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Inaugural Lawson-Smith Freemasons Educational Trust Scholars

Inaugural Lawson-Smith Freemasons Educational Trust Scholars

40,000 reason to smile for veterinary scholars.

The Lawson-Smith Freemasons Educational Trust – a new scholarship championing top grades and good deeds as part of the Freemasons University Scholarships at Parliament.

Veterinary students studying at Massey University have reason to smile with the announcement of a new scholarship that acknowledges consistently high grades, completing a degree and voluntary involvement in their local communities.

From left: Kelly Tissink (Whitby,Porirua); Sarah Clews (Palmerston North); Jessica Harris (Tamahere, Hamilton); Freemasons Grand Master, Mark Winger; Henry Yule (Hawkes Bay); Nicola Wichter (Palmerston North).

Freemasons Grand Master Mark Winger today (subs 10 May) announced the Lawson-Smith Freemasons Education Trust at Parliament’s Legislative Council Chamber. The will trust provide $40,000 each year in scholarships with one Veterinary Technology student and four Veterinary Science students receiving the inaugural scholarships.

“We administer a number of charitable trusts set up over the years by Freemasons—from all walks of life—who are keen to make a contribution to education, making a difference now that will influence the community and country in a positive way in the future. Men like the late Maxwell Lawson-Smith, a Freemason with over 50 years’ service,” says Mr Winger.

Associate Professor Jenny Weston, Dean of Veterinary Sciences at Massey University, said the Veterinary School is thrilled with the scholarship and grateful to Freemasons.

“Veterinarians and veterinary para-professionals are valued community members, particularly in rural areas, and most give back generously to their community through their work.

“Graduates often move to a new rural town for their first job, so participating in sporting, cultural and other local activities is important in becoming part of the community.

“The costs of veterinary training are high and most of our students graduate with debt of $80- 100,000, so any financial support makes a big difference,” she says.

Mr Winger also noted that the charitable activities of Freemasons extend beyond these scholarships.

“Each year New Zealand society benefits from Freemasons around the country—and through their bequests—to the tune of some $10 million. Among those we support are iconic organisations such as the Order of St John, the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind and the Royal Society of New Zealand, as well as long-term medical research programmes at Auckland and Otago universities.”

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