Lodge St Leonard, Loanhead and Lasswade’s poppy bench gift to community

Left to right: Cadet flight sgt Sam McCarthy, Herald Luke Simpson, Sir Robert Clerk Lord Lieutenant of Midlothian,Queen Maja Zynda, Jimmy Young (Master of Lodge 580) and Christian Garden, Warrant Officer second class
Left to right: Cadet flight sgt Sam McCarthy, Herald Luke Simpson, Sir Robert Clerk Lord Lieutenant of Midlothian,Queen Maja Zynda, Jimmy Young (Master of Lodge 580) and Christian Garden, Warrant Officer second class

Lodge St Leonard, Loanhead and Lasswade, has gifted a poppy bench to the people of Loanhead, situated at the town’s war memorial.

The Clerk Street Lodge delivered the striking £1,350 bench at the start of the month, although the official handover took place last Saturday.

Master of the Lodge, Jimmy Young, said: “The lodge has been part of the community for over 140 years and this year we wanted to do something fairly significant.

“So we decided a poppy bench would be one of the things we would do, with the help of the community council and Midlothian Council.

“The bench is great. I think it really adds to the memorial.

“And I think this strengthens the ties between the lodge and the community. The feedback on our Facebook page has been phenomenal.

“The lodge lost members in the wars and we have still got serving members with the forces. It’s a great tribute to them for the service they have given to their country.”

Jimmy said lodge members raised the money for the bench “in record time”. He added that the lodge was working with Loanhead Primary School on a project, with details to be revealed later.

Jimmy hopes the lodge can build stronger links with the community: “It’s great to get out into the community and show them what freemasonry is really about. We have had a couple of very successful open days, where people can find out what goes on here behind closed doors.

“We are looking to build the bonds with the community. There are a lot of new people in the community and its great to reach out there.”