Mark Benevolent Fund Honorifics Scheme
The Mark Benevolent Fund came into existence in 1868 on the suggestion of the Reverend Canon George Raymond Portal, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons. His views on charity were far more radical and progressive than the general thinking of the time. He felt that for charity to be effective it had to be disbursed swiftly and without the bureaucratic formalities of other Masonic charities. To him it was wrong for there to be any delay in providing assistance to those in need and his own Latin tag “Bis dat qui cito dat” – he gives twice who gives promptly – became, and still is, the principal guideline of the Mark Benevolent Fund.
The Fund has disbursed many millions to individual petitioners and an even greater sum in grants to charities within the wider community.
- A major grant of £1.6m was made to the RNLI to help fund a new life boat
- Addenbrooke’s Hospital Trust received over £2m for machines to help in the diagnosis of prostate cancer
- £2.6 million made to Hope for Tomorrow Cancer Charity for the purchase of mobile chemotherapy units throughout the UK
- £300,000 to seventeen Blood Bike charities in England and Wales,
- £3.2 million went to St. John Ambulance to fund a combination of fifty-two state of the art ambulances, mobile treatment centres and support vehicles to be stationed throughout England, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
Such disbursements and projects can only be funded with the generosity and dedication of Mark Masons who contribute so selflessly year after year. The M.B.F. Honorifics Scheme makes it very easy for either a Lodge and/or a Brother - either on his own behalf, or for his partner - to make a donation direct to the Fund which is administered from Mark Masons’ Hall, and donations are credited and progressively aggregated towards a fund qualification, with six classifications viz.
- Life Governor
- Grand Patron
- Grand Patron Gold
- and the highest; Grand Patron Diamond
The appropriate collarette and jewel is issued when a qualification threshold is achieved. Collarettes can be worn at all Mark and Royal Ark Mariner meetings and events. Please contact our Provincial Grand Charity Steward in the first instance who will be happy to provide useful guidance on filling out the forms. Further information on the scheme and the M.B.F. application forms and additional information can be downloaded by clicking on the following links.