On Thursday 14th December 2017 members of St. John’s Masonic Lodge No.281 St. Johnston, St. Johnston Royal Arch Chapter No.281 and St. Johnston Masonic Hall Committee, held their Annual Carol Service in St. Johnston Masonic Hall.
As usual the Hall had been tastefully decorated for the evening with a Christmas Tree and other forms of Christmas decorations of the season. The fire was glowing to give a cosy and inviting feel to the evening Service.
The Chairman of the Hall Committee and M. C. For the evening, V.W. Bro. Sam Waterworth gave a very hearty welcome to approximately 75 persons who included Masons, their Wives, Partners, Girlfriends, Relatives and Friends and Widows of past Masons.
The evening consisted of a Reading of Seven Biblical Lessons and the Singing of Seven Christmas Carols plus various Seasonal Musical pieces performed by invited Guests.
The three main Churches in the St Johnston area were represented by the Rev. Canon David Crooks, Rev. Craig Wilson and Mrs. Teresa Gibson representing Monsignor Dan Carr.
The Seven Biblical Lessons were read by the following people:-
1. W. Bro. Clive Robinson – Worshipful Master of St. John’s Masonic Lodge No. 281 St. Johnston
2. Rev. Craig Wilson – Minister of St. Johnston Presbyterian Church
3. W. Bro. Trevor Purce – Worshipful Master of Vernon Masonic Lodge No. 127 Coleraine
4. Rev. Canon David Crooks – The Church of Ireland Rector for the Parish of Taughboyne
5. Miss Joanna Robinson – Daughter of W. Bro. Clive Robinson
6. Mrs. Teresa Gibson – Representing Monsignor Dan Carr
7. Mrs. Agnes Tinney – Representing the Community of St. Johnston
The Soloist on the evening was Miss. Ciara Bovaird who sang the Seasonal Carols “O Holy Night” and “In the bleak mid Winter”; the third year that Ciara has performed at the Annual Carol Service.
“The Music Group”, a quartet, added to the evening with Christmas themed Songs and were led by W. Bro. David Stewart on the keyboard. Hopefully this first appearance at this Service will not be the last by this wonderful group of singers.
This year’s chosen Charity was “Foyle Search and Rescue” who do incredible and wonderful work in endeavouring so hard to prevent suicides on the River Foyle and also in assisting in the recovery of those who have entered the water. The audience was shown a short video presentation and given a short talk on the work of the volunteers who make up the “Foyle Search and Rescue” organisation by Mr. Pat Carlin the Media Manager for “Foyle Search and Rescue”.
During the singing of the final Carol a collection was taken up and realised around €600 in aid of this charity. However at their Stated Communication of St. John’s Lodge No.281 on the 21st December the members present made this figure up to a total of €750.
V.W. Bro. Waterworth before asking the Chaplain of St. John’s Masonic Lodge No.281, Wor. Bro. Billy Gillard, to say the closing Prayer bringing the Carol Service to a close, thanked all again for attending. He also thanked the Organist for the evening Mrs. Dianne Leckey and Mrs. Geraldine Robinson for all her hard work in arranging our Readers and Musical Guests etc.
At the conclusion of the Carol Service all present were treated to a Supper of homemade Sandwiches, Mince Pies and Tray Bakes along with a cup of Tea or Coffee before leaving the Hall.
On Friday the 5th January 2018 nine members representing the three organising bodies, including the Worshipful Master of Lodge 281 W. Bro. Clive Robinson, the Ex. King of RAC 281 E.C. Cecil Wilson and the Hall Committee Chairman V.W. Bro. Sam Waterworth attended the Harry Allen-Hamilton Room in St. Johnston Masonic Hall. Mr. Pat Carlin the Media Manager from “Foyle Search and Rescue” was formally presented with the cheque in the sum of €750 by W.Bro. Clive Robinson the Worshipful Master of St. John’s Masonic Lodge No.281 St. Johnston.