MARK MASTER MASONS DONATE £5000 TO SPRINGHILL HOSPICE ROCHDALE
The £5000 donation, which is part of a Major Capital Grant of £1.25m to over 250 hospices in England, Wales, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, recognises the contribution made by HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh to the service of the Crown and the life of the nation.
David Thompson, the Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Province of East Lancashire, accompanied by W.Bro Bob Boyd the Worshipful Master of Fabric Mark 939 and Peter Brooks the Worshipful Master of Rugby Mark Lodge 1965 attended Springhill Hospice in Rochdale recently to present them with their cheque. The party was received by the Chairman of the board of trustees Robert Clegg and the fund raising manager Sophie Ausley. Springhill Hospice was chosen as the recipient of the donation by the members of Roberts TI 24, Temperance 56, Fabric 939, Integrity 1369, and Rugby Football Mark 1965.
Robert Clegg gave a tour of the gardens around the outside of the Hospice explaining that no external visitors were allowed into the building itself, and apologised for not being able to offer us any refreshments, which was fully understandable. We ended up in the Masonic garden at the rear of the Hospice which was a very pleasant surprise. Sophie explained that the hospice was opened in October 1989 to the people of Rochdale and had even received the Princess Royal on the 2nd November 1989 for the official opening.
In response to a question, Sophie went on to explain it had taken 5 years to raise the funds to build the facility and that it cost typically £8000 per day to keep the Hospice running, of which only 30% came from NHS funding. However, they did receive regular donations from the local Freemasons, including this very garden in which we are stood.
David Thompson the Assistant Provincial Grand Master commented on the source of the funding and the reason why it had been nominated to Springhill Hospice, saying that the Mark Benevolent Fund is the official charity of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons, the third largest branch of Freemasonry with over 35,000 members worldwide. H.R.H. Prince Michael of Kent, GCVO, has been the President of the Mark Benevolent Fund for over 40 years and that it had distributed over £28 million in grants since it came into existence in 1868.
The Chairman of the board of Trustees thanked us for the cheque and in particular those Masons from the 5 local Mark lodges who had preferred Springhill Hospice.