The Mark Fund of Benevolence
In 1868 the Mark Fund of Benevolence, latterly to become affectionately known as the MBF, was established by the then Grand Master, Reverend Canon G.R. Portal. Its purpose was to render financial assistance to Mark Master Masons in distress, their widows & children. It was his visionary belief that it was necessary for the Mark Degree to establish its own Benevolent Fund to enable that financial assistance to be dispensed quickly and efficiently if it was to be effective. The Grand Master introduced the Latin motto ”Bis dat qui cito dai” – ”he gives twice who gives promptly” – and this has been the guiding principle ever since.
The fund continues to be administered by Mark Grand Lodge and is also acknowledged throughout the Fraternity for its very clear and distinct charitable motives. For over 140 years it has been at the forefront of charitable giving and it is something that Mark Master Masons readily identify with as over and above the ritual and ceremony of our Order.
Since the fund was first established a sum in excess of £3.2 million has been distributed in relief. The first grant, of £5 was made in 1868 to a shipwrecked Mark brother who had lost virtually everything he possessed.
The RNLI Tamar class craft named “Mark Mason” which was launched in 2009 by the HRH Prince Michael of Kent and is based in Angle, Pembrokeshire. The Mark funded the completion of this lifeboat to the tune of £1.6m and was the largest single donation ever received by the RNLI.
Hertfordshire Provincial Mark Benevolent Fund
This fund was established in 1985 and allows the Provincial Grand Lodge of Hertfordshire to again provide financial assistance to their members and dependants similarly along the lines as that of the Mark Fund of Benevolence by Mark Grand Lodge.
It is a charity, registered number 291376, with the Charity Commission and has three Trustees appointed by Provincial Grand Lodge, together with a Custodian Trustee appointed by the Provincial Grand Master – RW Bro Chris Radmore – who at the present time is W.Bro Roger Southcombe PPGJW.