MASONIC WAR FUND.
MAGNIFICENT EFFORT. £1000 RAISED WITHIN GRAND j LODGE. I M.W. BUO. J. J. DOUGALL'S APPEAL. (FROM OXTB SPECIAL CORRKSPoyDKNT.) WELLINGTON. May 13. The concluding sitting of the Masonic Grand Lodge to-day -was remarkable for the paucity of actual business and diversion of members' attention in a flood of enthusiasm to the augmenta- % tion of the Grand Master's Special ] (War) Benevolent Fund. After his installation" on the previous evening, M.W. Bro. J. J. Dougall (Christchurch) made a fervid appeal in | the interests of the fund. In that speech he sketched happily the splendid work done by our boys at the Dardanelles, in. that brave and brilliant advance upon the enemy, which was eventually etopped, not by the opposition of the foe, but by their officers calling them back because they had not men enough to occupy the ground won. Hβ pictured the return of the wounded to Now Zealand, some of them maimed for life, and appealed to the brethren to raise such a fund as should ensure that no Masonic soldier brother, and no dependent upon any Masonic soldier brother should, where money could relieve them, suffer. He assured his hearers that the utmost they could raise would be wanted, for, even if it was uiot required for Alasonio sufferere, there would be. others. The appeal was received with the* deepest feeling, from the knowledge that M.W. Bro. 3>ougall had himself J given a son to the Army. The effect o"f J his addreee was electric. Slips of paper were eagerly distributed, aapl in a few j minute s cash and written promises began to roll in in sums ranging from j £20 down to more modest sovereigns and half-sovereigns. Tiie result was not i known until this morning, when it was found that £780 had been gathered in. j So matters stood when Grand Lodge resumed to-day. On the result of the j collection being announced, the Grand j Master expressed his appreciation of, the patriotic enthusiasm of the brethren. He asked the delegates present when thoy returned to their lodges to. endeavour to inflame their "brethren there with the same spin t that had animated their representatives in Grand Ix>dgo. His idea was not, ho explained, to use merely the intorost of the fund, as with other benevolent funds, but to apply the capital itself in relief of the war victims He was certain that many of our soldiers would como back physically incapacitated .for their original callings. Such men, he proposed to help by starting them in "sonio business which would' support them —not to hand the money over as an absolute*, gift, but on terms taat they should repay it to the fund at some future! time if their business prospered. Of coursq a great deal would 'have to be used in annual grants to widows and j orphans for a mimbor of years, but he ! thought the fund would abo be able- to do imtuons© service in the way he had No doubt some of the business ventures would fail through no fault of the persons concerned, but through mental'incapacity to make, the change of circumstances. But that was no reason why the craft should not onable the men to embark upon them. Here the matter was left for a time, and gome business of a purely Masonic character was entered on. When the business w:t s ceded someone, kindled to fresh enthusiasm by the unfolding of the further details of the Grand Master's scheme, brought up a suggestion that an effort should bo put forth to make up the contribution of the members of the Grand Lodge to £1000 before they left the hall. No sooner said than acted upon. A cash collection was first made,•''and another £150 was quickly raised, in many instances by members doubling their subscriptions of the previous ni'iht, nml redoubling them as the spirit of kindly emulation swelled.
Then someone suggested, "why not auction R.W. Bro. 'k 'hat,' " indicating a white 'topper which U famous amongst Freemasons from Auckland to Bluff. Quickly Grand Lodjto unbent from the dignity which is its accustomed nir, and the hall was converted into an auction room. First the owner of the venerable "tile" and then an ex-warden of Grand Lodcre, well known for his versatility and" humour, wielded the hammer. That noted headpiece changed hands over and over again until "it had netted somewhere about £150. Finally it was put up for absolute sale, and foil at a record figure to a Napier representative, ■ who announced his intention to present it as a memento of the occasion to Lodge Scinde. Then a fountain pen, which had been used on an occasion notable in Grand Lodge, was put up to auction, and by these and similar devices it was soon announced that the desired £1000 had been realised.
The position with resard to the Special (War) Benevolent Fund now is
that between lodges and individual members about £'9500 is known to have been subscribed, besides which it i& probable that further subscriptions from lodges havo readied the Grand Soereiry's cflice i» Christchurch while he has bc-cn absent in Wellington. It was certainly a magnificent effort (ami one not yet at mast mum) when it is remembered that, apart from their Masonic special subscriptiona, members of Grand Lodge have otherwise assisted in many efforts to raise war funds.
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MASONIC WAR FUND., Press, Volume LI, Issue 15278, 14 May 1915
MASONIC WAR FUND. Press, Volume LI, Issue 15278, 14 May 1915
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