NHS and key workers tribute bench unveiled in Loanhead

A local masonic lodge has unveiled a public bench in tribute to NHS staff and other key workers who helped us all through the Covid pandemic.

Monday, 23rd August 2021, 10:52 am
Updated Monday, 23rd August 2021, 11:44 am
Gala Queen Elizabeth Paris and Herald Murray Simpson sitting on the new bench. Accompanied by members of the local Lodge. Photo by Joe Gilhooley.

Last Saturday, members of Lodge St Leonard, Loanhead and Lasswade 580 presented the new bench to the people of Loanhead, represented by the town’s Gala Queen Elizabeth Paris and Herald Murray Simpson.

Lodge Master Jimmy Young explained that as well as thanking the amazing work of the NHS and key workers who are helping us through this pandemic, they also wanted a way of remembering those who had unfortunately lost the fight.

He said: “The lodge wanted to recognise the hard work of everybody who had helped us in this pandemic, but also remember those that have passed on. So it was important to recognise everybody’s contribution.

The new NHS and Keyworkers bench was donated to the people of Loanhead, Photo by Joe Gilhooley.

"It was paid for by a couple of Lodge fundraising events, and Midlothian Council very kindly organised the installation.”

Jimmy, when going through some old archive photographs from around 1939, discovered that there used to be a bench at the side of the George Drive lodge and thought it would be great to place this one in the same location.

He said: “We put a poppy bench down at Memorial Park and when we thought about this one there is a lot of traffic that goes down to the shops and it’s a communal meeting point, so we thought it would be perfect as everyone can see it.”

Also last Saturday, the lodge presented Loanhead Gala Committee with acheque for £200 to help with their work running the gala day. Jimmy added: “The gala day committee do tremendous work. We were able to help them at this year’s gala day and we are delighted to pledge our support to them.”

Pictured are Past Master Ross MacKenzie and Loanhead Gala Day Chairman Ross Perfect with the cheque. Photo by Joe Gilhooley.

Next up in the Lodge St Leonard’s calendar is their participation in Midlothian’sOpen Doors project on Saturday, September 11.

Jimmy explained they have been taking part in this for a number of years now and that “it’s great to show the hall set-up for a meeting to the public and have the opportunity to dispel some myths”.

Members of the public, especially any men considering joining, are more than welcome to come along and see the hall, Masters room and ask any questions about the world’s largest fraternity.

The poignant plaque on the memorial bench. Photo by Joe Gilhooley.