ISSUE 20, January 2007
Historic: Dr Thomas Barnardo - children's saviour
Travel: South African journey
London Gala Evening: Royal Masonic Variety Show
Centenary Celebrations: Scouting's milestone
Quarterly Communication: Speech by the Pro Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes
Supreme Grand Chapter: Speech by the Pro 1st Grand Principal and Report of the Cttee of General Purposes
Library and Museum: Facets of Fraternity
   Specialist Lodge: Internet Lodge - Masonry on the Web
Special Events: Spamalot and the Alternative Hair Show at Grand Lodge
Freemasons' Hall: ADelphi System - A computer revolution
Mark Master Masons: Duke of Kent at 150th anniversary
Breeches Bible: A Lodge locker's secret
Masonic Arboretum: Planting an idea
Education: Events and The hoodwink
Masonic Charities: RMTGB and Grand Charity and Legacy appeal and RMBI and NMSF
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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31 Great Queen Street
London wc2b 5ag
T: 020 7405 2644
Fax: 020 7831 4094
Web site:

    Royal Visit

On 3 October the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys (RMTGB) hosted a reception to celebrate 80 years since their offices were built in Great Queen Street in which the Guest of honour was HRH The Duke of Kent.

Case Almoner Training

In December 2005, Clive Andrews, Chief Executive of the RMTGB, announced to Grand Lodge that a programme of Case Almoner training would be implemented.
    The success of the Trust depends enormously on its 900 volunteer Case Almoners, who are the local Masonic contacts between the Trust and the families it supports.
    The first training session took place at the Trust’s offices at 31 Great Queen Street on 12 October. The programme for the day focussed on the Trust’s processes, the role of the Case Almoner in relation to the work of the Trust and gave those who attended the opportunity to share their experiences with other Case Almoners.
    The feedback received confirmed that the day had been a success and the exchange of ideas and information between Case Almoners proved to be useful.
    This is the first of a number of training sessions planned for various venues across England and Wales over the next 12 months. If you are a Case Almoner and are interested in attending a training day, please contact Gill Bennett, Senior Case Adviser, at the Trust. Her e-mail address is

The Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent and RMTGB President Andrew Stebbings, celebrate 80 years of the Trust

60 Great Queen Street
London wc2b 5az
T: 020 7395 9261
Fax: 020 7395 9295
Web site:
    Masonic Relief Grants

Did you know that almost since the start of organised Freemasonry in the early 18th century, nearly every Lodge in England and Wales has regularly contributed in respect of their members to the main Masonic charitable fund?
    Today, that fund is called the Grand Charity, which currently pays out more in Masonic Relief Grants to individuals than is received by way of the Annual Contributions.
    Who is eligible? Any Mason registered with Grand Lodge (even if he has resigned, or been excluded for non-payment of fees), but not those expelled. Also, Masonic dependants (including wives, partners, divorced spouses and older children with long-term disability) are eligible. Grants are renewed annually and continue until financial need ends. The Grand Charity recently assisted a widow whose husband died 60 years ago.
    The Masonic Relief Grant Guidelines are used with compassion. All the income of applicants and partners are considered, including State Benefits. The Grand Charity rejects applications if savings are above £10,000 (or £15,000 for a couple), but ignores house values.
    The grant will not cover debts, nor act as a “third party top-up” for care home fees – but will help with funeral costs. One Almoner visited a widow for a year before discovering she only had a basic pension, out of which she paid £10 per week for the funeral. The Grand Charity covered the funeral, gave her a Grant, and the Almoner helped her claim additional benefits.
    The Grand Charity also assists younger families when the breadwinner is seriously ill or disabled, until they can manage without our help. Disability equipment can also be provided, maintained and insured, including stair lifts, wheelchairs and showers.
    An area of concern is the poor uptake in State Benefits (e.g., Attendance Allowances, rent rebates), especially by the elderly. Many could benefit from installing water meters!
    Each year the Grand Charity assists nearly 2,000 Masonic families with Grants ranging between £300 and £4,000 at a total cost of £2.6 million. It considers on average 183 applications each month, but is still missing many distressed families.

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