Freemasons in Devoted Themselves to Helping Those in Need During the War
Freemasons around the world who were still able to operate did what they could to help the war effort and those in need. Freemasons in Illinois created Masonic Service Centers for the men who were stationed at military bases in Illinois. These Service centers would provide fun, recreation and comfort to members of the military. Hot meals were provided and there were community events that would help get the minds of the men off the war. The Masonic Service Centers were open to all men in uniform whether or not they were members of the Freemasons.
The Masonic Service Centers would also send letters to brothers that were stationed overseas and let them know that they were making a difference and doing the brotherhood proud. Thousands of letters were sent and were gratefully received by soldiers across the world. The Service Centers were run by volunteers and funded through the savings of the Illinois Masonic lodges and donations. Every single Masonic lodge in Illinois sent donations and the Service Centers were overfunded by 25%.
Masonic lodges in England also did what they could to help those in need. Brothers donated their masonic jewels in order to help fund the war effort and by 1941 £20,000 had been raised for the war effort. But the Freemasons did more than just donate money. When the people of London ran for shelter underground during night bombings many of them choose to seek shelter in the basement of the Freemason’s Hall.
Workers from the Covent Garden Market and the people living in the local Peabody Buildings would choose to go to the Freemasons’ Hall over the Holborn Underground Station. In the morning when it was safe to emerge Grand Secretary Sydney White and his Secretary Miss Haigh would serve tea and sandwiches to those who had sought shelter. There was even a greenhouse built upon the Grand Temple in order to grow much needed fruits and vegetables.