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Joining Forces, Uniting Penang Lodges and Lodges across our District ……..in the name of Relief an


October 2017, Penang

I trust all will recall that Penang was hit by a devastating flood last October 2017. It left our Penang community reeling in shock and pain.

Masonry prides itself on being committed to improve the communities where they live and meet. This is especially true when disaster strikes.

In this article we would like to share with our readers the sincere letter written by Worshipful Brother Paul Morach who was at the time of the flood the Worshipful Master of Royal Prince of Wales Lodge No. 1555.

His letter is addressed to our own District Board of Benevolence (DBB), the all the Worshipful Masters of Sister Lodges and their generous Brethren.

In a few words he expounds on not only generous donations from our DBB and Lodges across our District but outlines the swift and prudent management of the funds and of the brethren who gave freely of their time and money.

Dear President of District Board of Benevolence, W Masters of Sister Lodges and Brethren,

Kindly allow me to present the report of the Flood Relief activities for Penang. I have prepared this summary on the donations and how the donations were applied. (Kindly refer to the Excel Sheet for all details). Not included in this article

I am refraining from attaching all receipts however be assured that all are well kept by our Lodge Almoner, W. Bro. Vijaykumar. The Lodge Charity Committees for both Lodges, Neptune Lodge No. 9849 and The Royal Prince of Wales Lodge No. 1555 have sighted these receipts during their meetings and found them in order. I assume Ex-Rate of SGD 1 = MYR 3 for this this report

Donations:

A total of MYR 124,908.89 has been donated by the DGLEA, the Lodges, Brethren and anonymous donors.

MYR 118,008.89 were received into our Charity Account (Affin bank) while MYR 3, 000 and SGD 1, 300 were transferred to the DBB Account of the DGLEA.

A total of MYR 107, 428.89 were donated by individual lodges after our Lodge has informed all Worshipful Masters within our District of the floods devastating impact to Penang Island, Butterworth and Prai.

Donations applied for the cause of charity:

A total of MYR 87,604.20 has been applied in the cause of charity at various stages.

First, was the swift response to the victims for their immediate survival that consisted mainly in form of food donations and small cash donations e.g. MYR 300 per family.

Our W. Brethren Vijayakumar, Bobby Geh, Hira Singh and Ravindra Kumar have personally taken time off and visited the places and the people living there. I won’t go into the details as we all have seen pictures of the devastating effect of the flood and the suffering of the people.

MYR 10,150 has been spent in purchasing food that was distributed by our Brethren. You may notice that food supplies stopped around a week after the flood waters retracted.

In the next phase of relief the Charity Committee decided to purchase stoves and basic clothing for those who lost all for a total of MYR 19,104.20. We received reports that certain of our own Brethren we affected by the floods. These impacted Brethren in their humbleness did not reach out to the Charity Committee for help even though some were badly affected.

After due considerations, the Committee directed MYR 6,000 to assist our own Masons and their families.

Thanks to the overwhelming support of the Penang community, the immediate help in food, supplies and clothing was taken care off.

The focus has now changed to assist in the ‘restart life’. As such a final call was made to all our Brethren to report families in need to purchase school uniforms and basic appliances. All information was cited and final donations were made to a total MYR 51, 600 in cash contribution to those in need.

As we wound up with a surplus It is the opinion of the Charity Committee not to spend money if not necessary but to transfer any balance of funds to the District Board of Benevolence so as to keep it in a contingency ‘disaster relief’ account for the future. Though we hope something similar will not happen again, we feel that as all the money was donated by the Lodges and individuals for purpose of Penang’s flood relief we believe it should be directed accordingly for that very same purpose.

Summary

Total donations of MYR 124,908.89 have been received by our Lodge and the District Grand Lodge of the Eastern Archipelago’s District Board of Benevolence (DBB) Accounts.

A total of MYR 87,604.20 has been spent which results in a surplus of MYR 37, 304.69 (MYR 6,900 by the District Board of Benevolence and MYR 30, 404.69 in our Charity Account).

Worshipful Master (of RPW),

With your approbation, I would humbly recommend to transfer MYR 30’404.69 to the DBB accounts and suggest the sum the allocation of MYR 37, 304.69 be kept as contingency disaster relief fund by the DBB and inform all Lodges accordingly.

Let me take this opportunity to express the sincerest thanks to all Worshipful Masters and the Brethren of all Lodges who immediately came forward in those difficult times, to the District Board of Benevolence, the Charity subcommittee of Neptune Lodge No. 9849 and The Royal Prince of Wales Lodge No. 1555, W. Brethren Vijayakumar, Booby Geh, Hira Singh and Ravindra Kumar who were coordinating and spending their times in the field for weeks.