We are now some 19 months away from the end of our RMBI 2015 Festival and it is worth just pausing to remember who we are trying to assist and why.
There still seems to be some confusing messages about our Festival and who we are helping. The simple thing we all need to focus on is that the beneficiaries of your kindness are our own Brethren and their families. They are not strangers. They are not a group of people who all live in the south of England. They are members of our own Province. They live in our own Ecclesholme as well as living in any one of the other 16 RMBI homes. They are members of our own extended family whom we have never had the pleasure of meeting. More importantly, never had the joy of appreciating how our kindness, how our generosity, how our commitment to them has done more than help them. And we need to be very, very clear on this. For all of them it has changed their lives. But changed them in a very fundamental way. I am not speaking about giving them something extra, a benefit. It is something far more profound. We are giving them something that you and I take for granted: quality of life and above all else, something that has no price, that we all expect for ourselves and our loved ones – dignity.
The RMBI may have provided the services, the infrastructure to make that happen, but you have done it. You have made it happen. You have changed and improved the lives of people you will never know with your money in a way which may have a monetary value, but possess a worth in human terms which is priceless. On a daily basis you are changing peoples’ lives.
As Freemasons through our Festival we are given the amazing opportunity to change peoples’ lives. The lives of a unique extended family which only a fraternity such as ours can be privileged to affect.
Every day and with every pound you are touching and improving a life. That means that every pound counts. And for every pound we divert away from this vital work, we diminish the benefit we are imparting.
I therefore implore you. We have 19 months left and in that time, you may only have one installation left to make a difference through your charitable giving. So simply reflect on what I have written and consider in this last, final push to make all your giving count towards our extended family within the RMBI. Just for one year. Yes, we all have our favourite charities, me included. I would gladly give every penny I will ever possess to The Stroke Association if I thought it would help prevent another loss like the one I experienced. And you all have the same stories. But as a Freemason, I balance that against a greater responsibility. I simply ask you to make the same consideration as I have. By all means, personally support those good causes which are close to your heart through your own personal charitable giving. But when it comes to Masonic giving by your Lodge, remember where that specific money can make the greatest difference and where our priorities really need to sit. And that has got to be first and foremost with the RMBI.
So. When your Lodge next sit down to consider who you are giving your Masonic charitable monies to, remember the beneficiaries of the RMBI. They have no voice but ours, no money but ours, no help but ours, no one else to rely on but us.
I am immensely grateful and humbled for what you are all doing and you all have my unreserved thanks, gratitude and respect.”
WBro Martin P Roche PSGD
Assistant Provincial Grand Master