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Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of Surrey
Annual Report of the Provincial Grand Charity Steward

When I took up this office in May 2014 the Mark Gala Garden Party had just been held at Painshill Park, Cobham, Surrey. This was a fitting finale to the years of hard work and commitment by many Surrey Mark Masons. Your donations and fund raising efforts during the Festival had raised an amazing sum of £250,000 which was equally divided between The Shooting Star Chase Children's Hospice and The Surrey Air Ambulance. The Provincial Grand Master, Ray Hussey, presented cheques to the representatives of the two charities in front of hundreds of Mark Masons and their families who he thanked for their unstinting support.

This was a special farewell to a man who for ten years had been at the helm of Mark Masonry in Surrey and without doubt served the Province very well indeed. In October 2014 the new Provincial Grand Master, Ian Clark, and his wife attended the Annual Charity Dinner Dance held at the Preston Cross Hotel, Bookham, Surrey. Although this was a smaller venue than last year's it was a most enjoyable evening. The dining, music and dancing were held in the same area as the bar which proved to be a popular arrangement. We were entertained at our tables by a magician, and after dinner a lively band played keeping most people on their toes. The Provincial Grand Master gave a welcoming speech and encouraged us to support the raffle, which raised several hundred pounds for the Mark Benevolent Fund. As the Preston Cross Hotel has now been sold a new venue is being sought for future functions.

During the year the Province donated a £1,000 to ‘Hounds for Heroes’, a charity established to provide specially trained assistance dogs for injured and disabled men and women of the UK Armed Forces and UK Civilian Emergency Services. In 2017 the Mark Benevolent Fund will celebrate 150 years since its foundation and to mark this milestone they have pledged their support to a very worthy cancer treatment charity: 'Hope for Tomorrow'. The aim is to assist in providing up to ten mobile chemotherapy units which will be run by the NHS and allocated to areas around the country where those who have difficulty in travelling can receive treatment close to where they live.

In February 2014 Surrey Craft launched its 2019 Festival and whilst we do not wish to impinge upon their charitable works, we have already started planning our own 2022 Festival for the Mark Benevolent Fund. It may be seven years away but we cannot rest on our laurels. In the last few months the seven Group Charity Stewards have been identified and appointed. Their contact details will be sent out to all Lodge Secretaries and Charity Stewards, and in due course will be published in the 2015-2016 Mark Provincial Year Book.

I would encourage all the Mark Charity Stewards to continue their good works by persuading the members of their Lodges to organise a small fund raising event or making a donation to the Mark Benevolent Fund as we prepare for the Launch of the 2022 MBF Festival. Please remember to Gift Aid your donations. Your financial support is very important to the MBF and to the people who receive the benefit of your charitable donations. So let us give them all 'Hope for Tomorrow'.

Jack Love
Provincial Grand Charity Steward