11th Annual Charity Clay Shoot

Suffolk Masonic Clay Shooting Society – In aid of the 2019 Suffolk Masonic Festival and other non -Masonic Charities

When Roger Nash and Ruffy Ruffles first planned a modest clay shoot the main objective was undoubtedly to raise monies for a new Hospice for EACH and other Masonic Charities. As time went on, and the PGM christened the two instigators as “R&R Promotions”, there could well have been a growing desire to have ‘raising the profile of Suffolk Masonry’ as another objective. Certainly during the eleven years that an Annual Charity Shoot has been held that objective has been given more prominence together with the always present need to raise charitable monies and distribute these to worthy causes.

Come right up to date and 2018 was no exception but the members of the growing committee team were conscious of the additional need to practice for 2019 when SMaCSS will be responsible for delivering the 2019 Masonic National Clay Shooting Championships. A lot of water has gone down the river and under the bridge and a lot of lead has been thrown at the clays since the start in 2008 as Masons and those who are not Masons come together on the Masonic Bridge of ‘being happy and spreading happiness’.

Phil Ramsey and Shane Brereton had joined the committee and many meetings and much hard work later by the team, which was now four, came up with a plan designed to meet all three of the objectives. Before the day a lot of work went on, innovative ideas were tested to be trialled on the day and Phil produced some excellent documents including a new styled signing in register, a map of the High Lodge site, the team sheets and a programme for the day which was displayed to give shooters all the information they required.

Gradually the tasks on the ‘score card’ of the action plan were ticked off, sponsorship was secured by Roger from cartridge manufacturers Hull, and the big day arrived. It was another day in a very long, hot dry summer spell which dawned bright and clear with a forecast of light winds. Light winds are important when clay shooting as they do not disturb the clays in flight, the clays do not wobble and the shooters do not wobble as they worry about them doing so.After a welcome by Ruffy, Roger delivered the all-important Safety Plan and the shooters left to find their first stands. Even that new development which involved teams starting at stands governed by their team number was considered to be a success with not too many people getting lost on the way. 77 entries had been received five days before the event. That number is lower than some we have had in the past. Interestingly 67.5% of those entries were from non-Masons, we welcomed five Lady Shooters and a certain number of usual past supporters were missing from the lists, a point to be considered carefully by the committee at the forthcoming debrief. Suffolk is in a Festival, there is much going on and there is a need to be mindful of this. However, there is no doubt that Masonic clay shooting in Suffolk is now on a safe, sound and solid footing. The Deputy PGM David Clark and his Grandson Jacob came and supported the event which was greatly appreciated. The DPGM presented the prizes and thanked all those involved after a good, smooth running morning’s shoot and the winners were non-Masons Sam Green and Tom Macgregor, both with an amazing score of 76. Amazing because we had never before had a tie and we had never before had a ‘Straight’ where every clay was shot and none were missed! Both Sam and Tom were suitably congratulated and applauded. The raffle was, once again, very well supported by shooters bringing prizes and nearly £500.00 was raised.

The handsome sum of £1555 was raised on the day bringing, when added to the earlier years’ sum of £22,000.00 odd, the total to £23,500. Equally satisfying is the fact that we were more than successful again in raising the profile of our organisation and the committee can now go to their debrief with confidence as they set about planning for 2019 and the National Masonic Championships.

Score Sheet available for download- here