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Nine Lancashire Masons flew to the Island of Jersey in order to support in the inaugural shoot for the newly formed Jersey Masonic Shooting Society at Lecq Shooting Ground.

We arrived on Thursday and met Louise Jennings-Hoole, who had travelled from Basingstoke, at our hotel. The weather was hot and sunny for the Practice on Friday and the views from the ground spectacular and after a slow start we managed to equip ourselves well. Some of the other masons who travelled from the mainland were also there hoping to see how West Lancashire were doing.

Getting back to the hotel we had to be ready to leave to attend the meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge of Jersey in the famous Jersey Temple. The eight who attended received a warm welcome, a reserved seat and an individual mention from RW Bro Kenneth Michael Rondel the Provincial Grand Master during his introductions. After the normal business of Provincial Lodge we received an interesting paper by W Bro Rupert Hague Holmes titled ‘The fallen twenty’ the story of the Jersey Brethren who made the ultimate sacrifice in the Great War.

With only 11 Lodges in the Province the Appointments and Promotions did not take long with 24 Brethren receiving an acting  appointment only 14 of which were first appointments for the others it was ‘second time around’. One Past Rank appointment and 16 promotions completed the investiture of Officers.

On Saturday the sun of the previous two days was blown away and we faced rain, followed by rain, followed by rain. After a hearty breakfast we boarded the same taxi for a trip to the opposite end of the island back to Lecq shooting ground for the competition.

A slow start necessitated by faulty traps meant we started late and found that we were all split up in different squads. Had the weather been fine we could have enjoyed the spectacular views from the new stands in use for the competition, instead we could not even see the sea from the cliff edge.

We had no idea how we were doing until we reached the clubhouse wet, cold and hungry, to compare notes and stories of clays hit and missed.26 entries from 5 Provinces completed the entry with West Lancs having the largest contingent with 8 shooting.

The top scorer was John Perin from Metropolitan Grand Lodge of London with 82. Our own Jason Rhodes was second with 80 and Sam King from GMet third on 78. The Deputy PGM Graham Leonard Spence, one of the competitors, congratulated the winners and a sum of money was given to the charity of their choice in lieu of prizes. London won the Team Competition with 301, West Lancashire 2nd with 279 and Jersey third with 239.
The top 4 West Lancashire shooters making up the team were:

Jason Rhodes 80
Andrew McClements 70
Richard Dennison 67
Mike Casey 62

As you can guess a late night out followed the competition and we all learned a new game from Richard. He must not have understood his own rules properly as he lost every round.

Of course the weather changed on the Sunday and the heat was cracking the pavement. Some of our party took a tour of the island and either got the wrong bus or miss timed the trip whichever it was they had to be rescued and brought back in time for the taxi to the airport.

As this was the first time the Jersey Masonic Clay Shooting Society had held an event West Lancashire were proud to support this initiative and hope the see Jersey competing at future National Championships.

Thanks must go to  RW Bro Kenneth Michael Rondel the Provincial Grand Master for his welcome; W Bro Jerry Courvain for his assistance with permits; Jack and Cathy Hanby on the ground: Andy McClement our official photographer and last but not least all those who travelled to represent the Province of West Lancashire.

National Masonic Clay Shooting Championships 2018

Hosted by the Province of Surrey

10th August 2018 – Bisley Surrey

Friday 10th August saw 200 plus masons, friends and family descend on Bisley Camp, recognised as the home of shooting in the United Kingdom, where 172 vied for the 14th National Masonic Clay Shooting Championships.
Superb representation was made from provinces far and wide;

Bedfordshire Bristol Buckinghamshire Devon
Dorset East Kent Essex Hertfordshire Hants & Isle of Wight
Metropolitan Grand Lodge Middlesex South Wales Suffolk Surrey
Sussex West Kent West Lancashire Wiltshire

Shooting 100 sporting clays at the “Clock Tower” on Cottesloe Heath, a rarely available set of stands due to its proximity to the Stickledown rifle range, ended with Metropolitan Grand Lodge being presented the trophy by the RW Brother Ian Chandler, Provincial Grand Master of Surrey, with their top 3 guns scoring 269 in an incredibly closely fought contest over runners up Surrey Province, just one point behind them, and 261 to West Lancashire for 3rd place. A Masonic High Gun of 95 went to Danny Bishop, of Hants & Isle of Wight.

  • Junior High Gun

A full list of scores can be found here – SCORES

Ladies, junior and non-masonic guests tussled for additional trophies in their various categories with a dazzling score of 92 securing Lady High Gun for Sue Osbourne and 69 for Junior High Gun Tom Hemmings again just one point more than junior runner up Coco over from France for the event. The weather proved rather challenging varying from bright sunshine to monsoon conditions but the layout was reported by one competitor from East Kent, as “one of the best, if not the very best layouts I’ve ever shot” The Surrey Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies W. Bro Kevin Stone, Provincial Stewards present, past and many others including W. Bro John Tofield gave their great support throughout the day and especially to our visitors.

R W Bro Eric Stuart-Bamford the Past Provincial Grand Master and an ex-Team GB shot, also provided ample assistance and help on the day. Ellie Vidler of Comfort Kitchen provided sustenance through some fine freshly cooked food and non-stop refreshments throughout the day. Incidentally, Ellie’s partner Will is soon to be initiated into Freemasonry, where he will be joining Ellie’s Father and Brother who are members of the Cherchefelle Lodge 6543.  Prince David Lodge, the Surrey shotgun specialist lodge, report that clay shooting seems to be attracting a significant number of new candidates – good for the sport and good for Freemasonry. W Bro Steve Butwell undertook a keen and highly humorous approach to selling the raffle tickets for some really fantastic prizes including a 12g shotgun.

A year of great effort by the organising team and wonderful support from Provinces and guests ensured a decidedly successful and enjoyable event raising £5,500 for the 2019 Surrey Festival Appeal. We all now look forward to next year’s event which will be hosted by The Province of Suffolk.