THE PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE - JULY 2014
The Masonic Foundation of Ontario
Report to Grand Lodge
To the Most Worshipful, the Grand Master, Officers and Members of the Grand Lodge A.F. & A.M. of Canada in the Province of Ontario
Most Worshipful Sir and Brethren:
This Report does not appear in the Preliminary Reports and Fraternal Reviews of Grand Lodge.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am pleased to present this report on The Masonic Foundation of Ontario to the one hundred and fifty-ninth Annual Communication of Grand Lodge. M. W. The Grand Master, I take great pleasure in officially presenting to you a copy of the 2014 Annual Report of The Masonic Foundation of Ontario as well as our new book A History of the First Fifty Years of the Masonic Foundation of Ontario.
Year in Review
The highlight of the year was the celebration of the Foundation’s fiftieth anniversary at a banquet here on Monday evening with over 150 members and guests in attendance. Our celebration was highlighted by the release of our book A History of the First Fifty Years of The Masonic Foundation of Ontario, written by one of our Past Presidents, R.W. Bro. Ronald Campbell. This book incorporates the history of the first twenty-five years, For the Cause of Good, written by R.W. Bro. Wallace McLeod, and, on behalf of the members of the Foundation, I thank them for their work in documenting our history. The new book is available at no charge from the Foundation.
Also, at the celebratory dinner on Monday night, the Grand Master and Deputy Grand Master pledged their full support behind funding medical research into prostate cancer. The fundraising goal for this prostate cancer research program is $1,000,000 to be raised over the next ten years. We raised over $1,000,000 before and with your help, we will do it again. I urge each of you to pick up some brochures and share them with your family and friends. Learn more about prostate cancer and support the search for a cure. Gentlemen, it is time to remove the darkness of denial and deal with this cancer. With your support, we can achieve our goal. We need your help.
On Tuesday morning, it was my privilege to preside over the fifty-first annual general meeting of The Masonic Foundation of Ontario and present the 2014 Annual Report to the assembled members and guests. The annual report highlights the regular, ongoing activities of the Foundation, as described by the Directors and Committee chairmen, and I highly recommend it to your perusal and for you to share it with your friends and family. The report was widely circulated at the Foundation's information booth, and extra copies are available from the Foundation's office. All lodges in Ontario will be furnished with a copy and the report has been posted on the Foundation's website (masonicfoundation.on.ca). There is also a link to the website through the Grand Lodge website. As you read through the report, you will appreciate the wide spectrum of social needs addressed by the Foundation. As mentioned, the focus of the fundraising will be for prostate cancer research, however, the present funding for established programs will not be affected.
This year has been another year of accomplishments and advances for the Foundation. I have already drawn your attention to the prostate cancer research program, which is in its third year. The college bursary program has been very well received and promoted by the colleges that have received funding. Mel Duke deserves much of the credit for its success since he worked with the colleges in crafting the arrangements for the grants.
For many years the Foundation has supported the work of youth programs and this year was no exception. Scouts Canada, The Girl Guides of Canada, 4H, De Molay, and Rainbow for Girls were recipients of grants this year to assist them in developing the potential of our youth. In addition to these programs, the annual report highlights the continuing programs supported by the Foundation. As you read through these reports you will appreciate the great work of the various recipients of your funding. Your Directors vigilantly oversee the programs to ensure your donations are used efficiently and effectively.
Financially, the Foundation’s capital base has grown to nearly $15 million, and this growth has been achieved through many bequests received and investment of capital gains realized over the past several decades.
We were very pleased that many District charity projects were registered with the Foundation and received, or will receive, a financial bonus from the Foundation upon presentation of the proceeds of their work to their supported charities. District charity projects are important in making communities better places, and the Foundation encourages, and is very supportive of, this activity. We thank the District Deputy Grand Masters and their fundraisers for their hard work. The primary objective of these charitable activities is to meet and work together in the peace, harmony, and fraternal affection which characterize our great fraternity.
The Foundation is grateful for the tremendous support of The Grand Master, the Deputy Grand Master, and indeed, all Grand Lodge officers.
On Tuesday, Vice-President Brian Koivu completed his six-year term as a Director and retired from the Board, however he agreed to stay on as Treasurer, replacing Ed Standish who is stepping down. We thank them for many years of faithful service.
The Foundation could not function without the support of our dedicated staff. We are fortunate to have Mel Duke, Secretary, and Marlene Victor, administrative assistant. Their loyalty and devotion is very much appreciated, and the Directors salute them for their hard work.
On a personal note, a year ago I advised the Board that this would be my last year as a Director and President. I have been blessed with the support and confidence of the Board of Directors and am thankful for their devotion to the Foundation. My thirteen years with the Foundation, the last five of which were as President, have been most rewarding. We have accomplished much, but there is much more to do.
Yesterday the Board welcomed three new Directors, James Anderson, Darren Byrne, and Thomas Siemiernik, and elected Allan C. Dvorak as President of the Foundation. I have the utmost confidence that Al and his team will lead the Foundation to greater things in the future and will maintain the Foundation as the charity of choice of the Masons of Ontario…for the cause of good.
All of which is respectfully submitted on behalf of the Board of Directors, Officers, and Committee Chairmen of The Masonic Foundation of Ontario.
A. Douglas Nichols, President
The charity of choice of the masons of Ontario…for the cause of good