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FREEMASONRY SUPPORTING THE COMMUNITY
Over the past 4 years, the Bournemouth Group lodges have donated over £10,000 to the cancer charity ‘Macmillan Caring Locally’ based in Christchurch. For many, living with cancer is a terrifying experience and an emotional roller coaster, and without continued care it can be tough. In 2011 the UK benefitted by the Trust’s launch of The Grove, a hotel in Bournemouth exclusively catering for those with cancer and other life threatening illnesses. This unique establishment is the only hotel of its kind, located just minutes away from Bournemouth’s famous 7 miles of golden beaches and stunning gardens. It is an ideal setting for those suffering with a life-limiting illness to focus on relaxation and recuperation.
General Manager, Brenden Howard, said: “Our aim is to create something special - a hotel exclusively for sufferers of life-threatening illnesses. We strive to offer a serenely peaceful and enriching holiday, whilst offering the highest level of service. We are first and foremost a hotel after all!”
Yet with first class care in mind, this is a hotel that goes that extra mile to
make sure the guests are able to escape the everyday stresses and strains
associated with cancer, allowing them the opportunity to spend that quality
time with family. The hotel’s dedicated beach hut is a perfect way to relax
and create some wonderful memories, whilst taking full advantage of the sunshine in ultimate comfort. Or if an adventure sounds more appealing, then complimentary coach trips are on offer to explore the New Forest, Purbeck and the Jurassic Coast. If you feel like staying in the hotel for the day then the well maintained rear garden is perfect, with many games available such as croquet, and a recently completed garden path for added accessibility.
The Grove’s 30 spectacular and comfortable en-suite bedrooms are of the highest possible standard, with features such as remote control beds and recliner chairs, direct telephone, internet access, emergency call buttons and LCD televisions. The hotel aims to make guests’ stay as tranquil as possible by making their accommodation suitable for all their needs. Nothing is too much trouble for those working there. Visit www.thegrovebournemouth.co.uk for more details.
Peter Martin with assistance from Macmillan Caring Locally
The ‘Holy Royal Arch’ is an order within freemasonry which members choose to join after being a mason for several years. The head of the order in Hampshire and Isle of Wight is currently Alan Berman and his title is the ‘Grand Superintendent’.
The morning after the Artful Dodger had befriended Oliver Twist, Fagin called the boys together to give them a talk. Nowadays, it would be called a workshop or seminar, extolling them to go out and pick a pocket or two, but to effect it as seamlessly as possible, so that it went undetected. What has this to do with freemasonry you may well ask? Well, while a charity steward would never commit a criminal act, if he
can raise monies also as seamlessly as possible, then just like Fagin’s boys, he stands every chance of being successful. While bankers orders and covenants have their place, that has never been the style of the Royal Arch charitable giving, preferring to leave companions with the happy memories of an event or function, rather than how deeply they may have dug into their own pockets.
This format was established at
Faith & Confidence Chapter 11
years ago, when the first charity
event was held, that being a
very special convocation, when
the ceremony was conducted
by Roger Jago, the then Grand
Superintendent and his active
officers of the year. It raised nearly
£4,000. Since those early days
£130,000 has been raised for five
hospices in the county, £55,000
for Help for Heroes, £10,000 for
the 2005 Festival and £80,000 for
the Research Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons.
The charity evenings have been augmented by an annual sponsored walk, quizzes, special dinners, theatre visits, and a charitable weekend on the Isle of Wight. In addition many chapters have generously arranged gift aid charity collections on official visits with the proceeds going to the particular charity of that year. The appeal for the Research Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons culminated in the Badge of Courage Awards (BOCA) Ball at HMS Collingwood when £80,000 was presented by Grand Superintendent Alan Berman.
In the tradition of the Royal Arch, rather than just asking the companions for a donation for the Royal College of Surgeons Appeal, the decision was made to link the wonderful work carried out by surgeons to the actual fund raising. It is thus the innovative BOCA idea was dreamed up, whereby seven chapters
each volunteered to donate £1,000, half for the appeal and half for a non-masonic charity nominated by the award recipient when presented at the BOCA Ball. Charities which benefited were Help for Heroes, Hope for Tomorrow, The Renal Amenity Fund, The Childhood Eye Cancer Trust and two other children’s charities.
Over 250 guests attended and the awards were presented to three children and four adults, all of whom had suffered serious illnesses and whose experiences were related by those presenting the awards. Their stories were very moving and everyone was inspired by their courage and the way in which they had coped and, in some cases, were still coping with serious medical problems. Four surgeons and their wives were present and two of them, who had performed life saving operations on two of the recipients, were
cheered to the rafters.
While the underlying reason for giving to charity is to help very worthwhile causes and not to boost the self esteem of the donor, nevertheless it is to be hoped that all who may have had their pockets picked derived a certain satisfaction for what they had
been able to do for others.
Chris Rashbrook
Insight • Issue 6 6
Twitter @HantsMason
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