Vital help for vulnerable
The Devon Community Foundation has received £5,000 from local masons to help people in need across the county. Devon PGM Ian Kingsbury presented the cheque and the money will be split between the Surviving Winter Appeal, which assists older and vulnerable people affected by fuel poverty, and the Foundation’s Community Grants, which support frontline voluntary and community groups. The Foundation is on average three times oversubscribed for funding, so every donation can make a difference to people’s lives.
Helping the Hindu community
The Hindu Community Plymouth received a donation from the William Alexander Kneel Endowment (WAKE) Fund to purchase an effigy (not pictured) of the Lord Shiva, for use in the Plymouth crematoriums. The WAKE Fund was set up in memory of a former Devonshire Provincial Grand Master to deliver aid to local organisations. Members of Victory Lodge, No. 4189, were invited to attend and participate in the blessing of the effigy, which has a brass plaque stating that it has been donated by Devonshire Freemasons.
Plymouth honours Royal Marines
A charity fundraising evening in support of the 350th anniversary of the Royal Marines saw a cheque for £5,150 presented to Jonathan Ball, chief executive of the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund, on behalf of Royal Marines Plymouth Lodge, No. 9528, Province of Devonshire. The Royal Marines have been on many peacekeeping and disaster assistance operations, as well as seeing active service in Iraq and Afghanistan. Among those at the event was Mark Ormrod, who lost both legs and an arm in a Taliban bomb blast. The masonic contingent was led by Provincial Grand Master Ian Kingsbury.
Devonshire masons on show in Plymouth
History was made in July in the City of Plymouth when, for the first time since 1938, 40 Freemasons from over 36 lodges in the Province of Devonshire took part in the Lord Mayor’s Parade in full regalia.
Proud to be masons and wanting to be more open in the community, Keith Johnson, a member of the Provincial recruitment team, came up with the idea of joining in the Lord Mayor’s Parade.
At the event, led by Provincial Grand Master Ian Kingsbury, the recruitment stand gave out information all day long to interested passers-by.
Looking to the future
The Masonic Samaritan Fund is supporting treatment and research into curing complex medical conditions
The majority of the MSF’s grant-making is to cover the associated costs of a diagnosed health or care need. However, the charity also funds medical research projects that aim to improve the treatment for many of the illnesses and disabilities affecting masonic families and the wider community.
Richard Penelrick was diagnosed with Ataxia-Telangiectasia (A-T), a rare and progressive genetic disorder for which there is no cure, when he was sixteen years old. A-T has weakened Richard’s immune system, leading to frequent chest and lung infections, and placed him at significantly increased risk of developing cancer. He was wheelchair-bound by the end of his teens, and the condition is generally fatal to patients by the time they reach their late twenties.
Richard’s family have looked after him through increasing disability and challenging care needs. His masonic guardian, John Pritchard, said, ‘The impact of A-T on individuals and their families is devastating. We not only have to cope with providing twenty-four-hour care for Richard, but we must be ready at any time to face the prospect of a severe illness or his possible death.’
Support for A-T sufferers
In partnership with the Province of Devonshire, the MSF has given support to Richard and his family. Margaret, his mother, has received respite care grants for several years, allowing her time to rest from the day-and-night care she provides for her son, while Richard has received a bespoke wheelchair, tailored to his needs. Margaret said, ‘It is very pleasing to see Richard in a wheelchair that helps with his medical needs and allows him to still use his own physical capabilities. I would like to thank all involved throughout this application.’
There is currently no cure for A-T, which affects one in forty thousand young people in the UK. The MSF has donated £49,695 to the A-T Society, a charity that seeks funding for medical research to explore routes to potential cures for A-T. Society chief executive William Davis, said, ‘This generous grant from the Masonic Samaritan Fund has enabled the charity to fund exciting research that may not only impact on people living with A-T, but could go on to advance treatments and even promote a cure for other genetic diseases and cancer.’
How to make an application
In support of helping to alleviate delays for treatment or surgery, the MSF provided more than two hundred medical grants to Freemasons and their dependants during 2013 at a cost of just over £1.5 million. The support provided covered a wide range of medical conditions and the Fund’s new online Eligibility Calculator can tell you if you’re likely to qualify for a grant. Visit www.msfund.org.uk/eligibility-calculator and answer ten simple questions to receive an immediate decision as to your eligibility to make a full application to the Fund.
Devon show a success: The Kingsbridge Show in Devon was a focal point for the provincial recruitment display sponsored by Lord Roborough Lodge, No. 5789, and Duncombe Lodge, No. 1486
It was at this show last year that John Pritchard first met Larry Lewis, a former US marine who had moved to the area with his family. Larry was initiated into Duncombe Lodge this year and helped to man the stand. There was a warm welcome from show chairman John Woodley and show president Pat Brooks, who thanked Devon masons for all they do for local charities and for attending the event again.
The Masonic Samaritan Fund was delighted to host two Provincial Grand Masters and to witness a very generous show of West Country solidarity
RW Bro Ian Kingsbury, PGM for Devonshire, presented a cheque for £5,000 to his neighbouring PGM, RW Bro Peter George in support of the Cornwall 2013 Festival. On behalf of the MSF, Richard Douglas (CEO) welcomed both visitors and, in accepting the very generous donation, assured both PGMs that it would be put to good use on behalf of those in need of health and care support.
With only a month to go until the finale of the 2013 Cornwall Festival on behalf of the MSF, this very welcome donation from the Province of Devonshire is much appreciated by all concerned.
Freewheeling for life
Devon Freewheelers is a life-saving charity that ferries urgent supplies of blood by motorcycle between Devon hospitals round-the-clock. Run by volunteers, the charity relies solely on the money it raises and was running out of funds. Following media coverage of its plight, Devonshire masons came forward with an initial grant of £2,000 before also giving the charity an ex-police motorcycle (now named Masonic Life by the Freewheelers) and funding for a year.
The presentation of the bike and the opening of a new headquarters by Sir John Evans, former chief constable of Devon & Cornwall Police, took place at Honiton.
The Devon Freewheelers’ CEO, Daniel Lavery, says: ‘We cannot thank Devon Freemasons enough. Their initial grant helped us over a very difficult period and this new motorbike will help us to continue providing this life-saving service into the future.’
Stamp of approval
Devon mason Trevor Fray has had an exhibition of his masonic stamp collection displayed at a public library in Plymouth. Trevor, president of the Masonic Philatelic Club, is a member of St John’s Lodge, No. 70, Plymouth, and began collecting stamps 65 years ago, taking up the specialised subject of masonic philately in 1975.
Trevor has shown his masonic stamp collection to numerous philatelic societies and lodges and points out that many countries have issued masonic commemorative stamps – and that more than one thousand individuals who were Freemasons have been depicted on postage stamps.
Devonshire masons and their families have raised a magnificent £3,836,625 in support of the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys (RMTGB). The result of the 2012 Festival Appeal, which lasted almost 6 years, was announced during a memorable night at the Riviera International Convention Centre in Torquay.
RMTGB President Mike Woodcock thanked the Province for its efforts during the appeal and spoke about the importance of the charity’s work. Provincial Grand Master Michael Penny praised the members of his Province and the Festival Committee, which had been instrumental in the appeal’s success.
During the dinner, harpist and former RMTGB beneficiary Angelina Warburton played some popular classics before a lively performance by the Devon Youth Jazz Orchestra, whose trumpeter is also a trust beneficiary.