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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General Matters

Legacies and Bequests
Since the last General Meeting, the Grand Charity has received £968,301 from legacies of £1,000 or more.

General meetings
Arrangements have again been made with the Metropolitan Grand Lodge of London to hold a General Meeting of the Grand Charity on Wednesday, 21 June 2006. The meeting will be open to all members of the Grand Charity, who may also bring guests. Further details will be made available later.

Lodge contributions
The Council has recommended to the Board of General Purposes that contributions to the Grand Charity, payable by Lodges under Rule 271, Book of Constitutions, in respect of each of their members, for the year 2007, should be not less that £11.50.

Overall financial position 2005
The surplus for the general unrestricted fund (in the accounts described as “net movement in funds”) was £2,657,594 (2004 surplus: £2,741,700), after accounting for net gains on investments of £3,028,600.
    After taking into account the operating surplus and the net gains on investments, the General Unrestricted Fund at 30 November 2005 was £20.9m and the General Designated Fund was £1.7m.
    In addition, further costs relating to the operation of the Relief Chest Scheme and the Transferred Beneficiaries Fund have been borne by the unrestricted fund, as part of the Grand Charity’s service to Freemasonry.
    The accounts, which have been prepared in accordance with the SORP (Statement of Recommended Practice, dated October 2000) for charities, include the restricted funds of £26.7m held in the Relief Chest Scheme and £10.8m in the Transferred Beneficiaries Fund.
    The Relief Chest Funds are administered free of charge to the holders. They are disbursed only on the instructions of the Chest holders and are, therefore, presented as a restricted fund.
    The Transferred Beneficiaries Fund is a separate restricted income fund to make payments to former beneficiaries of the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution. Three factors are primarily responsible for the increase in the Grand Charity’s overhead expenditure, the Craft’s significantly increased use of the Relief Chest, IT development work to improve the Relief Chest’s functionality and the production of a Grand Charity Annual Review which was distributed with MQ to over 230,000 members.
    Raising the awareness of members of the Craft about the assistance available from the Grand Charity is essential if the Charity is to reach those who need support.
    In addition, costs of administration and due diligence review for the Tsunami appeal were borne by the general overheads of the Grand Charity and were not deducted from the donations contributed by members for the victims of this disaster.

Left to right:
Raymond Lye, President of the Grand Charity, Laura Chapman, Chief Executive, The Rt Hon Lord Lane of Horsell, Vice Grand President

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