ISSUE 14, July 2005

The King and the Craft
Quarterly Communication: Speech of the Grand Master and Speech of the Pro Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes Supreme Grand Chapter: Speech of the Pro First Grand Principle and Report of the Committee of General Purposes Grand Lodge dues: Message from the President of the Board of General Purposes
    Masonic Housing: Major changes Finance: Choosing an investment manager Travel: Tantalising Tunisia Goose and Gridiron: Historic Masonic unveiling Extravaganza: Hollywood comes to Grand Lodge Masonic Events: Day of Fun and Medical, University and Legal Lodges' Festival Education: Sheffield Masonic Library and Forthcoming events and The Entered Apprentice Specialist Lodges: Revving up to success and where eagles dare International: The horror of Phuket and Grand Charity team visit disaster area Library and Museum: Fraternal societies Masonic Charities: NMSF and RMBI and RMTGB and Grand Charity
Obituaries, Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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New Masonic Samaritan Fund

Festival Success for Hampshire and Isle of Wight
A fanfare from members of the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Portsmouth (Royal Band) heralded the announcement of the total raised by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Festival on behalf of the New Masonic Samaritan Fund.
    With donations being received up until the last minute, the total announced on the night, a magnificent £6,888,151 has been further increased and now stands at just over £6.9million.
    The excellent Festival celebration at the Brighton Centre on 10 May provided a fitting end to an extremely successful fund-raising appeal. In accepting the cheque from the Festival President, RW Bro Brian C Bellinger, Provincial Grand Master for Hampshire and Isle of Wight, NMSF President, VW Bro Captain Norman Lloyd Edwards, paid tribute to the hard work and dedication of charity stewards across the Province.
    He finished his words of thanks by inviting all almoners to continue their good work by ensuring that everyone across the length and breadth of the Province knows about the work of the Fund should they ever need to gain access to it.

Quick turnaround for Trinidad
The New Masonic Samaritan Fund prides itself on its ability to respond quickly on behalf of those in medical need. Recently, however, it managed to break all records on behalf of an applicant from Trinidad.
    A completed application was received by fax on a Thursday morning, with the members of the Petitions Committee already starting to arrive in preparation for their meeting that afternoon.
    The specific circumstances of the case required an early decision and the Committee duly obliged. Within four hours of receiving the completed application funding was approved.
    Clearly it is not always possible or appropriate to make decisions as quickly. However, there are many other examples that show why not having to wait for surgery via the NHS can be a genuinely life-saving experience.

Happy ending for Mason’s wife
During a scan of her abdomen and pelvis, the wife of a Mason was told that she had a 10cm diameter growth which it would be prudent to remove. The consultant concerned advised that the most appropriate way to remove the suspected fibroid was to carry out a total hysterectomy. Although considered serious, the surgery could not be performed on the NHS in less than six months. Contact was first made with the NMSF in February, with the completed application form received back a week later.
    Agreement to fund treatment was taken and surgery took place in the middle of March. Following her post-operative consultation with the surgeon, she wrote to the Fund and said:
    “Whilst it has been confirmed that the growth was in fact ovarian cancer, the good news is that it has not spread. The surgeon has told me that no further treatment is needed as it was caught in the very early stages.”
    Had she had to wait for the NHS, this story may have had a very different ending.

Hip replacement joy
Having been knocked off her bike at the age of 10 by a hit-and-run driver, Sarah Turner was warned that she would suffer in later life with her hip. By the age of 31 this suffering was such that, despite a high dosage of painkillers, she was unable to work, and faced a nine-month wait for a hip replacement.
    Thanks to the support of the members of Manandon Lodge No. 3033, Charity Steward Steve Tripp and Almoner Geoff Rodd in particular, she learnt of the work of the NMSF.
    Following a total hip replacement in April, Sarah wrote to the Fund saying:
    “I can not tell you how grateful I am. You must be told “thank you” many times, but I can assure you that none will be as generous or as sincere as mine. Your help has transformed my life.”

These are just three of the recent cases supported by the NMSF. Apart from having a diagnosed medical, need the main thing they had in common was that someone told them about the support available from the Fund.
    If you, or someone you know, is in medical need and, faced with a long wait for treatment on the NHS, cannot afford to fund their own private medical care, please tell them about the NMSF and tell the NMSF about them.

NMSF president VW Bro Captain Norman Lloyd Edwards (left) receives the cheque from Festival President, PGM RW Bro Brian Bellinger 

Sarah Turner and her husband

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