The Freemasons Public Charitable Foundation and Freemasons Benevolent Fund
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Supporting Ronald McDonald House
Thursday 21st April, 2016
Peter Borland and Jane Hill from the Freemasons Foundation Victoria presented a cheque for $15,000 this month to Mr. Peter Bishop from Ronald McDonald House in Parkville to enable the facility to replace more than 100 LED lights throughout its accommodation rooms.
Foundation Director Jane Hill said that the House has provided a ‘home away from home’ for over 570,000 guests since 2014.
Ronald McDonald House Parkville, is dedicated to providing a ‘home away from home’ for families with a seriously ill child undergoing specialist pediatric medical care at the Royal Children’s Hospital,
Melbourne. Parkville House was established in 1986 and is one of the largest of the 14 Ronald McDonald Houses operating in Australia. Families come from all areas of regional Victoria, interstate and occasionally overseas.
Further discussions will also take place between Peter Borland and Peter Bishop as to how the local Freemason’s Victoria Lodges may be able to continue supporting this very worthy cause.
More information can be found at www.rmhc.org.au/our-programs/houses/parkville
Freemasons Support Lung Cancer Research
Friday 11th March, 2016
Lung cancer research at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute will be significantly advanced by a $100,000 donation from Freemasons Victoria in conjunction with Freemasons Foundation Victoria.
Lodge Amicus raised $56,000 at their Venetian Carnevale Ball held on Saturday 6 February. More than 450 guests enjoyed the night featuring the music of the Tony Cursio Showband and Dancers with 3AW’s Tony Tardio as MC for the evening.
The Freemasons Foundation Victoria supported Lodge Amicus’s extraordinary efforts by contributing $44,000 to bring the total to $100,000.
An official presentation, hosted by 3AW’s Tony Tardio, was held at the Olivia Newton-John Research Institute in Heidelberg on Wednesday 9 March.
Deputy Grand Master RWBro. Don Reynolds made the presentation on behalf of all Victorian Freemasons, in conjunction with Mario and Dianne Zanetti of Lodge Amicus and David Gibbs a Director of the Freemasons Foundation Victoria.
Medical Oncologist Associate Professor Thomas John accepted the donation on behalf of the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute.
The Carnevale feel was maintained during the presentation when piano accordionist Angelo Marchese was joined by singer Tony Cursio to entertain those in attendance.
“We are incredibly grateful to Freemasons Victoria and to the members of Lodge Amicus for this generous donation”, Thomas said. “Without funding and support, the Centre would not be capable of providing the research into the development of new treatments that it is renowned for”.
The Olivia Newton-John Cancer & Wellness Centre was established in 2013 after the Austin Hospital Board recognised that the new hospital tower, completed in 2005, would not be large enough to include its extensive cancer service.
Much loved Australian entertainer and breast cancer survivor Olivia Newton-John was approached to assist in gaining public support for a purpose-built cancer centre. Completed in 2013, the $189 million Centre was made possible by philanthropic and government support as well as members of the pubic who collectively contributed more than $17 million towards the project.
The Centre’s design and treatment philosophy is to offer innovative treatment, with experienced health professionals utilising the latest equipment. Researchers and clinical staff work closely together so that patients benefit more quickly from the latest scientific discoveries.
Research is central to the Olivia Newton-John Cancer & Wellness Centre’s increasing success with the prevention, treatment and cure of cancer, and support for those living with cancer; however funds are still needed to support research programs and wellness therapies, which do not qualify for government funding.
To find out how you can support the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre just like Freemasons Victoria has, visithttp://www.austin.org.au/cancer/.
Freemasons Putting Smiles on Faces
Monday 7th March, 2016
This month Camp Quality received a very generous donation of $4,900 from the Freemasons Public Charitable Foundation. Kindly presented by Freemasons Foundation Director VWBro. David Gibbs to State Manager of Camp Quality in Victoria, Mr Lee Emberton.
