How has the RFBI evolved to remain relevant today?
The RFBI was founded in 1880 to assist the poor and needy at a time when there were no government funded social welfare programs. Over 130 years later, this role is still being undertaken; albeit to a much lesser degree, through our annuity scheme.
We have also introduced a Benevolence Assistance Program, where special cases of need are identified, assessed and assistance granted. All donations through the Lodges as well as many other forms of donations are expended in these areas, free of all administration costs. In other words, each dollar given to the RFBI is donated in total to a worthy cause.
Over recent years, the RFBI has responded to the issue of Australia’s ageing population and diversified its caring and benevolent role through the establishment of aged care facilities. We own and operate residential retirement villages, providing comfortable and attractive self care units, hostels and nursing homes.
Currently, the RFBI owns and operates 20 self-care villages (comprising 903 units),19 low care hostels (with a total of 1053 beds), 4 high care nursing homes (comprising 148 beds) and 6 Community Aged Care programs (comprising 186 funded places), throughout NSW and the ACT. In total the RFBI cares for in excess of 2200 citizens.
The diversification of the RFBI’s main role into aged care will continue to expand in the future due to the ageing population, and the demand for this type of accommodation. Providing support to the ageing population to allow them to age with dignity, and the provision of much needed accommodation for people suffering from dementia type diseases is at the forefront of the RFBI’s objectives.
With the assistance of the Federal Government’s recurrent funding the RFBI is confident that it will fulfil its objectives long into the future.
How is the RFBI affiliated with Freemasonry?
The RFBI was founded by a group of Freemasons in 1880. The founders expressed their philosophy as:
“For the sake of the poor – of our own obligations – and of the credit of the Order, it is hoped that a generous and universal support will be accorded to an Institution whose function will be to provide succor in distress and relief in necessity.”
This philosophy continues to guide us to this day.
The RFBI is a public company, and is not a part of the Freemasons Grand Lodge. Although we share the Masonic philosophy of helping those in need, our residents, staff and volunteers do not need to be Masons to be a part of the RFBI, and you need not be a Mason to receive our care. We help anyone that needs our support.