Christmas Swim

With no Masonic meetings for the foreseeable future and Granville Lodge 3405 Summer Tea Party cancelled I was at a loss as to how to raise funds for the Cornish 2024 Festival. I therefore did what I always do in tricky situations, I sought wise counsel from my wife Margaret.

‘Easy!’ came the reply. ‘Do the Christmas Day Swim’. The Bude event usually attracts about 400 people of all age groups who gallop down the beach, throw themselves under the first wave and walk out shivering. Lots of different charities benefit and spectators usually donate to the local Surf Life Saving Club. I’ve done the ‘swim’ a few times but with family spread far and wide we are often away at Christmas so my attendance record is rather hit and miss.

Members of Granville Lodge as well as other degrees in Cornwall and other Provinces were circulated with the information about my impending act of foolishness and all responded with enthusiasm and generous pledges. Then came a moment of mild panic, the event was cancelled due to Covid restrictions. Wise counsel was again sought and I was told in no uncertain terms that I was going in whatever happened as part of my government sanctioned daily exercise! How could I refuse?

And so it came to pass that at 11.00am Christmas Day, fuelled with a couple of hot sausage rolls, a mince pie and encouraging words from Margaret I took the plunge at Crooklets Beach. Surely the sea couldn’t be that cold. It never bothered me fifty years ago when I was 21!  Anyway I splashed around in the waves, did some body surfing and tried out my stylish freestyle while Margaret took some photos. Several other people joined me but I managed to out stay all of them as I knew my sponsors would want value for money. Eventually enough was enough. Warm dry clothes, a short drive home and a hot shower soon sorted me out. A traditional Christmas dinner, Zoom meetings with our three daughters and their families all trapped in higher tiers and all was well with the world.

A wonderful response by family, friends, members of Cornish lodges and members from other provinces, especially Hertfordshire. This resulted in the magnificent total of £1,168 being raised for the 2024 Festival (£1,422.00 with Gift Aid). How was I going to raise funds for the festival? I needn’t have worried, there’s your answer. I must thank Margaret of course for standing knee deep in freezing water taking photos but more important than that was her ‘wise counsel’. Don’t ever be too proud to seek it! Thanks again to all those who sent donations from Hertfordshire, greatly appreciated.

Peter Reeve