At a celebration dinner to mark the 300th anniversary of the United Grand Lodge of England, Northumberland Freemasons gave away £300,000 to good causes.
Ian Craigs, the Provincial Grand Master of Northumberland, hosted the event at St James’ Park in Newcastle, where almost 800 Freemasons, their families and guests from North East charities celebrated the tercentenary of the organisation.
The special guest was Peter Geoffrey Lowndes, the Pro Grand Master, who represented England’s highest ranking freemason – HRH The Duke of Kent.
Those benefiting from the donations include Bedlington-based Leading Link and MIND Active. They were each given £5,000 on the night.
Julie Greener, Leading Link’s office manager, 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.”
As well as Bedlington, Freemasons buildings can be found in Ashington, Blyth, Cramlington, Newbiggin and Seaton Delaval.
Mr Craigs said: “Our donations, all chosen by members, will go a long way towards hel-ping 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.”