Paul Palmer

Saxon Hall Vaccination Centre

Police swoop on ‘lockdown rave’ at Saxon Hall ... to find 80+year olds queueing for their Covid jabs!

Southend’s freemasonry centre, Saxon Hall, in Aviation Way, opened its doors last week to NHS front line staff, offering the building for use as a vaccination centre in the battle against Covid19.

On the chilly opening day, the first 80-year-old-plus invitees for a jab turned up for their 8am appointments almost an hour early, and kept coming.

Helping the queues grow even longer was the late arrival of the actual vaccines – and then there wasn’t enough supply to meet demand, which led to further delays, and lengthening queues, while fresh supplies were sourced.

And then police arrived. Chairman of Saxon Hall Dennis Baum, pressed into willing duty as a car park attendant, said: “They had been notified that there was a rave taking place at Saxon Hall – only to find 80and 90-year-olds with wheelchairs, zimmer frames and walking sticks patiently queueing for their vaccinations.”

Dennis added that although the earlier queues had resulted in a few grumpy old men and women, “as a balancing act, many more very appreciative people couldn’t have been more grateful to receive the vaccine, and thanked Saxon Hall and Essex freemasons for providing the venue”.

In the days following, local voluntary organisations, including the Leigh Lions, Community Police and OneLove Soup Kitchen Southend, made queueing a lot more comfortable for those awaiting the vaccine by providing gazebo shelters, hot drinks, blankets and wheelchairs, as well as helping with steward duties and providing refreshments for the hardworking NHS staff.


Pride of Essex Awards: Essex Freemasons Nominated

On Tuesday 24th November 2020 at 7.30pm the Pride of Essex Awards Presentation will be streamed by Anglia Ruskin University. Lasting for 67 minutes exactly, the virtual presentation will recognise the Nominations and Award winners of six Categories who have shown exceptional courage, inspiration and Community service in Essex.

At the request of the Lord Lieutenant, Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst, a new category for 2020 has been set up called HOPE, which stands for Heroes of Pandemic Essex, with Individual and Team Awards in recognition of those who have been looking after and helping other people during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

The Province of Essex has been accepted as a Nomination in the HOPE Team Category for the thousands of visors, hand sanitiser and PPE, the Province with the support of the Essex Freemasons Community Fund supplied to Care Homes, NHS Community staff, Essex and Herts Air Ambulance and some East of England Ambulance Stations.

Entrants cannot nominate themselves so this is a well-earned token of public appreciation, not only for the above, but also reflecting credit on all the good works of Essex Freemasons who have looked after others and helped out during the pandemic. Our Nomination highlights the changing public perception that Freemasonry in England is an organisation whose members work hard for charitable giving and good causes in the Community.

Brethren, please join the event and watch the Pride of Essex Awards Presentation with family members. Share together a number of inspirational and uplifting examples of selfless service for others as well as supporting our Nomination using the facility to send congratulatory messages. Click https://arul.inkPrideofEssexAwards at 7.30pm on Tuesday 24th November 2020.

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