In November Noel Lodge No 2444 celebrated its 125th Anniversary and change of name to Noel Surrey Motorcycle Lodge. There to join in the celebrations was the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, W.Bro. Richard Wileman, and a number of Provincial Officers of the year.
After the Lodge was opened, W.Bro. Chris Eley, Provincial Grand Orator, gave a eulogy in memory of RW.Bro. Lt Col Denis Phipps, MBE, Past Provincial Grand Master.
The Deputy Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, W.Bro. Les Smith, was then admitted and advised the Worshipful Master, W.Bro. Steven Rowlands, that the Worshipful Deputy Provincial Grand Master was in the ante room and demanded admission to Noel Surrey Motorcycle Lodge.
The Deputy Provincial Grand Master entered in procession with two Provincial Grand Stewards and was presented with the gavel. The Deputy Provincial Grand Master was saluted with five under the direction of the Director of Ceremonies.
The Deputy Provincial Grand Master said how pleased he was to visit the Lodge on this very special day in its history. He spoke about what was happening in the world in 1892 when the Lodge was Consecrated, with an especial mention of Liverpool FC formed in the same year.
This was for the benefit of his Escorting Officer, W.Bro. Les Smith. The Deputy Provincial Grand Master took the minutes and vacated the Chair to allow the Worshipful Master to Induct his successor, W.Bro. Chris Wheeler, as the first Master of the renamed Noel Surrey Motorcycle Lodge.
The Address to the Master was given by W.Bro. Richard Wileman, to the Wardens by W.Bro. Jim Hone and to the Brethren by W.Bro, Chris Day, the Lodge’s Official Visitor.
After the regular business of the Lodge one of the visitors, W.Bro. Paul Kerswell, gave a short history of the Noel Lodge and its relationship with its daughter Lodge, Petersham Lodge. He then presented the Worshipful Master with a number of artefacts linking Noel Lodge and Petersham Lodge together.
To close a very special meeting the new Charity Steward, W.Bro. Steve Rowlands, invited one of the members of the Emergency Volunteer Service (E.V.S.) in Surrey to give a short presentation on the Blood Bikes. Blood bikes have been in operation since 1962 when Margaret Ryerson formed the Emergency Volunteer Service (E.V.S.) in Surrey.
In April 1981 in Surrey, Service by Emergency Rider Volunteers was set up to supply a quick and reliable means of transporting emergency blood products to the hospitals and medical facilities at night.
Prior to SERV the only means available to hospitals, doctors and other medical establishments for the transport of emergency blood supplies at night were taxi, ambulance, police, courier or transfusion service vehicle. Each of these options had good and bad points.
SERV supplies this service free of any charge, thus freeing up much-needed funds for improved patient care and other needed facilities within the hospital.
Their core business is delivery of urgently required supplies of blood products to subscribed hospitals when other methods of transport are either prohibitively expensive, unavailable or inappropriate.
This is usually because of some form of emergency, be it a serious accident, problem pregnancy or unscheduled referral for operation. In addition the volunteers collect these products and deliver them to handover points from where their colleagues in other regional groups take them on to hospitals in their own areas. Since February 2013, SERV Surrey & South London has provided a critical, daily service to the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust.
This entails delivering two boxes, each containing four units of O Rh- blood, to their hanger at Redhill Aerodrome every day, including Bank Holidays, Easter and Christmas, as well as replenishing them whenever they have cause to open, or worse, use the contents of either box.
After the Lodge was closed the Brethren of Noel Surrey Motorcycle Lodge and their guests sat down to a splendid festive board in the Elizabethan Suite at the Surbiton Mason Hall. There as a centrepiece to the Festive Board was a gleaming Blood Bike fully loaded with all its equipment.
The raffle at the Festive Board raised the sum of £250 which the Worshipful Master had much pleasure in presenting to the EVS Volunteers with grateful thanks for bringing the bike along to round up a most enjoyable afternoon and evening.
More details on the SERV Blood Runners can be found on https://www.servssl.org.uk/
Thanks also to Robbie Dobbie and his team for allowing the bike into the Elizabethan Suite – something members of his team took full advantage of.
Article and photos by Chris Eley