Camp Quality’s purpose is to create a better life for every child living with cancer through various programs that offer support at diagnosis, through to treatment and in remission or bereavement. Camp Quality takes a whole family approach, offering services for siblings, parents and of course the patient at hospital, at home, away from it all on camp and at school.
All of the programs are free of charge and are designed to build resilience and celebrate life based on the Camp Quality belief that laughter is the best medicine!
The donation from the Freemasons Public Charitable Foundation will go towards supporting five Primary School Programs which will benefit 1,250 children in Victoria.
The Primary School Program sees the lively Camp Quality puppets visiting schools and day care centres all over Victoria presenting an engaging and age-appropriate puppet show that educates kids on cancer in a non-threatening, fun environment.
This program is a valuable tool in assisting children to reintegrate back in to school after time off due to their cancer diagnosis as it has a strong anti-bullying message and gives kids practical tools on how to be a supportive and kind friend.
The puppets are so popular they even receive mail from some of the kids they visit. One such letter read “Hi Kylie, I really love how you made me feel so much better after a hard time. My best friend’s mum died from cancer and your show made me feel better and helped me remember her, but in the best way”.
Camp Quality also provide comprehensive materials to schools and teachers after their visit, including its recently launched app “Kids’ Guide to Cancer” which is aimed at supporting kids ages 8-12 years old.
Law Enforcement Torch Run
Monday 1st February, 2016
On Monday 1st February, Freemasons Foundation Victoria Limited Director Frank Fordyce presented a cheque for $10,000 to the Law Enforcement Torch Run. This Victoria Police initiative supports the Special Olympics for the disabled.
The event took place at the Victoria Police Centre in Flinders Street. The Patron of the LETR is the Chief Commissioner of Police, Graham Ashton, who accepted the donation.
The attached photo depicts L to R
Snr.Sergeant Jacqui Robertson LETR Board
Stuart Sutton Special Olympics Board
Chief Commissioner of Police
Frank Fordyce Director - Freemasons Foundation Victoria
Act.Snr.Sergeant Nicole Williams
Vice-President LETR Board
More information can be found at http://www.letr-council.org.
Zetland Lodge School Bursary Presentations
Monday 25th January, 2016
On Saturday 23th January 2016, Chairman of Freemasons Foundation Victoria Bro. Andre Clayton along with local Freemasons presented a number of bursaries to students from schools within the Zetland Lodge area.
This was the 10th year of funding student bursaries which originally was for all schools across the local area, including: Kyneton Primary, Our Lady of The Rosary Kyneton, Malmsbury, Tylden, Drummond, Langley, Redesdale Mia Mia, Woodend Primary, St. Andrews Woodend, St. Bridget's Gisborne, Newham Primary and Romsey Primary.
In order to maximise the effect, in recent years schools have selected on a rotational basis, allowing for six schools to participate from that list year each.
Over the years Zetland Lodge have donated over $200,000 though their own fundraising, by undertaking events such as barbecues at their local hardware store, and too with the assistance of Grand Lodge.
Bro. Brian Ward stated that it was “Not bad from a bunch of old blokes with funny aprons”.
A statement which we absolutely agree with, not a bad effort at all!
In the photo are:
John Blyth, Secretary Zetland Masonic Lodge
Cr. John Connor, Dep. Mayor Macedon Ranges Shire Council
Andre Clayton, Chairman Freemasons Foundation Victoria
Richard Wyatt, Master Zetland Masonic Lodge
Tamsyn Diss, Our Lady of The Rosary Primary School
Chelsey Parsons, Redesdale Mia Mia Primary School
Luke Dudley & Eliza Turner, Tylden Primary School
Chiara Munson, Malmsbury Primary School
Regan Matheson, Our Lady of The Rosary Primary School
Jack Turner, Kyneton Primary School
Mitchell Millard, Redesdale Mia Mia Primary School
Thor Vosper, Malmsbury Primary School
Supporting Maryborough Hospital
Friday 11th December, 2015
On Friday 11th December 2015, Chairman of Freemasons Foundation Victoria Bro. Andre Clayton along with local Freemason Rt. W. Bro Fred Treble presented a cheque for $7,000 to Maryborough & District Health’s CEO, Mr Terry Welch.
