ISSUE 13, April 2005

Editorial
The Campbells are coming: At speed!
Travel: Warming to Iceland
Royal Masonic Family: The Six Masonic Sons of George III, Part II
Quarterly Communication: Address of the Pro Grand Master and: Report of the Board of General Purposes
The flying eye hospital
Beamish Museum: The million pound project
  Wigan Grand Lodge: The Liverpool rebels
Chelsea Lodge: That's entertainment
Re-enactment: The way we were and: The Russian connection
Community Service: Weathering the storm
Faith and Freemasonry: God and the Craft
Education: Researching Freemasonry on the Internet and: Masonic events
Freemasons Hall: Masons at War
Grand Charity: Report and grant list and: Support for Asian tsunami
Masonic Charities: Reports from the Masonic charities
Obituaries, Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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Brethren on the voters list for the year 2005

To Lodge representatives on the voters list for the year 2005

Notice is hereby given that the

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
and
GENERAL COURT


will be held on
Wednesday, 29 June 2005

Full details of the agenda and nominees for election will appear on our website by 1 June 2005.

Those eligible to attend the meeting are Patrons of the Trust, Vice Patrons of the former Institutions and Representatives of Patron Lodges. If you are in any doubt about your eligibility please contact the Trust.

Copies of our Annual Review will also be available after the Annual General Meeting and can be requested on-line at www.rmtgb.org or by telephoning the Trust on 020 7405 2644.

Registered Charity No. 285836
    Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution

Friends of the RMBI Summer Ball
On Saturday, 18 June, RW Bro David Cons, Pro Provincial Grand Master for Middlesex, will host the annual Friends of the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution (RMBI) Summer Ball at the beautiful and historic Paintersí Hall (shown left), 9 Little Trinity Lane, London. There will be a champagne reception, music, dancing, casino, raffle and a cash draw.
    Tickets £70 per person (including wine), with money raised on the night going to the RMBI Good Neighbour Fund, which is used to send older Freemasons with poor health and their dependants on much needed respite holidays, both in the UK and abroad, as well as providing emergency financial assistance.
    Tickets are on a first come, first served basis and are selling quickly. To purchase your ticket, or to make a donation, please call Natalie Chevin on 020 7596 2400.

Gift Aid makes donations go further
As long as you are an individual taxpayer you can Gift Aid your donations to the RMBI, meaning that for every £1 you donate, the charity can claim an extra 28 pence at no extra cost to you.
    This will make a huge difference to the RMBIís fundraising, so make sure that you are registered today by calling 020 7596 2400 or by completing the Gift Aid form on our website and returning it to the RMBI.

Rooms available in RMBI Homes
As part of the RMBIís capital investment programme, several RMBI Homes have been extensively refurbished for the benefit of older Freemasons and their dependants, who might need to take advantage of the range of services provided. Some Homes have accommodation available for immediate occupation, and the RMBI is very keen about filling them, particularly Ecclesholme in Manchester, Queen Elizabeth Court in Llandudno and James Terry Court in South Croydon. If you know someone who may be interested, please contact your Lodge Almoner.

Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys

Grant Reductions
Fundraising by members of the Craft is essential to the work of the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys (RMTGB), but it also depends heavily on investment income to finance its grants. Like many other organisations and individuals it was severely affected by the downturn in the stock market two years ago.
    The Trustís Council has therefore decided to make economies to ensure that expenditure does not exceed income. It will cut grants, but in such a way that beneficiaries are disadvantaged as little as possible. At the same time, administrative costs are being reduced.
    The main cuts will be in grants to university students. The Council has chosen to make the cuts there because students already have access to a loan and generally have the opportunity to work part-time.
    In addition, students from lower income families who started their courses last September, or who will start in 2005, are eligible for a non-repayable Higher Education Grant of up to £1,000 per year from the Government.
    UndergradAid Grants will not, therefore, be available in 2005, and Scholarships paid to full beneficiaries who started university courses in 2004 or 2005, and who are eligible for the Higher Education Grant, will be reduced by £500 per year from the autumn term 2005. Other economies include a reduced budget for the successful TalentAid scheme, which supports gifted children and young people. All existing commitments, for example where the Trust has agreed to pay fees at a drama or dance college, will be honoured, but less money will be available for new applicants.
    The Lifelites project, which is equipping every childrenís hospice in England and Wales with IT equipment, also has reduced funds. New equipment will still be installed but existing hospices might have to wait longer for their equipment to be upgraded.
    No other grants to non-Masonic organisations will be made at present, although existing obligations will be honoured, including our programme of choral bursaries in many cathedrals.
    Another project that will continue will be the equipping of the classroom facilities in the new Childrenís Hospital for Wales, which will take place later in the year.
    Grants to full beneficiaries of the Trust, other than students, will change very little, if at all. The Council will, of course, keep the situation under review.


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