In 2017 WBro Steve Ripley a well-known member of Wakefield of Hythe Lodge No 6059 was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Steve was a popular figure within the Province enjoying his spell as a Provincial Steward, where he established friendships with his peers including the Provincial Grand Charity Steward, WBro Peter Rhodes.  He later went on to become Provincial Grand Sword Bearer and Assistant Provincial Director of Ceremonies.

Motivated by the difficult times they were facing, nine members of Steve’s family including his brother-in-law WBro Warren Hyder (also a member of Wakefield of Hythe Lodge 6059) and Steve’s wife and son, decided to take on a challenging and at times spectacular fund-raising initiative to raise funds for cancer sufferers. Together they embarked on the Jurassic Coast Ultra Challenge in July 2018.Together, Warren and Steve’s efforts provided the foundations for a multiple match funding initiative in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. The pair were able to enlist support from the thirteen Lodges and Chapters listed below, jointly raising a sum of £3955 in addition to the family fundraising outside of Masonic circles. WBro Steve sadly lost his battle with prostate cancer in April 2019, however he will be forever remembered as the inspiration to raise funds to assist others fighting the disease. Warren says he was moved by the support provided by the brethren demonstrating Masonic support not only for other charities but also for our Brethren in times of need.

Wakefield of Hythe Lodge No.6059
Spirit of Rugby Lodge No.9922
Rochester Lodge No 3494
Mid Kent First Principals Chapter No.3173
East Kent Provincial Grand Stewards Chapter No.5866
Brownrigg Chapter No1424
Castle Lodge No.1436
Erasmus Wilson Lodge No.1464
Valley of Elham Lodge No.6649
Sir Edward Elgar Lodge No.9837
Kent Provincial Grand Stewards Lodge No.5866
Gillingham Lodge of Benevolence No.184

Eric presents the cheque to Wendy from the foodbank

On the 23rd January 24 Wakefield of Hythe Lodge kindly hosted a presentation ceremony at the Romney Marsh Masonic Centre. Members of the Lodge were joined by other Lodges and Chapters who had supported the initiative, and members of Warren’s family. WBro Peter West, Secretary of the CEKFC coordinated the presentation.

W.Bro Warren Hyder presented a cheque from the CEKFC to Nick Hannan, Relationship Fundraising Manager of Macmillan Cancer Support, to add to the MCF contribution which had already been made.

Nick in turn presented a certificate to Warren and his family in recognition of their exceptional fundraising efforts which, including the Masonic donations and matched funding, are now in excess of £30,000 for the charity. Warren said ‘As a family we faced difficult times but were determined to do all we could to support a charity that was close to our hearts. We were all overwhelmed with the support we received from so many, but none more so that our Masonic connections’.

WBro Peter Rhodes, Provincial Grand Charity Steward said:

“It is humbling and heart-warming to know the difference that this combined donation will make to the lives of those currently receiving assistance from Macmillan Cancer Support. This is a great example of a fundraising initiative at a local level being supported both Provincially by the CEKFC and nationally by the MCF.”

WBro Peter Rodd Chairman of Trustees of the Cornwallis East Kent Freemasons Charity said;

“The CEKFC is delighted to have had the opportunity to support the thirteen lodges and chapters whose initiative has resulted in such a significant sum being donated to a wonderful charity”