The presentation took place at the recently opened Wellness Centre within Maryborough Hospital. Also present were a number of Freemasons from around the Central Goldfields area of Victoria.
With around 100 births a year, safety for newborns will be enhanced by a new resuscitation machine that monitors pressure and quantity of oxygen delivered to the fragile lungs of any newborn suffering from breathing problems.
Fundraising for the maternity wing was started with a plea to Maryborough Lodge by SW Bro. Skyring, for help with fundraising after his wife Kim suffered a haemorrhage during childbirth, with second occurring some twelve days later.
Treasurer W. Bro. Alan Gell, assisted by Chairman of Central Goldfields Masonic Group W.Bro Ken Calder, formulated a letter of appeal with the call for assistance being distributed to all lodges and other orders of which local members belong to. This was followed up by a personal approach with donations coming from: Maryborough, Carisbrook, Talbot , Southern Cross at Maldon, St George at Dunolly and Avoca lodges, Birdwood HRA Chapter, Maryborough Mark, Gladstone Ark Mariners, Central Goldfields Eighteenth Rose Croix and Major Mitchell Sovereign Council 30th degree.
During the presentation, representatives of the various lodges were given a demonstration of the conferencing equipment in the Wellness Centre. Needless to say this gave a tremendous amount of satisfaction to those who assisted at the fundraising.
This very successful campaign shows again how much of a difference Freemasons can make within the community, and how it can also act as a traffic bonding experience for the lodges involved.
Strengthening Our Relationship with UN Youth
Monday 30th November, 2015
Freemasons Foundation Victoria today continued our support of UN Youth Victoria with long term funding to assist with personal development programs, leadership training and charitable causes.
Freemasons Foundation Director Bro. Timothy Clark presented 2015 Evatt National Final Convenor Mr. Mark James with a cheque for $39,000 over three years at University College in Melbourne.
Timothy said "It's great to see such energy from Victoria's youth, spend their time so wisely. This level of supprt enables UN Youth to continue developing students of today, into the leaders of tomorrow."
Mark wished to "Thank everybody at Freemasons Victoria for their ongoing support."
Evatt is a Model United Nations Security Council diplomacy competition for students in Years 9-12. More than 2,000 students compete in Evatt each year.
It aims to educate young people about Australia’s place in the world and empower them as active citizens by developing public speaking, negotiation, teamwork, research, and diplomatic skills.
The competition takes the form of a mock session of the UN Security Council. Teams of two students debate, amend, and vote on a prepared resolution from the perspective of their assigned nation. The students judged the most effective diplomats proceed to the next round.
Each state and territory has its own Evatt Competition throughout the school year, with top students in each state going to the National Finals in December, the six-day residential conclusion of the competition.
2015-16 Annual General Meeting
Wednesday 11th November, 2015
On Wednesday 11th November the Trustees, Directors, Committee Members and Guests from the Board of General Purposes met at the Annual General Meeting of Freemasons Foundation Victoria Limited, held at Coppin Hall within the Royal Freemasons complex in Melbourne.
Those present included all five of the trustees, being Grand Master MWBro. Hillel Benedykt, Deputy Grand Master RWBro. Don Reynolds and Past Grand Master MWBro. Bob Jones, RWBro. Dr. John Maynard PDGM and RWBro. George Sutherland PDGM.
The trustees had reviewed the activities and governance during the previous twelve month period, following the most significant restructuring of the charitable aspect of Victorian Freemasonry in over 125 years.
A number of items were discussed in detail including the future aims and challenges faced by the organisation for the ensuing year.
The overwhelming consensus was that the first year had many successes and the foundation had established a strong base to take the organisation forward in the right direction.
In closing the meeting the Chairman of Trustees, MWBro. Hillel Benedykt, thanked the Directors and Committee Members for the work they had put in during the past 12 months.
