x

News & Events

Freemasons of the Carpentaria District spent three days at the Cairns Show in July educating locals about one of the world’s oldest fraternities.

With the Cairns Show drawing crowds of over 80,000 people, many visited the Lodge’s stand to discover the history, mission and positive work of Freemasons and their associated charity Hand Heart Pocket. 

Alan Sims, a Far North Queensland Freemason, said their stand was successful in showcasing Freemasons to the community. 

“We talked to so many people about who we are and what we do.  The Freemasons have such a rich history and valuable mission to share,” Alan said.

“Freemasonry is so much more than secret handshakes and performing ancient rituals behind closed doors. It’s about empowering men to be their best through self-development, mentoring and charity,” Alan said.

“The show was a great opportunity to highlight and muster support for the charitable work Freemasons do in the region.”

From the Royal Flying Doctors Service to local aged care facilities, Far North Queensland Lodges have raised funds for a range of causes.  In 2017, Hand Heart Pocket consulted with the Carpentaria Freemasons before contributing half-a-million dollars to the development of the COUCH Wellbeing Centre. 

Alan said the benevolent work of Freemasons spans across the globe.

“There are Lodges scattered all over Far North Queensland, Australia and the world,” he said.

“Men of good standing, who are over the age of 18 and believe in a higher being are eligible to enquire about becoming a Freemason.”

Photo: Freemasons of the Carpentaria District at the Cairns Show spoke to locals about the history, mission and work of Freemasons.

Find out more about the Freemasons of the Carpentaria District

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland

 

Since the mid-1990s, children with hearing loss in Cairns have been empowered to reach their full learning potential with the support of Queensland charity, Hear and Say.

On a recent visit to meet with families in the Far North as part of their Telepractice program, clinicians from the organisation also made time to meet with the local Freemasons, to share how a state-wide grant for half-a-million-dollars from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland is making a difference on the ground.

The grant, handed over earlier this year, will help to cover the funding gap to deliver critical early intervention services, ensuring continuity of support for deaf children throughout Queensland for the next year – till the full financial impact of the National Disability Insurance Scheme is known in late 2018.

Carpentaria District Grand Master Henry Condon said hearing directly from the Listening and Spoken Language Specialists that deliver this life-changing support to local children was invaluable.

“It’s not until you speak with those at the coalface that you get a true understanding of the impact this state-wide grant is having on children in our community,” Henry said.

“We were pleasantly surprised to learn that Hear and Say’s Telepractice service has been proven to be just as effective as receiving face-to-face support, considering that this is how many families in the Far North access these vital programs,” he said.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled that this grant, which was made on behalf of the Freemasons of Queensland, will contribute towards efforts to empower children with hearing difficulty, not just in our community but throughout the state, to hear, listen and speak and go on to lead independent lives like their typically hearing peers,” said Henry.

Collectively, the grant will mean that 200 children across the state will continue to have access to Hear and Say’s Audiology Services, and 300 children can take part in the Early Intervention Program.

Hear and Say Chief Executive Officer Chris McCarthy stressed how important essential listening and spoken language therapy is to a child’s development.

“It can take up to six years to teach a profoundly deaf child to listen, process language, and speak, using the latest technology and an Auditory-Verbal Therapy approach, so it’s vital that our services remain accessible – for children to be ready for mainstream schooling,” Mr McCarthy said.

“We are extremely grateful for this funding from Hand Heart Pocket. Without this, Queensland children could miss out on vital services and programs that build their potential.”

“We also thank the local Freemasons for their show of support for our local Hear and Say, families. It truly means a lot to them to know the local Freemasons are supportive of the grant.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said providing sustainable support to charitable initiatives that have limited access to other funding sources was the organisation’s focus.

“Our values are centred around empowering people to lead better lives,” Mr Mark said.

“Support for education initiatives for children with a disability aligns with Hand Heart Pocket’s long-term strategy, and we are delighted that this partnership is enabling more children in the Far North and throughout Queensland to have a future which will not be limited by their hearing loss.”

Photo: Carpentaria District Grand Master Henry Condon, Hear and Say, Clinical Manager – Listening and Spoken Language Jessica Balfour-Ogilvy, Hear and Say, Acting Senior Clinician Amy Russell and Carpentaria Deputy District Grand Master Raja Chohan.

Find out who Hand Heart Pocket helps

Each quarter, Freemasons from around the District get together to report on their activities and achievements and to discuss their plans for the future.

