Feedback on fundraising trip to St Helena

Mission accomplished!

The remote tropical island of St Helena measures 10 miles by 5 miles (half the size of the Isle of Wight) and lies in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean, 1,200 miles from the coast of Africa and 2,400 miles off the coast of Brazil.

When planning to visit this island Bro Mark Williams and I established that there was one Lodge in existence (St Helena Lodge No 488) and our Sussex 2028 Festival fundraising initiative to visit the remotest Lodge in the world was born!

We first took an 11-hour overnight flight to Johannesburg and after a 23 hour lay over took the once weekly 6.5-hour flight out to the island. This leg of the journey involved a 30- minute refuelling stop in Namibia. This stop is to ensure that plane can return if it is unable to land on the island! The island’s airport opened in June 2016 replacing the former ‘post boat’ the RMS St Helena.

We attended a meeting of L488 on Tuesday 14th March and witnessed a ceremony of Passing and then enjoyed a marvellous local festive board. At the meeting we presented a bound volume of the letters and ‘pen pictures’ from Lodges across Sussex who had very generously sponsored our venture. On Friday 17th we were invited to a dinner to meet with wives and partners and again enjoyed superb St Helenian hospitality.

Thanks to the splendid generosity of Lodges across Sussex a grand total of £2,500 was raised which has been deposited with the Sussex 2028 Festival in support of the MCF.

Please note every pound donated went to the Festival with each sponsoring Lodge having their donation credited to their Festival target.

A huge thank you to our sponsoring Lodges.

Next steps – we are now spending some time producing an article and a talk on our experiences including the history of St Helena.

W Bro John J Spence
PProvJGW West Group Charity Steward