Just before Christmas the Brethren of John Page Lodge came together for their regular meeting at Cramlington Masonic Hall, which is always a meeting that they look forward to, it being the last Friday before Christmas.
This year’s meeting was to prove to be even more special, as plans were made to make two fantastic charitable donations to two very worthy causes.
During the summer of 2019, the Cramlington Masonic Hall, in association with Shanklea Community School, held their second joint family fun day at Cramlington Masonic Hall and the adjoined playing fields. The day incorporated demonstrations of an old Masonic degree, craft stalls, fun fair, music and much more.
The aim of the day was to bring the community together and to raise charitable funds for the school and other good causes. One of is this years chosen charities for the Freemasons was The Grafters Club.
The open day is held annually and this years will be on Saturday 13th June 2020 at The Masonic Hall on School Lane, Cramlington where everyone is welcome.
The first presentation, a cheque for £300, was made to Alison McKenzie, the co-ordinator for The Grafters Club, a charity set up through the RVI to provide support and assistance to children who have suffered severe burns and who require skin grafts. Often these children struggle when out and about, having to cope with people staring at them and a sense of self-consciousness. The Grafters Club, although based at The RVI, receives no funding through the NHS and relies on the generosity of the public. It provides this support across the North of the country by organising days out for the children and their families and other support as needed.
The second presentation was one close to the hearts of all the members of John Page Lodge and the Freemasons in the building. Sadly, in the preceding year, a much respected and thought of Freemason and true gentleman, Keith Ireland, died in tragic circumstances whilst on holiday abroad. His widow and family decided that they wished to create a legacy in Keith’s name and that the legacy should provide some sort of support to another.
Keith was a great supporter of The Guide Dogs for the Blind and so the family set up a legacy,with The Guide Dogs, with a view to naming a puppy in Keith’s memory, and helping to put the puppy through training. This way someone would get the freedom to have a better quality of life, as well as it being a fitting tribute to a widely liked and missed Freemason and gentleman.
In order to set this in motion, the family needed to raise £2500 and, through donations made at the funeral and fundraising by the family, the sum of £1500.00 was raised. The Brethren of the Lodge wanted to make sure that Keith’s legacy could come to life and, thanks to a generous donation from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Northumberland and The Richard Henry Homes Benevolent Fund, the Lodge were able to make a presentation of £1000.00, on the night, to Sandra and his son and daughter, Greg and Ellen. They, and Keith’s grandchildren, as well as Gail from the Guide Dogs and puppy in training Luigi, were overjoyed to receive the donation, enabling them to now name a puppy in Keith’s memory,. They have chosen to name the puppy “Mason” in a tribute to him and to the Brethren who have made it possible.
A true night of Christmas Spirit and a wonderful demonstration of Freemasonry in action. Two good causes helped and a night of much tears, enjoyment and merriment.