ISSUE 9, April 2004

Editorial
The Duke of Wellington: A Brother in arms
Quarterly Communication: Address of the Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes
Life with the Stars: Masons and famous people
Hall Stone Jewel: Cyril Spackman, designer
Travel: Jamaica
Grand Charity: Annual Report and Accounts
Masonic stamps: Masonry on stamps
Library & Museum of Freemasonry: Antients and Moderns go on-line
Masonic education: Events for Freemasons
Masonic charities: The continuing work
Bowel cancer: How the Grand Charity is helping
Royal Arch: Russia and Eastern Europe
Letters
Richard Eve: A former Grand Treasurer
Book reviews
Gardening

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The Grand Charity

A year of achievement


Raymond Lye, President of the Grand Charity, outlines the main areas of the Charity's annual report and accounts




Photo: David Peabody

Raymond Lye - praise for the generous efforts of individual Masons
     The year to November 2003 marked a period of significant achievement for the Grand Charity, with several important highlights, particularly in the area of communication. The income for the year included the proceeds of the 2003 Festival held by the Province of Dorset, which raised over£1.2m. This is a splendid achievement for a small Province of 49 Lodges.
       A major objective of the Grand Charity is to provide financial relief to distressed Masons and their dependants. I am delighted that, in real terms, these grants have shown a substantial increase compared with the previous year.
       The majority of this relates to the assumption of the responsibility for financial grants, for new cases, that are no longer paid by the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution.
       However, the close co-operation between the Masonic Relief Grants Committee and Provincial Almoners, supported by the excellent efforts of Lodge Almoners throughout the Craft, has resulted in an increase in the number of applications for help.
       This increased awareness is most important, for it is the responsibility of every Mason to ensure that cases of need are uncovered, to enable help to be provided through the Grand Charity Masonic Relief Grants.
       Although the level of non-Masonic giving has declined, a major grant of £1 million has been provided for the Institute of Cancer Research, the world leader in cancer genetics. This grant will fund a chair for a period of ten years, for the head of a research group that has already identified 14 new cancer genes.
       The work funded by the Grand Charity seeks to identify the genes that are important in prostate and testicular cancer, diseases that each year strike approximately 27,000 new victims, with more than 10,000 fatalities annually.
       The major allocation of funds is supported by the numerous smaller grants, each of which will enable a research or welfare project to provide benefits to Masons and non-Masons alike. In addition, the Grand Charity has continued its support for hospices, with grants totalling £500,000 in the year.
       A welcome feature of the accounts is the gain on investments of £930,000, which starts to recover some of the value that has been lost over the past three years.
       The Grand Charity Road Shows, introduced last year, have been held in over 30 Provinces across England and Wales. I am grateful to everybody who has helped in the organisation of these events, which have promoted a wider understanding of the work of the Grand Charity, as well as an extremely useful feedback of the views of members.
       I am grateful to the members of the Council and the executive staff for their unstinting efforts to bring to the Craft the highest quality of service from the Grand Charity. I also remain deeply indebted to the generosity of individual Masons, without whose support the work of the Charity would not be possible.

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