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As 2017 draws to a close, I would like you to enjoin with me and reflect on the tremendous year that Freemasonry in Northumberland has enjoyed. In this special year, we celebrated the 300th anniversary of the United Grand Lodge of England in style, with many activities and events taking place across the Province. A Classic Car and Bike show, a Celebration Dinner held at St James’ Park, a Multi-Faith Ceremony attended by Her Grace the Duchess of Northumberland and one of my favourites; the Teddy Bears Picnic held at Alnwick Gardens in the summer. 

 

This event saw more than 200 children from schools in Newcastle, Morpeth, Berwick, Hexham, Alnwick and Cramlington enjoy a teddy bear trail, a picnic box, entertainment by colourful fairy tale characters and of course the obligatory teddy bear, which was given to every child. 

I would like to thank all of those individuals and groups involved in organising and running these events; your support has been very much appreciated by me. 

In this Tercentenary year, we’ve donated money to charities close to each of our 27 lodge buildings across North Tyneside, Newcastle and Northumberland so that we can really make a positive impact on local projects and causes near to where Masonry takes place. 

Our donations were all chosen by our members and the money has helped the charities concerned carry on their work locally within the community. In total, 78 charities received cheques for the good work they do to help the people of our Province. 

In total, the Province or Northumberland has donated nearly £700,000 to local and national charities this year.

It’s been a fantastic year for freemasons from the Tyne to the Tweed and I’m very proud of the work we’ve done in the community which has made a positive impact on so many people who need our help. I am also grateful for the support I have received from Executive Team, The Provincial Office and each and every one of you who have supported me on my visits throughout the Province.

I hope you have a wonderful Festive break and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Ian.

In October 2017 Richard Henry Holmes Masonic Benevolent Fund has awarded a grant of £2,000 to Citizens Advice Newcastle (CAN) for the recruitment and training of their volunteer workers.

 

CAN is a local charity providing free, confidential, independent and impartial advice to people who live or work in the City of Newcastle upon Tyne. Currently the organisation has 23 members of staff and over 80 volunteers offering advice on almost any issue - including money, benefits, housing, immigration, employment, consumer issues, family problems, social care and health services.

 

Since CAN relocated to the Newcastle Central Library building, the demand for their services has increased dramatically. This is due to the venue being more publicly located and hence accessible. It is now becoming apparent the lack of suitable trained volunteers is causing delay in providing advice and assistance to their clients.

 

Therefore the grant will be used for recruitment and training of these volunteers. CAN will make use of the training programme provided by Citizens Advice UK and their staff to supervise and oversee the volunteers.

 

Photography shows W Bro. John Chan PSGD, Past APGM who is also a member of their Trustee Board presented the cheque to Ms. Tracy Armstrong, the Head of Advice Services.

Do you want to be part of the celebration at the Royal Albert Hall on 31 October and be part of the celebration?

You can  by pre-registering at www.RAH300.org on or before 31 October 2017

Register here www.RAH300.org

Registration is simple and quick with only limited details required, with a short test video played once complete. You will be label to watch the event on all devices, smartphones, tablets, computers and smart TVs, wherever you are.

Watch Live - See the whole event streamed live to wherever you are, live coverage will begin at 4pm 31 October.

On-demand - Once the event has finished an on-demand version will be available for download and viewing 3 hours after the event closes

An edited highlights edition is also planned to be made available, one week after this spectacular event.

Brethren here is your chance to be part of the tercentenary celebrations at the Royal Albert Hall. You will be able to view this on a big screen. You may wish to consider organising a get together at your Masonic Hall or Lodge to view this in an informal setting either with the live streaming or after the event using the edited version.

 

As you are no doubt aware, 2017 is a special year where we are celebrating the 300th anniversary of Freemasonry.

There have been many activities in our Province to mark this grand occasion and I would like to mention the Classic Car and Bike show hosted by The Widows Sons, the Celebration Dinner held at St James’ Park, our magnificent Teddy Bear’s Picnic at Alnwick Gardens, and finally, the Multi-Faith Ceremony which was held at the Civic Centre in Newcastle, which was a great success enjoyed by Freemason and our honored guests.

All of the events have been a fantastic opportunity for Northumberland Freemasons to celebrate  our Tercentenary with local communities and I am delighted with our £300,000 in donations to local good causes.

I would like to personally thank everyone who has supported our celebrations but in particular, the Tercentenary Team led by Alan Bell, who have put a huge amount of effort into organising, promoting and running these events and I am grateful for their efforts and commitment.

 Provincial Grand Master - Ian Craigs

Provincial Grand Master - Ian Craigs