History of Masonic Blood Donations

Masons first became involved with blood donor organizations after the First World War when transfusions became common. Masons began to register their blood type and donate blood by transfusion to their brethren and families. This involvement expanded when in 1941 brother William Hoyle of Electric Lodge # 495 in Hamilton, was the chair of a small committee to promote giving blood by his masters and wardens association and obtained a group of 105 masons, all checked and placed in their proper categories by the Canadian red cross blood donor service to be ready to answer the call for transfusions when their blood type was required. 

In 1947 the Canadian Red Cross began storing blood and in 1958, at the 103 rd annual communication of grand lodge, the late most worshipful brother Harry I. Martin formed a special committee called the blood donor committee to assist agencies working in this field and to keep identified with their wonderful works.

In 1960 the DDGMs were asked to appoint district chairmen of the blood donors committee to facilitate local publicity. Currently these committees are responsible to encourage the brethren and their families to give blood and to encourage the lodges of their respective districts to sponsor clinics in order to assist the Canadian blood donor services. In addition, the donating of plasma and platelets are encouraged, as well as registering your bone marrow for bone marrow transplants. An annual report covering the period from the 1 st of April to the 31 st of March is required, which highlights the activity of their respective districts and provides the amount of donations given by each of their lodges.

The Allen James Sayer Memorial Award

The Allen James Sayer Memorial Award

This Award is dedicated to the glory of the G.A.O.T.U. and in memory of the late Allen James Sayer who distinguished himself within our fraternity and his community. He was a member and Past Master of Hiram Lodge No. 319 Hagersville. He served the craft in many ways which are far to exhaustive to pay tribute at this point, suffice it to mention that he served as the District Blood Donor Chairman in 1989-1990. In his life, Allen exemplified the attributes that all Mason's profess and thus becomes an ideal candidate for this Award to pay tribute. Masonic Charity has his focal point.

The design chosen, which was deemed to represent the purpose of the Award, was a Square and Compass formed in a tripod and fabricated of Cherry wood. A shelf is mounted at the junction of the two working tools which supports a hand crafted native vase illustrating the Masonic Blood Donors emblem and depicting the unique native tradition of our District.

The wood for construction was donated by R.W. Bro. Kenneth Goodbrand.

The construction and design of the Square and Compass tripod was completed by the excellent craftsmanship, skilful and talented efforts of V.W. Bro. Emil Fritscher.

The native vase was crafted by Mr. Steven Smith of Talking Earth Pottery. This is an original and contemporary piece of handmade Iroquois pottery. The emblems on the vase depict both Masonic working tools as well as native symbolism. A more detailed explanation of the whole follows.

Talking Earth Pottery

This is an original and contemporary piece of Canadian Iroquois pottery. This piece has both the symbols of the Masons and traditional Iroquois symbols, both of which compliment each I other and aspire to achieve the same principals. This has been specially commissioned in memory of Allen James Sayer.

The men holding hands is a wampum belt design symbolising fraternity, unity and piece. The eagle symbolises strength, vision, courage and guardianship. The white pine is the tree of peace, symbolising shelter and caring for other human beings. The turtle symbolises the balance of the fertile land and life-sustaining water.

Steve T. Smith

Other Masonic Symbols on the Vase are the Square, Level and Plumb Rule known as the moveable jewels depicting Morality, Equality, and Justness & Uprightness of mind. Jacob's 1 Ladder reminding us of our Faith in the G.A.O.T.U., Hope in Salvation and Charity towards alI men which comprehends the whole of Masonry. The Hour Glass that points out to us, that our time is limited, and that we will be called to render an account of our deeds done in the body.

In the centre of the award and predominately at the front of the vase, the Blood Donors Emblem, the Square and Compasses which when united are to remind us to regulate our life and actions and keep us in due bounds with all mankind. And finally, the focal point of the award is an emblem of a drop of blood, 'The Gift of Life'.

R.W. Bro. Gerald E. Postill
District Deputy Grand Master (1997-1998)
Brant Masonic District Grand Lodge of A.F. & A.M. of Canada in the Province of Ontario