On the evening of Saturday 21st September 2019, 70 plus Freemasons with their families gathered in Davie Hall Masonic Lodge Plymouth to meet and hear the remarkable story of Mark Ormrod, a Royal Marine and Mason who suffered horrific injuries while on active service in Afghanistan in 2007.
The evening was hosted by John Kingdom and presented on behalf of the Royal Marine Charity and the Devonshire Masonic 2023 Festival. The event was compered and organised by John Pritchard who introduced Mark to the attending audience, Mark, who is normally on his prosthetic legs. On this occasion Mark was in a wheelchair because he had broken his femur whilst training for a jujitsu competition (incredible). Mark then gave a very graphic account of the lead up to and the event which led to his loss of 3 limbs in an explosion. He also expanded on the months of aftercare and rehabilitation he required to get back to health.
What shone through was the determination to not only get better but to continue and become a better person, with new goals and targets which he has still to achieve. The superb achievements he has already made, which would have beaten most able bodied people, are testament to the quality and courage of this man. He also shared with us with many stories which made us laugh, something nobody was expecting.
Mark has written a book titled “Man Down” and dozens of copies were sold throughout the evening which he duly autographed. He is also half way through a second book which is due out early next year. His story is going to be made into a film which I am sure will be well worth going to see and he is planning to write children’s books as yet another project for the future. To call Mark an inspirational man is an understatement and it was a privilege to have been in his company throughout the evening.
One of the main objectives of the evening was to raise money for the royal marine charity and the Devonshire Masonic 2023 Festival as it is another of Mark's targets to give back a little of what he received and is still receiving from so many different organisations. The evening succeeded in raising the fantastic total of £1075 which will be split evenly between the two charities.