Elf And Efficiency


W. Bro John Briggs PProvGChStwd gives a report of the annual event involving food distribution to many senior citizens in the Harrow area by Citadel Lodge No 1897.

“Over the last 18 years Citadel Lodge No 1897 has been looking after around 36 OAPs from Harrow Age Concern. During this time the Lodge has given them a tour around the HDMC museum, provided them with a 3-course meal and a glass of wine or two. The Lodge has booked  entertainers who encourage the “guests” to sing Christmas carols, read the jokes from their crackers and when ready to leave give them a present to take home.

The feedback from the guests was, ‘We would not get out of bed on cold days like this, it’s been another get day and tomorrow I will put my name down for next year. We look forward to this day every year.’

But more importantly due to Covid over the last four years and the age of some of our guests, there are those unable to travel outside their home and there have been many sad losses to. The Lodge will provide hampers to some instead of the Christmas dinner if unable to leave home.

In the hampers there is: big box of chocolates, biscuits including short bread, 4 tins of soup, baked beans, Christmas pudding, mince pies, custard, rice pudding jam, big box of tea bags, a large jar of coffee and thermal blankets for the winter and a pair of woolly gloves.

The event starts in early to mid-November. Firstly, I buy the food, find some companies that will help us in discounting the price of the presents we give them and then bag it all up for delivery. I try and deliver around the second weekend in December.

The last couple of years I have had the youngest member of the Lodge to help me in the delivery of the hampers, Brother Sam. This year we got one of Santa’s elves to help out, Reece Mapplebeck, who is only10. He is my Godson and the son of the Citadel Lodge charity steward. W. Bro Tony Mapplebeck and his partner Sophie and young Reece went out early last Saturday morning, 10th December, in the cold and rain to deliver the 36 Christmas hampers. What a lovely surprise for some of our older members of Harrow had, when opening their front door and a seeing one of Santa’s elves standing there with a present. Well done Reece and thank you.”

John said that he had some lovely phone calls of thanks from so many of the recipients thanking Citadel Lodge for their kindness and generosity.

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