ISSUE 18, July 2006
Archbishop Fisher: A Godly man and a Brother
Travel: The train takes the strain
Quarterly Communication: Annual Investiture speech by the Grand Master and Speech of the Pro Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes
Supreme Grand Chapter: Speech by the First Grand Principal and Report of the Committee of General Purposes Grand Lodge of New York: Speech by the Pro Grand Master
   Specialist Lodges: Keeping their eyes on the ball
Education: Planning ahead for the Chair and Events and New premises for Masonic research
Royal Opera House: A right Royal occasion
Royal opening: Beamish Museum
Digital records: Saving our past for the future
Library & Museum: The hall in the garden
Queen's Birthday: Masons played a prominent part
International: A Mason and the Foreign Legion
Masonic Charities: Grand Charity and NMSF and RMBI and RMTGB
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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Grahame Elliott – takes over from Raymond Lye

   After more than a decade of service as President of the Grand Charity, Raymond Lye has retired. At a meeting to mark the event, Lord Northampton paid tribute to the Past-President’s seemingly tireless efforts to educate members on the work of the Grand Charity, to encourage applications for Masonic Relief Grants from Freemasons in financial need and to develop valuable closer working relationships between the central Masonic Charities.
    The newly appointed President of the Grand Charity is Grahame Elliott, a Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master and Past Treasurer of East Lancashire Province. He is also Chairman of East Lancashire Masonic Trust and has served as a member of the Council of the Grand Charity since 2003.

Congratulations on your appointment. Would you like to tell us a little bit about your background?
    After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in 1963, I worked for five years in the Manchester office of one of the international firms, before establishing my own practice. As a result, I was able to devote an above average amount of time to working with the community and charities.
    During the last 20 years, I have had the opportunity to become more involved in Masonic matters and, with the 2004 Provincial Festival, in the charitable activities of my own Province and the Grand Charity.
    Throughout this time my family, particularly my wife and our three adult children, have lovingly supported me. Over ten years ago, I retired from the practice to continue my non-executive directorships and community work.

What experiences will you bring to the role of President of the Grand Charity?
    Charities and the legislation governing them are experiencing considerable change and the Grand Charity must be in the forefront of this. I hope my entrepreneurial experiences, which have helped other charitable organisations, will enable me to help facilitate the changes that are already underway at the Grand Charity, as well as in Masonry in general.

What do you hope to help the Grand Charity to achieve?
    It is 25 years since the Grand Charity was established, an event we marked at the recent General Meeting of the Grand Charity held in London. During this time the Grand Charity has delivered support to many thousands of individuals and hundreds of non-Masonic charities.
    A lack of awareness persists amongst the general public and the media, in particular, of support given to the wider community and we must work together to overcome the veil of mystery that surrounds the charitable giving of Freemasonry.
    I am fortunate that Raymond Lye will continue to serve as a member of the Council of the Grand Charity and will be supporting me as I work to build on his achievements. Since joining the Council of the Grand Charity, I have been amazed at the high level of involvement of every member of the Council, each bringing his differing and considerable talents to the active decision taking process.
    My personal aim will be to endeavour to continue the work of my predecessors, maintaining the Grand Charity’s high standards of operations and capitalising on the skills of the Charity’s staff and volunteers.
    I will continue to work towards the closer harmony of the four central Masonic Charities, an activity already encouraged by my fellow Presidents, and to communicate to the Craft the enormous achievements of their Central Charities of which they should be more aware and justifiably proud.

Emergency grant builds reputation of Grand Charity
    In May, the President of the Grand Charity approved an emergency grant of £25,000 to help the victims of the Indonesia earthquake. In the days following the quake, which killed thousands and injured many more, the donation to the Red Cross helped to deliver emergency aid, including food, tents and medical care.
    The generous grant underlined the Grand Charity’s reputation for responding to the needs of people worldwide who have seen their homes and livelihoods devastated by natural disasters and other catastrophic events.

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