THANKS to the generosity of the Devonshire Freemasons, all 15 teams of Crediton Rugby Club can play in the same design of strip - something the club had thought could take years to fund.
With the presentation on Sunday morning of new strip for the Under 9s and the U14s, that has been completed.
The presentation was made shortly before both squads went out to play against Bideford at Crediton when the Provincial Grand Master of the Devonshire Masons, Ian Kingsbury of Winkleigh, made the presentation.
With him were Colin Mackenzie, Alan Tonkin and Ian Penny, all members of the Unity Masonic Lodge at Crediton. Ian is club President, Colin the club chairman.
The club had designed a new playing kit for the First Team two seasons ago with the intention to roll this out across all 15 teams which now play for the club.
A total of 11 of these form their thriving and successful junior section and includes three girls’ teams.
Both organisations have a long history in Crediton, the Freemasons Lodge having been there since 1870, Crediton Rugby Football Club since 1878. Both must have met over those 150 years not in competition but in unity.
The Freemasons, too, have a new logo, using the square and compass. This came into use last year and Crediton RFC is the first sports club to carry the new logo.
Clive Eden, Provincial Press Officer, said that this year sees the tercentenary, 300 years, of English Freemasonry.
“They have always been deeply involved with local community life. Celebrations will be held throughout the county and country to commemorate being the oldest philanthropic organisation in the world,” he said.
Mr Eden added that Crediton RFC can also celebrate its successes within the Rugby world and has an outstanding list of achievements.
It was awarded National Community Club of the Year 2015/16 and the RFC President’s Award for Recruitment and Retention the same year.
Its junior section had provided a number of players who have gone on to receive county, regional and national honours and currently Crediton RFC has three former club players in the Exeter Chiefs’ squad - Jack Yeandle, Sam Hill and Harry Strong who is in his early years with the Chiefs.
Also, the recently retired captain of Bath Rugby Club, Stuart Hooper, came from the Crediton club.
This, said Mr Eden, goes to prove the quality and passion for the sport felt by its members. Crediton RFC is also a host club for the England Deaf Rugby teams and hosted them for training and a game last season.
The annual former players reunion was the day before, a highly successful day which saw players from 50 or more years ago return to Crediton.