2014 – a memorable year for UK Muscles, including but not limited to, the following;
A celebration of friendship and life – Muscles mate Tony, the Muscles wedding of the year, the largest ever number of UK volunteers working in rural Belgium, Lady Sarah’s shekels and an equipment update.
The Muscles team were deeply saddened during October when ‘Gadget Man’ Tony Spry lost his battle with cancer. For over a decade Tony brought infectious enthusiasm, a positive attitude and practical knowledge and experience to dozens of Muscles projects. Affectionately known as ‘Gadget Man’, – “he had a gadget for every occasion, and an occasion for every gadget” – he was a rare breed ! In addition to Tony’s commitment to Muscles he will also be affectionately remembered for his police service from the early 1970’s and his commitment to fitness and charity. This was reflected in his 2002 1,800 mile bike ride along the west coast of the USA from the Canadian border to the Mexican border as part of ‘Bobby’s on a Bike’ raising money and awareness for Prostate Cancer and the National Asthma Campaign. Muscles salutes the contribution of a real ‘mate’ and team member further down this page – during the 2014 Belgian Monastery project.
UPDATE – Spring 2017
Spring, and indeed the countryside, were among Tony’s favourite places. This 2017 photo of his memorial bench captures the essence of the season and reminds us of his contribution to Muscles for Charity in general and our individual lives in particular.
(2) The Muscles UK event of the year – the wedding of Elaine and Alan at Shottisham Church on Saturday 15th March 2014.
Within a few short weeks the UK team swopped the rural Church in Shottisham and drove in convoy to an even more rural Monastery (at Tongerlo) deep in the Belgian countryside – 20 miles west of Antwerp – as part of the largest ever Muscles team.
(3) The Belgian Monastery adventure – Tongerlo
For a selection of photographs visit the following links https://musclesforcharity.wordpress.com/belgium/belgium-2014/ https://musclesforcharity.wordpress.com/2014/05/06/muscles-project-at-belgian-monastery-features-the-largest-ever-team/
The biggest surprise was probably the introduction of the Muscles song, written and performed for the first time by the Brits. The refrain (to the Beach Boys version of ‘Sloop John B’) is shown below.
“So we are the MFC, Muscles for Charity. We give our time for free wherever we go, We don’t want to gloat, But we cleared the moat, yeah, yeah, And pleased all the Brothers of To-ong-er-lo”
It seems entirely appropriate to dedicate the song to Tony, whose wholehearted enthusiasm is captured in the team photo (below) during the Belgian adventure.
(4) Lady Sarah’s shekels. A late summer update from Bernie Morgan –
“Owing to the numerous pennies that Lady Sarah has generated through her amazing skills at Felixstowe Car Boot Sales, MFC has recruited its latest member to act as Number 1 cashier and auditor (alongside the Master of the Tool Fund).
I would like to introduce Jodie Bentley who has given up her valuable time to count in and cash the monies that have contributed to the ongoing Tool Fund. Throughout the year the Tool Fund has continued to purchase bespoke tools for all to use, a trailer that is fit for a ‘Lady Sarah’, safety equipment for the Belgian adventure, continued membership of Suffolk Community Action, and the entire amount for the UK teams insurance cover.
Grateful thanks, on behalf of everyone to Lady Sarah and Jodie”
(5) Equipment update
The most recent additions to the Muscles teams equipment fund (courtesy of Lady Sarah’s efforts), include, but are not limited to: dust masks, back support harnesses, ear muffs, knee pads, cricket ‘box’ and safety helmets. (Modeled by the person most likely to need them, to protect the rest of the team !!)
2014 represents the tenth anniversary of Muscles involvement with Ipswich based, Tools with a Mission. In addition to donating unused equipment and tools, the partnership has flourished and introduced other non profit organisations to the excellent work undertaken by TWAM on behalf of citizens of third world countries.