The story of how the tractor run came about as narrated by W.Bro. Derek Sneddon of Lodge 23.

While sitting in the Newry Masonic social club in late November 2002 W.Bro. D Sneddon approached the social club caretaker W.Bro. Noel Magowan telling him that if the social club organised a tractor run around Ireland he would supply the tractor and drive it around Ireland.
When D Sneddon asked almost 4 weeks later what he had done about the offer he said nothing. I told Noel if they would not take up the offer I would offer it to another charity. Noel said let us get Christmas out of the way he said any money raised would go to the hospice. In mid - January 2003 the social club approached PGL and got the support of Provincial Grand Lodge. A small committee was formed consisting of five or six members. A Chairman, Treasurer, Secretary and a few other members. Some others did attend the committee but only on offering advice, they had no input to making decisions.
But the man who shouldered the heaviest burden was the Secretary W.Bro. Robert Kelly. He sent letters to every lodge in Ireland, all done in his own handwriting. Then as donations came in he again sent thank you letter again all in his own handwriting.
A start date was organised for July 16. It was all go from there until the tractor run was completed.
Many things had to be considered we did need a small trailer to carry a few spares this was loaned by W.Bro C H Whiteside.
The trailer would have to be built to suit the occasion, this was done by Bro. Ian Bailey, then it had to be painted and this was done by Bro. Alec Hanna senior. The question of hospice flags was raised, as there are no hospice flags a young school girl named A. McCague hand painted four flags. Most of the advertising space was sold by W.Bro.Noel Magowan although others sold some advertising space.
Then there was the question how many cars would be needed to take the support group and the luggage. S Hughes the owner of Classic Coaches soon filled that gap; he supplied a mini bus free of charge. Photographer was W.Bro. Noel Magowan, he took 345 pictures all printed on slides. Mini bus driver was W.Bro. Alex McClimond.
D J Fuels of Camlough donated cash to buy the tractor fuel although there was a few free fills of fuel. S Rafferty fuel distributor filled the tractor in Gorey. S Hughes filled the tractor in Annalong. The tractor was prepared at the W Auterson & Son Workshop at Maytown, Bessbrook. The steel for the tractor sign was supplied by Bros Eric and William Wilson of Wilson Steel Fabrications, Altnaveigh, Newry.
Every person who went on the support vehicle & the tractor driver all paid their own expenses. Every penny raised was all for the hospice. But the people that made the tractor run a success were the Masons, the business people & the general public. They all gave healthy donations and Masonic Lodges for holding festive boards. We cannot forget the folk of Galway who hosted 9 people with no fixed abode for two nights.
Total amount raised for the Newry Hospice was in excess of £42,000.
  Start of the tractor run.   Nurses