Financial reports will be published shortly on this website, which outline relevant and necessary information for the public's viewing.
Restoring the Alma Doepel
Tuesday 10th November, 2015
On Sunday Freemasons Foundation Victoria Director Mr Ted Finch presented a cheque for $500 to Y2Kers Masters Group at the restoration site of the Alma Doepel at Shed 2, North Wharf Docklands.
The Alma Doepel is a three masted topsail schooner, Australian built and operated, being restored at Docklands by members of the Alma Doepel Supporter's Club, of which the Y2Kers are a part of.
The Alma Doepel Supporter's Club (ADSC) was founded in 1976 "to provide both physical and monetary assistance to the ship’s restoration".
To date there has been 40,000 hours spent on the restoration a high percentage by volunteers including some of the Y2Kers.
More information on the restoration project, and the history of the ship can be found by visiting www.almadoepel.com.au.
Freemasons Foundation Victoria on Social Media
Friday 6th November, 2015
Freemasons Foundation Victoria encourages our members and supporters to connect with us online via the following social media outlets:
Life Education’s ‘Harold’ was out and about again on Wednesday 7 October, much to the delight of the children from Galilee Regional Catholic School in South Melbourne.
Harold and his crew were temporarily located at the school to provide preventative drug and health education programs and information to students and parents.
Freemasons Foundation Victoria Board Member Bro. Timothy Clark was also there to present a BIG cheque for $8000 to Life Education CEO Michelle Wood and Board Member Lindsay Beer.
“We’re proud to support Life Education”, Tim said.
"A visit to the mobile Life Education van enables students to learn about the importance of health and are better able to identify risks to make informed decisions”.
Life Education Victoria (LEV) is a community-based, independent organisation that receives very little government funding.
CEO, Michelle Wood said that the donation will fund approximately 450 primary school aged children to attend their local mobile Life Education program, which will be located across the state.
“Approximately 200,000 children and 18,000 families take part in the preschool, primary and secondary programs each year”, she said.
“Sessions are age specific and sequential with written and electronic resources provided to support both students and teachers in the delivery of ongoing drug education in their classroom”.
Lindsay Beer said that if our children and young people are to live active and productive lives, it is so important that they learn to make safer and healthier choices.
Swimming lessons now a possibility in the West
Friday 22nd May, 2015
When was the last time you went to the beach? Or visited a public swimming pool? Some of us take for granted that we can swim, or that water for leisure has always been accessible, but not for these kids.
Some of the children of the Western English Language School in Footscray have never had the opportunity to learn how to swim, let alone jump in a pool!
So a recent $5000 donation made by the Freemasons Foundation to support the school with the hire costs for a bus to enable the children to travel to swimming lessons at the Ascot Vale Swimming Centre is invaluable!
Teacher and coordinator Claire Kelly said that the donation has helped the school enormously.
“Without this funding, getting to the lessons just wouldn’t be possible.
We had no way of safely transporting the children to and from the Swimming Centre, and the additional cost to parents to support a hire bus was too much,” she said.
Representing the Freemasons Foundation WBro. Ted Finch, said he was more than happy to assist.
“More and more we hear about the need to teach children how to swim, and about safety in the water, from an early age. No child should miss out,” he said.
The Western English Language School is a unique facility that prepares students for participation in mainstream schooling and Australian society. It helps develop newly arrived students’ awareness and understanding of Australia as a multi-cultural society and provides a comprehensive, challenging and culturally inclusive curriculum that fosters acceptance and understanding of other cultures and beliefs.
Some of the students at the school have come from some of the most war torn countries in the world such as Syria, Sierra Leone, Sudan and Laos.
“We’re so grateful for the support of the Freemasons. The kids can now look forward to swimming lessons - 20 lessons throughout the year,” Claire said.
Western Emergency Relief Network
Friday 8th May, 2015
Freemasons Foundation Victoria recently presented Western Emergency Relief Network with a $10,000 donation to further assist their efforts in changing lives.
