Jennifer Smyth & her mother visit Lodge 554, Campsie
On 4th.January 2018, W.E.Scott Memorial Lodge 554, Campsie held their first stated communication of the New Year and after the close of the meeting the Brethren had the pleasure of giving a warm welcome to Mrs. Pamela Smyth and her daughter Jennifer. On their entering the Lodge room the Brethren stood in respect and gave a hearty applause as Jennifer walked down the hall.
In October 2013 Jennifer suffered a life changing accident while practising gymnastics for an upcoming competition, causing serious damage to her spinal cord.
The Assistant Grand Master, Rt.Wor.Bro. Leslie Nixon, gave the two ladies a warm welcome and he expressed his delight at the progress Jennifer has made along her journey since they last met. The Provincial Grand Master, Rt.Wor.Bro.Noel Drain then had a few words of cordiality for Jennifer. He reminded the assembly that when he last met Jennifer a year ago, she was in a wheelchair, but she asserted then that she would walk into her next Masonic gathering.
She kept to her word!
Rt.Wor.Bro.Eric Henry, Deputy Chairman of The Masonic Girls’ Fund gave the meeting a comprehensive summary of the procedures followed by the various Masonic Charity Funds in general and the Masonic Girls Fund in particular. Wor.Bro.Alistair Sterritt then gave an outline of assistances provided by the Derry Masonic Fund, of which he is Treasurer. All these charities have subscribed handsomely to the support of Jennifer. All the speakers commended Pamela on her dedicated support for her daughter, in spite of the tragic and untimely death in 2016 of her husband Wor.Bro.David Smyth who was a past Master of Lodge 554.
In reply Pamela expressed her heartfelt thanks to all organisations, individuals and The Masonic Order for their charitable donations over the past few years.
Over the years since, numerous organisations and individuals have worked tirelessly to raise funds to assist Jennifer in her rehabilitation. The Masonic Order was prominent in this activity. The cumulative result of these efforts has now helped provide Jennifer with a “Re-Walk 6.0” costing around £60,000.00. This robotic style suit now assists Jennifer to stand up and walk, giving her a new perspective of everything around her since her eyelevel has been at wheelchair height for over four years. She now takes great pride at being taller than her mother!
The Lodge then provided everyone with tea and sandwiches, affording a less formal atmosphere for Brethren to offer their personal good wishes to Jennifer, who displayed her usual pleasant and congenial personality, although perhaps, understandably, a little overwhelmed by the occasion.