Since 1958 the Masonic Blood Donor Committees have worked hard to ensure that all Masons know about the work of Canadian Blood Services and are encouraged to give blood.
The Masonic commitment to donating blood can be traced back to V.W. Bro. William Hoyle of the Electric Lodge #495 in 1941 when he persuaded his Masters and Wardens Association to take an interest in donating blood. At this time, blood was not collected, but donated directly to the recipient. As a result, a list of donors was required to ensure that when blood was needed, a donor was available. V.W. Bro. Hoyle and a dedicated group of Masons made up the majority of that list. On the evening of May 23rd, 1944 the Moose Hall was the scene of an horrific fire. V.W. Bro. Hoyle was contacted to rally the Masons and report directly to the hospital to help save the lives of the people who had managed to get out of the fire. Shortly after this truly charitable act of brotherly love and relief, V.W. Bro. Hoyle, and the Hamilton Masons, joined forces with The Red Cross to improve the system by which blood donors were recorded and could be contacted.As time progressed, and the ability to store blood arrived, the Masons continued to aid The Red Cross, and later Canadian Blood Services, in their valiant work. We are needed today, more than ever, to help our fellow man.
Supporting the donation of blood fits hand in hand with the core values of a Mason. Therefore, it is only fitting that as Masons, we should do everything we can to support the Canadian Blood Services. Many lodges currently sponsor and volunteer and Blood Donor Clinics. These clinics can generate up to 120 units of blood - a unit of blood is the amount collected from one person. This blood is then used to save the lives of people in our community.
In addition to sponsoring clinics, Masons are strongly encouraged to donate blood themselves. In an effort to continue to promote this practice, Toronto West Masonic District has joined with Canadian Blood Services and is now registered as a "Partner For Life." The "Partner For Life" program allows CBS to automatically track donations made by masons, friends of masons, and a mason's family members every time they make a donation. The idea of the program is simple; once you are registered with the program, every donation you make is credited to our Masonic District, and is reported to the District's Blood Donor Chair by CBS. Our participation in this program will also be published by CBS, which will increase the public profile of Masonry, and be a further example of the charitable acts of our brethren. Today, the Blood Donor Committee compiles statistics from every lodge on annual donations. Many lodges have a blood donor chairman.
Blood Donor Chairman
Bro. Darko Zdravic University Lodge 496
Toronto West District - Partners For Life number MASO011134