The Brethren collectively with their Lodges have long been recognised in our ”Happy Hertfordshire” for their outstanding generosity and commitment to charitable causes.
It has been custom and practice for the Province to recognise such outstanding giving by presenting each of those Lodges and its members who have collectively donated £1 000 to the Provincial Mark Benevolent Fund, a maul and inscribed plinth or in the case of a Royal Ark Mariner Lodge an inscribed sceptre. This acknowledgement by the Province also has a very practical purpose as these beautifully inscribed items are used during our ceremonies. They serve as a constant reminder to the Brethren of the Lodge that they have given most generously but also alert the discerning visitor to the continuing need to support Charity and as a result we manage to help those who are less fortunate than ourselves.
On the occasion of a presentation a senior member of the Executive with a great deal of pleasure presents these Mauls and Sceptres which are acclaimed by the Brethren with much pride. Thus far and in only a short time because of the outstanding generosity of its members, a total of 108 mauls and plinths and 15 sceptres have been earned (some are still to be presented). This is a remarkable achievement by the Brethren and as these presentations are so popular they will be continuing for the foreseeable future. Below is an up-to-date list of those Lodges that have so generously contributed to the Provincial Charity and have acquired mauls and sceptres:
The brethren have given an outstanding amount towards the Provincial Charity and are to be commended most highly for their unstinting generosity. Because of this generosity there will be some people, many of whom we will never meet, who will be eternally grateful for this generosity. There will also be some whom we have yet to reach despite their continuing almost daily need for our help. Some are close to home here in Hertfordshire which is why I am urging all the Lodges to identify and support local charities. The Province will consider matching the sum raised and boost the amount to be given to your ”local” cause.
Regular Payment Promises taken out by brethren within the Province, now total 894 which represents £122,418 before tax. Additionally cash totalling £224,677 has been received by the Province from Members Lodges, the Chancellor of the Exchequer (in tax reclaimed) and Banks (in respect of interest earned, since the 1999 Festival. These figures are truly outstanding and show the Mark degree in Hertfordshire in a most enviable light and the brethren are all to be congratulated on their individual and collective charitable giving.
It only remains for me to thank all the Brethren for their efforts in this and previous years and to encourage them to keep up the excellent work they are already doing for Charity in general and the Herts Mark and R.A.M. Provincial Charity in particular.
W Bro Steve Washington
Provincial Grand Charity Steward