ISSUE 16, January 2006
Historic: Sherlock Holmes incarnate
Travel: In the Footsteps of the Incas
Sport: Batting for England
Grand Lodge: Pro Grand Master's speech and Quarterly Communication
Supreme Grand Chapter: First Grand Principal's speech and Committee of General Purposes
Royal Masonic Girls' School: Stories in windows
Specialist Lodges: Brotherhood of the Angle
    Napoleonic Wars: A Mason's Word
International: Macedonia: New Grand Lodge consecrated and Enthusiasm unbound
Grand Lodge: Development of Freemasons' Hall
Masonic Rebels: Rise and fall
Bristol Museum: A Phoenix from the Ashes
Freemasonry and Religion: United in diversity
Library and Museum: Most glorious of them all
First Aid: Masons learn to shock
Education: The Third Degree and Forthcoming events
Masonic Charities, Letters, Book Reviews, Gardening

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Above right
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.
    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.

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.

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