Charity is a heart of Freemasonry and every Mason who embarks on their own Masonic journey. Freemasonry is one of the oldest fraternal organisations in the world. It was first organised in England in the early 17th century (but its origins go back much further) when ‘charity’ was the term for acts of giving to those who had little.
London Rifle Brigade Lodge No.1962 throughout its history has strived to continue charitable works in both the association with charitable organisations and members for over 100 years. London Rifle Brigade Lodge 1962 is proud to be associated with many charitable and other organisations:
While there are many members worthy of note, one in particular, Ernest Charles Hawkey was a much respected member of the Lodge. He served in the Regiment and was Master in 1935.
Through his generosity the EC Hawkey Trust Fund was established and has enabled the Lodge and Chapter to make charitable and other donations and assist any member in need.
During the latter part of his life Ernest decided to make a will and wanted to leave his estate to the Lodge, but not until the death of his sister (to whom he was very close). He requested another member of the Lodge (a solicitor) to prepare both his will and that of his sister, in order that on her death, the legacy would be left to the Lodge. This was carried out and the wills lodged with the solicitor and a Grand Officer of the Lodge, was named as executor of the sisters will. In due time E. C. Hawkey passed to the Grand Lodge Above and in early 1983 his sister died. This then brought the sisters will into operation. Once all the legal arrangements were concluded the proceeds were invested and the legacy received a very good interest.
The next step was what to do with the legacy and many suggestions were made: donate all to Grand Charity.: endow a bed at the Royal Masonic Hospital (which closed in 2006): provide port, brandy and cigars to all present at festive boards: divide the money between brethren of a certain age, who it was thought were in need.
Many more suggestions were made but the Secretary vigorously opposed them all. He felt that the proposals were not what E.C. Hawkey would have wished. He suggested that it would be best if a Trust Fund were arranged, whereby the capital could be maintained and any interest donated. This was similar to the then Lodge Benevolent Fund, except the Trust Fund would also support small charities and be used for a specific purpose. All this was finally agreed and the Lodge Secretary was authorised to take the necessary steps to put this into operation. With the help of the solicitor, the Lodge Treasurer and Secretary, a Trust Deed was prepared and registered with the Charities Commission. The Lodge now appoints four members to act as Trustees.
The London Rifle Brigade No.1962 are proud to have many members awarded London Grand Rank and have made many donations.
The London Grand Rank Association began when the 598 Brethren who received London Rank in 1908 lost no time in organising themselves. On the 29th April the following year they held a dinner at the Holborn Restaurant with a view to creating an Association within which they could exchange knowledge and opinions on matters of common interest. This was undoubtedly a colourful occasion as all those that attended wore the full dress regalia of their new rank.
A Committee and President were elected and it was agreed that they would dine together after each of the Quarterly Communications of Grand Lodge in much the same way as Grand Officers who were members of the Grand Officers Mess.
Over the intervening years, with membership having grown to around 13000, it rapidly became impractical to dine after the meetings. Dining is now restricted to Committee Members, Past Presidents, Officers and Honoured Guests. Whilst the meetings continue to attract a healthy number of members, the Association does not meet as a Lodge and all proceedings are completely informal. All new appointees to the Rank are invited to become Life Members of the Association on payment of a single modest fee and are encouraged to attend quarterly meetings and can subscribe to the quarterly bulletin.
Charity is the fundamental principle of Freemasonry find out more in the video below of the wider charitable organisations Freemasonry supports.