£15,000 for NE Branch of Parkinson’s UK
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The North East Branch of the Parkinson’s UK held a Regional Forum on Tuesday 24th May 2011 at the Royal Station Hotel in Neville Street, Newcastle upon Tyne. The Provincial Grand Masters from Provinces of Northumberland and Durham were invited to attend in order to present cheques from the Freemason’s Grand Charity which were to be distributed to local branches through the Provinces.

The Regional Manager, Ebbie Hulland of Parkinson’s UK opened the Forum with an introductory speech which covered its vision, aims, information and support services, health care education and training, volunteer support etc. She said that the aim of the Forum was to have a ‘brainstorming’ session and to come up with ways of making good use of the grants which were about to be received.

The Provincial Grand Master of Northumberland, R W Bro. Peter Magnay DL was firstly invited to make a presentation on behalf of the Province.   After providing the audience with an outline of the charitable branches of the United Grand Lodge of England and the significant contributions which the Freemasons’ Grand Charity in particular made to non- Masonic charities (second only to the National Lottery) he handed the cheque for £5,000 from the Freemasons’ Grand Charity to Mrs. Hulland and then to her surprise took it back stating, in allusion to Chris Tarrant of ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ notoriety, that he did not want to give her that cheque as he wished to give her two cheques, the second being from the Province’s Richard Henry Holmes Masonic Benevolent Fund for a similar amount, namely £5,000.  Both cheques were then handed over to the Branch Chair who was both surprised by and delighted with the additional gesture.

R W Bro. Eric Heaviside, the Provincial Grand Master of Durham provided further information to the audience about the operation of the Freemasons Grand Charity, as exemplified by the immediate financial assistance dispatched via the Red Cross to New Zealand and Japan following the earthquakes suffered there, and the total amount given in grants both large and small after which presented the cheque of £5,000 from the Freemasons Grand Charity on behalf of his Province.

Finally the Regional Manager thanked both Provinces for the donations. She said that she was expecting to receive £10,000 but not £15,000 in total and promised to keep the Provincial Grand Lodges informed of the outcome of the workshop.

The following are photographs taken from the Forum:


Link to UGLE website