Photo: The Carpentaria District Freemasons Board of General Purposes (from left) RW Bro Carl Richardson PAGM DistGSec, VW Bro Herman Kleiner DistSGW,  RW Bro Henry Condon DistGM, RW Bro Bob Lackey PAGM Pres DistBoGP, VW Bro Lex Livingston DistGTreas, VW Bro Chris McClelland DistJGW,  Wor Bro Julian Brown DistGReg and RW Bro Lyndon Brandt PAGM IPDistGM.

Find out more about the Freemasons of Carpentaria

Atherton Freemasons and Men’s Shed, in conjunction with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland and Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA), joined forces to celebrate Father’s Day at a special morning tea last week to shine a spotlight on men’s health.

The event is one of many being held across Queensland throughout September and October as part of Hand Heart Pocket’s 2018 Father’s Day Appeal where AMSA will deliver its Spanner in the Works? men’s health checks and funds will be raised for local Men’s Sheds.

“We’re excited to be launching our Father’s Day Appeal this year with our charity partner, Australian Men’s Sheds Association (AMSA). Together, we hope to empower more Queensland men to take control of their health,” said Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark.

“Support for initiatives that improve men’s mental and physical health aligns with the organisation’s long-term strategy,” he said.

The events will provide communities with information about proactive approaches to positive physical and mental health and will raise funds for local Men’s Sheds on event days.

“It’s a real privilege to be the chosen charity partner of Hand Heart Pocket’s Father’s Day Appeal this year as there are some real synergies between the community values prized within Masonic Lodges and Men’s Sheds,” said AMSA Executive Officer David Helmers.

At the conclusion of the 2018 Appeal, Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland will provide AMSA with significant grant funding to support Men’s Sheds in Queensland in 2019.

“The support of the Father’s Day Appeal will go a long way in assisting us to provide financial assistance as well as access to health and wellbeing initiatives to Men’s Sheds and their communities across Queensland,” said Mr Helmers.

Freemasons District Grand Master Henry Condon said it was great that both organisations could work together to shine a spotlight on men’s health, considering they both regularly support men at many levels.

“It’s important for us men to make sure that we look after our physical and mental health, even though we don’t like going to the doctor or talking about how we are feeling. Regular check-ups and checking in with each other can help identify preventable illness early.”

“We are proud that we can focus on men’s health and have the support of Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland at a local and statewide level,” said Henry.

Photo: Atherton Community Health Clinical Nurse Mal Fraser, AMSA Marty Leist alongside Atherton Freemasons Mil Clay and Barry Nichols.

 Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket's Father's Day Appeal

 

 

Cairns Freemasons and Men’s Shed, in conjunction with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland and Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA), joined forces to celebrate Father’s Day at a special morning tea held this morning to shine a spotlight on men’s health.

The event is one of many being held across Queensland throughout September and October as part of Hand Heart Pocket’s 2018 Father’s Day Appeal where AMSA will deliver its Spanner in the Works? men’s health checks and funds will be raised for local Men’s Sheds.

“We’re excited to be launching our Father’s Day Appeal this year with our charity partner, Australian Men’s Sheds Association (AMSA). Together, we hope to empower more Queensland men to take control of their health,” said Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark.

“Support for initiatives that improve men’s mental and physical health aligns with the organisation’s long-term strategy,” he said. 

The events will provide communities with information about proactive approaches to positive physical and mental health and will raise funds for local Men’s Sheds on event days.

“It’s a real privilege to be the chosen charity partner of Hand Heart Pocket’s Father’s Day Appeal this year as there are some real synergies between the community values prized within Masonic Lodges and Men’s Sheds,” said AMSA Executive Officer David Helmers.

At the conclusion of the 2018 Appeal, Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland will provide AMSA with significant grant funding to support Men’s Sheds in Queensland in 2019.

“The support of the Father’s Day Appeal will go a long way in assisting us to provide financial assistance as well as access to health and wellbeing initiatives to Men’s Sheds and their communities across Queensland,” said Mr Helmers.

Freemasons Deputy District Grand Master Raja Chohan said it was encouraging that both organisations, who support men at many levels on a regular basis, could join forces to shine a spotlight on men’s health.

“It’s no secret that we men are less likely to go to the doctor, to make healthy lifestyle choices and talk about our feelings. However, keeping a check of your physical and mental health can significantly reduce your chances of developing a preventable illness.”

