Every Spring and Autumn, Freemasons from all parts of Devon meet to give support totalling in excess of £50,000 to local charities and organisations throughout the county who are in need of assistance. We are delighted to be one of the groups nominated by our local lodge: Royal Marines Plymouth Lodge No 9528
The money is raised by the “WAKE Fund”, a trust conceived by the Right Worshipful Brother William Alexander Kneel, the Provincial Grand Master from 1970 to 1984 and the late owner of Kneels laundry and dry cleaners (now Johnsons). The WAKE Fund now stands at £2 million and the interest earned is given annually to local non-masonic organisations in need of help. Since the first disbursement in 2001 over £820,000 has been given to over 900 worthy causes selected by members of the 131 Masonic lodges based in the county.
This year, on Friday 29 May, Right Worshipful Brother Ian Kingsbury JP, Provincial Grand Master for the Devonshire Freemasons, would have presented cheques to 24 deserving causes. They were due to meet at Mount Edgcumbe Masonic Hall, Citadel Road, Plymouth. This year they have had to send the cheques, totalling £25,000, directly to the charities concerned due to the social distancing regulations that have been forced upon us by Coronavirus.
Making the contributions Ian Kingsbury said “I am delighted that the Freemasons of Devon are able to contribute to these important local causes, many of which are so competently run by volunteers, and hopefully these donations will make a real difference. We are acutely aware that in these extreme times, Covid 19 makes fundraising for charities even more difficult than usual so we are happy that we can continue to help”.
The volunteers of the East Cornwall & West Devon Network of Crohn’s & Colitis UK sincerely thank Ian Kingsbury and Royal Marines Plymouth Lodge No 9528. Lead Volunteer Shas Chilcott said “This is a huge donation for a small charity like ours and we are extremely grateful to have been nominated. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) affects at least 1 in every 210 people in the UK but many people have never heard of Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis. We intend to use the donation towards training for a new Specialist IBD Nurse at Derriford Hospital so that more people affected by this disease can receive the support and advice they need.”
The attached photograph shows Lindsay Lane-Lobb, a member of the local volunteer team, receiving the cheque from WBro Trevor Cowley, Director of Ceremonies for Royal Marines Plymouth Lodge No 9528, utilising the Wand of Office in order to practice social distancing.