When Pioneer Lodge learned that Derbyshire Scouts needed a new activity and accommodation centre at the county camp site, Drum Hill, members wanted to support the venture. Not only had some of them been volunteers at the site over the years, and some had actually helped build the previous centre, Birch Hall, but Pioneer Lodge itself has had a long attachment to Drum Hill. Since 1991 Pioneer Lodge has held its annual uniform meeting at the Bemrose Training Centre on the site. Any member of the Province who wishes to visit every Masonic meeting place needs to include Drum Hill on his list.
The new building is intended to act as the site’s main Pack Holiday Centre and to be a base for Scouting and other users, such as the Prince’s Trust, Derbyshire school groups and Derbyshire police. It is being built to a higher specification than the Bemrose Centre to serve these diverse needs. It will be energy efficient, with a solid floor and insulated wooden clad walls. Once opened the number of Derbyshire people using the facility will quickly run into many thousands.
Pioneer Lodge felt that this was an excellent cause to support and that doing so would help to make the Lodge more visible within its core community, Derbyshire Scouting. The Lodge has donated £2,000 to the venture and Pioneer Chapter will be voting on donating a further £1,000 at its Convocation in October. This total will enable one of the bedrooms to be name after the Lodge and Chapter and for “Pioneer Lodge & Chapter Freemasons” to be listed on the centre’s honours board.
On Wednesday, 9th August, the Master of Pioneer Lodge, W Bro. Andy Brown, accompanied by the Charity Steward, W Bro. Don Newing, and W Bro. Tony Harvey, presented the County Commissioner for Derbyshire, James Stafford, accompanied by the centre’s project manager, Tom Stoddart, with the cheque for £2,000.