“We are proud that Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland can help us support such an important initiative at both a statewide and a grassroots level,” said Raja.

Photo: Australian Men’s Shed Association representative Marty Leist, Cairns Hospital Cardiac Rehab Unit representative Megan Warncke, Cairns Men's Shed representative Clive Lee alongside the Carpentaria Deputy District Grand Master Raja Chohan and Past District Grand Master Phil Starr. 

 Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket's Father's Day Appeal

A major milestone in the development of the COUCH Wellness Centre took place last week, with the much-anticipated sod-turning ceremony to mark the start of construction and what is set be a huge turning-point for Far North Queenslanders impacted by cancer. 

Representatives of the Carpentaria District Freemasons and Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland attended the event, alongside health officials, members of the Cairns business community and other prominent figures.

The development, which is the first of its kind for the Cairns region, will deliver services that provide a holistic approach to cancer care, to improve the quality of life for people living with cancer (and beyond) as well as their carers. The services will include allied health and complementary therapies, as well as a focus on skills and education on how to live with cancer, group support and other well-being and beauty services. A library, café and dining area, children’s playground and therapy pool will also form part of the precinct.

The Freemasons District Grand Master Henry Condon said it was an honour to attend and witness history being made, knowing that the Freemasons had played an important part in making this happen.

“For the people of our region who are impacted by cancer, they will be able to get the holistic support they need in a unique rainforest environment rather a clinical hospital environment,” Henry said.

“We are proud to support a locally-focused project that will improve cancer-sufferers’ overall health outlook,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland supported the regional initiative by providing a grant for half a million dollars on behalf of its members last year. The funds will go towards the construction of a large double pavilion, the first of the pavilions to be built on the Manoora site, to house specialist and support service providers.

COUCH Chair Ron Holden said the sod-turning ceremony was a wonderful example of a community rallying behind a dream to make it a reality.

“This milestone has been achieved by a most amazing range of dedicated fundraisers, donors, volunteers, and supporters from across the community pulling together and I sincerely thank them one and all on behalf of the cancer suffers in our region,” he said.

The Woodward family donated a 2.5-hectare property on Reservoir Rd in 2008, but it wasn’t until a $500,000 donation from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland and the confirmation of $1.5 million from the Australian Government that the project could fully get underway.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said it was fantastic that stage one of the construction was underway. 

“The decision to support the development of the COUCH Wellness Centre was made in consultation with the Carpentaria District Freemasons who brought this initiative to our attention,” Gary said.

“Our values are about alleviating suffering and empowering people to lead more independent lives. We also look to support charitable projects that have limited access to funding and will make a significant impact on the community, so this initiative was perfect for the charity of Freemasons Queensland to support,” he said.

The Woodward family are well known for their commitment to the development of the region, dating back over 100 years. Charles, Gordon and Jack Woodward, were integral in the early development of the Carpentaria Freemasons’ Homes in the 1970s and Woodward Retirement Village in the 1980s, both previously owned by Masonic Care Queensland.

“Gordon and Jack were Freemasons, and the donation is also a great way for us to continue to support the charitable work of Freemasons in the District,” said Gary.

“We are proud to be one of the many supporters of this incredible Centre that will empower families in Far North Queensland impacted by cancer to lead better lives,” he said. 

Construction of the $3 million stage 1 facility is now underway, with the opening due in April 2019.

Photo: Members of the Carpentaria District and Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland attended the COUCH sod-turning ceremony – seen here alongside COUCH representatives and Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch.

Find out more about COUCH

It’s not often that you get to meet those that have directly benefited from your philanthropy, but that’s exactly what the Carpentaria Freemasons did recently.

The District Grand Master of Carpentaria Henry Condon and his Deputy Raja Chohan visited one of Camp Quality’s family camps in Cairns to see the impact of the $290k grant announced last year from the state’s Masonic charity, Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

It was one of dozens of camps held around Queensland in the last year, which were funded by the grant, enabling children impacted by cancer and their families to create memories outside of hospital.

District Grand Master of Carpentaria Henry Condon described the visit, as a special experience, where they were able to meet with families and see firsthand the impact of the program. 

“We enjoyed a puppet show provided for the children entitled Laughter is the best medicine, which gave them a chance to forget the stresses of hospital visits,” Henry said.

“Our discussions with volunteers and parents, and interaction with children, really emphasised the importance of the significant assistance that Hand Heart Pocket provided,” he said.

