On Saturday 12th August 2018, Lodge Girvan St Johns' held their Annual Barbeque at the Lodge premises. Over 60 brethren, family and invited guests enjoyed the event in glorious sunshine. Following a special meeting in May where Lodge St John, Maybole, No 11 carried out a Second degree and the monies raised were presented to the charities at the BBQ.
Both cheques for the sum of £350.00 were presented by the Right Worshipful Master Bro Henry McMaster of Girvan St Johns No 237 and Depute Provincial Grand Master of Ayrshire Bro Robert Stewart.
Soldiers Off The Street Scotland, is the Scottish branch of Soldiers Off The Street. A relativity new charity with a dedicated group of people determined to help the forgotten ex service personnel whose lives have been affected by homelessness. Brian Gibson SOTS and one of the team said our ex-service personnel deserve better after going through the traumatic experience of war in foreign countries .
The aim is to relieve the charitable needs of homeless ex-service personnel, in particular but not exclusively, by providing clothing, food and rehabilitation, including advice on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, alcoholism, drug abuse, housing and employment. However, the charity cannot do this without the help. They receive no government funding, they rely entirely on our "army" of volunteers & the generosity of the general public. No-one at Soldiers Off The Street Scotland receives a wage, all the work they do is done on an entirely voluntary basis.
The other donation is to Miss Rachel Stirling who was selected from Girvan Academy 5th year pupils studying Higher Physics. She was chosen as she has shown consistently throughout her school career to be a motivated and able pupil who is a consistent high achiever. Rachel will fly out on her own to Houston, Texas for a 2 week stay at NASA on July 22nd. It is the first time she is taking a journey such as this by herself. During her stay at NASA, she will be working with pupils from across the world (USA, France, Mexico, Italy and the UK to plan a mission to Mars. She will be living with a host family and throughout her time she will get the chance to visit different NASA sites at the Johnson Space Centre. She will also be involved cultural exchange activities such as an International Evening where she will talk about one aspect of Scottish culture (e.g. Robert Burns, Ceilidh dancing, etc.)
This opportunity will also act as an excellent springboard for Rachel to pursue a career in Science. It is an event which very few pupils in Scotland get to participate in. Going to Space camp will also provide Rachel the opportunity to develop her personal skills and experience of the world, which will be of major benefit to her when she goes to university.
As she is fundraising for the cost of flights to the USA, Rachel recognises the importance of giving back something to the community. As a result, when she returns, she will be sharing her experiences with pupils in S4-6 to inspire them to pursue a career in STEM subjects. She will also give talks to local donors who have supported her and talks to Primary school pupils to help encourage them to take an interest in STEM subjects. With Prestwick airport looking to establish itself as a Space Port, in the future, there will likely be more job opportunities in the Aerospace industry.
Both Rachel Stirling and Brian Gibson thanked the members of the Lodge for seeing fit to give them the donations, RWM Bro Henry McMaster then wished both well in their adventures.