For the past 3 years, Canterbury District Freemasons has been working hard providing carparking solutions for Saturday morning netball mums and dads at Hagley Park, as well as raising much needed funds for community projects. The frustration of trying to find a carpark near the netball courts has been solved through the generosity of the Freemasons and a Calder Stewart owned four storey parking building just 350 metres from the Hagley Park netball courts.

Despite the 2020 season being reduced to just 10 weeks due to lock downs and Covid-19 alert levels, over 430 volunteer hours were contributed by the Freemasons to manage car parking at the 270 car capacity parking building at 14 Hazeldean Road. For a $2 donation, players and supporters were able to park securely within easy walking distance of the courts.

In May last year, the Freemasons reached out to the Trust to discuss supporting the Canterbury and West Coast Rescue Helicopter Service. The consultation process led to a significant capital proposal being put forward by the Trust, and we were delighted to be notified of The Freemasons support for the project. The funds raised from the 2020 season, together with a charitable grant from the Freemasons Charity resulted in a gift of over $45,000 for the purchase of life-saving equipment, including water rescue life vests, rescue harness, water rescue kits, a winch stretcher and open water drysuits for the crew of Canterbury’s Westpac Rescue Helicopter and the West Coast’s ROA Mining Rescue Helicopter. Freemasons District Charity Officer, and organiser of the car parking project, Dai Eveleigh, said “One of the fundamentals of Freemasonry is our charity work. To provide parking close to the netball courts, as well as supporting worthy causes really makes the project a huge win for the community. I really have to thank our volunteers and the support of Calder Stewart in making the car parking building available, and in turn allowing The Freemasons to raise funds for charity”.

In March of this year we were very pleased to welcome members of Canterbury District Freemasons and their families to the GCH Aviation Air Centre to thank them for their generosity and celebrate the successful fundraising project. It was an opportunity to share with everyone the impact the gift has made, not only for our Rescue Crews, but for the wider Canterbury and West Coast communities. The Freemasons gift has funded vital items of rescue equipment that enable our crews to perform their life-saving roles as safely and efficiently as possible, and for that we are extremely grateful.