ISSUE 22, July 2007
Editorial
Quarterly Communication: Speech of the Grand Master : Address of the Pro Grand Master : Report of the Board of General Purposes
Historic: Architect to a King
Young Masons: Value of a warm welcome
Faith and Freemasonry: The twin supports
Supreme Grand Chapter: Speech of the Pro 1st Grand Principal and Report of the Committee of General Purposes
The Grand Secretary: Notes
   Travel: In the footsteps of the pharaohs
Inventor: Voice of the people
Human Rights Court Judgement: Landmark victory for Masons
International Conference: Masonic history unveiled
The Grand Chancellor: Special overseas role
Specialist Lodge: Prior Rahere and his legacy
Public Service: Serving the famous
Education: Events : Importance of the cable tow
Lbrary & Museum: Fraternal art
Masonic Charities: RMTGB : Grand Charity : RMBI : NMSF
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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Above
Youngsters with life threatening conditions benefit from the work of Lifelites
    Making it better for Masonic families
The work of the Royal Masonic Trust would be much diminished if it were not for the help of nearly 900 Masonic volunteers. As soon as the Trust agrees to support a family, the sponsoring Lodge, Province or District is asked to identify a local Freemason to act as Case Almoner. Sometimes the Lodge Almoner is appointed, but often another member assumes the role. His basic task is to visit the family regularly, at least three times a year, and to disburse grants awarded by the Trust. Often the job develops into much more than that.
    Seeing a family regularly ensures that the Trust is kept informed of any additional needs the children might have, and that the Trust is alerted to changes in their circumstances. The role is especially important when a family receives State benefits.
    If termly grants were paid to the family as one lump sum it would invalidate their claim for benefits. Instead, the local Case Almoner pays for specific items when needed, such as a new raincoat or a school trip.
    Many Case Almoners develop a deep and lasting friendship with their families. Some have been guest of honour at a beneficiary’s graduation ceremony. More than once a long-serving Almoner has been asked by a grateful beneficiary to give her away at her wedding, standing in for her late father.
    Occasionally the Case Almoner will be instrumental in the introduction of a former beneficiary into his late father’s Lodge.
    In 2006, the Trust introduced training days for its Almoners. These have proved to be times of lively discussion with participants and trainers alike, learning much from each other. Run by Gill Bennett and her team of Advisers, supported by the Trust’s welfare team, sessions have already been held in London, Nottingham, Norwich and Cardiff.
    Sadly, less than a quarter of those invited have attended. However, those accepting the invitation enjoyed the days immensely and returned to their task with renewed enthusiasm and greater knowledge of how to make the best of their role. The Trust is immeasurably grateful to each and every one of its stalwart Case Almoners.

Lifelites is born again
For most children, growing up involves going to school, making friends and playing sport; but for children with cancer and other life-threatening conditions, these normal activities are all too often out of their reach.
    This is where Lifelites comes in. Through the power of technology and high tech entertainments, Lifelites works to give children in hospices the chance to spend quality time with their families, the means to keep in contact with their school and friends, and simply to enjoy themselves away from the constant reality of their illness. Many Freemasons will know of Lifelites as the highly successful millennium project of the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys (RMTGB). However, now it is anticipated that there will be 45 children’s hospices by 2010, Lifelites has become an independent charity presenting the opportunity to raise funds external to the Craft.
    Still housed with the RMTGB and continuing to benefit from the technical support of the volunteer Masonic Support Groups attached to each hospice, the small Lifelites team have started making in-roads to secure the future of their projects.
    Now in its ninth year of operation, Lifelites’ sites cost around £600,000 a year to run – approximately £40,000 every three years to update an established project, and £45,000 for a new hospice.
    Chief Executive Simone Enefer-Doy said: “Freemasons should be proud of what has been achieved by Lifelites with their support to date. For the new charity, it’s early days yet, but all the signs are positive as people are recognising the possibilities of providing funds towards the Lifelites’ project at a children’s hospice in their area.
    “We are very grateful to anyone who can help us bring a ray of sunshine into the lives of life-limited children by putting us in touch with potential sources of non- Masonic funding such as Wives and Partners’ groups, companies, clubs or pubs.
    Golf Club Captains’ funds or Mayors’ appeals would also be ideal.”
    For more information visit www.lifelites.org or call Simone on 0207 440 4200 for an appeal pack.



Giving kids with limited life, unlimited possibilities

Helping young people
31 Great Queen Street
London wc2b 5ag
T: 020 7405 2644
Fax: 020 7831 4094
Email: info@rmtgb.org
Web site: www.rmtgb.org


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