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Our story

Founded by the Freemasons of Queensland, Hand Heart Pocket has a proud history of  benevolence and community service dating back more than a century. Here is a brief overview of how we have evolved into the philanthropic foundation that we are today.

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A proud history dating back more than a century

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1907- 1946

The founding of The Board of Benevolence and of Aged Masons Widows and Orphans’ Fund

Our journey started in 1907 when the Freemason’s Grand Lodge
of Queensland founded the Widows & Orphans & Aged Masons Institution.

In 1909, a committee under the Freemasons’ District Grand Lodge of Queensland established a fund called Freemasons Homes. This fund was set up to establish homes for aged Masons at a time when care homes for the elderly were rare.

In 1913, 17 acres of land was purchased at Sandgate in Brisbane and in 1925, the first facility was built, Lewis Cottage, which was the start of what later became known as Masonic Care Queensland.

The Board of Benevolence was also formed in 1913, and then in 1946, all Freemason Benevolence activities in Queensland amalgamated to form The Board of Benevolence and of Aged Masons Widows and Orphans’ Fund.  Watch our history video.

1925 – 2016

Masonic Care Queensland – a legacy built on caring

Over 91 years from 1925, Freemasons established residential aged care and retirement living facilities across Queensland, all of which later became part of The Board of Benevolence and of Aged Masons Widows and Orphans’ Fund trading as Masonic Care Queensland. These facilities were in eleven locations including Atherton, Cairns, Townsville, Gracemere, Tin Can Bay, Kingaroy, Sandgate (Brisbane), Crows Nest, Texas, Inglewood and Arundel (Gold Coast). You can read more about our legacy built on caring here.

Masonic Care Queensland was sold in 2016, so the organisation could focus on greater charity, benevolence and philanthropy trading as Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

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2014 - Now

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland – creating philanthropic impact

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland was launched as a new brand and trading name for the charity and benevolent activities of The Board of Benevolence and of Aged Masons, Widows and Orphans’ Fund in 2014. The brand and trading name are based on symbols that Freemasons have used for centuries – hand, heart and pocket to pledge practical help, genuine empathy and financial generosity to those who need it most.

When the organisation sold Masonic Care Queensland in 2016, a large philanthropic fund of $180 million was established from the sale proceeds. This philanthropic fund allowed the benevolent work of Freemasons across Queensland and in Papua New Guinea to be magnified at both a local and state-wide level.

By June 2022, Hand Heart Pocket, with the assistance of Freemason Lodges, had provided over $29 million in philanthropic and in-kind support to worthy causes over six years.

In 2019, Hand Heart Pocket was recognised for its longstanding history of philanthropy and was presented the inaugural QCF Board of Governors’ Award for Outstanding Achievement at the 2019 Philanthropists of the Year Awards.

Hand Heart Pocket further refined its philanthropic approach in late 2019 to focus on helping to improve outcomes for youth at risk. The organisation continues to back its Members to engage with their local communities and support the cause they care about most.  Hand Heart Pocket also helps local communities get back on their feet in times of disaster and hardship.

You can find out more about our strategic approach through our whiteboard video and our Theory of Change.

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Get in touch with our team and we will get back to you as soon as possible!

News & Publications

News24 01 16 Seq Storms Latest News

$150,000 donated on behalf of the Freemasons of Queensland to help our disaster-affected communities recover this summer

Hand Heart Pocket has responded quickly each time disaster has struck over the summer, with $150,000 now donated on behalf of the Freemasons of Queensland to our disaster response partner GIVIT since December 2023.   Our response includes:  – $100,000 in disaster assistance in North and Far North Queensland, after Tropical Cyclone Jasper and Tropical Cyclone […]
NewsFoyer Announcement

Voices of young people influence millions in funding for Youth Foyers for young Queenslanders

Hand Heart Pocket welcomes today’s announcement by the Queensland Government for eight new Youth Foyers across the state. The first three of the new Youth Foyers will be delivered in Cairns, Hervey Bay and the Moreton Bay region, with the remaining five pipeline sites to be confirmed. The announcement comes after 18 months’ of advocacy […]
News23 12 22 Miles Lcp Year 1 Results

How the Freemasons of Miles are contributing to their community

They say that volunteering is good for you and the Freemasons of Miles would be the first to agree. While there might only be six Freemasons in the Western Downs region, they are as active as ever in the community, pitching in alongside other local volunteers. You’ll find them sorting fiction from non-fiction at Fully […]
News23 12 19 Latest News Fnq Floods Disaster Relief

Our disaster relief donation in response to the Far North Queensland floods – how you can give too

Communities in Far North Queensland have had a devastating start to the holiday season, with a catastrophic rain event drenching the region in the wake of ex-Tropical Cyclone Jasper. Entire towns have been evacuated, with authorities confirming that this is a record-breaking natural disaster. As the full impact of the disaster continues to be assessed, […]
News23 12 15 Idac

Inaugural roundtable of new collaboration between government and philanthropy to better support Australia’s children

A new collaboration between government and philanthropy aiming to improve the lives of children, young people, and their families, has taken a step forward recently with the first Roundtable meeting of the Investment Dialogue for Australia’s Children. To mark this development, philanthropic Dialogue Members announced approximately $65 million dollars of recent investments aligned to the […]
NewsQueensland Bushfires Latest News 1

Our $50,000 disaster recovery donation for Queenslanders impacted by bushfires and how you can give too

The devastating fires affecting the Western Downs community of Tara have heralded a long hot summer, and the heightened risk of further bushfires for communities across the State. The Tara community is still coming to terms with the aftermath of the recent fires, having lost 56 homes. Many residents are displaced and need support with […]

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