gold lodge award

Lodge of Progress No. 8259 – Gold Presentation

Lodge of Progress Go for Gold

There was a full house at Chester Le Street Masonic Centre for Lodge of Progress’s Installation night. David Grey, Chairman of the Durham Branch of the Masonic Fishing Charity, who was representing the Provincial Grand Master, witnessed an excellent ceremony from Paul Black installing David Frew into the Master’s chair.

The new Master’s first duty was to hand a trio of cheques over to David Grey, firstly, £100 to Durham Benevolence, then the new figure of £50 to the TLC fund and lastly a cheque for £2021 for the Festival fund. In response, this gave rise to David presenting the lodge with their new Gold Achievement Certificate, then, promptly awarded the lodge’s Charity Steward and the Festival Treasurer, Mike Cockerton, with his Gold pin badge. Mike responded by thanking John Rutherford, the former Charity Steward for all the work he has done before he took over. 

Following another excellent Chester Le Street festive board and a number of ‘fishy responses’ to the toasts, the master David Frew, ‘cast’ another cheque over to David Grey, for the sum of £200, which was for a Charity, close to both parties hearts, the Masonic Fishing Charity. 

A great night had been had by all and it was nice to see the representative of the Provincial Grand Master ‘net’ a ‘bagful’ of cheques for all the Charities.

MCF – Legacy Guide

MCF – Leaving a Will or Legacy

Make a new Will your 2018 promise


Spring has sprung, drawing a line under the winter months (although Storm Emma just couldn’t let go), and for many, the annual psychological battle to keep New Year’s resolutions alive probably ended some months ago.

I have a suggestion for a resolution that should be easy to make and achievable. If you haven’t got a will, make a belated promise to write one.  Contrary to popular belief, making a will is not akin to signing your own death warrant! It is sensible financial planning for the future.


It’s never fun to think about our own eventual mortal demise, and yet there is no getting away from the fact it is a club of which we are all going to become members. However, a club you definitely do not want to be a member of is the intestate club. To join, you need to be one of the third of adults in the UK that dies every year without having made a will – known as dying intestate.


If you die intestate, a set of inflexible rules dictate how your estate will be distributed and to whom. As you’ve worked so hard during your life to attain the savings, property, etc. that represents your personal wealth, why would you not want to decide for yourself who gets what after you’re gone?


Under intestacy rules, any unmarried partners are ignored, however loving and long their relationship may have been. Step-children are ignored under intestacy rules too.


Even if you plan to leave everything to your spouse, without a will, your loved one as beneficiary becomes responsible for attaining ‘grants of letters of administration’ via the probate registry, which involves an interview and much bureaucratic form filling. It will delay the release of funds and place added strain on your loved one who is likely already fragile and grieving at this time.


You can’t leave a gift to Charity without a will. Did you know that if you leave at least 10% of your taxable estate to charity you could reduce any inheritance tax liability against your estate?


If you’re still not sure it’s time to make a new resolution and make your will, take a look at the Masonic Charitable Foundation website. We have lots of information about will-making and legacy giving, and a useful downloadable guide. We even have an online will making service in collaboration with Law Vault, which is available at


I nearly forgot. Did you know that on average people that have written a will live longer than those who haven’t? And people who leave a gift to a charitable cause in their will live longer still.


Make a promise to look after yourself, those you love and the causes you support – make a will.

By Duncan Washbrook, Legacy Manager


Duncan Washbrook is the Legacy Manager for the Masonic Charitable Foundation. Contact


To download the MCF Information Pack click here. 


River Spey Charity Open Canoe Trip – Hudson Lodge No. 2791

The River Spey Charity Open Canoe Trip

W BRO JOHN MARSHALL – Hudson Lodge No. 2791

The Spey descends through some of Scotland’s most outstanding natural scenery – rising in the Monadhliath Mountains at Loch Spey, just 10 miles south of Fort Augustus on Loch Ness – and journeying north east through the Cairngorms National Park and onwards to the Moray Firth 107 Miles east.

The Spey is unusual in that its speed increases as it gets closer to the sea. The unique topography make it the fastest flowing river in Scotland. The Met Office monitors rainfall throughout the Spey’s catchment. Much of the precipitation during winter lies as snow, playing an important role in maintaining the river’s flow levels well into summer and give the Spey what many describe as an alpine flow regime. Combined with almost no industrial activity in the Spey’s catchment, the water quality is as near to pristine as you can get.

Speyside’s distilleries produce more whisky than any other region in Scotland. Two of the best-selling single malt whiskies in the world, The Glenlivet and Glenfiddich, are from Speyside.

River Spey from Aviemore to the coast through more than 60 miles of stunning countryside. Camping over night in the banks of Loch Insh checking we have all the gear we need for the 4 day trip. An early start too the day paddling down through the loch heading for Aviemore. These upper reaches are Slow moving flat water where your paddle provides all the speed .

Passing through Aviemore on our left we dig in heading for Boat of Garten. If the wind is in our favour we may push on towards Grandtown on Spey stopping for our over night Camp along the way.

After a good night’s sleep and a good breakfast to set us up for the day ahead we set out heading first for the Speybridge. Onward towards Cromdale and Tormore hoping to make Knockando for the next Camp and hoping to catch a local delicacy which would warm our hearts.

The river from here is starting to flow faster and your attention sharpens as it gathers pace. Stopping for some lunch around Aberlour or Craigellachie. After the rest we push on for Fochabers to set up camp.

The Spey now has some testing waters where many have had swims and broken dreams. The Spey washing Machine has claimed many and many more to come but not ME !

I am doing this for charity so please try to support me in this endeavour.
26th May 2018 to 30th May 2018

River Spey Poster