On Tuesday 22nd December 2015, Castlemartin Lodge representatives together with representatives from the Narberth lodge gathered together at the Begelly Arms Hotel in Kilgetty, to make a Charity presentation to Miss Gabriella Ridge, a young lady from the Narberth area who is currently the British Junior Ladies Canoe Slalom Champion.
VW Bro Brian Hilling was also available to make a presentation on behalf of the Provincial Grand Charity, who had supported the two lodges in their appeal to the Province, for Gabriella.
This young lady has since 2011 been totally dedicated to her sport; has held National and International titles in this very specialised and dangerous sport. Has represented the Great Britain team and is currently a member of the GB home nations Podium Potential Group. This group is a specially selected group who are expected to become medallists at European, World and Olympic Championships. Her dedication and commitment to the sport is without doubt both in time and in cost. She has also started this year in University, which of course has added to her costs. Her training takes her both home and abroad, all at cost to her and her family who have supported her aspirations in this her chosen field. Typical financial cost are anywhere around £6000 to £7000 per annum.
We as Masonic lodges were delighted to help with these ongoing costs and equally delighted that Provincial Grand Charity agreed to support her also.
Cheques were presented on behalf of Narberth Lodge by W Bro Patrick Wadia accompanied by Wo Bro George Bancroft (Charity Steward)- £300; By W Bro David Greig ( Worshipful Master) of Castlemartin Lodge- £400 and by VW Bro Brian C. Hilling (Deputy Provincial Grand Master - Province of West Wales) on behalf of the Provincial Grand Charity -£1000. He wished her well for the future and hoped that her aims of representing Great Britain at the 2020 Olympic would come into fruition. Gabriella, very eloquently, thanked everybody for their kindness and stated that the donations would assist her greatly in her endeavours to reach her ambitions. She would keep us all informed of her progress.
Sporting achievements to Date
2015 British Champion (Junior Ladies) Kayak Slalom.
2015 GB Home nations/Podium Potential Group.
2015 Irish open Junior Champion Ladies Kayak.
2014 GB European Championship Team.
2014 GB Reserve Junior Champion Ladies Kayak Slalom.
GB ranking no. 10 for 2015 competition year (across all ages) raising to 9 for 2016. Highest ranking Welsh Lady in 2014 and 2015. Only the third Junior Kayak Lady to win a UK Premier race (ever).
Photograph shows VW Bro Brian Hilling, W Bro David Grieg and W Bro. Patrick Wadia, making presentations to Gabriella. Also in attendance Bro George Bancroft, Charity Steward and Master Elect of Narberth lodge no.2001. W Bro David Gibbs. (Narberth), W Bro Mike Bradney (Charity Steward) W Bro T B Dai Rees (Almoner), W Bro David Howes, W Bro Clive Pitten and Bro Roger Hardick. (secretary) all of Caslemartin Lodge. Also present and accompanying Gabriella was her mother Mrs Ridge and W Bro John Bowen and Mrs Bowen, Grandparents of Gabriella.
Our thanks go also to Bro Peter Adams (JW Castlemartin Lodge) for allowing us the use of his premises in Begelly.