19th March 2011


Rt. Worshipful Dist. Grand Master; Deputy Dist. Grand Master; Assistant Dist. Grand Master & Brethren all.


It is a pleasure for me to present the report of the District Board of Benevolence to the Annual Communication of the District Grand Lodge of Guyana; before dealing with the report I would like to make the following comment. The Board wishes to give special thanks to the Brethren, friends and sponsors who supported the Board during the reporting year, without whose support we could not have achieved the majority of the items on our 2010- 2011 work programme.


As President of the Board, I want to take this opportunity to express sincere thanks to those Brethren who served on the Board during the last Masonic year for their cooperation and support. Thanks to W. Bro; Paul R. Reece-Vice President, W. Bro; R. Nigel Cumberbatch- Secretary, W. Bro; Dr. Roger Viapree, W. Bro; Richard Hing, W. Bro; Herman G. Rohlehr,            W. Bro; Mark A. Bender, W. Bro; Geoffrey Fraser and W. Bro; Amarnauth Muneshwar; and special mention must be made of the assistance the Board received from Deputy District Grand Master; W. Bro; Doodnauth Persaud, W. Bro; Ivor O’ Brien- District Grand Secretary and W. Bro; Donald Saywack- District Grand Treasurer.


In 2010- 2011, the Board disbursed approximately $2, 000, 000 (two million dollars) towards charity and benevolent purposes, which was an increase of approximately                 $753,000. 00 (seven hundred and fifty three thousand dollars) or 60%, over 2009- 2010; which was $1,264,745. 00 (one million, two hundred and sixty four thousand, seven hundred and forty five dollars). We certainly hope that in 2011- 2012 we would be in a position to provide increase relief for those who are less fortunate. We would therefore again be seeking your support for our programmes; because the funds raised from our activities provide the core funding for the benevolent and charitable contributions we make to our members, their dependants and the wider community.


The work programme for the year 2010- 2011

  1. The Benevolent Grant to support Masons and our target was to disburse                            $1, 000, 000
  2. The Widows’ Appreciation Programme was budgeted at $500, 000. 00
  3. The Children’s Happy Day Christmas Event we wanted to cater for 200 youths
  4. The Children’s Happy Day Christmas Event at Ebini, Berbice River
  5. Masonic Bursary Award- National Grade Six Assessment
  6. The sensitization of the brethren about the Provident Fund, indicating what the fund would encompass and the benefits to be derived from such a fund. It was also envisaged that the fund would have become a reality by November 2010.
  7. The identification of charitable organizations to be recipients of the District Annual Donation.


  1. The hosting of the Guyanese Lunch and 20/20 over Soft Ball Cricket match at Bourda on the 26th of September, 2010. The target was $2.2M.
  2. We had proposed to explore the possibility of making for sale Regalia Bags
  3. Investigate the possibility of making lapel pins for sale as part of our fund raising activity
  4. The continuation of our Polo Shirt fund raising activity and
  5. The Board would have explored the possibility of hosting a National Food Festival among the lodges in 2011- 2012


The Report for March 2010 to March 2011

The Benevolent Grant to Support Masons

The Board is pleased to announce that for the first time in our history we were able to provide G$1M to support our less fortunate brethren. The Board believes that a significant increase in the amount disbursed could be made provided the brethren continue to support our programmmes, and the Almoners continue to provide us with information pertaining to the welfare of our brethren and their dependants.


The Widow’s Appreciation Programme

This activity is now in its fourth year. We disbursed G$870,000.00 during the year. Thirty widows were the recipients of a Christmas Basket, presented to bring some cheer during the festive season. Four of the recipients were widows of Brethren who were members of the Scottish Constitution. The reaction of the recipients on receiving the gifts, the thank you cards and letters received, clearly indicated that  benevolent feelings ennobles the most trifling actions. This annual feature was certainly a worthwhile gesture. We again seek the support of the Almoners to inform us of the names and addresses of our widows, so that we could be of better service.


The Children’s Happy Day, Christmas Event- Georgetown

The Children’s Happy Day, Christmas Event was held for 150 children on the 12th December 2010. The children were selected from four orphanages and they received gifts and an excellent meal. This event was made possible from our own resources and timely support from a number of individuals and organizations; however special mention must be made of the support of the Guyana Stockfeeds Inc. whose generous contribution was used to provide gifts for all of the children, Wor. Bro; Donald Saywack and Popeye Chicken and Seafood Restaurant who provided the chicken.

Brethren, the fare provided was of such a high standard that we would again be approaching the principals of Popeye Chicken and Seafood Restaurant to provide the chicken to the children for this year’s event.




The Children’s Happy Day Christmas Event at Ebini, Berbice River

The Board, in association with Barrow’s Restaurant & Lounge held this annual event on the 8th of December, 2010 and we catered for 50 children. This activity took place at Ebini, Berbice River and was in the form of a Christmas Party.


