Masonic District C - Hamilton, Ontario
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Masonic Board of Relief

"A good exercise for the heart is to bend down, and help someone up." - Anonymous

Executive Committee
President
R.W. Bro. Tom R. Marshall
58 Allanbrook Street
Stoney Creek, ON
L8J 2E8
905-578-2833
Vice-President
R.W. Bro. Victor Abraham
290 Carson Drive
Hamilton, ON
L8T 2X7
905-574-2687
Past-President
R.W. Bro. Elgin Forth
414 - 50 Hatt Street
Dundas, ON
L9H 0A1
905-628-9857
Secretary/Treasurer
R. W. Bro. Robert E. Kerr
16 Margaret Ave.
Grimsby, ON
L3M 4S1
905-945-0132

Brethren, you can be proud of the work of your Board of Relief. Through your support we will continue the good works formulated by our rich heritage. Remember, Masonry is not a "Service Club", however Masons can be of service.

During the 1860 era the Hamilton Masonic Districts' Board of Relief was in its formative years, providing leadership in establishing this very necessary arm to administer and provide Masonic Charity and Benevolence.

Through the support of the Grand Lodge Committee of Benevolence and the four city lodges of the period, The Barton Lodge No. 6, The Lodge of Strict Observance No. 27, St. John's Lodge No. 40 and Acacia Lodge No. 61, funds were provided to the Hamilton Masonic Board of Relief for extension of aid and financial assistance to needy brethren, their wives, widows and orphans. At that time each lodge had an elected representative on the Board to administer the affairs. In subsequent years funds were received from subscribing lodges and proceeds from semi-annual Divine Services.

From the humble beginnings the Board of Relief has grown to include the forty lodges within the Hamilton Districts A, B and C of which each has a representative on the Board. The Board is also a registered charity and maintains burial plots for indigent Masons and their wives in Woodland Cemetery overlooking Hamilton Bay and in Hamilton Cemetery on York Boulevard.

"The objectives of the Hamilton Masonic Districts' Board of Relief shall be the extension of aid and financial assistance to brethren, their families and such other charitable purposes as the Board shall determine."

In 1978, the phrase "and such other charitable purposes as the Board shall determine" was added to its objectives. In so doing we are able to address a wider field of human needs beyond the purview of masonic relief. Over the past twenty-six years various grants totalling approximately $393,981 have been provided for the relief of distress to the needy, both masonic and non-masonic alike.

During the past year alone, total grants of $6,200.00 have been provided to assist individuals in circumstances of need and various District supported programs.

To the Brethren of Hamilton Masonic Districts' A, B and C your support will allow for the continuation of the charitable works formulated by our rich heritage.

Information Updated as of April 30, 2015

R.W. Bro. Robert E. (Bob) Kerr

Secretary-Treasurer

SCHEDULE OF BENEVOLENCE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2008
Guide Dogs Canada $18,000.00
Phelan - McDermid Syndrome Project 3,370.00
McMaster Children's' Hospital Neo Natal Unit 2,500.00
Assist to family in need 2,100.00
Assist to family in need 1,000.00
Assist to family in need 1,000.00
Assist to family in need 1,000.00
Assist to individual in need 1,000.00
Assist to family in need 1,000.00
Assist to family in need 1,000.00
Assist to individual in need 1,000.00
Assist to family in need 1,000.00
  $33,800.40

The following article appeared recently in a Hamilton Health Sciences and Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation publication, under the heading "Celebrating Donor Generosity"

Masons Support Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

The Freemasons of Hamilton and area have been actively involved in our community for a very long time. For those who are unfamiliar with the fraternity, one of the underlying principals of Masonry is charity. Their mandate is to give of oneself to help another who may be in need.

McMaster Children's Hospital has been fortunate enough to be the recipient of this charitable group's generosity over many years.

The connection between the Masons and McMaster Children's Hospital started in 1987 when several Masons, including R.W. Bro. Paul Reeve*, sincerely believed that there was a need to acknowledge the dedicated work of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

The financial support began with a series of walkathons sponsored by the "Masters' and Wardens' Association" (which, upon Reeve's untimely death, became known as the "Paul Reeve Memorial Walk-for-Charity in Support of the Neonatal Unit".) This event continued until 2002.

Although the walkathon hasn't been staged since then, the Hamilton Masonic Districts' Board of Relief stepped in and continued the generosity resulting in a total contribution of $12,625.

"We must point out that we're merely the vehicle," says Allan Hale, President. "The credit goes to the various Masonic Associations, Lodges and individual Masons who contribute to this worthy appeal."

Since 1987, the Masons of the Hamilton Districts have raised a total of $159,590 in support of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. By living their fraternity's tradition of caring, they have helped save the lives of hundreds of children.

*R.W.Bro. Paul Reeve was a member and Past Master of Union Lodge #7 in Grimsby, Ontario. He served the office on District Deputy Grand Master of Hamilton Masonic District "B" in 1995-96.

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