At the end of the 300th anniversary year of the United Grand Lodge of England, Northumberland Freemasons announced that it gave away £600,000 to local and national charities in 2017.
Tritlington farmer Ian Craigs, Provincial Grand Master of Northumberland, explained that the Provincial Grand Lodge of Northumberland donated half of this amount to local charities to boost worthwhile and deserving projects throughout the region.
Those benefiting from the donations included Morpeth-based Mustard Tree Trust, which received £10,000.
In addition, at the Province’s annual general meeting in November, a cheque for a further £300,000 was given to the Masonic Charitable Foundation to support its work in helping people nationally and internationally.
Mr Craigs said: “In this special year, we’ve donated money to charities close to each of our 27 lodge buildings across North Tyneside, Newcastle and Northumberland so 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.”
Other events to mark the anniversary included a classic car and bike show and a multi-faith ceremony and another highlight of 2017 was the Teddy Bears Picnic for children at The Alnwick Garden, which was hosted by Masonic charity Teddies for Loving Care.