MONMOUTHSHIRE Freemasons has raised an incredible £1 million for good causes in the space of the past two decades.

Key beneficiaries of funds amassed by the 1,100-strong group include hospices and charities. Recent donations made by the Monmouthshire Masonic Trust Fund have included £4,000 to the Carers Trust South East Wales to help young people cope during the pandemic, £10,000 to the St David’s Hospice towards general running costs and more than £12,000 to the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board for iPads, patient comforts, scrubs and visors.

All the money has been raised through direct giving, raffles, the proceeds of concerts and functions and an annual vintage car show and fun day at the Hogs Head Hotel near Abergavenny. Many members also volunteer their time and energy to help a range of organisations, particularly those that assist the elderly, vulnerable and isolated.

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Des James, Richard Davies, Richard Beavan, Paul Francis, Chris Gabica, of Monmouthshire Freemasons

Monmouthshire Freemasons encompasses the old county of Gwent, with 29 craft lodges occupying 11 buildings throughout the area, including the Grade II-listed Masonic Centre at Dock Street in Newport.

The organisation - the roots of which go back to the traditions of the Mediaeval stone masons who built the UK’s churches and castles - is founded on principles of honesty, fairness, kindness and tolerance. It seeks to encourage others to be better human beings and promote a feeling of charity.


The Province of Monmouthshire is constituted and governed by the United Grand Lodge of England, of which the Duke of Kent is the titular head, and was founded more than 200 years ago.

“Our membership is open to people from all backgrounds irrespective of ethnicity or religious or political persuasions,” explains the head of freemasonry in Monmouthshire Richard Davies.

“We’re proud to be a part of one of the oldest social and charitable organisations in the world.

“Freemasonry is not a secret society, rather it has some secrets attached to it, all of which are restricted to ceremonial use in order to preserve the traditions of the Mediaeval stonemasons.”

The Monmouthshire Masonic Trust Fund was set up during the late 1990s with the sole aim of benefitting local people.

“The aim is to help our local communities and its inhabitants as much as we possibly can, particularly those who really need it,” says Mr Davies.

“The young, the vulnerable, the sick and the elderly are the prime targets and account for the vast majority of donations.

“All applications are properly and carefully scrutinised by a working committee, and there are relatively few rejections.”

The very first amount of money given by the Monmouthshire Masonic Trust Fund was £110,000 for the Ty Hafen children’s hospice in Cardiff, with a further £50,000 provided in 2013.

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A team of Monmouthshire Freemasons took part in a 1,000-mile Monte Carlo rally, each covering his own costs. They raised £5,000 for charity

St David’s Hospice, both the old and new centres, has been a beneficiary on several occasions, as have The Hospice of the Valleys, the St Davids Foundation, cardiology facilities, scouts and guides, The Samaritans, mental health charities such as MIND, Women’s Aid in Abergavenny and Newport, The Parkinson’s Disease Society, Sparkle, The Alzheimer’s Society, St John’s Ambulance, Age Cymru and various churches and village halls.

At the same time a number of small organisations receiving little financial assistance have been supported over the past 20 years, including food banks and a kitchen making fresh meals in Newport.

“Aneurin Bevan University Health Board is very grateful to the Monmouthshire Masons for the generous support they have given over many years to help patient care,” said assistant nurse director Tanya Strange. “We also thank them for their recent support to both patients and staff in light of the first and second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We wish them well with their continued efforts to support out local community.”

Greg Thomas, interim chief executive of MIND in Torfaen and Blaenau Gwent, says a donation made by the Freemasons has greatly benefited the work of the charity.

“I am very grateful to the Freemasons of Monmouthshire for spontaneously making a donation of £15,000 across our four local MIND offices to combat social isolation and to continue our work to promote and sustain good mental health and wellbeing in our communities throughout the impact of Covid 19 this year,” he said.

Housing provider is sponsoring our awards

South Wales Argus:

Newport City Homes is the sponsor of the 'Charity of the Year' category in the Pride of Gwent Awards At Newport City Homes, we provide homes and services to more than 20,000 residents, leaseholders and shared owners in the city of Newport. As the largest social landlord in Newport, we are uniquely placed to play a key role in ensuring our residents and communities are given opportunities to grow and succeed.

Keeping residents and colleagues safe is our number one priority, and we are doing everything we can to minimise the impact of coronavirus in our communities. We have adapted the way we work to keep delivering essential services in these difficult circumstances, meeting the changing needs of our residents and communities, and supporting the recovery efforts of the city.

Now more than ever it is important to ensure we remain a strong and resilient housing association that delivers efficient and effective services to our residents and communities.

It is only by continuing to put residents at the heart of every decision we make, adapting to change, tackling challenges and embracing opportunities that we will provide homes in communities where people want to live, now and for years to come.

The South Wales Argus Pride of Gwent Awards is an opportunity to show our appreciation for members of the community who go above and beyond and show tremendous strength, community engagement, teamwork, and tenacity. We are proud to sponsor the Charity of the Year category this year more than ever to showcase the importance charity and volunteering plays in our communities.

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