Larne and District Charity Committee, in conjunction with the Reverend Fiona Forbes, put in hand arrangements to hold their second annual Service of Carols in the spacious surroundings of Cairncastle Presbyterian Church. They were assisted by the Church Organist Ms Avril Clements and were joined by Ms Imogen Forbes, our excellent soloist on the night. The refreshments were provided free of charge to all present, thanks to the generosity of the Brethren of Garryowen Masonic Lodge No923 I.C., Ann’s Pantry from Main Street Larne, and as always, The Spar at Ballygally.
This year the Larne Committee will be donating their collection to support the ongoing works of the TLC Appeal Ireland. As most of you already know, this is a Charity supported by The Freemasons of Ireland to assist in the comfort of distressed sick children, visiting hospital emergency departments throughout the island of Ireland. They achieve this aim by providing germ free teddies sealed in air-tight bags, which are then given to the individual child patient by the medical staff on duty at the time. These staff members are then able to use these contamination free teddies to show the children their proposed treatment, by injecting or bandaging teddy, before carrying out same on the child. Feedback from A & E departments throughout Ireland bear witness to the success of this initiative in helping children be more at ease in respect of their prospective treatments.
Back in Cairncastle, we are pleased to report that thankfully the weather was much kinder this year with no snow, sleet, hail or freezing winds. There was a little light rain, but otherwise it was a cloudy and moderately good evening. The Reverend Forbes welcomed all present and started the evening with the Lord’s Prayer, before we all sang O Little Town of Bethlehem. This set the scene nicely for a further series of nine Carols and Biblical Readings which related the entire story of Christmas.
Amongst those participating were Wor Bro Billy Thompson, Chaplin of the Garryowen Lodge No 923 I.C. ; Wor Bro Jock McToal Chairman of the Larne and District Masonic Charity Committee ; Wor Bro Grahame Todd Larne Charity Committee; Excellent Companion Alan Tweed Glenarm RAC No 45; Ex Sir Knight Samuel Brennan of Latharna Council No 59; Sir Knight Jeff McWhirter of Chichester Preceptory; Wor Bro Russell Millar Provincial Grand Secretary of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Antrim; Wor Bro Norman Carmichael and Wor Bro Mervyn Robinson Provincial Inspector to Garryowen Lodge No 923 I.C Our soloist Ms Imogen Forbes performed in a melodic manner to the great delight of all present.
At the close of the Carol service, we all retired to the Church Hall, for a plentiful spread of buns, biscuits and mince pies accompanied by tea or coffee. At one end of the Hall was a display of materials for sale in support of Teddies for Loving Care. The Northern Chairman of TLC, Rt Wor Bro David Penpraze gave a brief update on the ongoing works being carried out by Teddies for Loving Care. Earlier this year they passed the 100,000 mark in respect of Teddies purchased by the Charity, which have now been given out to children attending A & E Departments in all of the 36 Paediatric Hospitals throughout the Island of Ireland.
And for any of you reading this, who live in Northern Ireland, but were unable to attend last night, there is an opportunity to support the work of this Charity directly by texting your gift as detailed below. Using “JustTextGiving on your mobile its simple – just text
TLCA14£2 to donate £ 2.00 Sterling.
TLCA14£5 to donate £ 5.00 Sterling
TLCA14£10 to donate £10.00 Sterling.
Teddies for Loving Care are a registered Charity whose registration number is 1087765. Their account name Teddies for Loving Care has been set up in the First Trust Bank. 31 High Street, Belfast BT1 2AL. Their account number is 1547 7144, Sort Code 93 80 92 and IBAN : GB33 FTBK 9380 9215 4771 44 On behalf of this worthwhile charity, we thank you all for your ongoing support.