Why these men have been handing out roses
WITH many people focused on their own love lives this Valentine's Day, one group is sparing a thought for the less fortunate members of the community, and those who diligently care for them.
Members of the Gatton, Laidley and Esk Masonic Lodges spent their Valentine's Day visiting nearby hospitals, distributing flowers and cards to patients and staff.
"This is only the second year we've done it," Gatton Lodge Worshipful Master Chris Binding said.
"It was instigated by our previous master, David Green. It went quite well, that's why we're doing it again this time."
Freemason groups undertake many tasks to support their communities through their charity Hand Heart Pocket, but much of their work goes unnoticed due to the somewhat secretive nature of the fraternity.
The idea behind the Valentine's Day handout is to help increase public awareness about the Masonic Lodge and its activities.
"That was his idea, to get Freemasonry out in the public," Mr Binding said.
"To be seen and noticed, doing things and helping people."
Prior to setting out, representatives from the three Lodges met at the Gatton Lodge to allocate the flowers and cards, with 20 to be distributed in Esk, and 40 in both Gatton and Laidley.
"The flowers were sourced from the Toowoomba flower markets," Gatton Lodge member Jonathan Rudduck said.
"The cards are to give people something they can keep, once the flowers wilt away."
Mr Binding said the plan was to continue with the Valentine's Day activity in future years.
"The people definitely appreciate it, so we'll keep doing it in future," he said.
"It gets Freemasonry noticed, and that's what we're trying to do."
The Gatton Lodge recently celebrated 125 years of operations and members are hoping to attract new members so they can continue their work supporting the community.
To find out more about Freemasonry, or to locate your nearest Lodge, visit: https://uglq.org.au/