Mowbray Lodge supports Our NHS frontline GPs in South Tyneside
2020 was the year life as we knew it changed for many and the world was struck by the deadly Covid-19 Coronavirus. In the early days it was rapidly becoming clear that this new virus could be deadly if contracted and that no one was immune. GPs and patients had to adapt to a rapidly changing environment and the situation was heightened by a lack of personal protective equipment for the Clinicians. GPs and Nurses were being asked to see patients wearing only a plastic apron, gloves and masks and the the anxiety was palpable - concern for their patients, staff and themselves. There was an immediate need for eye protection and masks and WBro Bhalla, who is a practising GP himself, put out a call to the Lodge for support. Within minutes the members sent back the message - 'Do what you need to do in these most difficult of times for if there was ever a moment for Freemasonry to show it's support for our communities then now is the time' (WBro Ian Telfer).
With this in mind, WBro Rak Bhalla and his wife Julie set off on a tour of all the DIY stores to try to procure eye goggles for the GPs to use as protection. They travelled across South Tyneside, Sunderland Gateshead, Washington, Durham, Darlington and even to Bishop Auckland to purchase what they could. In Durham they were challenged by the staff of the B&Q store because there was a limit of two masks per person but on speaking to the manager and explaining our dire situation, he had no hesitation in allowing us to purchase what was left in store. After six gruelling hours, stopping off only for a KFC on their travels, Rak and Julie managed to get back to South Shields and deliver the goggles to Dr Anji Curry who was coordinating the distribution on behalf of the GPs. Dr Curry was delighted to receive the goggles on behalf of her colleagues and thanked the brethren of Mowbray Lodge for their generous support. The story did not stop there however and within a few days WBro Lazin donated some masks to the NHS also which were gratefully received.
Well done Mowbray Lodge. The brethren can feel very proud of themselves
The above picture shows WBro Bhalla handing over the goggles to Dr Curry.