Freemasons take on deadly illness

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North Bucks Freemasons are taking on a deadly illness which has killed 21 people in the greater Milton Keynes area over the past two years.

Members of Roman Way Lodge have donated £1,000 to the MK Branch of the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

The cash was handed over by the lodge’s president, Mick Hull, to the charity’s branch chairman, Charles Reece, at St Giles Parish Rooms in New Street, Stony Stratford.

Mr Hull, 62, is a retired company director, of Cottisford Crescent, Great Linford.

He said: “Freemasonry is a community organisation promoting friendship, decency, and charity, so we couldn’t think of a more deserving cause than fighting this deadly disease, which has claimed the lives of 21 people in MK over the last couple of years.”

Mr Reece, 57, a Towcester farmer, co-founded the branch in 1991. His father and a cousin have died from the illness.

He said: “It is a wonderful contribution from such a small lodge. It will help us to support more than 20 families in the MK area who are dealing with the disease, which stops messages from the brain reaching muscles.

“It is a gradual process and can take between a few months and many years, often leaving the person totally paralysed. Only the heart muscle, brain, and eye lids are unaffected. So an intelligent person is trapped within a useless body.

“Around 50 per cent of people with MND die within 14 months. In 2010, 16 people died from MND in MK. In 2011, five people died. So Roman Way Lodge will making a strong contribution to helping local people deal with this illness.”

Clifford Drake, the deputy head of MK and Bucks Freemasons, said: “I congratulate Roman Way Lodge for raising such a fine sum from such a small membership base.

“It is heart-warming to see them making such as positive contribution to the community. They have really lived up to our values of friendship, decency, and charity, in confronting such as deadly and tragic disease.”

More information at www.buckspgl.org.