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

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.’

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.

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

Plain sailing for Jubilee Trust

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Provincial Grand Master Mike Wilks had a special mission when he boarded the sailing vessel Tenacious at Southampton Docks: to present the Jubilee Sailing Trust’s (JST) chief executive Duncan Souster with a cheque for £15,000 from the Grand Charity

The donation will be used for the JST’s Buddy Bursary scheme, which funds sailing expeditions for both disabled and able-bodied people, promoting equality by teaching them how to crew a tall ship together, sharing challenges and celebrating their individual differences. Since the JST began in 1978, more than 40,000 people have set sail to destinations including Tenerife and Costa Rica. 

Launched 15 years ago, the Tenacious is one of two tall ships used by the group – the only tall ships in the world designed so they can be sailed by a crew with widely varied sensory and physical abilities, including wheelchair users. 

East Lancashire festival triumph

East Lancashire masons held an end-of-Festival banquet at Bolton Wanderers’ Macron Stadium to celebrate raising more than £2.6 million for the RMBI. Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes and Bolton’s mayor, Cllr Carole Swarbrick, attended.

PGM Sir David Trippier said that despite one of the worst economic depressions since the war, which had hit the region hard, the amount raised per capita was much higher than during the previous Festival. Entertainment on the night was provided by the Opera Boys, guitarist Neil Smith and the band of the Lancashire Fusiliers.

Warrington lodge reaches 250th anniversary

Lodge of Lights, No. 148, the oldest lodge in the Warrington Group in the West Lancashire Province, has celebrated its 250th anniversary. Among the 150-strong gathering were Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison and Deputy Grand Master Jonathan Spence. During the evening WM Stanley Jackson presented Tony with charity donations of £14,800.

Lord-Lieutenant opens Wycliffe Rooms

The Lord-Lieutenant of Leicestershire, Lady Gretton has officially opened the new Community Room at Lutterworth Freemasons’ Hall along with Leicestershire and Rutland Provincial Grand Master David Hagger and town Mayor Tony Hirons. The building, known as the Wycliffe Rooms, has undergone extensive redevelopment to include a new large multifunctional room, bar and kitchen, which is available for local hire. 

Lutterworth Masonic Association chairman Malcolm Longley, said, ‘We are deeply indebted to many organisations and individuals who have contributed to the completion of this development with either financial or physical help, or both.’

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