ISSUE 21, April 2007
Editorial
Historic: Philanthropist and scientist: Sir Henry Wellcome
Travel: In Darwin's footsteps
Grand Secretary: Interview with Nigel Brown
Quarterly Communication: Speech by the Pro Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes
Faith and Freemasonry: A Salvationist and the Craft
Young Mason: Keep up the tradition
Freemasons' Hall: Refurbishment
Ladies Groups: Cheshire Ladies Circle
   Library and Museum: Masonry and music - the role of the organ
Specialist Lodge: A new Lodge for showmen is consecrated
Serving the community: Two Masons win major rescue awards
Spain: How a Cleveland Mason found his Spanish roots
Wales: Welsh Mason lands national sporting award
Hospices: The Craft's historic links with hospices
Ancient Craft: Herefordshire's ancient boat builder
Education: Forthcoming events and Andrew Prescott and Own free will and accord and First Universities Scheme Initiate
Masonic Charities: Latest from the four main Masonic charities
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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The first place exclusively for the dying in England was The Hostel of God, founded in 1892 and which later changed its name to Trinity Hospice. William Hoare of the banking family appealed for funds to provide a home “for the man who is neither curable nor incurable, but simply dying.” He provided half the funds and the rest was raised by public subscription.
    Masons were soon seen to be active in support. In 1894, the Provincial Grand Lodge of Berkshire donated a bed named “Our Brother’s Bed” in memory of their late Provincial Grand Master, the Duke of Clarence. In that year they had 10 beds and patients were cared for by the Order of St James’s Servants of the Poor, a teaching order of nuns. In 1896 the Order of St Margaret’s of East Grinstead took over, as they were a nursing Order.
    Other homes soon followed. St Luke’s Home for the Dying Poor opened in 1893, when their founder, Dr Barrett, stressed the importance of the individual: not the poor or the dying, but the person. The first use of the word “hospice” was by the Irish Sisters of Charity at St Joseph’s in Hackney in 1905.
    In 1935 a major difference was seen at St Luke’s with the introduction of the regular giving of oral opiates – “the Brompton Cocktail.” However, at that time drugs were given “as required” with the concept of patients “earning their morphine.”
    The Sisters of St Joseph’s were perhaps the inspiration for enhancing appropriate ways of caring, and without them Dr (later Dame) Cecily Saunders, who worked there, would not have learnt from them and gone on to found St Christopher’s Hospice in 1967.
    Her ideas were developed and the modern hospice movement was born from the simple and obvious system of giving drugs to prevent pain happening, rather than to wait and give them once it had occurred.
    It seems laughable that there were voices in the medical profession that preferred a person to be in pain rather than have the small danger of becoming drug dependant in their last days.
    Also, patients were told the truth about their condition so as to let them take charge of their own situation and know they were in control of themselves. Dame Cicely Saunders wrote:
    Fear and apprehension are understandable – there is indeed a mystery ahead – but we can tackle fear of pain, fear of other symptoms and above all fear of isolation. Although there will still be people who remain desolate or angry and with whom one has to wait alongside with no answers to give, the majority find their way into peace.
    St Christopher’s, St Joseph’s, Trinity Hospice and others did not just confine themselves to caring for their own patients, but have shared models of care and training specialists in best practice so as to spread the hospice philosophy with teaching, advice and support. Now there are over 200 hospices in the UK, and the philosophy has been exported world-wide.
    Hospices each have their own catchment areas and serve locally, raising their own finance. Masons have supported the hospice movement through their Lodges in giving and frequently brethren have been involved directly with their time and talents. Some 80,000 volunteers help the hospice movement each year.
    What of the future? In order to widen treatment and enhance their quality of life, more patients will be helped to remain longer in their own homes amongst their loved ones and pets. However, with this there comes the need for respite care. This is when a patient is taken in for a short spell in order to give their carers some space in order to deal with their own worries and problems, to say nothing of the need to prepare themselves for their loss.
    The percentage of people dying from diseases other than cancer is increasing and so are the challenges.
    What can we do to support them and thereby help give relief to a person in need? The answer is financial. We can support our local hospices. Do they need our support? The chart shows the income of Trinity Hospice. It was a surprise to see how little the NHS contributes. Many hospices receive even less.
    Trinity’s existing 200-year-old listed buildings limit the capacity for 21st century nursing, but works have begun to build a new state-of-the-art in-patient unit that will transform the way palliative care is delivered.
    Trinity holds an annual information event for Freemasons on the third Wednesday of September. They will also be hosting a conference about palliative care at Grand Lodge on 16 May, open to Freemasons, their families and friends.
    For further details, including their project and forthcoming events, please visit their web page dedicated to Freemasons at www.trinityhospice.org.uk/freemasons.
    If you want to learn more or find out which is your local hospice, go to www.hospiceinformation.info.
    Acknowledgements: Articles by Dame Cicely Saunders and help from Trinity Hospice.




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