South Devon groups benefit from Masons' annual donations

Torbay Weekly

South Devon organisations were among several receiving valuable cash support from Devon's Freemasons.

The money is raised through the 'Wake Fund', a trust conceived by William Alexander Kneel, the Devonshire Provincial Grand Master from 1970 to 1984 and 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.

Reuben Ayres, Devonshire’s Charity Steward said: "Since the first disbursement in 2001 nearly £875,000 has been given to over 960 worthy non-masonic organisations and charities throughout Devon, selected by members of the 131 Masonic lodges based throughout the county."

Provincial Grand Master, Ian Kingsbury added: “We are so lucky that the county has this legacy to share to small Devon groups and charities who are put forward by their local Lodges. It’s a chance for us to help where other funding may be difficult to get for small local groups”.

Nicholas Ball, Deputy Provincial Grand Master of the Devonshire Freemasons, presented this year's cheques.

Included were donations to Pipe up Devon (inspiring and improving the skills of young church organists in Devon); Sense Devon (to support deafblind people and to provide specialist services for disabled people - nominated by St Michael’s Lodge at Dawlish); St Andrews Methodist Church, Torquay (to assist in the upgrading of church toilet facilities with improvements to disabled access and baby changing - nominated by The Lodge of St Mary, Torquay); Meadowside, Newton Abbot (to support adults with learning difficulties - nominated by The Newton Lodge).