The Masonic Education Fund was established in 1887, on the occasion of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, through the efforts of a few far-sighted Brethren from the 3 Constitutions which existed at the time, namely the Netherlandic, English and Scottish. The Irish joined up later. The fundís aim, according to archives found, was to provide assistance in the education and matters incidental thereto of deceased or infirm Freemasons children in necessitious circumstances.
In those long gone days, education was, of course, far cheaper than it is today. School fees cost £1.10/- per quarter and it is also worth noting that, in the early days, tertiary education did not need to be catered for.
The records show that, in a lecture given in the 1960s, the audience were informed that, over the years, a sum of at least a quarter of a million Rand had been disbursed for the education of over 1300 scholars. As a result, this large number of children has received education of a standard that their fathers would have provided and those children were fitted by education to take their several places in the spheres of commerce, industry and the professions.
Since that particular report, through extremely careful investments and donations from Lodges, Chapters and individual Brethren, the small basic capital has grown considerably. The Fund has therefore been able to expand its horizons to include such tertiary education as courses at Technikons, Universities and similar recognised educational bodies. The amounts, of course, are much higher today and the outlay now runs into millions of Rand.
The Masonic Education Fund caters for all 4 Constitutions which have Lodges and Chapters in the whole of the Western and Eastern Cape, the Transkei and Namibia.
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