A boxing club in Alnwick, Northumberland, has purchased essential equipment following a £1,500 gift from local masons via the Richard Henry Holmes Masonic Benevolent Fund
Northumberland PGM Ian Craigs presented the cheque, while members of Coquetdale Lodge, No. 5122, who had originally appealed to the fund for a donation for the club, were also present.
The masons were shown around the club’s facilities and tried some of the equipment, with the weigh-in machine proving popular.
A nautical charity that operates from Berwick to Hartlepool has received a new boat to assist in training its members and helping the community from Northumberland Freemasons
The Northumbria Unit of the Maritime Volunteer Service (MVS) received a new rigid inflatable boat aptly named 'Northumberland Freemason' at Newcastle’s Quayside after a £15,000 donation from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Northumberland.
A delegation of Freemasons came to watch the naming ceremony which included the Provincial Grand Master of Northumberland Ian Craigs, who christened the vessel with an appropriate bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale; right in sight of the iconic Tyne Bridge.
The organisation aims are to keep the UK’s maritime tradition alive by training and delivering practical seamanship and engineering skills.
Angela Carrington, Head of Unit for the Maritime Volunteer Service, said: 'This is a very generous gift to our charity from the Freemasons that will benefit our members and the community too. We will be using the boat on all of the region’s rivers so she will be a common sight from the Tweed to the Tees.
'She’s a very manoeuvrable craft making her ideal to train people in seamanship and boat handling skills. In turn, we will pass on these skills to help at community events all across the region. We are very grateful and will sail her with pride.'
Provincial Grand Master Ian Craigs said: 'All of our trustees agreed that this was a very worthwhile donation as the vessel is being used on the region’s waterways doing sterling community work. We are proud to be associated with MVS Northumbria and look forward to hearing more about the 'Northumberland Freemasons' good work.'
At a celebration dinner to mark the 300th anniversary of the United Grand Lodge of England, Northumberland Freemasons gave away £300,000 to local charities
Provincial Grand Master of Northumberland Ian Craigs hosted the event at St James’ Park where almost 800 Freemasons, their families and special guests from North East charities celebrated the Tercentenary. Special guest of the evening was Pro Grand Master Peter Geoffrey Lowndes.
Although the evening was filled with entertainment, good food and distinguished guests, it was the charitable side of Freemasonry that stole the show.
Ian Craigs explained that the Provincial Grand Lodge of Northumberland has given away £300,000 to local charities this year to boost worthwhile and deserving projects throughout the region. There are 27 lodge meeting places across North Tyneside, Newcastle and Northumberland and the donations all went to local good causes.
Ian Craigs commented: ‘We’ve tried to donate money to charities close to each lodge building so that we can really make a positive impact on local projects and causes near to where Masonry takes place.
‘Our donations, which were all chosen by our members, will go a long way towards helping the charities concerned carry on their sterling work. This is one of the main things that Freemasons do and often we give without telling anyone. This year, we celebrate our 300th year and we’d like everyone to know how we help their local community.’
Leading Link’s manager Julie Greener said: ‘This is a very generous donation that will help us to give valuable skills to the young people of Northumberland. At the moment, we are working on a mentoring scheme that is helping vulnerable young people in the more rural parts of the county. We are very grateful to Northumberland Freemasons for the opportunity to carry on with our work.’
In addition to the 33 charities who attended the celebration event, a further 45 will receive cheques for the good work they do to help the people of Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland.
Silver Jubilee for medical research
The Masonic Samaritan Fund has marked its 25th anniversary by donating a combined £1.125 million to 13 medical research charities
Freemasons across England and Wales nominated the worthy recipients of the MSF Silver Jubilee Research Fund last year, and presentations for the successful nominees took place in the Provinces throughout 2015 in the presence of the Provincial Grand Masters.
The final presentations took place in December 2015, with donations made to a number of good causes.
The Macular Society was presented with £100,000 for research into a cure for age-related macular degeneration, the biggest cause of sight loss in the developed world. £90,000 was presented to Parkinson’s UK to support its research into a solution for life-threatening swallowing problems that often develop in people suffering from the disease. And £100,000 was also presented to the British Heart Foundation for research into a deadly variation of a protein called titin that can cause sudden death.