The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Red Cross Society has received a monetary contribution from the Freemasons Lodge, to go towards the ongoing national Relief Effort for the December 2013 floods
A release from the Lodge says Kevin Dickson, the current presiding officer of St. George Lodge – the local Masonic organization, handed over three cheques totaling 20-thousand EC-dollars to the President of the Red Cross Society, Bernard Morgan.
The presentation took place at the Masonic Hall, Bentinck Square last Thursday June 5th, and was attended by members of the Lodge, and representatives of the Red Cross and the media.
In handing over the donation, Mr. Dickson explained that immediately following the disaster, the Freemasons of St George Lodge contacted the office of the District Grand Lodge of Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean located in Barbados with a request for assistance.
Mr. Dickson said the District not only responded positively with a cheque for five thousand EC, but widened the appeal to include the Regional District Grand Masters’ Conference.
He said the Conference responded by forwarding a cheque in the amount of five thousand US dollars which came from a fund – the Caribbean and Western Atlantic Regional Consolidated Disaster Fund – which the Conference had established some time ago to respond to natural disasters within the region.
The third cheque for one thousand six hundred East Caribbean dollars represents contributions from members of St George Lodge.
In a brief explanation of the origins and aims of Freemasonry and its ready response, Mr. Dickson noted that while Freemasonry traced its origins to the stone masons’ guilds of medieval Europe, modern Freemasonry dates its establishment to 1717 in Western Europe. St George Lodge in St Vincent was formed in 1896, and has enjoyed 114 years of unbroken existence. He said that Freemasonry from its inception, adopted as an important guiding principle for its members the alleviation of human suffering and distress, and that Masonic charitable donations have contributed significantly to improving the human condition in communities throughout the world including St.Vincent and the Grenadines. He observed, however, that Freemasonry’s charitable work might not be as well-known as that of other organizations, because the institution does not allow its members to raise funds for charitable causes through appeals to the general public. Masonic charities were therefore funded mainly through contributions from its members, their families and friends and through behests.
Mr. Dickson also alluded to Freemasonry’s former reluctance to have its members speak openly about its aims and objects and said that this had undoubtedly led to public misconceptions about the institution which the internet may have helped to spread even wider. He said that Freemasonry was now far more inclined towards “openness”, and pointed persons to the following website for information on the subject.