Girls & Boys

Boys and Girls Funds 

M W Grand Master and Brethren I am pleased to report yet again a successful year of assisting girls' and boys' at their chosen educational establishments throughout Ireland.

When we sold our schools (with some sadness to many of our older Brethren), we opened a new chapter in the contribution by Freemasons to the care and education of children and young people. The elimination of the costs involved in the upkeep of the schools meant that additional funds became available to support a greater number of daughters and sons of Freemasons.

We currently have 405 beneficiaries on our books, 252 are on the Girls' fund ‑ 153 on the Boys' Fund. To date this year we are currently assisting 236 girls and 141 boys. You will note the numbers are dropping.

We continue to be rewarded by and take pride in the achievements shown by those girls and boys who have been helped. Many respond with letters of thanks. When need arises the help we can give makes the difference in ensuring that someone gets the chance in life that the deceased or distressed Brethren would have striven to give.

The Girls' Fund and the Boys' Fund attempt to equate the assistance offered by each Fund wherever possible. To do this well both Funds benefit from having the Visitor Scheme whereby Mrs Fiona Hyslop, Mrs Jane Young and V W Bro. Andrew McFetridge keep in constant touch with all our beneficiaries. Their reports to committee enhance our deliberations and are a tremendous assistance to our decision making.

Our grateful thanks to Mrs Hyslop and Mrs Young for their input. In June past V W Bro. Andrew McFetridge retired. M W Grand Master, Bro. Andy is held in very high esteem throughout the length and breadth of Ireland. He has covered many miles throughout Ireland. His teaching background stood him well. He has a sensitivity to need, firm and fair in his recommendations to our committee ‑ a Bro. of humour who added greatly to the quality of our deliberations. We thank him sincerely for those years as a visitor and befriender to families.

Both committees appreciate the magnificent manner in which the Masonic Trust Company handles our financial affairs. There are dark clouds on the horizon with ever increasing educational costs and fees we will have to review our spending, especially on the Boys' fund which last year had a deficit and will do so this year also. This will be a challenge for our committee in the year ahead.

In conclusion I wish to place on record my sincere thanks to our hard working visitors for their reports. To my committee colleagues who served with me during the year they were a great source of sound advice and intelligent debate and gave their time willingly and cheerfully.

Our thanks to W Bro. Arnold Smith for guiding the Committee on all things financial. My thanks to V W Bro. Michael McWilliam who with his staff have supported us well and administered the Funds so well and in an orderly fashion. We are very pleased the V W Bro. McWilliam has bounced back from ill health and we continue to benefit from his thoroughness and creativity.