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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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Want to make an enquiry?

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

News & Publications

News24 06 10 Atherton Hospital

Tony has his finger on the pulse at Atherton Hospital and beyond

Tony Birch has his finger on the pulse at Atherton Hospital. Not only is he the Hand Heart Pocket Champion for the Atherton region, but he is also the volunteer Treasurer at Atherton Hospital Friends of the Foundation, a volunteer group connected to the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, looking after people from Tully to […]
News24 06 10 David Hall Osb

David awarded Freemasonry’s highest honour for community service

David Hall of Hervey Bay Daylight Lodge is the latest recipient of the Order of Service to Benevolence Jewel, presented in May. David has been a Freemason for over five decades, commencing his masonic journey in Victoria. In Hervey Bay, where he now resides, David has long championed his local special school, helping ensure students […]
News24 06 10 Argyle Lodge Bowls Day

Members get behind the causes that matter most to Australians: addressing domestic violence, homelessness and cost of living

Over the past year, more people have relied on charities than ever before. Almost all of us will either directly experience, or know someone who is grappling with domestic and family violence, homelessness, or the soaring cost of living. It is not surprising many local community organisations are stretched thin, with some charities being forced […]
NewsProtea Place Year 1

The Welcome Home project gets Toowoomba Freemasons support

Nothing compares to the sense of safety and security that comes from having a place to call home, especially for women building their independence, after experiencing domestic violence or homelessness. Protea Place in Toowoomba helps women make that fresh start. In addition to running a drop-in and resource centre in town, they also help women […]
News24 04 22 Tqkp Case Study

Putting our heads together to build the social systems of tomorrow

Across Queensland, there are many local leaders, organisations and communities working to improve outcomes for children, young people and their families. Communities, and practitioners and young people themselves know what’s needed but all too often the system structures aren’t set up to centre this expertise. This is where the Thriving Queensland Kids Partnership (TQKP) comes […]

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