Grahame Elliott – takes over
from Raymond Lye
After more than a decade of service as
President of the Grand Charity, Raymond
Lye has retired. At a meeting to mark the
event, Lord Northampton paid tribute to
the Past-President’s seemingly tireless efforts
to educate members on the work of the
Grand Charity, to encourage applications
for Masonic Relief Grants from Freemasons
in financial need and to develop valuable
closer working relationships between the
central Masonic Charities.
The newly appointed President of the
Grand Charity is Grahame Elliott, a Past
Assistant Provincial Grand Master and Past
Treasurer of East Lancashire Province. He is
also Chairman of East Lancashire Masonic
Trust and has served as a member of the
Council of the Grand Charity since 2003.
Congratulations on your appointment.
Would you like to tell us a little bit about
After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant
in 1963, I worked for five years in the
Manchester office of one of the international
firms, before establishing my own practice.
As a result, I was able to devote an above
average amount of time to working with
the community and charities.
During the last 20 years, I have had
the opportunity to become more involved
in Masonic matters and, with the 2004
Provincial Festival, in the charitable
activities of my own Province and the
Throughout this time my family,
particularly my wife and our three adult
children, have lovingly supported me.
Over ten years ago, I retired from the
practice to continue my non-executive
directorships and community work.
What experiences will you bring to the
role of President of the Grand Charity?
Charities and the legislation governing them
are experiencing considerable change and
the Grand Charity must be in the forefront
of this. I hope my entrepreneurial
experiences, which have helped other
charitable organisations, will enable me to
help facilitate the changes that are already
underway at the Grand Charity, as well
as in Masonry in general.
What do you hope to help the Grand
Charity to achieve?
It is 25 years since the Grand Charity was
established, an event we marked at the
recent General Meeting of the Grand
Charity held in London. During this time
the Grand Charity has delivered support
to many thousands of individuals and
hundreds of non-Masonic charities.
A lack of awareness persists amongst the
general public and the media, in particular,
of support given to the wider community
and we must work together to overcome the
veil of mystery that surrounds the charitable
giving of Freemasonry.
I am fortunate that Raymond Lye
will continue to serve as a member of the
Council of the Grand Charity and will be
supporting me as I work to build on his
achievements. Since joining the Council
of the Grand Charity, I have been amazed
at the high level of involvement of every
member of the Council, each bringing his
differing and considerable talents to the
active decision taking process.
My personal aim will be to endeavour
to continue the work of my predecessors,
maintaining the Grand Charity’s high
standards of operations and capitalising on
the skills of the Charity’s staff and volunteers.
I will continue to work towards the
closer harmony of the four central Masonic
Charities, an activity already encouraged by
my fellow Presidents, and to communicate
to the Craft the enormous achievements of
their Central Charities of which they should
be more aware and justifiably proud.
Emergency grant builds reputation
of Grand Charity
In May, the President of the Grand Charity
approved an emergency grant of £25,000 to
help the victims of the Indonesia earthquake.
In the days following the quake, which
killed thousands and injured many more,
the donation to the Red Cross helped to
deliver emergency aid, including food,
tents and medical care.
The generous grant underlined the
Grand Charity’s reputation for responding
to the needs of people worldwide who
have seen their homes and livelihoods
devastated by natural disasters and other