The District Board of Benevolence (DBB) was set up to look after the welfare of the brethren, their widows and families in the unfortunate event of their falling into distress. It depends entirely on the donations of the brethren, and has never appealed to any outsiders for help.When a brother or his widow and/or family needs financial help, his lodge can petition the DBB to render financial aid to the distressed brother and/or his family.
In addition to helping the distressed brethren and their families, every year, a percentage of the investment is earmarked for non-Masonic charity. On occasions of major natural disasters occurring in any part of the world, the DBB has also donated heavily in aid of victims of those disasters, as evidenced by the recent (2004 December) devastating Tsunami which affected many communities surrounding the Indian Ocean. The DBB was quick to respond to that disaster by donating RM$50,000 to the Malaysian Red Crescent Society, in addition to other donations to help the communities in Phuket, where the District has a lodge there which can directly oversee the proper use of the donations.
Further, on 14th August, 2005, the DBB, through the District Grand Lodge of the Eastern Archipelago, jointly together with the Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland, donated RM140,000 (equivalent to £20000) to assist The National Chinese Primary School at Pulau Betong, Balik Pulau, Penang, which was devastated by the Tsunami.
The DBB also has a Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) made up of specialists and general practitioners who are prepared to assist the brethren who need medical care. In addtion, the DBB has negotiated with a number of healthcare providers, including the Parkway Healthcare Group, whereby brethren can obtain substantial discounts when they are hospitalized at these establishments.
As we are facing an aging population, and more and more brethren are moving into their twilight years, the DBB is also engaged in getting facilities to look after aging brethren. A notable project is that of a joint project with the Lions Clubs in Singapore. The District, through the DBB, is jointly financing one ward known as the Masonic Ward in the Lions’ Home for the Aged in Toa Payoh, Singapore
Thus the DBB is actively involved in looking after the brethren and their families, as well as providing charity and relief for many of the suffering humanities.