FREEMASONS along the Surf Coast have again given generously as they marked their first official meeting in their new Torquay home.
The Lodge of the Great Ocean Road met for the first time on November 20 in the recently-opened Lesley McQuinn Hall, located at the rear of the existing Torquay Improvement Association Hall in Price Street.
The donations presented to six community groups came from funds raised by members of the lodge and were also supported by the Freemasons Foundation Victoria.
Since the Lodge of the Great Ocean Road opened in 1985, more than $160,000 has been donated to various charitable entities, mainly along the Surf Coast.
This year’s recipients were:
• Torquay Food Aid – $1,500 to assist with the purchase of household food items to support those in need in the community
• Support After Suicide – $1,000 to assist with the continuation of the organisation’s important work
• Anglesea and Aireys Inlet Foodlink – $1,500 to assist with the purchase of household food items to support those in need in the community
• Anglesea and District Community House – $1,500 for the purchase of three items for play and development purposes for use in the children’s services area
• Lorne Community Hospital – $4,487 for the purchase of a recumbent exercise bike for the use of patients with any back problems or injury who would find an upright bike uncomfortable, and
• Torquay Improvement Association – defibrillator package.
This last item was received by the hall’s namesake, Lesley McQuinn, who remarked, “We’re very grateful for it but it’s one gift we hope we never use”.
As well as the more than $12,800 given last month, the lodge also donated $1,000 to the bushfire appeal earlier this year, and will donate another $2,400 in the Surf Coast Freemasons Junior Citizenship Awards later this year.