Orsett Freemasons help Changing Pathways

Jack Meleady, the Immediate Past Master of Rainham Lodge No. 3079, came into Freemasonry 10 years ago following in the footsteps of his grandfather

Jack Meleady, the Immediate Past Master of Rainham Lodge No. 3079, came into Freemasonry 10 years ago following in the footsteps of his grandfather who was initiated in 1960 and joined the Lodge in 1994, his father, Roy the Lodge Secretary with 42 years’ service, and older brother Mathew, the Lodge Assistant Secretary and a member for 16 years, making three generations of Meleadys.

Jack, being an outstanding ritualist, like his older brother and to some extent ‘undiscovered,’ decided that his Ladies Festival & Master’s List monies raised last year would be best directed to a local charity, so who better to benefit than Changing Pathways in Thurrock, known to many locally as the ‘Women’s’ Refuge.’

Jack had always thought Changing Pathways to be an extremely worthy cause helping women, mothers and children escape abuse to rebuild their lives and confidence, giving advice, support and residence if needed, with six local refuges across South and South-West Essex supporting 46 families. Changing Pathways also has a Community Service team in Essex that supports up to 200 clients. 

So, Rainham Lodge members had no hesitation in supporting Jack’s request, and the Lodge Charity Steward, Karl Griffin, successfully applied to the Province for match-funding. Karl is also the new ‘Pathways’ Lodge Membership Officer and was recently promoted to PPJGW (Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden). On attending a recent Charity Stewards’ training session at Cross Keys Masonic Centre in Thurrock, Karl met Charity Steward Mark Gillam of Stanford-le-Hope Lodge No. 5217, also recently promoted to PPSGD (Past Provincial Senior Grand Deacon). Both Lodges meet at Orsett Masonic Hall, on Saturdays, four times each year for Rainham and five for Stanford-le-Hope. Rainham Lodge brethren usually hold their Ladies Festivals around October and November time, and this year Stanford-le-Hope are already busily preparing for theirs on 12th May 2023.

In  discussion, they found that Stanford-le-Hope Lodge had also raised an amount of money for Changing Pathways and had supported the refuge on several occasions and, they too, had applied successfully for match-funding, so a plan was formed and on Friday 31st March 2023,  Karl and Mark, accompanied by Tony Adams PPAGDC (Past Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies), the Rainham Lodge Organist and new ‘Pathways’ Assistant Mentor who has such loyalty to Rainham Lodge that he had the Rainham Lodge shield tattooed on his leg thigh! Something other Rainham brothers are slow to follow as yet.

Together with Anil Shastri, the Senior Warden of Rainham Lodge, they all met with Zoe, the Operations Manager for Thurrock and the Essex Domestic Abuse Partnership Project (Health) Service, to understand more of the needs of the centre and to present funding in total of £3,500, thanks to that collaboration between Rainham and Stanford-le-Hope Lodges and the match-funding from the Province. Zoe and the refuge are presently looking to source a lockup container and garden bench and tables similar to those seen at public houses (heavy enough not to be stolen), so if you can help, please do contact Changing Pathways directly.


Top: L-R Tony Adams, Anil Shastri, Zoe, Mark Gillam and Karl Griffin

Below: Tony Adams bearing the Rainham Lodge shield