ISSUE 17, April 2006
Historic: The Brother who designed the Spitfire
Travel: The charm of Kerala
Grand Lodge: Pro Grand Master's speech and Quarterly Communication
Public Relations: Hottest spot in town
International: Emulation in Bulgaria and Mauritius takes a leap forward and Hungary's Royal Arch library
Library & Museum: Recent acquisitions
Masonic Bibles: Lodges and their Bibles
    Royal Masonic Girls' School: My thanks to the Freemasons
Holocaust: The Count of Auschwitz
Education: International conference on the history of Freemasonry and Events
Specialist Lodges: Masonry universal - via radio
Masonic Charities: Grand Charity continues to help those in need and New Masonic Samaritan Fund and Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution and Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys
Grand Charity: The Tsunami - one year on and Important Gift Aid information
Letters, Book Reviews, and Gardening

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Caring for the carers
Many carers do not consider themselves to be a carer. They feel that they are just looking after their spouse, parent or child. They simply get on with it and believe that they are doing what anyone else would do in the same situation.
    There are now thought to be about 1.9 million people in the UK who, without payment, provide help and support to a partner, child or relative. The need for care may arise from age, physical or mental illness or disability.
    Many carers provide this help 24 hours a day, seven days a week with little or no chance of a break. It is not surprising, therefore, that 59% of carers suffer deteriorating health themselves as a direct result of their caring responsibilities.
    The NMSF and RMBI have recently launched a joint initiative to offer support to Freemasons and their families who are providing care over a prolonged period of time and who need a break.
    The support provided will enable the carer to have a break while respite care is provided for the individual in need of care. Where appropriate, this care will be provided in an RMBI home and will be available for up to two weeks at a time. If the need continues, support may be available for further respite stays up to a maximum of four weeks per year.
    Consideration will be given to funding respite care in other care homes if the need cannot be met within one of the RMBI care homes.
    Some applicants will be too young to be looked after by the RMBI, whose homes are licensed to provide care for the elderly.
    Others in need of respite may live too far from an RMBI home and be unable to travel.
    Support will be provided once the need for respite has been confirmed.
    The application process is straightforward, and completely confidential, but will involve a financial assessment to confirm that the applicant cannot afford to fund their own care.
    Further information is available from the NMSF and RMBI. Enquiries are welcome by phone, email or in person from Almoners or potential applicants.

NMSF or 020 7404 1550

RMBI or 020 7596 2400

Spreading the word
“Quite a few of the members had no idea how the NMSF had originated, nor how it worked. It was just something they were asked to give money to and that was that. They now know much more and how, in possible time of need, it may help them and their families.”
    This is a quote from a ‘thank you’ letter written to one of a growing band of volunteers after he had delivered a presentation about the work of the New Masonic Samaritan Fund.
    This is a welcome vote of thanks for a job well done, but one that reinforces the need for continued effort in order to spread the word.
    The NMSF continues to fund over 500 new applicants every year at a cost in excess of £3m, yet many eligible applicants still have “no idea how the NMSF had originated or how it worked”.
    Support is available to fund private medical treatment for Freemasons, their wives widows and dependants, who have an identified medical need and, faced with a long wait for treatment via the NHS, are unable to afford private treatment. The application process is straightforward and totally confidential.
    Support is available for a wide variety of surgery and treatments licensed by the NHS. If you, or someone you know, has seen a consultant and is now faced with a wait of longer than three months for surgery (two months for cardiac), contact the NMSF to see if they can help.
    If you would like to know more about the work of the Fund, either in support of a possible application or simply for a daily advancement in Masonic knowledge, visit their website at or phone 020 7404 1550 to ask for details, including the name of the nearest available speaker who can help you to spread the word.

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