Aylesbury Vale covid heroes and heroines
For over a week, the 43 members of Haddenham Lodge of Freemasons have kept a special secret.
During a recent Lodge Zoom meeting, it was suggested that it would be a nice gesture if we could find a way of thanking the staff of our local Medical Centres for their incredible hard work over the last 12 months, to provide a safe environment for all who need their normal services during this horrendous pandemic.
On top of this, the staff have also been preparing themselves for the ‘Great Vaccination’ which has been rolled out at the Stoke Mandeville Stadium.
Bill Smithson, who has been actively involved, during the pandemic, with various initiatives by the Freemasons of Buckinghamshire to help our Health Services, suggested a list of recipients should include: the staff of Haddenham Health Centre andPharmacy, the Long Crendon Surgery, as well asPaula Tompkins and her team of Vanessa Kearney &Sarah Bullimore, at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, and the donation collectors Pamela Robbins & Eden Blossom, who have all inspired this story.
In keeping with the values that Freemasons hold so close, Bill approached Gill Clark, of local florist www.pennsflowers.co.uk, to arrange 35 bunches of flowers for our local Covid heroes & heroines. On hearing about the idea owner Mick Penn, a Haddenham resident himself for over 50 years, wanted to help, and offered to heavily discount the flowers which enabled the Lodge to do so much more.
In order to get the flowers out to the recipients Bill enlisted the help of a few members of the Lodge; Lee Buckingham and Richard Forrest took on the roles of labelling and distribution in Haddenham, while Tony Robinson and Geoff Smith looked after the Long Crendon Health Centre and Bill, himself, took care of delivery to Paula and her team.
There was genuine surprise, bewilderment and emotion as the flowers were delivered and the pleasure of seeing the recipients faces was reward enough and revealed a further secret… humility in all.
As well as the flowers, the Lodge members decided to treat Paula, and her family, to a bottle of wine and a takeaway of their choice, to acknowledge all the work she is doing coordinating donations and support of our wonderful NHS staff at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
Paula wrote to Bill: “Until I met you, I did think you guys were a secretive bunch, you corrected me in a delightful way. Also, thanks for your help with the donations and delivery of the bulkier items we’ve been able to get for the hospital”.
Bill replied: “The only secretive thing in this bunch are the surprise flowers”.