It has long been the dream of Severus Lodge No.7864, who meet at Throckley Masonic Building, to install a defibrillator at Falmouth House Masonic Hall in Throckley, as 33 years ago they lost one of their Founder Members, W.Bro John Hepple Laybourn (Jack), when he suffered a heart attack inside the temple at a Severus Holy Royal Arch meeting, having just sat down after assisting with the ceremony. That dreadful night, 22nd April 1987, was a time when defibrillators were not commonly available, and was 3 years before the Australians colloquially named them the Packer Whackers, cricket fans will make sense of that, if they’re old enough.
Time has moved on and this terrible pandemic points out how crucial it is to come together and help each other. The Lodge, very early on, dismissed the idea of having a defibrillator which would be locked away inside the Hall, and it was decided that it must serve not only the Masons who meet at the building, but the wider community as a whole. When choosing the model, and with the recommendation of the ambulance service as Throckley Junior school is opposite, a defibrillator which can be used on either an adult or a child was chosen.
The Lodges Junior Warden, Bro. Terry Fisk Jnr, took it upon himself to raise some funds and keep the Brethren focused through these trying times, a job he did so well. Funds were raised and he was supported by the lodge brethren, regular visiting brethren, family, friends and work colleagues.
A successful grant, from the Richard Henry Holmes Benevolent Fund, was petitioned by W.Bro Brian McCormick, for £897.60. The lodge is also grateful for the aid of £500.00 and assistance given to W.Bro Brian from the Northumberland Ambulance Service, especially the help of Mr John Mole. The Lodge made up the difference to the sum of £500.00.
As there are no bright sparks in the Lodge, thanks go to Mr Dennis Hunter, a qualified electrician and local lad, who volunteered his time, free of charge, to cable up the outside cabinet, and to the Management Committee, who have agreed to maintain the running and upkeep of the AED.
Severus Lodge thanks everyone for making their dream come true and are ever mindful without YOU ALL it may have just remained their dream.
Thanks go to W.Bros. Reece Valentine and Brian McCormick for this article and photograph.
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