A SHORT HISTORY
The Fund came into existence in 1868 on the suggestion of the Most Worshipful Grand Master, the Reverend George Raymond Portal, (in 1881; Canon Portal) who served in that Office for four years from 1869 – 1873. Reverend Portal strongly believed it vital for the Mark Degree to have ownership of a benevolent fund.
The M.B.F. was established with the sole objective of providing immediate financial aid to eligible Mark Master Masons or their close family, who may be in distress. Significantly, it was to encourage all Brethren to practice the morals of donating freely and without hesitation. Portal considered this code of conduct would provide the Order with a clear and distinctive charitable motive, a noticeable purpose with which Mark Master Masons could readily identify.
It was abhorrent to Reverend Portal for there to be any delay in supplying aid to those in need, thus the Latin dictum ‘Bis dat qui cito dat’ (‘He gives twice who gives promptly’ or ‘A gift given without hesitation is as good as two gifts’) became the guiding principle for the Mark Benevolent Fund, which continues to this very day.