Inparticular, for those marginalized in our society or suffering trauma through emergency circumstances. WERN help trauma victims recovering from such devastating events as fire and flood.
WERN also assists in situations of family violence, refugees and the homeless. WERN is made up of people and organizations who care and want to make a difference.
WERN is managed and run by Volunteers and is totally reliant on the support of groups and individuals with both financial and practical donations.
Among the 50 to 60 people there at the presentation were Local Councillors and the Rotary Governor, as well as Freemasons Foundation Victoria Director Bro. Ted Finch who presented the cheque to local Rotarian, Mr. Ross Butterworth.
Freemasons Foundation support Yarrabah School
Wednesday 6th May, 2015
We might take for granted the skills it takes to cut, peel, slice or dice vegetables, but the kids at Yarrabah School in Aspendale certainly don’t! Thanks to a Garden to Kitchen Program, students are now learning how to prepare a simple meal.
Not only that, they have grown the vegetables themselves, in a garden they have cared for and managed in the grounds of the school!
Freemasons Victoria recently visited the school to donate $1500 towards the program, aimed at kids with a mental or physical disability. The funds will enable the school to provide the right materials and tools to build garden beds and composting areas. The school currently provides a small workshop where, under supervision, students can measure and cut wood and build worm farms – but the garden area still needs a lot of work.
“Once the kids have planted the seed, they learn how to manage the soil and weather conditions to enable growth, and from there they can pick their very own eggplant, cucumber or radish”, Principal Matthew Harris said.
A small garden area has already been established, and at the school assembly, students gave Freemasons Victoria representatives WBro. Ivan Harris, Bro. Andrew Dexter, VWBro. Barry Lewis and RWBro. Bill Morecroft a great presentation of what can be achieved in the garden.
“The next step is bringing the produce into the kitchen to learn how it is prepared into a proper meal”, said Teacher Nuala Butler.
Students were very impressed with the enormous dummy cheque that was presented on the day, one young girl commenting that it means a lot to them, to be able to keep learning about food.
“This Program isn’t just about providing a unique extra-curricular activity, these are life skills that Freemasons Victoria can be proud to have contributed towards”, Bro. Andrew said.
Lake Boga Cenotaph on ANZAC Day
Monday 4th May, 2015
Members of Swan Hill Lodge and Tresco Lodge proudly unveiled a cenotaph in Lake Boga on ANZAC Day, 25 April, 2015.
Joined by Freemasons Foundation Chairman Andre Clayton,members of the Lake Boga Lions Club were excited to see the monument, finally paying tribute to the history of the town and its direct involvementduring WWII.
Lake Boga had been selected to accommodate the Repair Depot for thePBY’s or Catalina aeroplanes, that were under threat from the Japanese.
Around 700 service personnel plus 300 female servicewomen tookresidence in the sleepy town in North West Victoria and proceeded tobuild the main Catalina Service Depot for the Pacific region. This made thevillage really hum, enormous hanger buildings were built to camouflagethe planes while being serviced, and underground bomb proof concretebunkers were built to house a secret communications base for wartimeradio contact.
As WWII finished however, the Depot was de-commissioned, and theaeroplanes were broken up and distributed to local farmers for a myriadof uses; pig-pens, chook houses and so on. The whole place gradually fellinto disrepair, and all that survived over the years were concrete mooringblocks in the Lake and the concrete communications bunker.
During the 70s, after consideration was made to restore a Catalinaaeroplane for historical purposes, the Catalina Museum projectcommenced. Over many years of painstaking efforts to retrieveabandoned parts, a Catalina aeroplane was created, a lick of paint appliedand concrete pads put down for it to sit on. With a roof now overhead,and unique equipment and uniforms collected, the final touch was atheatrette, and a plaque erected in memory of those who were stationedat the Depot in WWII and lost their lives.
Many Lodges and individual Freemasons have visited this world classMuseum since its inception and by most reports, all have come awayimpressed.
