The MCF invests in the future of both the masonic community and wider society by funding research into a range of health conditions and disabilities
While it may be some time before the outcomes of these research grants are announced, there have been two recent and notable developments as a result of masonic funding.
In 2015, £100,000 was awarded to the University of East Anglia to fund research into prostate cancer. The research has resulted in the development of a new test that makes the vital distinction between aggressive and less harmful forms of prostate cancer. The breakthrough will help to avoid unnecessary and damaging treatment for some cancer patients.
There has also been success in developing a new mode of healthcare for people with cystic fibrosis thanks to a £500,000 grant to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust in 2016. The funded project used the latest technology to enable patients to monitor their condition at home and liaise with specialist health teams remotely, rather than visiting a hospital. The trial has been successful in limiting infection and there is potential for the method to be translated to other conditions.
The MCF Charity Grants programme will be redefined over the coming months, but medical research will remain one of the charity’s top priorities.
Find out more: For more details, visit www.mcf.org.uk/community
Cabaret evening huge success
Members of Jasper Tudor Lodge No. 4047 organised a cabaret evening where attendees dressed up in exotic clothing and entertained everyone
The main contributors to the entertainment were the Maindee Martial Arts and Fitness Centre, of which around 8 of the Jasper Tudor brethren are either members or have family links.
Everyone worked extremely hard at fundraising for local charities, and in particular the outstanding effort by both of Bro Gary Gassor's daughters, Emma and Leanne.
Local businesses were approached and the positive results were there for all to see by the end of the evening with a staggering £14,291.65 raised. Prior to the evening several individuals had raised funds by several means, from running half marathons to individual training sessions with some of the highly qualified Martial Arts Tutors. The funds will be distributed in varying proportions to the local branches of: Cystic Fibrosis, Stroke Association, Sparkle Appeal (local children's Hospital), Special Care Infant Parent Support and the Jasper Tudor Lodger Charity Account which supports local charities and good causes throughout the year.
Newport Masonic Hall was full to capacity which was also a good thing as no doubt there would have been a healthy income at the bar and as funds are always needed to help restore the building this would be an added bonus.
Kilimanjaro climb for children’s hospital
Dale Murphy, from Gorhambury Lodge, No. 8745, Province of Hertfordshire, is all set to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in February, raising vital funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
After hearing about a close friend’s baby daughter being diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, Dale accepted the challenge of raising more than £4,000 by climbing the highest free-standing mountain in the world.
Dale put his training to the test recently by taking part in the Mountain Trail Challenge, a 30-mile trek over the Brecon Beacons in Wales, completing the gruelling course in 10 hours 50 minutes. This raised an additional £100 from his lodge members, taking his current fundraising total to £3,000.
The Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent, has asked Freemasons to adopt a policy of openness and transparency in their contact with the public and the media, particularly in view of the tercentenary celebrations of the formation of Grand Lodge. In rising to the challenge Wiltshire Freemasons threw open the doors and welcomed over 260 members of press and public to an open day at the masonic hall situated in the very heart of the Cathedral City of Salisbury.
Making people feel welcome is very important and this was achieved with great success by Freemasons and their wives who greeted every visitor young and old with a smile as bright as the sunshine which flooded the streets bringing Salisbury to life as shoppers thronged the nearby shops and cafes.
To help explain the role of Freemasonry in society, its history and work, the lodges meeting at Salisbury compiled a series of ‘story boards’ outlining what Freemasonry is, what it does and, equally importantly, how a person can become a part of this amazing organisation.
This latter point was taken up in response to the Pro Grand Master’s comment that it is a matter of paramount importance we recruit and enthuse new members and ensure we go from strength to strength in the future, in both numbers and our usefulness to the society.
Areas were allocated to the charities supported by Salisbury Freemasons and featured representatives of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, The Scouting Association, Salisbury Hospice, Hope for Tomorrow, The Stars Scanner Appeal, Carer Support Wiltshire, Army Benevolent Fund, Children's Chance, Reading for the Blind, and the Province's very own Teddies for Loving Care.
One of the most sought after viewing locations with visitors was the lodge room with its impressive architecture and decoration. To bring the room to life, RW Bro Sir Ron Stuart-Paul provided an explanation of its many features to very attentive audiences, many of whom have been resident in Salisbury for decades and who expressed delight at having the opportunity to ‘see behind the scenes’ and have their questions answered.
The Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Francis Wakem, whose enthusiastic support for the open day was welcomed by the Salisbury Lodges, has asked the Provincial Communications Team to use the success of this event as a pilot for the programme of activities being planned for the 2017 tercentenary celebrations of the formation of Grand Lodge. Discussions on the planning, marketing and implementation of the Open Day together with an assessment of the overall value of the event will help the Provincial Communications Team in its quest to establish a credible series of Province wide promotions including more open days, leading up to and beyond the actual tercentenary celebrations.