WBro Terry Woodward, Past Master of Rockingham Forest Lodge No. 9491, suffers from Parkinson's disease to such an extent that he has virtually no movement. Also, speech is very difficult for him.

As a result, Terry and his wife, Carol, moved into a small bungalow, one that had been converted for Terry’s needs, but that still required additional work.

The garden especially, was an eyesore. It was full of rubble, concrete, and bricks. Not only that, but the step down from the back door to the garden was too severe for Terry to negotiate.

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Knowing Terry's plight, WBro Andy Murray, current IPM of Rockingham Forest Lodge, decided to ask for volunteers to join Terry's Garden Army and make the garden fit for purpose. He was very pleasantly surprised when 16-brethren put themselves forward to assist with this very worthy cause.

Phase 1 of the project required a skip and lots of muscle power. Thankfully, a very generous donation from one brother enabled Andy to hire the skip, which duly arrived on Friday the 28th of September, thus enabling 6-brethren to start work the following day.

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All in all the work went extremely well and the skip was full by 4pm.

No serious injury was sustained during the works, albeit the generous skip-hire benefactor ended-up blistering both thumbs, which then had to be wrapped in cotton wool. This proved a tad troublesome because each time the brother in question lit a cigarette, he set his thumbs alight! 

Andy would like to express his grateful thanks to the following brethren:

  • From Trinity Lodge - Bro Simon Craggs, whose expertise led to him being appointed Clerk of Works for the day
  • From Rockingham Forest Lodge - WBro Gary Neill and Bro Mark Dodsworth
  • From Lodge of Perseverance, WBro Graham Rogers & WBro Malcolm Waldie

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In addition, Andy would also like to thank Latimer Tool Hire for their free loan of a concrete breaker. Thanks also go to the following ladies for keeping Andy and the other brethren fed and watered throughout the day:

  • Terry's wife, Carol
  • Simon's wife, Sarah
  • Andy's wife, Linda

It should be noted that the Lovely Ladies joined the Chain Gang for the final push without a single thought for their nails. Unfortunately no-one had time enough to spare to take the pictures needed to prove it!

Phase 2 will involve the erection of a new 6'6' fence. Phase 3, decking with ramp for wheelchair access. Phase 4, lawn and raised bedding areas.

Knowing the calibre of his garden dream-team, Andy doesn't envisage any problems. He is confident that Terry and Carol will be left with a lovely garden that will give them much pleasure in the years to come.

Andy and the rest of the team are to be congratulated on getting stuck-in for such a worthy cause.

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