In 2014, Freemasons Victoria Grand Master Hillel Benedykt Deputy GrandMaster Don Reynolds, visited Catalina Museum, and noticed that LakeBoga, for some reason had never had a ‘town’ Cenotaph.
Upon a successful funding application the Lake Boga Lions Club,Swan Hill Lodge and Tresco Lodge, a Cenotaph marking the historicalsignificance of the town was unveiled on the Centenary of Anzac Day, 25April 2015.
Joining many visiting members, the Chairman of the now FreemasonsFoundation, Bro. Andre Clayton attended the event and presented acheque for the Foundation’s proportion of the Cenotaph.
Freemasons Foundation support Interchange
Friday 1st May, 2015
InterChange Outer East (IOE) provides the care and support that some children may not get at home because they have a sibling with a mental or physical disability.
Much of the attention around the home is centred on the needs of the disabled child, and the brother or sister may at times feel left out, unimportant or ignored. But InterChange Outer East offers group activities, camps and opportunities to talk with others of the same age group who may share similar experiences.
Freemasons Victoria recently visited InterChange Outer East in Ferntree Gully to find out how the organisation was progressing and to contribute another $20,000 towards its programs.
Coordinator Fred Brumhead said that it’s so important that children know there is always an outlet.
“Some parents have been taking their kids to IOE for years now. There is no other program like it in Victoria,” he said.
Freemasons Victoria’s RWBro. Keith Thornton, who took time out of his morning Palates class, to take part in the presentation, said that he was proud to be able to raise the funds for the Program.
“When we Freemasons Victoria began assisting IOE about six years ago, we were able to donate $10,000. It is such a pleasure to be able to have doubled that and donate $20,000 this year,” he said.
Therapist and Program Coordinator Laura West said that the funds will enable the organisation to provide trips for the kids, when ‘getting away’ otherwise would be near-on impossible.
In presenting the cheque, Program Coordinator Jenna Tatterson returned the gesture, giving WBro. Lionel May a beautiful glass plaque inscribed with InterChange Outer East’s thanks for the many years of support that has been shown by Freemasons Victoria.
Freemasons Foundation Victoria support United Nations
Sunday 26th April, 2015
Freemasons Foundation Victoria is pleased to announce we are financially supporting the 2015 United Nations Evatt Competition.
On hand to present the cheque to Mark James (Evatt National Finals Convenor) was one of Freemasons Foundation Victoria's Directors Bro. Timothy Clark, who said "It's with great pleasure that we can work together with the United Nations. Both organisations have a tremendous history and are well known around the world for their charitable works. It is my hope that this marks the start of a long relationship between these two wonderful organisations."
Mr. James echoed these comments and explained how this donation will assist the UN Youth Victoria. "With over 120 Victorian volunteers, we reach over 3,500 students through our programs, and with the help of Freemasons Foundation Victoria, UN Youth will continue to reach out to all Victorian students, and offer them the chance to lead the change they want in their community."
Evatt is a Model United Nations Security Council diplomacy competition for students in Years 9-12, with more than 2,000 students competing in Evatt each year.
More information about The Evatt Competition can be found by visiting the Official Website
Freemasons Foundation Victoria support Local Hospital
Thursday 16th April, 2015
The appeal to redevelop Central Gippsland Health Service’s oncology unit has been boosted by a large donation from the Freemasons Foundation Victoria and Sale Daylight Lodge, who recently presented CGHS with a cheque for $7,000.
Present at the presentation was FFV Board Member Mr. Barry Minster and CGHS Chief Executive Mr. Frank Evans, who said the donation was an ‘outstanding effort’ by the Freemasons.
“This support will certainly help in our efforts to reach our fundraising target” he said.
The planned redevelopment will extend the current oncology unit at the Sale hospital to create nine separate patient bays, allowing more privacy for patients and more room for staff to offer care.
Freemasons Foundation Victoria are pleased to see that this donation will benefit not only local Freemasons and their families, but the wider Sale community in general.