News from Fortitude, Province, UGLE and worldwide Freemasonry.

The Freemasons’ Grand Charity Supports University of East Anglia’s research with prostate cancer patients

posted 10 Feb 2016, 13:07 by Michael Davey

Every year, over 44,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer across the UK. This is a cause close to the hearts of many Freemasons and since 2006 the Grand Charity has donated over £240,000 towards research into the detection and treatment of prostate cancer. Last year, The Freemasons’ Grand Charity awarded a grant of £100,000 to the Cancer Genetics team at the University of East Anglia (UEA) to help fund research that will focus on distinguishing between aggressive and non-aggressive forms of the disease. 

The highly variable nature of prostate cancer can be problematic for its management and a high proportion of cases are over treated, leading to unnecessary impotence, while some are under-treated, leaving potentially aggressive cancers untreated.  It is therefore vital that techniques are developed which allow men with aggressive cancers to be targeted and the remainder to be spared the side effects of such treatment. This research will focus on examining biomarkers secreted into urine by prostate cancer cells.


A critical problem in clinical management is that at the time of diagnosis it is not possible to reliably distinguish aggressive, from non-aggressive disease. The Grand Charity award will allow us to tackle this critical question head-on through the analysis of large amounts of information that have been already obtained from prostate cancer patients.

Professor Colin Cooper, lead researcher


This most recent grant will support part of an ongoing study that was previously funded by the Grand Charity in 2011 and 2013 with grants of £50,000, bringing the total donated to this project up to an impressive £200,000. This previous research generated large amounts of data which, with this recent grant, can now be analysed using sophisticated techniques to further develop and refine tests that aid diagnosis. 


Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men in the UK, resulting in 11,000 deaths each year. Therefore, we believe strongly in assisting medical research that will focus on identifying which patients are most at risk of dying.  We are very happy to give this grant to ensure further insight into this awful disease is achieved.

Laura Chapman , Chief Executive of The Freemasons’ Grand Charity 

Grand Charity donates £75,000 to flood relief in Lancashire and Yorkshire

posted 2 Feb 2016, 08:59 by Michael Davey

The Freemasons' Grand Charity has donated a total of £75,000 to flood relief in Lancashire and Yorkshire, in the wake of devastation caused by storms over the festive season. The donations will give continued support to individuals and families suffering as a result of flooding, and follow on from a £30,000 grant last month to the Cumbria Flood Recovery Fund 2015 and the province of Cumberland and Westmorland. 

With record levels of rainfall in parts of Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire thousands of homes have been flooded, with whole communities left without power and essential supplies. The money will go towards helping those in financial difficulty, as well as supporting local projects and rebuilding efforts.


The severe flooding across the north of England continues to cause untold misery and serious problems for many individuals and families. The charity has been particularly shocked by the adverse conditions and circumstances people have faced and we want to do everything we can to help them rebuild their lives.

Chief Executive of The Freemasons' Grand Charity, Laura Chapman


Some of the worst affected areas have included Carlisle, Keswick, Kendal, Cockermouth, Appleby, Glenridding and St Michael's. The government has ordered a major review of flood prevention strategy.

The Freemasons’ Grand Charity is committed to supporting communities affected by severe weather, having previously donated to the Somerset Community Foundation and the British Red Cross in 2014.

Freemasons donate £55,000 for research on diabetes-dementia link

posted 2 Feb 2016, 08:56 by Michael Davey

Friday 04 December 2015

Diabetes UK has received £55,000 from the Freemasons to fund research at King’s College London into the link between diabetes and dementia.

The Freemasons’ health and care charity, the Masonic Samaritan Fund, made the £55,000 donation after a vote among hundreds of Freemasons, who nominated Diabetes UK for the award.

Rates of dementia are higher among people with diabetes, although the exact link between the conditions is unclear.

In people with diabetes, higher blood sugar levels trigger a process called ‘glycation’, which couples sugar and protein molecules together in an uncontrolled way. Evidence indicates that these sugar-protein clusters are linked to problems with thinking and learning and might contribute to conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

New drugs and targeted therapies

Past research, led by Professor Annalisa Pastore of King’s College London, has led to a new way of producing sugar-protein clusters in the lab, paving the way for ongoing studies of how they work. In the long term, this research could lead to new drugs and targeted therapies to combat diabetes-related complications and neurological problems such as dementia. Professor Pastore’s current project is due to run until January 2017.

Dr Alasdair Rankin, Diabetes UK Director of Research, said: “We are immensely grateful to the Freemasons for their generous donation, which will help this groundbreaking diabetes research to move forwards.

“The link between diabetes and dementia is worrying, but greater understanding of key processes like glycation could help us to address it. This research will take us a significant step in the right direction.”

