Provincial Grand Lodge of Dorset

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For Charity CH02 - Festival 25.

Timeline of Masonic Charity

1725 The premier Grand Lodge sets up the Committee of Charity

1788 The Royal Cumberland Freemasons' School for Female Objects, named after the Duchess of Cumberland, is founded by Chevalier Bartholomew Ruspini

1789 The first anniversary of the Royal Cumberland Freemasons' School is celebrated with a church service and dinner. Collections are taken, making this the first fundraising 'festival' for a masonic charity

1798 Inspired by Ruspini's achievements, William Burwood and the United Mariners Lodge establish a fund to support the sons of Freemasons

1814 Soon after the union of the Grand Lodges, the Committee of Charity joins with other committees relieving hardship among masons to become the Board of Benevolence

1850 The Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution (RMBI) is established, and the first RMBI home opens in East Croydon

1904 'Out-relief' is introduced so that those not admitted to the masonic schools can receive grants to support their education elsewhere

1914 It is decided that the daughters of serving Freemasons who die or are incapacitated during WWI should receive a grant of £25 per year

1920 The Freemasons' Hospital and Nursing Home opens

1933 The Royal Masonic Hospital opens at Ravenscourt Park

1934 The girls' school moves to Rickmansworth Park. The school is officially opened by HM Queen Mary with 5,000 ladies and brethren in attendance

1966 Devonshire Court opens in Oadby, Leicestershire

1967 Scarbrough Court opens in Cramlington, Northumberland

1968 Prince George Duke of Kent Court opens in Chislehurst, Kent

1971 Connaught Court opens in Fulford, York

1973 The Bagnall Report recommends that the boys' school is closed and that the girls' school becomes independent

1973 Lord Harris Court opens in Sindlesham, Berkshire, and Albert Edward Prince of Wales Court opens in Porthcawl, Mid Glamorgan

1977 Ecclesholme opens in Eccles, Manchester, and The Tithebarn opens in Great Crosby, Liverpool

1979 Queen Elizabeth Court opens in Llandudno, Conwy

1980 The Grand Charity is established

1980 James Terry Court opens in Croydon, Surrey

1981 Cornwallis Court opens in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

1982 The masonic institutions for girls and boys merge their activities to form the Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys

1983 Zetland Court opens in Bournemouth, Dorset

1984 Grand Charity hospice support begins

1986 The Grand Charity establishes the Relief Chest Scheme

1986 Cadogan Court opens in Exeter, South Devon

1990 The Masonic Samaritan Fund (MSF) is established, assisted by a £1.2 million grant from the Grand Charity

1992 275th anniversary of Grand Lodge

1992 The Grand Charity awards more than £2 million to charities that care for people with learning difficulties

1994 UGLE recommends that all masonic organisations adopt the Relief Chest Scheme

1994 Prince Michael of Kent Court opens in Watford, Hertfordshire

1994 The Cornwallis Appeal raises £3.2 million for the MSF

1995 Shannon Court opens in Hindhead, Surrey

1996 Barford Court opens in Hove, East Sussex

1997 Total annual expenditure for Masonic Relief Grants exceeds £2 million for the first time

1998 Prince Edward Duke of Kent Court opens in Braintree, Essex

1999 To commemorate the millennium, the Grand Charity donates more than £2 million to good causes

1999 Lifelites is established by the Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys as a Millennium Project to provide assistive and educational technology packages for children's hospices across the British Isles

1999 The London Festival Appeal for the MSF raises £10.6 million

2000 Following the abolition of Local Authority student grants, the Trust establishes an undergraduate aid scheme to support disadvantaged young people at university. Almost 500 students are assisted during the first year of the scheme, rising to almost 1,000 by 2003

2001 The TalentAid scheme is introduced by the Trust to support young people with an exceptional talent in music, sport or the arts, with 75 supported in the first year

2003 The Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys becomes the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys (RMTGB)

2004 The Grand Charity donates £1 million for research into testicular and prostate cancers

2005 More than £1 million is donated by Freemasons and the Grand Charity to help with recovery efforts following the Asian tsunami

2006 Lifelites becomes a registered charity

2007 Special funding for Air Ambulances begins

2008 All four central masonic charities move into shared office space in Freemasons' Hall, London

2008 The Grand Charity donates £500,000 to The Scout Association, enabling more than 23,000 young people to join, and £1 million to Ovarian Cancer Action

2008 Scarbrough Court reopens in Cramlington, Northumberland (rebuilt on its original site)

2008 The MSF makes its first grant in support of medical research, and respite care grants are introduced

2010 Stepping Stones, the RMTGB's non-masonic grant-making scheme, is introduced to support disadvantaged youngsters

2010 MSF dental care grants are introduced

2013 James Terry Court reopens in Croydon, Surrey (rebuilt on its original site)

2013 The MSF Counselling Careline service launches

2015 Following a 30-year partnership, the Grand Charity's grants to the British Red Cross now exceed £2 million

2015 The MSF marks its 25th anniversary by awarding over £1 million for medical research

2016 The four masonic charities join together to form the Masonic Charitable Foundation

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