Masonic Foundation

of Manitoba

About Us

Supporting the charitable and benevolent works of the Freemasons of Manitoba.


Charity Number: 119034502RR0001


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Masons Help Cancer Patients Fight the Battle

 Wpg. Free Press - Volunteers By: Aaron Epp, 05/5/2014

Many people think Freemasonry is a secret society people join for personal gain, but that's not the case, says the leader of the organization's Manitoba chapter. "Freemasonry is about improving the character of men," said Doug Webster, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Manitoba. "It makes good men better."

While it does not exist to be a service organization, the Theological Tenets of Freemasonry are Faith and Hope, is Charity. The key way the Grand Lodge of Manitoba has chosen to practice charity is by partnering with the Manitoba division of the Canadian Cancer Society's transportation service. Five days a week, Masons in Winnipeg and Brandon provide subsidized rides for people receiving cancer treatment. The service helps ensure finances and distance aren't a barrier to treatment for Manitobans in more than 50 communities.

Ken Butchart, who started volunteering as a driver when the Grand Lodge of Manitoba first partnered with the cancer society in 1983, said driving patients to treatment is one way he can fight cancer. "It hits everyone," said Butchart, a retired supervisor with the Canadian National Railway, whose wife, Mary, is a breast cancer survivor. "This is my way of trying to help eradicate this terrible disease."

The Masons are key partners in the service, which has other volunteer drivers as well. The cancer society has five vans in Winnipeg, four of those purchased with money donated by the Masons, and two vans in Brandon, also purchased with money the Masons donated. Last year, the seven vans made more than 30,000 patient trips totaling about 655,000 kilometres. Thirty-three Mason drivers contributed to those numbers by providing more than 5,400 volunteer hours.

For Ted Jones, the highlight of driving one day each week is meeting the patients. "You listen to their stories and you become a part of them," said Jones, who spent 36 years in the military and then worked for figure-skating organizations before retiring. "It's just good to feel that you've been of some help to somebody."

Mark McDonald, the executive director of the cancer society's Manitoba division, said the transportation service is important because it helps patients reduce their anxiety, cope with their cancer and reduce their transportation costs. It also makes them feel supported. "Cancer treatment is a fight, and whether it's chemo or radiation, getting to treatment is a challenge," McDonald said. "These volunteers that drive are amazing people. They really help."

Patients appreciate the support, and the Masons appreciate the opportunity to help. Butchart recalled receiving a small gift of Hershey's Kisses from a patient this past Christmas as a token of thanks. "To get a little present like that was huge," Butchart said. "It was as good as a pot of gold." 

 Last month, the Grand Lodge of Manitoba signed an agreement with the cancer society to keep volunteering for at least another five years. Webster's wish is a cure for cancer is found before then. "That's always the hope," he said.


Contact Canadian Cancer Society Transportation:

Register by phone


Flin Flon and surrounding area: 204-271-1700
The Pas and surrounding area: 204-620-7750
Toll-free: 1-888-532-6982

Register in person

675 McDermot Avenue
Room 1010, Main Floor
Winnipeg, MB

415 – 1st Street
Brandon, MB

Providing rides to cancer treatment

For 40 years (since 1983), the Freemasons of Manitoba in partnership with the Canadian Cancer Society’s transportation program (Wheels of Hope) has enabled patients to focus their energy on fighting cancer and not on worrying about how they will get to treatment.

International Peace Garden

The International Peace Garden Lodge of Freemasons was formed in 1993 with Warrants granted by the Grand Lodges of Manitoba, North Dakota and Minnesota. The Grand Lodge Of Saskatchewan became a chartering Grand Lodge in 2000. Its purpose is "to promote and enhance fraternal relations among Freemasons of North America and to assist in the expansion and maintenance of the International Peace Garden." It meets once a year, (Next meeting is Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017). Membership in the International Peace Garden Lodge of Freemasons is open to any Master Mason in good standing for a one-time fee of $50.



Masonic Auditorium located at the International Peace Garden

Proudly supported by the Freemasons of Manitoba


The International Peace Garden was established as a living symbol and tribute to the historic fact that Canada and the United States of America have been at peace with each other for more than 200 years. The unveiling of a cairn, built of field stones gathered from nearby fields by students from both countries and situated right on the 49th parallel, to mark the creation of the International Peace Garden, took place on July 14th, 1932. An estimated crowd of 50,000 came to celebrate this momentous occasion.The cairn reads: 


We two nations dedicate this garden

and pledge ourselves that as long as men shall live,

we will not take up arms against one another.



“I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”

 - Author Unknown

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