Every Spring and Autumn, Freemasons from all around Devon meet to support local organisations that require financial assistance, among which are children's charities, schools, youth centres and locally based charities, including hospices, hospital services and cancer charities.
The money is raised through the "WAKE FUND", a trust conceived by William Alexander Kneel, the ruler of Devonshire Freemasons from 1970 to 1984, the late owner of Kneels laundry & dry cleaners (now Johnsons). Since the idea was initiated, the fund has grown through the continued generosity of Devonshire Freemasons and wise investments. Today, it stands at £2.3 million, from which the trustees distribute the income generated, currently around £50,000 each year.
Anthony Eldred, Devonshire Freemasons Charity Steward said :
"Since the first disbursement in 2001, over £970,000 has been given by the Devon Freemasons WAKE Fund to charities and other worthy causes throughout Devon, selected by the 122 Masonic lodges within the county. Over 1000 charities and organisations have benefited since it started. Charity and service to our communities are fundamental principles of Freemasonry. And this Autumn, on Friday 10th November, Nicholas Ball, the ruler of Devonshire Freemasons, presented cheques to 19 local good causes amounting to £24,000."
Nicholas Ball, ruler of Devonshire Freemasons, said:
"The 2 WAKE evenings per year are always so special and bring us much closer to the public. This, again, did not disappoint. There are some wonderful, kind people working for charities who do so much to make our communities a better place to live. Their stories make us, as Freemasons, feel truly humble, and we are delighted to continue our support for them. The Freemasons of Devonshire should be very proud of this fund and of the efforts of the
Provincial Benevolent Committee."