As we enter 2006, The Grand Charity
will continue, on behalf of Freemasons,
to give vital assistance to those affected by
disasters with emergency grants to support
the work of humanitarian agencies like
the British Red Cross and Provincial and
District Grand Lodges worldwide. Whilst
we hope there will be less need for this type
of support during forthcoming years, we
will maintain a watchful eye on worldwide
events and respond rapidly when need arises.
Raymond Lye, President of the Grand
Charity, Laura Chapman, Chief
Executive, the Rt Hon Lord Lane
of Horsell, Vice Grand President
One of Hurricane Katrina's many victims
Emergency Grants in 2005
It is likely that 2005 will forever be associated
with memories of the shocking number of
tragic events that occurred during the year.
It should also be remembered as a year
in which Freemasons offered generous
charitable support to the many victims.
Since 1981, the President of The Grand
Charity has approved emergency grants
totalling nearly £1.5 million to assist
relief work in the aftermath of floods,
earthquakes, hurricanes and volcanic
eruptions. Organisations working with
the victims of famines, terrorist attacks
and other disasters have also been supported
by donations of up to £100,000.
It is a reflection of the events of 2005 that
emergency grants totalling over £375,000
were made in response to appeals. This is the
highest annual total since the Grand Charity
was formed, and the money helped to fund
the relief efforts for victims of the Tsunami
in the final days of 2004, the destruction
caused by Hurricane Katrina, the horrendous
earthquake in South Asia, the food crisis in
Niger, flooding in Carlisle and the terrorist
bombs in London.
Freemasons across England and Wales
also responded to the events of the past
year with an outpouring of generosity and
hundreds of thousands of pounds have been
deposited into the special relief chests set up
by The Grand Charity to receive donations
on behalf of the victims of the Tsunami and
Earthquake disasters. We know this is just a
tiny portion of the full support that has been
shown by individual and Provincial Lodges
across the country.
Newbury General Meeting
Hundreds of Freemasons came together at
The Grand Charity’s General Meeting held
at Newbury Racecourse on 29 October, to
hear details of charitable support delivered
on their behalf.
Vice Grand President of The Grand
Charity, Lord Lane of Horsell, chaired
the meeting, which received a report on
£631,814 of Masonic Relief Grants made
over three months. This was followed by
approval for grants totalling £514,500 to
non-Masonic charities, including Abbeyfield
UK, the Elizabeth Foundation, the
Alzheimer’s Research Trust and Tommy’s.
Speeches by Professor Colin Cooper who
holds “The Grand Charity of Freemasons
Chair of Molecular Biology”, Francine Bates,
chief executive of Contact a Family and
Anne Overin of Thames Valley and Chiltern
Air Ambulance Trust, highlighted the
importance of charitable grants through first
hand accounts of the contribution donations
from Freemasons have made to their work.
Also available to answer questions were
representatives from Breast Cancer Care and
Plan International, who have benefited from
grants made by The Grand Charity.
Web site created by Mark Griffin