In April last year the Petitions Committee of the Trust accepted a Petition on behalf of Charlotte and Daniel who are aged 15 and 11. In their short lives they have experienced more heartbreak and tragedy than we would hope to encounter in our whole lives.
The mother of these children had a son, Lee, from a previous marriage. Lee was born quadriplegic; severely brain damaged, partially sighted and was almost deaf. Sadly, her first marriage ended in divorce. The mother met her second husband, a Freemason of 17 years standing and the father of Charlotte and Daniel in 1990. As you might expect from any good Freemason he immediately took on the role of father and carer for Lee. Charlotte was subsequently born in 1993 and Daniel in 1998.
At the very beginning of 2002 the mother was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. At the time of the diagnosis Lee had also become very ill. Despite her own deteriorating condition she resisted calls to be admitted to hospital or a hospice because she wanted to stay at home and care for her children and particularly her disabled son. The mother died in February 2002. Lee died of respiratory failure 22 days later. With the help of the children’s aunt, their mother’s sister, the family managed to cope. Just! But that was not the end of it!
At the beginning of 2008 the father was diagnosed with cancer of the stomach, the aunt sold her own home and moved in with the family and supported them as much as she could both emotionally and financially. The father sadly died 6 months later. The aunt has since become the legal guardian to these Masonic orphans.
Despite the upheaval to their family lives, both children are doing as well as can be expected at school. They have received counselling and are coming to terms with their losses. The one constant they can be sure of is the financial support that the Trust will now provide which will bring some form of security and stability to their lives.
The story that you have just read is undoubtedly tragic but clearly puts into perspective why the future of the Trust is so important. We are only able to help children like Charlotte and Daniel as a direct result of the generosity of Freemasons and their families.
A large part of that support comes via the Festival system and we must work very closely together to ensure that Festival income is maximised.
Copyright 2011: The Provincial Grand Lodge of North Wales
Created and maintained by: W.Bro. David Anthony Fink