Freemasons help rescue the Knights
THE Ipswich Knights Soccer Club is kicking new goals, thanks to a $40,000 donation from the Queensland Freemasons following last year's devastating floods.
The donation by the Grand Master's Flood and Cyclone Appeal was used to buy 400 new jerseys and replace tables and chairs.
Ipswich Freemasons spokesman Ian De Villiers said the flood appeal had raised $1 million for 30 community groups across the state.
"Once the floodwaters receded we knew many community organisations like the Ipswich Knights Soccer Club would need help to get back on their feet," he said.
"The soccer club has such a strong community presence and when we found out they had lost everything we wanted to provide as much support as possible."
Ipswich Knights vice-president Todd Hunt said floodwater engulfed the bottom section of the clubhouse and fell just 30cm short of the roofline.
"We had about 24 hours' notice that the creek would break its bank and were able to salvage all of the club memorabilia that traces back to the late 1800s," he said.
"We had to operate out of demountable buildings and as our canteen was destroyed we also lost a major revenue stream.
"Seeing the facility totally decimated was certainly too much for many of our members, who had contributed so much time, effort and in some cases money to get the club to the position it was prior to the floods."
The club, with support from the Freemasons, its members and the Ipswich community, rallied strongly to ensure it was up and running again as soon as possible.
"Without assistance from the Freemasons we would not have been able to compete in the greater Brisbane Football competition last year," Hunt said.
"Excluding government grants, the Freemasons have been the single largest contributor to our club.
"We were able to use the funds to replace uniforms and vital equipment that was lost in the floods."
Charity work is a basic principle of Freemasonry and each year the Queensland Freemasons raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for not-for-profit organisations and community groups.