Brethren, I want to share something with you that I am sure many are not aware of. The Norris Cotton Cancer Center in Dartmouth Hitchcock Hospital is the main charity of one of Freemasonry’s National Bodies-The Knights of the York Cross of Honour.
This particular Organization was established to be a supporting Body for the York Rite of Freemasonry. The qualifications for membership are rather particular. One has to have presided over the Four Bodies and served one term to completion of each. The Four Bodies are the Blue Lodge, a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, a Council of Cryptic Masons, and a Commandery of Knights Templar. This is no easy task, but there are several dedicated Masons out there who have accomplished the goal.
NH Priory No. 58 is the name of our States Body which was chartered by Convent General the National Body for the Organization. What we should be proud about here in the Granite State is the fact that Convent General has selected the Cancer Center above mentioned as the Charity of its choice and encourages members from all Priory’s around the world to support it by financial donations. I have been informed the annual donation has grown from $300,000 in 1994 to 1.8 Million Dollars last year. That is a lot of funding and the Cancer Center is visited annually by members of this Grand Body. I was invited to attend this meeting with several National Leaders from across the United States and was pleased with the outcome.
The money contributed to this cause is generally used for research purposes. Nano-technology is being used to find ways to fight or perhaps someday completely cure Cancer. We were treated to a few lectures from the people who actually perform the research and are very supportive of our funding contributions which aid them in their work.
The Cancer Center covers a large area of New Hampshire, Vermont, and part of Maine out to Bangor, down to the Massachusetts area where Boston’s Hospital is located and hard for the patients to reach. They have a large network of individuals who work together and perhaps travel to the patients if need be.
We were treated to a tour of their research laboratory and spoke with those who perform the work. They are delighted to explain their techniques and how they perform their various tests individually. You can see the excitement in their demonstrations and what it means to them to perform the good work they do and help aid mankind. They are very pleased to see us come and look forward to the Annual Visits from Convent General.
New Hampshire being the home of this organization makes us a large part of this National Bodies affair. We are indeed fortunate in that respect. We were shown various projects and met with individuals who are highly specialized in their fields and could see the excitement that working there generates for them. Imagine how rewarding it must be to know you have done something to help humanity in its fight against such a strong adversary.
I won’t go into details but want you to be aware that this is happening here in New Hampshire and we are visited annually by those who donate their time and personal money to come here and continue to support this very worthwhile endeavor.
We as Masons give money out to various charities, but how many are actually centered here where we all live and could someday reap the benefit of this research? I am highly excited about this endeavor, and have been asked to be a Personal Representative of Convent General here in the New England States, between Maine and New York. I will do my best to bring to the attention of the various Masonic Bodies here and around that great things are being accomplished by this facility and how nice it would be to give a little something to work being done here, not just in New England, but right at home in New Hampshire. I would be glad to talk about this with any Masonic Body who may be interested, and hope in due time to be asked to elaborate more on this very worthwhile facility and the work it does to perhaps aid someone you know who is battling this dreadful disease.
Dennis A. Sheridan, RW PDDGM District Five of NH
Worshipful Master of North Star Lodge No. 8, F & AM of Lancaster, NH