Freemasons of the Carpentaria District came together on Friday afternoon, to witness Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland handover a cheque for $500,000 to the COUCH Action Group, who are behind the development of the COUCH Wellbeing Centre in Cairns.
The proposed development for the Far North Queensland region will deliver services that provide a holistic approach to cancer care with the primary goal of improving the quality of life for people living with cancer (and beyond) as well as their carers.
Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark, said that the decision to support this project was made in consultation with the Freemasons in the District, who helped to identify a deserving cause that Hand Heart Pocket could support and would benefit the people of Far North Queensland long into the future.
He said the funds would specifically go towards the construction of a large double pavilion, the first of the pavilions to be built on the Manoora site, which will house specialist and support service providers.
“This Centre will be the first of its kind in Cairns and will without a doubt be an asset to the region. Hand Heart Pocket is proud to support this regional initiative that will help to empower people living with cancer and their families, improving their quality of life,” Gary said.
The District Grand Master of the District Grand Lodge of Carpentaria, Lyndon Brandt, echoed these sentiments, saying the District was proud to be involved in the development of the COUCH Wellness Centre, through the donation made by Hand Heart Pocket.
“We are grateful to Hand Heart Pocket for supporting the charitable efforts of Freemasons in this District and for seeing the value of this initiative, that will make a significant difference to those in Far North Queensland,” Lyndon said.
“It’s also important that we recognise the generosity of the Woodward family who, for over a century have played a leading role in the growth of Cairns. In particular, the generosity their forefathers showed the Freemasons when they donated land towards the development of an Aged Care Facility and the Woodward Retirement Village in the 1970s & 1980s.” he said.
Hand Heart Pocket is the Charity of Freemasons Queensland and provides sustainable support that delivers positive outcomes by giving a hand up not a hand out to communities, to other charities and to individuals. It works with its network of Masonic Lodges to identify grassroots needs in local communities around Queensland.
Photo: Carpentaria District Freemasons with Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark (third row, second from left) and Hand Heart Pocket Chairman Tom Wiltshire (third row, first from right)
Carpentaria District Freemason Jimmy Offer from Endeavour Lodge was recently recognised by Cancer Council Queensland for raising funds for their facilities in Cairns.
For many years without fail Jimmy and fellow Freemason Winston Jennings from Bentley Park Lodge have travelled around the Chillagoe area collecting old car batteries for recycling. Whatever funds they raised from extracting these precious metals have gone directly towards the Cancer Council’s Marylyn Mayo Lodge in Cairns – a home away from home for regional cancer patients receiving treatment in the city.
Congratulations to both Jimmy and Winston on their tireless efforts.
Every year for the past two decades Endeavour Lodge has sponsored two bursaries at Cooktown State School as their way of giving back to the community where their Lodge was originally founded in 1875.
Now based in Cairns, roughly four and a half hours south of Cooktown, Endeavour Lodge which has a travelling warrant, attempts to meet in its birthplace at least once a year to celebrate its foundation and to maintain its strong links with the community.
Endeavour Lodge representative Ian Jackson said it was great to be back in Cooktown to recognise two of the school’s most deserving students who each took home a certificate and $250 to put towards their education.
“It was an absolute privilege to represent Endeavour Lodge and Freemasonry at the Cooktown State School awards night,” Ian said.
“These two students have actively participated in and contributed to a wide range of school activities whilst achieving a high standard in industry, reliability, initiative and sociability.”
“Some of the fundamental principles of Freemasonry are charity and to foster good citizenship and values within society, so it was tremendously rewarding to be allowed to represent the Lodge and justly reward these two young people for their efforts,” he said.
Endeavour Lodge is unique in that, while they are now based in Cairns, it continues to attract members from Cooktown, the birthplace of the Lodge.
Tyson Tully Lodge with the support of Hand Heart Pocket, the charity of Freemasons Queensland recently donated a bench seat to Tully State High School’s arboretum. The Outdoor learning and recreation space was destroyed by Cyclone Yasi in 2011 but has since been restored with an array of native and Indigenous food plants.