Rt.W.Bro. William Alexander Kneel, the Provincial Grand Master of the Devonshire Freemasons from..
Rt.W.Bro. William Alexander Kneel, the Provincial Grand Master of the Devonshire Freemasons from 1970 until 1984, conceived the idea of a charitable fund with the aim of making annual disbursements to local charities and organisations in need of assistance. Right Worshipful Brother Robin Osborn, the Provincial Grand Master from 1999 until 2007, appealed to the brethren in 1999 to build up the fund to £1million; it now stands at about £1.8 million in value from which the trustees distribute the income generated, each year approximately £40,000 and is distributed amongst local charities and organisations in Devon.
The programme commenced in 2001 and since that date over £575,000 has been given by The Devon Freemasons WAKE Fund to worthy causes within the Province. Approximately 675 separate charities and organisations have benefited since it started. The donations amounting to £21,000 in 2001 have now risen in 2015 to a figure of over £40,000. Disbursements are made at two open evenings at Masonic halls — one in the spring and one in the autumn — where representatives of the charities are invited to meet Freemasons and enjoy a buffet supper.
As part of an annual programme of charitable giving, The WAKE Fund has again distributed over £20,000 to 23 local charities and worthy causes. The donations were presented by the Provincial Grand Master of Devonshire, Right Worshipful Brother Ian Kingsbury JP, at the Masonic Hall 4, Trafalgar Lawns Barnstaple on Friday 16th October 2015. Our thanks go to W. Bro Alan Cockman and the Management Committee, our thanks also go to the caterers, Bette and Ginger for the superb buffet after the presentation. Whilst the individual sums may seem modest each donation is meaningful and appreciated by the charity or local organisation concerned.
The Provincial Grand Charity Steward , W.Bro Barry White opened the event welcoming all those present to the Autumn WAKE distribution 2015. Over 100 in attendance included the PGM, RW Bro. Ian Kingsbury JP; The DPGM , VW. Bro Nicholas Ball; W.Bro Chris Yard, APGM and W.Bro Keith Bower Prov SGW, many with their wives/partners. The Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother Ian Kingsbury JP extended a warm welcome to all the charity and Lodge representatives. He then introduced his Executive and explained the origins and objectives of the WAKE Fund as well as informing the guests about Freemasonry and our openness to this order.
The PGM then thanked W.Bro Barry White as Provincial Charity Steward for the work he had done for the WAKE Fund along with W.Bro’s Michael Walker, Frank Hanscombe, Cliff Nightingale , John Smerdon and Alan Cockman of The Barnstaple Masonic Hall for hosting the evening as well as the wonderful spread they were all looking forward to afterwards.