ISSUE 17, April 2006
Historic: The Brother who designed the Spitfire
Travel: The charm of Kerala
Grand Lodge: Pro Grand Master's speech and Quarterly Communication
Public Relations: Hottest spot in town
International: Emulation in Bulgaria and Mauritius takes a leap forward and Hungary's Royal Arch library
Library & Museum: Recent acquisitions
Masonic Bibles: Lodges and their Bibles
    Royal Masonic Girls' School: My thanks to the Freemasons
Holocaust: The Count of Auschwitz
Education: International conference on the history of Freemasonry and Events
Specialist Lodges: Masonry universal - via radio
Masonic Charities: Grand Charity continues to help those in need and New Masonic Samaritan Fund and Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution and Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys
Grand Charity: The Tsunami - one year on and Important Gift Aid information
Letters, Book Reviews, and Gardening

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In year ended 30 November 2005, total grants amounted to £4.7m. Masonic Relief Grants to 1,816 individuals provided nearly £2.6m for those Masons and their dependants in financial need.
    The experience, knowledge and support of the Masonic Relief Grants Committee helped an increasing number of applicants to obtain the state benefits to which they are entitled, reducing their level of dependency on charitable support, while also benefiting the Craft by reducing the average size of the grant required.
    The number of applications for assistance increased by more than 20% from 2004, underlining the continuing importance of the Masonic Relief Grants available through the Grand Charity.
    During the year £2.1m was donated to non-Masonic charities, including 217 hospice services. Also, 68 charities, supporting vulnerable people, youth opportunities and medical research into diseases and medical conditions, were awarded grants ranging from £1,000 to £150,000.
    Emergency grants of over £350,000 were approved following tragic events including the tsunami and the Asian earthquake, further underlining the commitment of Freemasons to helping those in need, The Craft’s use of the Grand Charity’s Relief Chest scheme rose significantly in 2005. With this background, the Grand Charity is making a significant investment to improve the efficiency and range of services offered by the Relief Chest Scheme, the costs of which are borne within the general overheads.
    A renewed commitment to raising the awareness of the Craft about the work of, and services provided by, the Grand Charity has also contributed to an increase in overhead expenditure, primarily relating to the publication and distribution of the Annual Review to every recipient of MQ magazine.
    As always, Freemasons contributed most generously to the Grand Charity during 2005, with the Festival donation from the Province of Wiltshire of £980,650, a most magnificent Festival total for a Province of only 44 Lodges.
    Legacy income of £1.4 million helped the Grand Charity to make a real difference to the lives of thousands of people. The operating deficit, when taken in conjunction with gains on investments, showed a net improvement in funds for the year of £2.7 million.
    The small operating deficit in the year is acceptable in the context of the significant variation in the level of Festival income that the Charity receives from one year to the next, dependent upon the size of the Province in Festival. Given this variation, the Grand Charity continues to plan its financial activities to ensure that expenditure and income will balance over the 11 years of the Festival cycle. Financial results for the year ending 30 November 2005 keep the Grand Charity firmly on course to meet this objective.
    The audited annual report and accounts for year ending 30 November 2005 are available by visiting or calling 020 7395 9261. A copy of the 2005 Annual Review, which includes a financial summary and further information on grants, is enclosed with this edition of MQ magazine.

Masonic grants
Masonic Province of Middlesex Charitable Trust: Before the launch of Middlesex 98 in December 1992, the Province had been continuously fund-raising for Masonic charity for 22 years and the Provincial charity funds had long since been exhausted.
    In recognition of this, the Council of the Grand Charity at the time, agreed that, as a special arrangement, a proportion of the funds raised for the 1998 Appeal would be given as a grant to that Province’s charitable fund.
    A further amount of £51,000 raised for the Festival has now been received and so a grant of £12,750 has been made to the Masonic Province of Middlesex Charitable Trust.
    Since the last report, the Council has ratified grants made by the Masonic Relief Grants Committee to 839 applicants totalling £1,193,430. These figures include grants made under Rule 0311.

Non-Masonic grants
The following non-Masonic grants were approved at the annual meeting:

The Children’s Trust: A grant of £52,000 to fund a ceiling-mounted hoist and tracking system in two residential units for severely disabled children.

Vulnerable people
Home-Start UK: A grant of £105,000 payable in equal annual instalments over three years to assist in setting up a regional network in north-east England and new schemes in Durham and Northumberland.

Friends of the Elderly: A grant of £30,000 payable in equal annual instalments over two years to help support a day care centre in Malvern for older people with dementia.

Counsel and Care: A grant of £30,000 payable in equal annual instalments over two years to help establish an independent advocacy service for older people.

Grants to hospices 2006
A recommendation that £500,000 be placed at its disposal for grants to hospice services in 2006.

General Small Grants 2006
A recommendation that £100,000 be placed at its disposal for general non-Masonic grants of £5,000 or less, in 2006.

Match-funding grants
The Council had allocated funds from the amount placed at its disposal in March 2005, to match grants to national non-Masonic charities made by Provincial Grand Lodges. A recommendation that a further £30,000 should be placed at its disposal for similar grants, in other areas during 2006, which meet the guidelines of the Council and are of £5,000 or less.

Disaster Relief Chests
Immediately following the Asian tsunami disaster in December 2004, the Council, on behalf of the Grand Charity, opened a Relief Chest to receive donations from Freemasons who wished to support the relief work. At the AGM in March 2005, authority was given for all money donated via the Relief Chest to be placed at the disposal of the Council for grants to charities caring for children affected by the disaster.
    Subsequently, additional chests have been opened following Hurricane Katrina and the South East Asia earthquake, for which the Council was seeking retrospective approval.
    The Council also recommended that it should be given the authority to disburse, at its own discretion, any funds placed in the Disaster Relief Chests and to report details of the grants at the next opportunity.

General Small Grants 2005
The Council had allocated the £100,000 placed at its disposal in March 2005 for small grants to non-Masonic charities.

Grants to hospices 2005
The Council had allocated all of the £500,000 placed at its disposal in March 2005 for grants to hospice services.

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