AS IT celebrates its 40th anniversary this year the Okehampton Choral Society has been given a welcome financial boost from the Devon Freemasons to help towards the costs of concerts.

The society was nominated for an award by the Lodge of Obedience and was fortunate enough to be one of the 28 Devon-based organisations and charities who benefited from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Devonshire's latest allocation of funding.

The money is provided by the William Alexander Kneel Endowment (WAKE) Fund. WAKE is a charitable fund, accumulated from legacies and donations from Devonshire freemasons and their families.

Each year approximately £50,000 is distributed in two disbursements, in the spring and autumn, among local charities and organisations.

Started in 2001, the programme has donated more than £370,000 to local causes since its inception.

Director of music at Okehampton Choral Society John Holland said: 'It is fantastic that local organisations like the freemasons can see the benefit in what we are doing in providing a varied musical programme for the community and we are grateful to the Lodge of Obedience and to the Provincial Grand Lodge of Devonshire for the support that they have given us.'

The donations were presented by the Provincial Grand Master of Devonshire, Right Worshipful Brother Michael T Penny. He said: 'I am delighted that the freemasons in Devonshire are able to contribute to local causes.

'Many of these organisations are run by volunteers and are on a limited budget, these donations provide real benefit and are much appreciated'.

For further information on Freemasonry in Okehampton visit-