Let me conclude with a success story about three children from a strongly Masonic family. Their grandfather, had been a District Grand Master for 15 years before retiring to England. Their father and their uncle were active Masons. But the family had never had much money. Their father had lost his job in 1987 and was unemployed for a year. On 17 October 1988, a short while after starting a new job as a travelling salesman, he was driving up the M1 near Chesterfield when a tyre burst, the car went out of control and he was killed.
He left his family with debts of £17,000 and next to no income. The Masonic grandfather had died some years before and the Masonic uncle could not help as he had lost his life savings in a property deal which went wrong.
At the time the eldest child James, was in his first term at university, Rebecca was a rebellious teenager, and Malcolm was a young boy of just 9½.
The Trust has been supporting one or more of the children on and off for 16 years, with both grants and practical support and in this case your investment has produced a handsome return.
Starting with the youngest, Malcolm (who was described by the Visiting Brother in his initial report as the least bright of the three), eventually achieved a first class degree in history at St Andrew’s University. Last September he commenced research into Arab/Christian relations for a MPhil at Cambridge University funded by one of our subsidiary funds.
His hope is to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps and to enter the diplomatic service.
Rebecca had a seriously rough time after her father died. She went completely off the rails. Her mother, shattered and depressed by her husband's sudden death, could not cope. Therefore, their local Case Almoner and his wife stepped in and took Rebecca to stay with them. As far as I can gather from letters at the time they told her in the nicest way that she was staying with them until she sorted herself out. Which she certainly did.
After school Rebecca really wanted to enter Estate Management but an allergy prevented this. So, like so many who can't find anything useful to do in life,
she became an accountant!!!!!!!!!!!!
Today, at the age of just 33, she is a Finance Director in the water industry.
But the biggest success so far has been James. After his father's death he returned to Cambridge to continue his degree in architecture. He then worked all over the world helping to design in some cases quite significant buildings. His interest in architectural history developed and the Trust helped him return to Cambridge to do research for a PhD in the wooden engineering structures of Sir Christopher Wren. He is now the world expert on that subject and today, as well as being a practising architect, he is ‑
- Director of Architecture at Queen's
- A lecturer at various American Universities
- and a Supervisor in both the Architecture Faculty and the History of Art Department at Cambridge
I am also delighted to say that last year James joined the Council of the Trust. Who better could there be to promote the beneficial and life changing effect of our work?
His latest book with the uncompromising title of Brick, A World History received outstanding reviews in 2007, and the Guardian hailed it as one of the most significant contributions to architectural history in recent years.
Wonderful success stories that have emerged from tragedy all made possible by the support of Freemasons like you and I.
Copyright 2011: The Provincial Grand Lodge of North Wales
Created and maintained by: W.Bro. David Anthony Fink