“The Royal Arch” in Action
First Grand Principal and Grand Master
LAUNCHES APPEAL TO SPONSOR SAILABILITY
I have taken the unusual step of writing to Chapters and Companions personally as I believe this to be a project of importance to the Order, Chapters and Companions, collectively.
Recently I was approached by some of our Companions with the proposition that the Order assist them to sponsor a Sailability boat. After meeting with the Companions I decided that this would be a truly worthwhile project for the whole Order to adopt rather than an individual Chapter.
Some may say why Sailability? This is a reasonable question which deserves an answer. Perhaps this can be best summed up by the theme of Sailability itself “Freedom on the water regardless of ability.” Sailability provides the opportunity through small sailing boats for those in the community who could not otherwise do so to enjoy the freedom of competing in sailing competitions against others both with disabilities as well as uninhibited sailors.
Competition is unrestricted in who can sail and sailors with disabilities ranging from autism, spina-bifida, intellectual, cerebral palsy, vision impaired, hearing impaired, stroke victims, amputees, paraplegia, quadriplegia, age and infirmity enjoy the benefits provided by Sailability with the support of volunteers, have been able to compete in competitions not only in our jurisdiction but interstate and internationally.
Recently and by sheer co-incidence, a red boat became available for sponsorship and I believe it is an opportunity for Mark & Royal Arch Masons to both show and demonstrate in a practical way their benevolence and willingness to be involved in the community by sponsoring this appropriately coloured boat.
The boat we will sponsor will be named “The Royal Arch” and emblazoned on its sails will be the Pure Ancient Masonry symbol of the Square and Compasses with the Keystone and Triple Tau superimposed under which will be “USGC NSW & ACT.”
Apart from the good we would accomplish for those less fortunate than ourselves we would also demonstrate a commitment to our community by this Order which would be displayed not only across this jurisdiction but also the country and possibly even internationally. Whilst the boat may not be able to be transported physically to participate in every interstate or overseas event, the racing sails bearing our logo and name can be and are and may one day be seen not only interstate but perhaps internationally. Recently one of the boats competed in Hiroshima, Japan, with the square and compasses proudly displayed on its sails whilst another raced in Germany.
The manner in which I hope to sponsor this boat is by way and of an Appeal to the Chapters of this jurisdiction for a donation. The cost to each Chapter if all contribute equates to the total sum of $100 per Chapter or just $20 per year over the five year period of the sponsorship. To most Chapters that is no more than $1 per member per year. Generally less than 10 cents per member per meeting yet consider the good it would do in our community. If a Chapter does not feel it can afford the one off donation of $100 to cover the five years of the sponsorship or the alternative of just $20 per year then of course I understand and no further comment will be made.
As I have said I propose this to be a project for the Chapters, or put another way, an exercise for the Order in building unity with a common purpose and goal to assist in our community collectively. I will be commencing on our Webpage a Sponsors Roll. As Chapters or Companions donate it will be announced on Facebook and the Chapter or Companion added to the Sponsors Roll on the Webpage as a way of acknowledging your generosity. There will be regular updates on our boat advising the sponsors of where it has been and what it has achieved and you will be able to follow its progress.
I now appeal to all Chapters and Companions to consider this opportunity to make a contribution in a way that covers many forms of disability not just one. I urge you to please discuss between yourselves and in your Chapters this opportunity and support this project.
It would be ideal if each Chapter could donate the $100 for the five year sponsorship in one donation but I realise some Chapters may not be able to do so but please do not let this deter you from at least donating something towards this worthwhile project.
I thank you in anticipation of your generosity. Yours Fraternally,
First Grand Principal and Grand Master