Presentation of Mobile Treatment Centre to St John Norfolk

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Claire and I were collected by W.Bro Tinley our Charity Steward and taken to the St John HQ in Norwich. We were greeted warmly by the group Chairman and whisked away to be introduced to the Prior of England and the Islands, Admiral Lionel Jarvis. Then Claire and I were presented to Countess Romney, the Vice Lord-Lieutenant for Norfolk, County President and most importantly the St John Volunteers.

Speeches followed, the vehicle was presented, and dedicated by the Norfolk St John chaplain and received by the Prior. The sun refused to shine, but the welcome and smiles more than made up for that. Brethren, we should be proud that today we made a difference.

The PGM's presentation speech:

Vice Lord-Lieutenant, Admiral Jarvis, Prior of England and the Islands, Chairman; St John Norfolk, St John Volunteers, Ladies and Gentlemen

My telephone rang one morning and the coordinator of the Mark Benevolent Fund informed me that we in East Anglia were to receive three vehicles for St John, the first was to be here in Norfolk, followed by those in Suffolk and Cambridge. Would you just to pop up to Norwich and hand over the keys! How marvellous to be invited to take part in the history of our organisations and create lasting remembrances of this wonderful occasion.

The Mark Benevolent Fund is the charitable trust for Mark Masons, founded 150 years ago in June of this year and is well known for prompt and immediate action to alleviate need, at both national and local level.

Over the past century and a half it has aided countless thousands with comfort and support, always trying to find the best value for its limited resources. The Fund is not given to grandstanding gestures, rather practical support which will benefit the wider community in which we all live and work.

Over the past years we have given to a children's charity helping and supporting young carers, some as young as 2. Specialist machinery for prostate care, surgery and treatment, a lifeboat for the RNLI, 26 Blood bikes, Shelter Boxes for those devastated by hurricanes, Hospices both adult and children, and many other grants which provide the community with facilities to improve and help their daily lives, and now we are to donate 52 vehicles to St John Ambulance over the coming months

I believe that the association we have with the nation's leading first aid charity, is a perfect fit; to enable you to continue to ensure we are safe and secure you need modern, relevant and suitable equipment.

You already have a large local pool of trained, committed and enthusiastic volunteers, they need the right tools to excel in what they do. I very much hope that the mobile treatment centre you receive today from the Mark Masons of England and Wales will enable you to do just that; excel.

Your new vehicle has been dedicated to God’s service, St John Norfolk and the community which we serve. The St John Ambulance provides many with hope, a life line in daily living and immediate care when we need it the most, ensuring we all “stay safe”

Admiral Jarvis, Prior of England and the Islands, It is with a huge amount of pleasure that I present this treatment centre to St John Norfolk and ask that you accept from me the keys and take charge of it, that it may commence its work here in this county to the benefit of all.