From Malin to Mizen
It is hard to believe that some two years have now passed since Wor Bro Paddy Belton came to Ireland to do some fund raising for MacMillan Cancer Support in memory of his late mother, who passed over on the 12th October. His first charitable effort began on the 1st October and comprised of a long distance cycle ride from Lands End to John O' Groats, completing this journey on the 12th October 2012. The cycling process began with getting his bicycle blessed by his local padre in London, at the end of a busy church service, before getting underway on this, his first major charitable venture. His efforts were supported by the U.G.L.E. and raised some £ 3,500.00 for the purchase of portable scanner equipment for the hospital that had treated his late mother.
His next effort in 2013, brought him to Ireland where he planned to run from the headland in Malin, Co Donegal, some 400miles in a southwesterly direction to Mizen Head in the far south west of county Cork. We had received an introduction from our Grand Secretary Rt Wor Bro Barry D. Lyons and did our best to promote and support his hard work through the www.irishfreemasonry.com website. On our first meeting Paddy was quite relaxed in his description of what he planned to do. In a nutshell he would run 33.5miles per day, for the next twelve days, and then he would be in Mizen. Indeed, it was even better than that, as he intended to travel downhill from North to South. We had, arranged a preliminary interview in Derry, after an introductory meal in the Mandarin Palace restaurant. When the owner - Mr Stan Lee realised that Paddy was a charity runner, he immediately laid on a sparkler enhanced dessert with the compliments of the House. And on that high note Paddy introduced himself to all the viewers and listeners on www.irishfreemasonry.com
We have attached a copy of the video produced by us in support of Paddy and his excellent efforts to raise funds to support MacMillan Cancer in memory of him mum. On this occasion, his Irish adventures raised over £ 5000.00 for MacMillan, partly received via the Just Giving website, and the balance donated directly to him by supporters on the road. One such called Pat Kennedy, pulled up in front of Paddy on the road to Nenagh and said that he had read about Paddy's run in one of the Sunday newspapers. He pressed a 100 euro note into his hand for MacMillan and wished him every success with the run.
On another occasion he hobbled into a little shop in Laurencetown, Co Galway to get water and yoghurt. When the lady of the Shop spotted him, she went out the back, and a few moments later returned with a cup of hot tea and a foot bath. She told him that it looked like he could be doing with that, and immediately got him seated, until the foot bath worked its magic. One final example was the Northerner called Adrian, the guy in the red van, who met up with Paddy on the N20 to Cork. Adrian had followed Paddy by Van from Malin Head, and on finally catching up with him outside Cork city asked if he was that eejit featuring in all the newspapers. On learning that Paddy, was indeed that eejit, he again pressed a generous donation on Paddy for MacMillan Cancer, before setting off on his way into Cork.
So Brethren, as you can read, Bro Paddy made a sterling effort to run from Malin to Mizen within 12 days, during which, as he has said himself, the world's most generous, warm hearted country was pulling for him all the way, and made the entire experience more memorable, bearable and enjoyable. And for that, he will be eternally thankful to the people of Ireland, North South, East and West, for the warmth and spontaneity of their welcome.