ISSUE 1, April 2002

MQ Interview: HRH the Duke of Kent
Grand Lodge: Quarterly Communication
Masonic Charities
Grand Lodge: General News
Architecture: Freemasons' Hall: Art Deco in the Shadow of Covent Garden
Gardener's Diary: Springing into Action
Book Reviews

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Grand Lodge Quarterly Communication

Lord Cadogan statement on Local Government Act 2000

Lord Cadogan, President of the Board of General Purposes, in a statement referred to the Local Government Act 2000, particularly for those in the Craft who are elected members of local authorities, health, fire and similar committees of such - but not employees.

The President said they were all affected by the provisions of the Local Authorities (Model Code of Conduct) (England) Order 2001, made under the Act, which came into force on 27 November 2001. The list of such authorities is set out in the Order, and there is a seperate Order that contains a similar code of conduct for parish councillors. Under the code, any such elected or co-opted member must register with the authority's monitoring office his (or her) membership of, or position of general control or management in, any charity or body directed to charitable purposes.

Lord Cadodan said the Board had obtained an Opinion from Miss Helen Mountfield, one of the Counsel in the successful action of Grand Lodge against the Ministry of Defence last year.

He added: "She has confirmed that all members of Grand Lodge, i.e., Grand Officers, Installed Masters and current Wardens of Lodges must, as members of the Grand Charity, declare their membership of the Grand Charity to their monitoring officer.

"Likewise, brethen who are patrons of the Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys and/or members of the New Masonic Samaritan Fund, will have to declare that they are either members of, or are directed to their management.

"The code will cover anyone who is a member of any national or local charity, and it is not restricted specifically to Masonic charities." Lord Cadogan added: "The Board was concerned that it might be argued that all Masons are members of a body directed to charitable purposes.

"Those of our members who are bound by the code need not declare that they are Freemasons, even though they are obliged to declare their position - if any - in the management or membership of a Masonic, or indeed other charity.

"This may have repercussions on proposals that the Council of the Grand Charity have in mind to widen the membership of the Grand Charity to all Freemasons."

The Grand Charity Annual Report

The annual report of the Grand Charity was agreed for the year ended 30 November 2001 showing an operating deficit of 1,255,300 as against a 322,100 deficit in 2000. In addition, there was a net loss of 4.2m on investments, comparable to losses of other charities in a perios of stockmarket volatility and decline.

After taking into account these losses, the General Unrestricted Fund was 19.4m and the General Designated Fund was 1.8m. Restricted funds of 24.1m are held in the Relief Chest Scheme for relief chest holders. These funds are disbursed only on the instructions of chest holders.

Individual grants made during the year ranged from 250 ro 4000 and relief was given to 1,356 applicants. Grants totalled 1.83m, an average of 1,354 per grant.

Overseas visitors to Grand Lodge

Grand Lodge of Scotland: MW Grand Master Mason (Bro Archibald D Orr Ewing), RW Grand Secretary (Bro C Martin McGibbon); Grand Lodge of Austria: Grand Master and UGLE Representative (MW Bro Professoe Dieter Scheitz); Grand Lodge of New Jersey: UGLE Representative (VW Bro Jack A E Ford, PGChap); Grand Lodge Alpina of Switzerland: UGLE Representative (W Bro Colin Mills); Grand Lodge of Greece: UGLE Representative (W Bro Eric Place); Grand Lodge of Quebec: Junior Grand Warden (RW Bro John A C Manning); Grand Lodge of Finland: Grand Master (MW Bro Ilkka Runokangas), Grand Secretary (VW Bro Rista Rydman); (Legal) Grand Loja Regular de Portugal: Grand Master (MW Bro Jose Anes), Deputy Grand Master (RW Bro Amadeu Paiva); UGLE Representative (RW Bro Martin Guia), Grand Secretary (VW Bro Mario Parra Da Silva); Regular Grand Lodge of Italy: Grand Master (MW Bro Giuliano di Bernardo), Grand Secretary and Grand Master-Elect (VW Bro Fabio Venzi), UGLE Representative (W Bro Leslie Hicks).

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