Welfare Fund

The Masonic Welfare Fund 

The Masonic Welfare Fund was brought into being to meet the needs of distressed brethren and their dependants in areas outside the scope of our existing charities. It was never going to be easy to bring a new Fund into existence both with regard to funding and publicity among Lodges and their membership. Over the past 10 years however, mostly under the direction of Deputy Chairman, Brother Ken Abernethy, the Fund has steadily built a reputation for dealing with unusual and diverse applications for benefit and assistance, many of an urgent and compelling nature. A case in  point is that of Brother Jones of Lodge 65, a farmer in his thirties who was left partially paralysed after an accident. The fund paid for a power hoist to be fitted to his tractor. He is now able to get about, fodder his cattle and attend to various other aspects of farm work as was shown when he recently featured in a television programme using the equipment we provided.

Many Brethren wear with pride the Masonic Welfare Fund Patron's Jewel which has been the main source of income to the fund. Alas they are all too few in number and amount to only 10% of our membership. There is an urgent need to improve giving to the Fund and an appeal is now being made which it is hoped will increase the number of Patrons. This will be essential as an area of need has been identified in which the fund is ideally suited to provide relief and assistance. The area is that of Respite Care which is generally under funded and inadequately dealt with by Government Agencies both North and South. Furthermore it is an area in which members of any age may require help ranging from the need to care for a severely handicapped child to those who in old age are victims of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Those who care for such persons frequently need help which is unavailable. At present the Fund is actively engaged in research to determine how to operate such a scheme. Under the title Project 2004 it is hoped that real work in this area will commence early in the New Year.

At the end of this year, Brother Ken Abernethy will leave the Board after 9 years service, 6 of which he has been Deputy Chairman. The Board wishes to acknowledge and pay tribute to his progressive, imaginative and farsighted leadership. His drive and enthusiasm has developed the Fund to a point where it is now poised to realise its full potential among our family of Masonic Charities.