ISSUE 15, October 2005
Historic: Nelson and Freemasonry
Grand Lodge: Pro Grand Master's Speech
Grand Lodge: Quarterly Communication
Hurricane Katrina: Grand Charity Relief Chest
Royal Arch: John Knight
Masonic Embroidery: A stitch in time...
Travel: Walzing along the Danube
Specialist Lodges: Martial arts
Library & Museum: The two Freemasons' Halls
    Anniversary: Jersey's Liberation
Anniversary: Dorset's 225 years
Obituaries: Lord Swansea OSM
Pro Grand Master: Whither directing our course?
Charmian Hussey: A Mason's wife on Masonry
International: The Grand Lodge of Israel
Education: Sheffield's big plans
Education: Forthcoming events
Education: The Second Degree
Masonic Charities
Letters, Book Reviews, Gardening

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Amber-Lilli Laidlaw – making excellent progress
Help across the ages

A previous edition of MQ introduced the oldest recipient of support from the New Masonic Samaritan Fund as WBro Bill Stone. At the ripe old age of 104, Bill underwent cataract surgery courtesy of the Fund. At the other end of the age spectrum a new record has been set for the youngest recipient.
     At the tender age of 20 months, after many months of repeated ill-health, Amber-Lilli Laidlaw was diagnosed with ‘glue-ear’. The required treatment was not available on the NHS in under six months, leaving her and her exhausted parents, facing many more sleepless nights.
     Having now undergone surgery, funded by the NMSF, to insert grommets in both ears and to have her tonsils and adenoids removed, she is making excellent progress. Finally free from the effects of constant ear and throat infections, doctors are now able to treat some of the allergies that have impacted on her young life. Such has been the improvement that she has managed to enjoy an ice cream without any adverse reaction.

Help across the medical need

Over the last year the NMSF has continued to fund treatment for a wide variety of medical conditions. The vast majority of the support required continues to be, not surprisingly, in areas that are perhaps appropriately associated with ‘fair wear and tear’.
     Hip and knee replacements remain the major source of expenditure with cardiac surgery not far behind. However, in response to the constantly evolving developments within medical science, the range of support requested from the Fund continues to increase.
     Following a successful initial trial funded by the Grand Charity, the NMSF continues to support individuals who are unable to access the drugs they need to help with cancer and degenerative diseases.
     A number of applications have recently been supported on behalf of individuals who have a desperate need to lose considerable amounts of weight.
     One such applicant has already lost in excess of eight stone in weight following a stomach-banding operation funded by the NMSF. Details of a joint venture with the RMBI to fund Respite Care are provided elsewhere in this issue.
     Despite the steady increase in the average age of the Masonic population, and the increasing scope of the support available, it remains clear that many people still do not know what the NMSF may be able to do for them.
     Anyone with an identified medical need who is unable to afford their own private medical care, and is faced with a long wait for treatment on the NHS, should consider making an initial approach to the NMSF.
     As far as the Fund is concerned a long wait is three months for general surgery or two months for cardiac surgery.
     Support is available to Freemasons, their wives, partners, widows and dependants.
     With only a few exceptions, funding is available for most treatments that are licensed for provision via the NHS, but are either not available without delay or are not available within a certain geographic area.
     Emergency treatment is not supported by the Fund and, except in exceptional circumstances, funding will not be available for treatment that has already taken place.
     If you would like to know more about the support available, please contact the Fund on 020 7404 1550 or visit the website on

Chart showing treatment type

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