Page 7 - Essex Mason Issue 85
P. 7


                                                        Thank You For Your Service

                                                         nvictus Games Competitor and British Army veteran Ashley Hall
                                                        Ifought back after a terrorist bomb took off both his legs and part of
                                                        his left hand while on duty in Afghanistan, but even he was unprepared
                                                        by the callous thieves who stole his specially adapted bike – and his
                                                        route back to mobility and a more normal life.
                                                        Now thanks to Essex Freemasons, Ashley, aged 28, is back in the
                                                        saddle four months after thieves broke into the shed at his Colchester
                                                        home, taking the bike and most importantly the special components
                                                        that enabled him to ride it.
                                                        After his story was featured in the Colchester Gazette Rodney Bass,
                                                        Provincial Grand Master for Essex Freemasons, immediately offered to
                                                        replace the bike, a task that took four months and the skill of experts
        left to right; W.Bro Paul Harris,  R.W.Bro. Rodney Bass (PGM), Ashley Hall   from across Europe to fulfil.
        and V.W.Bro. Paul Reeves (DepPGM)

       “Raising the £8,000 to replace the bike and purchase the modifications was the easy bit,” said Mr Bass, who officially presented
       Ashley with his new machine on Thursday October 18th at the St Giles Masonic Centre in Colchester. “We had to approach a
       specialist company in Austria, the only one that could build the bespoke specification needed and even they had to order and
       adapt a wide range of additional components to complete the job. It was a long wait but worth it to be able to get Ashley back in
       the saddle.”
       “I was particularly appalled by the fact that thieves who have probably contributed little to the community, had deprived a brave
       Army veteran, seriously disabled serving his country, and my members agreed. I am delighted we could help.” For Ashley, who was
       serving in the Royal Engineers in 2007 as part of a bomb disposal team at the time of his injury, it is a dream come true.
       “I wanted to do all the things that I had enjoyed before the incident,” he said. “One of these was riding a bike again on just two
       wheels, a thing that most people take for granted. The thieves stopped that on the day they broke into my shed.” Not that Ashley is
       man who is easily deterred. In 2017 he competed in the wheelchair rugby event in Prince Harry’s Invictus Games and today practices
       martial arts – he is a blue belt in Brazilian Jujitsu and enjoys shooting following his Army career.
       At the time of the robbery he was in Anglesey in North Wales competing for Team Brit, a racing car event – and enjoys as many
       sports as he can.
                                     Now he has his new bike
                                     he will also be back on    Band on the Run
                                     the road and has installed
                                     several new deterrents for
                                     would be thieves.
                                     The £8,000 to purchase the  Ladies Nights
                                     bike  and  its  modifications
                                     was donated by members
                                     of Essex Masters Lodge.

        The images courtesy of Brian Mackett feature Ashley Hall, the
        PGM Rt W Bro Rodney Bass, OBE; Dep PGM VW Bro Paul                  Band on the Run
        Reeves  and W.Bro Paul  Harris,  secretary  of Essex Masters
        Lodge.                                                             is a popular, versatile
                                                                                5 piece band

                                                                                 ideal for all

                                                                             types of functions

                                                              Visit our website for more details or contact

                                                                          Ian Rice for a demo CD


                                                                    Tel: 01621 817 320 or 07802 858843
                                                                        Toastmaster Also Available

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