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You all know the story of Rip Van Winkle who woke up to find he was 20 years older and the world had changed. He returned home to find his wife had died, his daughter was married and the portrait of King George III, the father of four Freemasons, had been replaced by Bro George Washington – you get the picture. 

In January 1999, I was a privileged to be invited to the opening ceremony of Prince Edward Duke of Kent Court (PEDOKC) by the Grand Master but it was not until 20 years later in 2019 when I joined the Lodge of Daily Advancement that I learned just how far the RMBI care home at Stisted had progressed since then and how well all the residents are being cared for. For this, I thank one of the Trustees of the Association of Friends of PEDOKC, Graham Larke, who has kept me posted with developments and sends me the PEDOKC Newsletters produced by David Badger, a Trustee and Secretary.

Edited by Aggie McDonald, the Home Manager and Jade Gibson, Business Relationship Manager, the latest production of the PEDOKC Newsletter PedokNews.Mar21.pdf (mcusercontent.com) is impressive with over 110 pictures, which is equivalent to an additional 110,000 words! The ‘Birthday Celebrations’ page for both Residents and staff is a nice touch and ‘Scouting in Stisted Hall’ is a superb initiative and most appropriate for a ‘Masonic Home’. Based on my own experiences as a Senior Scout and as a Leader, I see many benefits for residents who become ‘invested’ and join in the activities of the Stisted ‘Senior Scouts’.

At the Essex Almoners Conference on 6th May 2021, Jade gave a detailed explanation of individual residential costs, local government and RMBI support. Regardless of an individual’s subsequent financial circumstances, all Residents should feel secure knowing they will be cared for, for the rest of their lives. Both Aggie and Jade gave a fine presentation about life at Stisted including:

  • How everyone works hard to make it a ‘Home from Home’
  • The Safari Shuttle for exploring and picnics in the 50-acre grounds with 10 life-size fibreglass animals
  • Activities such as the cookery club, bingo or enjoying a drink in the new bar.

If you get the chance to view the new accompanying video and/or the Conference presentation by Aggie and Jade please do so.  Paul Reeves, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master in-Charge, described to the 180 online delegates how impressed he is with the quality of care and facilities at PEDOKC. Paul also encouraged all Essex Freemasons to support one of the upcoming open Coffee-Mornings at Stisted to see for themselves.

Graham Larke is pleased that the excellent work for the Residents in these difficult times by Aggie and all her Staff is being highlighted. Graham said “The Association of Friends is proud to support their efforts to maintain the high quality of the Home for the Residents”.  Visit Friends of Stisted (friendsofpedokc.org.uk) to find out more and discover how you can help others make it a ‘Home from Home’.

Tony Hales

Content Generator
Provincial Grand Lodge of Essex