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A record number of people including the Provincial Grand Masters for Hampshire and Isle of Wight and Dorset accompanied by their wives packed the Masonic Centre in Knole Road for the 49th Annual General Meeting of the Bournemouth Masonic Welfare Association. After Chairman Ian Young had welcomed everybody, those present were treated to some interesting reports from Fellows of the Royal College of Surgeons about the research that they are able to carry out due thanks to funding from freemasonry.
Jonathan Fountain (pictured), RCS Development Director and
a mason himself explained the background to the relationship
that the RCS had built with freemasonry and noted that the
Earl of Scarborough, when Grand Master of the United Grand
Lodge of England, launched a charitable appeal in February
1966 to mark the 250th anniversary of the founding of the
United Grand Lodge of Freemasons and proposed that every English freemason should give £1 towards ‘the betterment of human health and happiness’.
The purpose of the appeal was to establish a charitable fund with the income being made available to the Royal College of Surgeons for research. The appeal was enthusiastically embraced by all and resulted in the establishment of the 250th Anniversary Fund for ‘research into the science of surgery’.
He went on to say that the investments and finances of the fund are managed by trustees appointed by UGLE. Income from the fund is applied in conjunction with the college to surgical research. Each year three freemasons research fellowships are awarded, however, income from the fund has not been keeping pace with the costs of modern research and in the last few years it has proven increasingly difficult to fund the fellowships in full. As a result, the Royal Arch selected the college as the beneficiary charity for its 2013 Bicentenary Appeal. The appeal has raised £2.5million and this sum will be added to the 250th Anniversary Fund so that freemasonry can continue to support surgical research, since when the combined fund has been renamed ‘The Freemasons Fund for Surgical Research’.
Each year in excess of 8 million people undergo surgery and as a result there are few people who have not benefited in some way, either directly or indirectly, from advances made in surgical research. Research by surgeons over the past 50 years has probably done more than in any other field to reduce mortality and disease and improve the quality of life for patients. The results of this work range from life-saving advances in heart and cancer surgery to life-enhancing procedures such as hip and knee replacement. Surgery remains the mainstay, indeed the only effective treatment for many diseases including solid cancers of the bowel, breast and lung; diseases causing organ failure requiring transplants; victims of trauma, age-related disabilities, and disease or injury requiring reconstruction.
In conclusion, he made it clear that the RCS is a charity and not part of the NHS. Each year it has to raise in excess of £2million from donations and grants to maintain its research programmes of which the Research Fellowship Scheme is a part.
The other speakers and their subjects were: Jemma Bhoday: treatment-induced cell death in rectal cancer; Bynvant Sandhu: improving outcomes in pancreas transplantation; Steve Haynes: chronic rhinosinusitis - the constant cold; Jason Fleming: metabolism - cancer’s achilles heel?
Peter Martin - @HantsMasonSW
Tom Langton Fund Support for Mudeford School
Mudeford Junior School is a Rights Respecting Level 2 School which promotes the rights of all children in the world. It is located in Christchurch and thus enjoys a rich environment varying widely from the sea to the open spaces of the New Forest and nearby Bourne- mouth. The school seeks to provide stimulating and challenging learning with support for different ability levels, and develop a positive culture of achievement through involving the children in lifelong learning. They also encourage the children to become active, informed citizens of the future and adopt healthy life styles.
One initiative being promoted by head teacher, Mark Partridge, is to encourage children to either scoot or cycle to school, thus reducing the number of cars on the road. The Lodge of Expatiation, who meet in Christchurch, assisted by the Tom Langton Fund have donated a total of £1020 for scooter racks which have now been installed. The project has resulted in a 45% reduction in car use with the added bonus that the children are benefitting from regular exercise along with their escorting adults. The formal presentation was made to the School Council, which
is made up of children from each school year who are elected by their peer group
John Harwood - @HantsMasonSW
Insight • Issue 9 6

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