Jason Mallinson, Internationally acclaimed Cave Rescue Diver and recipient of the Queen's Gallantry Medal, recently gave a captivating and illustrated talk chronicling his exploits in Thailand in June 2018 to a two hundred strong audience at Greenhead Masonic Hall.
Jason spoke of his role in helping rescue twelve Wild Boars football team members from a flooded underground cave in Tham Luang Non in Chiang Rai Province.
The brave but unassuming 50-year-old hero from Oakes, provided a graphic description as he re-lived the epic rescue involving himself and colleagues dubbed by the press as “International Rescue”, a hand-picked team from across the globe flown to Thailand and charged with what was thought to be an impossible mission.
Before Mallinson’s arrival at Tham Luang, where the boys were trapped deep inside the vast cave system, the rescue seemed near impossible giving the authorities cause to consider leaving the football team and their coach there for months until water levels dropped making for a safer rescue attempt.
The youngsters were stuck with very little hope for 18 long days and nights before the dramatic rescue.
Malcolm Jenkinson, from Newsome, who organised the evening on behalf of Unity Masonic Lodge, explained that he had been a friend and caving colleague of Jason’s for over 30 years.
“Potholing and caving in the Yorkshire Dales are where we began and as the years went by Jason became known worldwide as a leading cave diver with many underground, underwater world records achieved."
“Missions to Norway, Mexico and now Thailand have begun with a call for me to provide extra gear and I am so proud of his achievements, always with minimal concern for his own safety.”
Proceeds raised on the evening amounted to £1,000 for the Freemasons’ Teddies For Loving Care initiative which provides a cuddly bear at Accident and Emergency units at hospitals, including HRI and Calderdale.
Jason, along with other members of the rescue team, were recognised by Her Majesty The Queen in the 2019 New Year's Honours List.
Area5 Charity Committee Chairman David Gray presents Certificates to St Gemma's and Wheatfield's Hospice. The certificate confirms they have received grants from the MCF as part of the annual £600k MCF Hospice awards in England and Wales.
St Michael’s Hospice, Harrogate and Martin House Children’s Hospice, Boston Spa received a visit from Freemasons in The Province of Yorkshire West Riding having been chosen to receive grants coming from the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF). St Michael’s received £1290 for and Martin House £1798.
These grants are just two of 245 grants to hospices around the country from Freemasons. In total £600,000 will be donated to hospices all over England and Wales this year.
This includes £450,000 which will be distributed to each hospice that receives less than 65per cent funding from the NHS. A further £150,000 will be provided to individual hospices across England and Wales via Hospice UK, the national charity for hospice care. MCF has a partnership with Hospice UK aimed at developing and extending bereavement support services in hospices.
Contributions from Freemasons to hospices have exceeded £12 million in England and Wales since 1984 and are continuing to increase at a rate of £600,000 a year.
Paul Clarke, Assistant Provincial Grand Master (APGM), Doug Mills, Area 3 Provincial Charity Committee Chairman and several brethren from local Lodges enjoyed the kind hospitality whilst at both hospices with Olivia Fuller from St Michael’s Hospice saying “We’re very grateful to the Freemasons for their generous grant and continuing support for the work we do. Whilst Sarah Smith from Martin House Children’s Hospice made a similar response on receiving the MCF Certificate.
In conclusion Paul Clarke said “We are all very pleased to have been able to assist these hospices. They do an outstanding job helping people with terminal or life limiting conditions, as well as supporting their families through very difficult times.
A group of volunteers that service Harrogate as Harrogate Community First Responders (CFR), demonstrated effective CPR to members of The Spa Lodge at the Masonic Hall.
They also brought with them the three kit bags, each having a defibrillator (AED) and a wide selection of basic life support equipment including oxygen cylinder, oxygen masks, bandages, purchased with a Provincial Grand Master’s Fund (PGM) Grant and a donation from the Lodge.
Although not able to deal with road accidents /trauma cases they are generally first on scene to assist someone with a heart problem, epileptic seizures or other medical emergencies. The additional bags enable them to ensure that multiple CFRs are on duty to respond 24/7 to emergency calls allowing greater coverage of Harrogate and surrounding villages.
Damian Bowen, team leader, in thanking the PGM Fund Committee and the Lodge brethren went on to say: “This essential additional equipment will make a real difference to people’s lives in their time of need when we attend medical emergencies in the local community on behalf of Yorkshire Ambulance Service.”
Several brethren later tried their hand in giving CPR but were advised to stop before creating a real emergency!