ISSUE 3, October 2002
Brother Winston: Churchill as a Freemason
Travel: Getting the taste
Manchester City: Masons achieve their goal
Freemasonry in the Community: Sermon of the Dean of St Paul's Cathedral and Chief Executive spells out the five objectives of the Grand Charity
Quarterly Communication: Report of the Board of General Purposes and Address by the Pro Grand Master
A Dickens of a Night: Charles Dickens celebrated
   Masonic Research: Seek and ye shall find
Charity News: New Masonic Samaritan Fund and Grand Charity and Cornwall Freemasons raise 2.8m and MTGB: Special concert in the Grand Temple and RMBI: Care in action
Library and Museum: Burmese banners and Royal British Legion link
Freemasonry in the Community: Supplement
Book reviews

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New Masonic Samaritan Fund finds help for those in need of medical treatment

The provision of private medical treatment for yourself and your family can be an expensive business. However, as the problems faced by the NHS continue to attract high profile publicity, more people are carefully considering the private medical option.
    What about those who are unable to fund alternative provision - provision not just for themselves but also for their wives and dependants?
    Thanks to the continuing generosity of Freemasons there is an alternative for those in need. The New Masonic Samaritan Fund (NMSF) supports approximately 500 new cases each year for people who cannot afford to pay for private medical treatment, and for whom the NHS waiting list is unacceptably long.
    There is no age limit - in the past year support has been provided to applicants from 5 to 95. And support is not limited to Masons - currently about 50% of the assistance provided is for support of the wives, widows and dependants of Freemasons.
    Applications can be approved quickly - whilst the record for gaining approval is three days, most will be processed within one month.
    Applicants do not need to be financially destitute - account will be taken of income and allowances made for certain items of expenditure and for reasonable savings.
    Some applicants may be required to make a contribution towards the cost of treatment.
    Once an application has been accepted, the interests of the patient will be paramount treatment will be obtained at the most appropriate hospital, if possible, near to where the patient lives.
    Medical costs continue to rise by an average of 8% per year. Despite this year on year increase, the NMSF is proud to boast that, since it was established in 1990, it has never turned down an application through lack of available funds. This is only made possible through the continuing generosity of so many people. Generosity that is regularly recognised by letters of thanks received from those who have been supported through the Fund - letters that clearly show that the impact of such generosity can, quite literally, be life changing:
    'I now have the prospect of many more years of active and energetic living. I feel that a "miracle" has indeed taken place, and I thank God for the skill of the surgeons and for your generosity in making resources available which would have been well beyond my means.'

Rev James Withers
aged 62 - spinal operation

'My husband, who passed away eight years ago, I know would be delighted that you have been able to help me in such a manner, and it is indeed a splendid example of the good work of the Masonic movement which he always held in such high esteem.'

Mrs Elsie Savage
aged 87 - hip replacement

'It is pleasing to know that when in need there is a team we can turn to.'

Barrie Davies
aged 54 - heart by-pass

The staff and beneficiaries continue to be extremely grateful for the support that is so generously given. There remains, however, concern that support is not being made available to all cases of genuine need through a simple lack of awareness.
    The Fund can only react when it is made aware of a need. If you are in need, or know someone else who is, please make contact either through your Lodge Almoner or directly to the Fund.

New Masonic Samaritan Fund, 26 Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5BB. Telephone: 020 7404 1550. Fax: 020 7404 1544.

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