Durham excels in the sunshine
On a gloriously sunny day on 12 July, the Durham Freemasons gathered, in their thousands, with family and friends in the grounds of Raby Castle to have fun and raise money for the New Masonic Samaritan Fund.
Having originally embarked on a campaign to raise funds towards the cost of building a Masonic hall within the grounds of the Beamish Open Air Museum, the generosity of the Durham Freemasons ensured that the target was reached ahead of schedule. With the kind offer already received from Lord Barnard to hold a gala within the grounds of the Raby Castle estate, it was decided that an alternative beneficiary should be found.
Not surprisingly, the New Masonic Samaritan Fund, when asked, readily accepted the offer of support.
On the day an estimated 6,000 people of all ages attended the Gala and enjoyed everything from falconry displays to hog roast, from classic cars to mini-golf. Whilst the weather was glorious, the warmth and generosity of the members of the Province was second to none.
This continued to the Gala Dinner, held in West Hartlepool on 15 August, when the Provincial Grand Master for Durham, Dr Alan Davison, presented a cheque to Captain Norman Lloyd-Edwards, President of the New Masonic Samaritan Fund, for the fantastic total of £56,250.
Our sincere thanks go out to all those involved, but particularly to the members of the organising committee who worked so hard under the Chairmanship of Eric Heaviside.
In order to put into context the extent of the generosity of all those who gave of their time, and money, at the Raby Gala, the resultant donation received by the New Masonic Samaritan Fund will enable them to fund either 28 cataract operations, or 8 hip replacements, or 7 knee replacements, or 4 heart by-pass operations.
NMSF AGM 2004
Following the success of the 2003 AGM, held at Luton and generously hosted by the Province of Bedfordshire, it has been decided to continue the practice of holding meetings within a Province in the final year of their Festival to the Fund.
In advance of the 2005 Festival, the Provincial Grand Master for Hampshire and Isle of Wight has kindly offered to host the next AGM.
Advance notice is hereby given that the 2004 NMSF AGM will be held on Tuesday, 30 March 2004 at the Botley Masonic Centre, Brook House, Botley S030 2ER. Further details will be published in due course.
Masonic charity fights bowel cancer
The Freemasons' Grand Charity is supporting the fight against a killer disease, says Ian Beaumont
Bowel (or colorectal) cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in the UK - second only to lung cancer - and more than 16,000 people die and more than 35,000 people are diagnosed with the disease in the UK every year.
One of the main reasons why these figures are so high is because of the fear, embarrassment and lack of awareness surrounding the disease.
However, since bowel cancer is highly treatable, survival rates could be improved dramatically through earlier diagnosis.
By raising symptom awareness and providing comprehensive information on bowel cancer to the public, many more lives could be saved.
The Freemasons' Grand Charity has recently agreed to support Colon Cancer Concern (CCC), with a grant of £20,000. The Charity will be supporting CCC's Information and Education Service, the only specialist bowel cancer information service in the UK.
This service, run by a team of colorectal nurse specialists, provides information to thousands of people each year via a telephone Infoline, website and information centre. CCC also publishes a range of fact sheets and booklets with information ranging from prevention to diagnosis, treatment and care.
Jola Gore Booth, Chief Executive of Colon Cancer Concern says: "One of the reasons that the number of people affected by bowel cancer is so high is that, in many instances, people do not act upon their symptoms until it is too late. This is particularly sad, because the disease is very treatable if caught at the early stages.
"This generous grant from the Freemasons' Grand Charity will help us to reach many more people and, ultimately, save many more lives."
For more information on bowel cancer call CCC's Infoline on 08708 506050 or visit their website at www.coloncancer.org.uk
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