Celebrating 300 years

Welsh vote for Tenovus

The Masonic Samaritan Fund has donated £89,000 to Wales’ leading cancer charity, Tenovus Cancer Care, which will use the donation to help fund a groundbreaking new research project.

Clare Gallie, director of income generation for Tenovus Cancer Care, said: ‘With this magnificent support from the masonic community, we’ll be able to fund this work in one of the most promising new areas of cancer research – immunotherapy.’ The project will be overseen by Professor Bernhard Moser from the Cardiff University School of Medicine.

Hundreds of Freemasons from the area voted for Tenovus to receive the grant. South Wales Provincial Grand Master Gareth Jones said: ‘We were delighted to be able to demonstrate support for our local research charity.’

Published in Masonic Samaritan Fund

Last night at the Rochdale Proms

Lodge of Harmony, No. 298, in East Lancashire hosted a Last Night of the Proms-style concert in Rochdale and raised more than £1,500 for St Aidan’s Church, Wardle Academy Youth Brass Band and the East Lancashire Masonic Charity. The event, held at St Aidan’s, featured performances by the Wardle Academy band, soloist Freda Farnworth and the Rochdale Retirement Choir.

Devonshire proud to help

The Provincial Grand Lodge of Devonshire has match-funded the Grand Charity in order to present £2,000 to ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.

Established in 1944, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity last year gave over 5,000 grants and funded another 72 charities to provide vital services to soldiers in need, giving veterans and their families the support they need through times of crisis.

The Devon Soldiers’ Charity Fundraising Committee is equally active, raising more than £63,000 last year and giving grants of over £70,000 to assist 109 individuals in need of help.

When presenting the cheques, Ian Kingsbury, Provincial Grand Master of Devonshire, said: ‘To be able to support the soldiers who have served the citizens of this country so selflessly is very humbling.’

Upon receiving the cheques Col Robert Jordan MBE said: ‘We are deeply grateful for this generous donation.’

Healthy partnership

Devonshire’s Philammon Lodge, No. 3226, and Pelican Lodge, No. 7878, raised £10,800 at a charity sportsman dinner in memory of two of their brethren, one from each lodge, who died of pancreatic cancer. As part of the Santander Foundation, the bank’s Plymouth branch match-funded the total being donated to three charities – Pancreatic Cancer UK, the Mustard Tree Macmillan Centre, and the Wooden Spoon charity for disadvantaged and disabled children.

Valued support  for palliative care

The Freemasons’ Grand Charity continued to support hospices with a total donation of £600,000 in 2015. Across England and Wales, 245 adult and children’s hospices have received funding to provide essential services to those affected by terminal or life-limiting illness. 

Among those to receive assistance are Dorothy House Hospice in Wiltshire, Hope House Children’s Hospice in Shropshire, and the Marie Curie Cardiff and the Vale Hospice.

Chief Executive of The Freemasons’ Grand Charity Laura Chapman said: ‘Every year, Freemasons and their families work together to raise funds to ensure the incredible work of hospices can continue. The dedicated care they provide is highly valued by local communities and Freemasons believe strongly in supporting this.’

Fundraising coordinator Tania Wood at Dove Wood Hospice, another Grand Charity funding beneficiary, said: ‘Your continued support really does help us to make a positive difference to the lives of local people in palliative care. With your help we’re able to plan ahead effectively, ensuring that our patients receive both expert medical care and emotional support.’

Published in The Grand Charity

Cambridge hospice challenge

Lynn Morgan, Arthur Rank Hospice Charity CEO, went to a special event hosted by Cambridgeshire Freemasons at Ely Cathedral to mark the retirement of Rodney Wolverson after 10 years as Provincial Grand Master. During the evening, Rodney presented a cheque for £100,000 towards the Arthur Rank Hospice Building Appeal. 

This was one of three substantial donations made over the past 18 months since Rodney challenged the Province to raise a six-figure sum for the hospice appeal. A donation of £100,000 was made last June, with another cheque for £15,000 presented during the Act of Dedication for the hospice.

Highest French honour

Two Freemasons, Ray Worrall, a resident at RMBI care home Connaught Court in York, and Bill Doherty from Northumberland, have both been awarded the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur – the highest decoration in France – by the French Consul. 

Ray’s book Escape from France tells the story of how his Lancaster bomber was shot down over occupied France in 1944. Ray was hidden in the Fréteval forest by the French Resistance, who helped him return to England. Bill received the award for helping to liberate the first French village, Ranville, during the Normandy D-Day landings.

Published in RMBI

Sharing in Somerset

A grants presentation evening held in Taunton Masonic Hall saw Somerset Freemasons presenting grants of £40,671 in the presence of local charities and civic leaders. Among others, a donation of £8,400 was given by Provincial Grand Stewards Lodge, No. 9189, for the purchase of special wound pumps, and £14,135 by the Masonic Bowling Association for vein viewers for the Haematology, Oncology and Palliative Care department of Musgrove Park Hospital.

Mentions were made of planned future donations of nearly £40,000 from the Somerset Masonic Flood Recovery Fund, following the appalling devastation caused by the flooding on the Somerset Levels during the winter of 2013-14.

Taking the lead with canine partners

Canine Partners helps people with disabilities to enjoy greater levels of independence by providing assistance dogs. The charity has received a £50,000 grant from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity for its new Midlands training centre based at Osgathorpe in Leicestershire. Leicestershire and Rutland PGM David Hagger said, ‘We are very happy to make this substantial grant to Canine Partners to help improve the training facilities at the centre here in Leicester. The joy and practical support these dogs bring to their owners is life-changing and invaluable.’ A new building will provide accessible accommodation for all attendees, enabling Canine Partners to train around 80 individuals each year.

Published in The Grand Charity

Blood test for Alzheimer’s

Oxfordshire Freemasons have presented a Masonic Samaritan Fund (MSF) grant of £100,000 to Alzheimer’s Research UK to help them fund research into new dementia diagnosis tools.

The expert research team, led by Professor Simon Lovestone at the University of Oxford, want to tackle the disease by developing a simple blood test. The MSF provided the donation following a poll of local masons who nominated the charity to receive a grant from the Silver Jubilee Research Fund. Alzheimer’s Research UK is one of 13 medical research charities awarded an MSF grant last year at a total cost of £1.125 million.

The donation was presented to Professor Lovestone by Oxfordshire PGM James Hilditch in October at the Nuffield Department of Medicine Research Building in Oxford. 

Published in Masonic Samaritan Fund
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