In December 1995, just before Christmas, the father of three children, Kimberley, Marcus and Thomas, attacked his wife, their mother, with a hammer during a domestic row. He smashed her skull and she died five hours later in hospital.
After injuring his wife he put a shotgun to his head and killed himself. Their daughter Kimberley, who was 5 at the time, found the bodies and alerted the neighbours.
Since then she and her two brothers have been looked after by their Masonic grandparents who are now in their mid 80’s and who live on modest pensions.
Can we even begin to understand the horror of a 5 year old girl returning from school to find her father shot dead and her mother dying with a smashed skull.
It is because their Grandfather, was a freemason that we were and are still able to help these three orphans. Can we also imagine how the Grandfather who had been a Freemason for no fewer than 57 years felt when he tragically lost his daughter and son-in-law and was left with the responsibility of bringing up these three children when he was in his 70’s?
Sadly, as the last real life story illustrates, many cases arise where the parents and often the Masonic father, have behaved in a way we consider abhorrent. Whilst expulsion in such cases is a matter for the Craft, we believe that the father’s behaviour or crime should in no-way disadvantage his family and, as such, we always consider both the individual needs of the child and the financial circumstances of the family as a whole, when assessing what assistance, if any, to give.
In all cases, poverty and need have to be proven. In the first instance the Trust is a poverty charity, not an educational charity, as many Freemasons may think! In terms of need, only families with an income of less than £5,000 p.a. (after deducting housing costs) will gain our maximum support.
This case qualified for support based on the Masonic membership of the elderly grandfather.
The grandparents have been struck by more than one dreadful tragedy.
Not only was one daughter murdered by her husband who then shot himself but their other daughter, who incidentally lived in Wrexham, died as a result of deep vein thrombosis whilst on a business flight in 2001, and in 2003 their only son, a very active Freemason like his father, dropped dead at work leaving a widow and two young children aged 13 and 7.
The Trust has been supporting the first family since 1996 and the second family since 2004.
We can never put these things right by money but generous grants can and do make life just a little better for the children involved and as Martin Luther said “it is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness”
Copyright 2011: The Provincial Grand Lodge of North Wales
Created and maintained by: W.Bro. David Anthony Fink