“What a privilege to be part of a such a generous, caring group –  and – to realise that we have the capacity to help those in need!”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said it was hugely important for the Freemasons of Queensland to see how the contribution, made on their behalf, was enhancing lives.

“It’s been our pleasure to support Camp Quality this past year to enhance the lives of 725 Queensland families impacted by cancer throughout the state,” he said.

Camp Quality CEO, Kylea Tink, was quick to echo how important the support from the Freemasons across Queensland has been for kids impacted by cancer and their families in the past year.

“Thanks in large part to this funding, Camp Quality has been able to support a growing number of families across the state, focusing on what we do best - bringing them laughter, light and fun during a period of darkness,” she said.

Photo: The District Grand Master of Carpentaria Henry Condon and his Deputy Raja Chohan recently visited one of Camp Quality’s family camps in Cairns to see the impact of the $290k grant announced last year from, Hand Heart Pocket.

Find out more about the Freemasons of the Carpentaria District 

The campaign for a dedicated palliative care room at a local Aged Care facility in Mareeba, will soon be realised, after the local Freemasons donated $42,500 towards the project.

Granite Masonic Lodge with the help of Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, came up with the funds, which will allow terminally ill residents at Mareeba Gardens Blue Care to have the opportunity to use this area with their loved ones.

The funds that have been donated will enable Mareeba Gardens Settlement to purchase specialised equipment and furnish the room to facilitate a homely setting appropriate for palliation.

Granite Masonic Lodge representative, Roy Blakeney, said this was an important first step for the region, where local palliative care support in general has been limited.

“Granite Lodge is very proud to have contributed to this project which will help to improve the quality of life of terminally ill nursing home residents at Mareeba Gardens,” Roy said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark, commended Granite Masonic Lodge for giving back to the community in this way.

“It’s evident that Granite Lodge has the best interests of its community at heart,” Gary said.

“Providing vital support for those nearing the end of life aligns with Hand Heart Pocket’s values which are about alleviating suffering. That’s why we were so keen to support this local initiative,” Gary said.

Photo: Granite Masonic Lodge representatives Carl Richardson and Roy Blakeney with Mareeba Garden Settlement Service Manager Sam Bugat and Facility Manager Brian Ashfield.

Find out more about Granite Masonic Lodge

Those attending the Carpentaria District Quarterly Communication, earlier this month, took time to recognise one of its members for his commitment to the fraternity.

RW Bro Noel Wheeler PJGW who was initiated into Allan Lodge No. 284 in December 1957, was presented with his 60 Year Jewel by the District Grand Master RW Bro Henry Condon.

RW Bro Noel served as Worshipful Master of Allan Lodge No. 284 in 1970 and again in 1997. He also went on to join other Lodges - today he continues to play an active role in both Allan and Temple Memorial Lodges.

At a District level, he rose to District Senior Grand Warden in 2001. Grand Rank was first conferred on him in 1986 as Past Junior Grand Deacon, then Past Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies in 1999 and Past Junior Grand Warden in 2007.

We congratulate RW Bro Noel on reaching this special milestone.  

A donation of almost $12,000 has been handed over to Carinya Home for the Aged in Atherton enabling the purchase of a range of specialised equipment to ensure the safe and dignified care of residents.

Four electric beds, two bariatric wheelchairs and a bariatric shower/commode chair will be purchased with the funds donated by Atherton Duke of Connaught and Fraser Masonic Lodges in conjunction with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

Atherton Duke of Connaught representative Les Simpson and his wife Barbara said that they wanted to thank locals for getting behind the Lodges’ fundraising efforts.

“On behalf of the Masonic Fraternity, we would like to thank the community for their support, we couldn’t have done it without them,” Les said.

“Enhancing residents’ wellbeing and empowering staff to care for residents in the most effective manner was the intention behind our donation,” Les said. 

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark endorsed the efforts of the masons in the Tablelands.

“I congratulate both Atherton Duke of Connaught and Fraser Masonic Lodges for taking the lead to raise funds for this vital equipment,” Gary said.

“For many years the Lodges have worked to give a hand up to those in need, enabling people to lead better lives which Hand Heart Pocket fully supports. That’s why we were ready to match their latest fundraising efforts and effectively double the impact of their donation,” Gary said.

Photo courtesy The Tablelander. 

Find out more about the Freemasons of the Carpentaria District  

Error loading Partial View script (file: ~/Views/MacroPartials/Blog Items.cshtml)