Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Masons of Surrey

Surrey Mark Masons – Charity

Bis dat qui cito dat


Surrey Mark Masons – Charity

As a visitor to this site you will most likely be already aware that “Charity is the distinguishing characteristic of a Freemason’s heart”.

With this in mind, please allow us to explain a little more about the national and provincial Mark-registered charities that our members support, either directly or via Lodge activities.

Our national charity, the Mark Benevolent Fund (MBF) came into existence in 1868 at the suggestion of M.W. Bro. Reverend George Raymond Portal, Grand Master of the Order of Mark Master Masons.

He had a very strong belief that for a charity to be effective it had to disburse funds swiftly. In his opinion, it was wrong for there to be any delay in providing assistance to those in need and his own Latin motto of “Bis dat qui cito dat” – he gives twice who gives promptly – became, and still is, the principal guideline of the MBF.

Locally, The Provincial Grand Mark Lodge of Surrey Mark Benevolent Fund, better known as the Surrey Mark Benevolent Fund (SMBF), was established in April 1981 by R. W. Bro. Leslie R. Austin, Provincial Grand Master for Surrey at the time.

The SMBF was introduced to fulfil two major objectives – Benevolence and Charity. The former is focused internally within the order whilst the latter is focused on supporting external good causes.

Mark Benevolent Fund Festival, 2022

It was a great honour and privilege for Surrey Mark Masons to host the 154th Mark Benevolent Fund Festival in 2022. This was only the fourth time that Surrey has had that opportunity. The previous occasions were in 1936, 1953 and in 1987.

Surrey Mark Mark Benevolent Fund FestivalIn 1936 the Festival President was R. W. Bro. Col. The Hon. Stuart Pleydell-Bouverie, DSO, OBE, TD, when the sum raised was £8,651 11s 3d.

We are delighted that the 2022 sum raised was £1,002,022 and that exceeds the sum of the three previous Festivals.

That million-pound sum is the culmination of fundraising over six years. At the outset, the vision was that the fundraising should be fun and we used the analogy of an empty bath gradually filling from a dripping tap over the next six years.

The loss of opportunity for face-to-face meetings did not deter the most ardent.

We are so grateful to the members who signed regular giving pledges at the outset; to those who accepted and created challenges to raise funds: from climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, to cycling 2022 miles, taking part in the Nijmegen Walk, walking 220 miles, marathons, and half marathons.

There were so many other differing approaches to fundraising, from fine dining, curry lunches, our Annual Cha Di Da (Charity Dinner Dance), the Burns Night, the weekly Bonus Ball, the Grand Draws, the Virtual Balloon Races, Annual Golf Days, Inter-Province Cricket days, the new and pre-loved regalia sales, to sales from the travelling Provincial suitcase of the polo shirts, badges, coffee mugs, pens, napkins, ties and face masks, to the Quiz Nights.

The list is endless but the opportunities to participate and enjoy were open to all.

We are also delighted to be able to thank Brethren from across the globe who have become Stewards of the 154th M.B.F. Festival – Brethren, your donations also made a huge impact.

The support from our sister Provinces has been outstanding, as well as that of the other progressive Orders of Freemasonry in Surrey, which has clearly demonstrated the close bond that all the Orders enjoy.

To everyone who has contributed, including the wives and families of our Brethren, thank you.

Your support has been immense and will provide funding going forward for worthy charities and our own Brethren and their families in need of support.

Surrey Mark Masons

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