Responding to the Humanitarian Crisis – News from Polytechnic Lodge No 2847
W Bro Ronald A. Wainer SLGR talks to Arena
Without going into the details, we are all aware that, at the time of writing this article, a humanitarian crisis is taking place in Europe. Many brethren will have responded in whichever way they can. Today, we hear from the secretary of The Polytechnic Lodge No 2847, W Bro Ronald A. Wainer SLGR, on how they decided to join the emergency efforts.
On the morning of Tuesday 8th March, Bro Ronald mentioned to members of The Polytechnic Lodge that his Parish Priest, Fr. Eduard Fartan from The Holy Family Church in Benfleet, had arranged with a good number of volunteers, members of his Parish who have a van, to drive emergency provisions to the borders of Ukraine and Romania. These provisions included donations of essential items to refugee women, children, and babies. The convoy of vans was due to leave Benfleet within less than a week as the need was urgent. The Church was making a plea for donations of warm clothing, medication, toiletries and baby food.
At the other end of the line was a group of nuns who were going into Ukraine to retrieve sick hospitalised children, some of them cancer patients. Where and when possible, they would drive them out of Ukraine, sometimes under fire, to Romania for safety and to continue their treatment. These nuns were also assisting on the border with the distribution of donated goods.
Bro Ronald mentioned this to The Polytechnic Lodge’s members on their WhatsApp group chat on Tuesday 8th March in the morning. Within less than 24 hours, the Lodge’s members, and even candidates in waiting, made personal donations amounting to £750. This amount enabled Bro Ronald and his wife to purchase 26 sack loads and four boxes full of essential items for those made homeless by the conflict.
The overall response to the appeal was staggering both in their scale and speed. Several boxes, filled with donations from The Polytechnic Lodge’s members, have joined many others. Altogether, 131 crate boxes commenced their journey to the Borders just five days after the first call for help. Freemasonry at its best. The members of The Polytechnic Lodge can be proud of their very generous donations made in a super quick time.
W Bro Michael Todd PSGD Met Grand Inspector expressed his admiration. ‘Throughout the pandemic, the overarching inspiration of Freemasonry must be the way it has stepped up and offered charity through money and personal efforts of the Lodges and their members. I could not be more proud that one of my Inspectorate’s Lodges, The Polytechnic Lodge, who, during Covid, bought and supplied PPE in significant numbers and have now directly bought and arranged supply of urgent supplies for the Ukrainian Refugees. The Lodge and its members are a credit to Metropolitan Grand Lodge!’
A Lodge’s prospective candidate, still waiting to be interviewed by the Lodge, has donated £100 to the Romanian Cultural Community, who are purchasing emergency goods locally at the border with Ukraine.
As we were writing this article, and between two emails with the secretary to verify certain details, he informed Arena that there had been another donation of £30 toward the Ukraine appeal.
This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 48 April 2022 edition.
Arena Magazine is the official magazine of the London Freemasons – Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London.
Read more articles in the Arena Issue 48 here.