Portchester cyclist visits Freemasons’ halls across Hampshire

George Wilkinson cycled across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, raising more than �3,000
George Wilkinson cycled across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, raising more than �3,000

‘UK needs to boost its budget for the military’

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PLUCKY George Wilkinson cycled the length and breadth of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to raise money for charity.

The 48-year-old spent five days in the saddle travelling to every Freemasons’ hall in the county.

These included the ones in Bournemouth because the Masonic province of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight follows the pre-
1974 boundary changes.

In total George, from Portchester, visited 38 lodge halls, covering well more than 300 miles.

So far he has raised more than £3,000, including a gift-aid, for the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys (RMTGB), a charity funded by the Freemasons, which aims to relieve poverty and advance education for children and young people.

It supports young people with exceptional talents and those who need financial assistance in order to embrace life-changing opportunities.

The charity awards grants to both national and local children’s charities and provides support to its separate but subsidiary charity Lifelites.

Freemason George chose the RMTGB because his Masonic province is currently raising money for the charity in a five-year campaign known as a ‘festival’.

It concludes next year and is expected that millions of pounds will be raised.

George, who served in the Royal Navy and now works in IT, said: ‘Although the distance doesn’t seem that far it was difficult terrain with plenty of hills, especially on the Isle of Wight and the South Downs.

‘It took me five days to complete and something of interest happened on every one of them.

‘The hardest part was locating all the Masonic halls, the one in Portsmouth took me half an hour to find.

‘And approaching Petersfield I had to carry my bike through the Queen Elizabeth Country Park due to the rough terrain, after taking a wrong turning – which wasn’t part of my training.’

Despite George completing his challenge his is still collecting money.

To donate visit: www.justgiving.com/George-Wilkinson2.