Masonic Bursary Award- National Grade Six Assessment

This activity is meant to recognize the children of Masons who would have preformed exceptionally well at the National Grade Six Assessment. The Board has mad a provision of one million dollars ($1, 000, 000. 00) and we plan to make an award of one hundred thousand dollars ($100, 000. 00) each to the top 10 applicants. We propose to start this activity this year 2011, and the award will be based upon this year’s Grade Six National Assessment which will be held some time in April 2011.   


The Provident Fund

The sensitization of the Brethren about the Provident Fund started, but it was not completed because it was realized that it was necessary to develop a Guyanese document outlining the objectives of The Guyana Masonic Benevolence Association. The body that would govern the operations and administration of the fund. A draft of the objectives of The Guyana Masonic Benevolence Association is now completed and will be circulated for discussion, adjustments and for possible adoption. In closing on this activity, I would like to mention that the establishment of a Provident Fund is a very attractive activity, but in my humble opinion it is one that we should undertake in a very meticulous and calculated manner.

Fund Raising Activities

The Guyanese Lunch & Softball Match

This activity was held on the 26th of September 2010, at the Georgetown Cricket Club, Bourda. This event was a huge success; it raised the sum of $2.7M to date. This amount was approximately $980,000. 00 more or 57% over what was achieved in 2009- 2010                         ($1, 727, 000.00) and it was approximately $500, 000 more or 23% greater than what was budget ($2.2 million). The cooperate sponsorship of the softball overs was a tremendous success. Of the 42 letters sent seeking sponsorship we received 38 positive responses or a success rate of 90%.

The 15 letters seeking In-kind donations was well supported, positive response was received from all letters sent.

Sponsorship from our lodges and individual masons were very satisfactory and we are optimistic that this area will grow.

In spite of our achievement we still have outstanding amounts from 2 lodges and from some individual masons. In one instance funds are outstanding for 2009 and 2010.

The softball cricket match which is an annual feature between teams of Masons and their families representing the Scottish and English constitutions, for the District Grand Master’s Trophy, was won by the team representing the English Masons. We however, must remind ourselves that it is the contest that delights us and not necessarily the victory.


Lapel Pins

The Board of Benevolence has made available lapel pins as part of the fund raising activities for 2010-2011. The cost of a pin is just $1000.00 and I urge everyone present here to purchase a pin or at least one for each suit. They could also serve as gifts to our brothers when visiting Lodges in other jurisdictions. To date this project has had sales of $137,000.00

Regalia bags

Another fund raising activity is the sale of regalia bags. We have available for sale two sizes of bags the small bags, costs $2000.00 and the large bag costs $3000.00, these bags are suitable to carry the regalia of both the Craft as well as the District officers. To date this project has achieved sales of $91, 000. 00



Polo Shirts

The sale of Polo Shirts as a fund raising venture is an on-going activity, the intensity of this activity was not as active during this reporting year as previous years. We have to refocus our energies on this activity.


International Food Festival

The Board would explore the possibility of hosting an international food festival; this activity it is hoped would be an annual event beginning in 2011. All lodges would be expected participate and host a booth at the event.


The Work Programme for 2011- 2012

The Board plans to pursue 12 activities for the year:-

  1. The Benevolent Grant for Masons- Provision- $1.5 million.
  2. The Widows’ Appreciation Programme- Budget- $1 million.
  3. The Masonic Bursary Award, National Grade Six Assessment- Provision- $1 million
  4. The Children’s Happy Day, Christmas Event- Georgetown, we propose to cater for 175 children.
  5. The Children’s Happy Day, Christmas Event- Ebini, Berbice River, and we propose to cater for 70 youths.
  6. The provision of medical laboratory and x-ray services to Masons. We propose to start discussions with the owners of Eureka Medical Laboratory, towards the possibility of establishing an agreement to provide medical laboratory & x- ray services, with a discount being offered to masons and their family benefit unit. Possible implementation by September 2011, if negotiations are successful.
  7. The sensitization of the brethren about the rules governing The Guyana Masonic Benevolence Association.
  8. Assist with the identification of charitable organizations to be recipients of the District’s Annual Donation.
  9. Finalization of the plans to host an International Food Festival 2011- 2012
  10. The hosting of the Annual Guyanese Lunch/ Softball Match on Sunday, 25th September, 2011. Target- $3.2 million.
  11. The sale of the POLO shirts, Regalia Bags and Lapel Pins. Target- $300, 000.00.
  12. Explore the possibility of making available for sale, District Neckties. Possible Implementation date of October 2011.


The Board was represented at the meetings of the Board of General Purposes, District Grand Charity and District Grand Lodge Trust where the work plan of the Board of Benevolence was discussed,  updated, and suggestions were made re: The Improvement of the Board’s Work.



Report Submitted by



W. Bro. D. Barrow


District Board of Benevolence