The £55,000 donation was presented to Dr Rankin and Professor Pastore at King’s College London by Freemasons from the Masonic Province of Gloucestershire on Monday 11 November 2015.

Mr Henderson-Ross, the Provincial Grand Master of Gloucestershire, said: “We are very proud to show our support for Diabetes UK by awarding the charity a Masonic Samaritan Fund grant. Hundreds of Freemasons from around the Gloucestershire area have chosen to support the vital work of Professor Pastore, which could help prevent a rising number of people with diabetes from developing dementia.” 

Ladies' Festival Weekend 2016

posted 27 Jan 2016, 07:55 by Michael Davey   [ updated 27 Jan 2016, 08:02 ]

Picture of Dunston Hall from the lake

Dunston Hall Hotel, Norwich

Friday 22nd – Sunday 24th July 2016

Golf Course  – Driving Range – Putting Green – Spa –  Indoor Pool – Walks

Historic Norwich and Norfolk Broads nearby

Places are limited – a small deposit will secure your place

Fortitude Lodge No. 6503 and Radius Lodge No. 5474 warmly invite you to their joint Ladies’ Festival weekend.  Co-Presidents W.Bro. Michael Davey and W.Bro. Sam Noone and their Ladies  have joined forces to plan a spectacular weekend and the four-star Dunston Hall Hotel, Norwich, just a couple of hours from the M25.

Arrive any time on Friday 22nd July to make use of the wide range of hotel facilities.  Dinner may be taken at any time convenient to you in the Brasserie and we will hold an after-dinner charity quiz.

After a leisurely full English breakfast on Saturday morning the day is free to enjoy the hotel facilities, explore historic Norwich or to see the beautiful Norfolk Broads National Park, all within a stone’s throw of the hotel.  You can pre-book a tee time if you wish to play golf and bookings can be made for spa treatments.  Guests will receive full details of all the local area has to offer.

The Festival Banquet will be on Saturday evening, with the theme of a Masquerade Ball.  Gentlemen should wear back tie, and ladies formal attire with a masquerade mask for all.  Your co-Presidents and their Ladies will welcome you at a cocktail reception, followed by a sumptuous dinner.  Dancing to a disco will follow and there will be a grand charity raffle.  The weekend will conclude with breakfast on Sunday morning,.  Guests are welcome to book for Sunday lunch if they wish to extend their stay.

Dunston Hall Hotel has undergone a £500,000 refurbishment and the facilities are excellent.  Set in 150 acres of parkland, the hotel has its own par 71 18-hole golf course, driving range and putting green.  There is a magnificent indoor pool, sauna, steam room and two-floor gymnasium.  The spa complex offers lavish massage and beauty treatments.  The hotel has 150 comfortable en suite bedrooms all with flat-screen Sky TV, tea and coffee tray, iron and ironing board, hairdryer and free WiFi.

The weekend is available at the great value early booking price of £179 per person including two nights dinner, bed and breakfast.  A non-refundable deposit of £15 per person by 29th February 2016 will secure your place at this price, with the balance due by 31st May.  If space remains available bookings will be accepted after 29th February at the price of £185 per head.  A limited number of single rooms are available at the same price.  Additional single rooms will incur a supplement.  A price for a shorter or longer stay, or for the Festival banquet only, can be provided on request.

For full details or make a booking please contact the Festival Secretary W.Bro. Alan Russell on 07850 223219 or email him via the contact us form.  Deposit cheques should be made payable to Fortitude Social Club.  Credit card confirmation your hotel room booking will be required..

Fortitude Lodge donates £2700 to charities

posted 27 Jan 2016, 07:11 by Michael Davey

Fortitude Lodge has donated £2700 to worthwhile charities.

Fortitude Lodge has donated £1500 to Haven Breast Cancer, a national charity providing personalised care and support to help people through the experience of having breast cancer.

We have also donated £1000 to the Middlesex 2020 festival, supporting The Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys, a charity funded by Freemasons which aims to relieve poverty and advance education for children and young people.

We have also donated £200 to Teddies for Loving Care, a charity funded by Freemasons which provides cuddly toys to A&E units for children in severe distress.

Fortitude Lodge donates £1,000 to Bury Lake Young Mariners

posted 18 Nov 2013, 04:50 by Michael Davey   [ updated 27 Jan 2016, 06:54 ]

Fortitude Lodge has made a donation of £1,000 to Bury Lake Young Mariners (BLYM), a voluntary youth sailing charity that takes more than 7,500 young people onto the water each year.  The aim of the charity is to promote the development of young people through the medium of sailing.  Those benefiting regularly from BLYM’s facilities include more than 300 profoundly disabled sailors, making this one of the UK’s largest disabled sailing venues.

BLYM operates from Rickmansworth Aquadrome and is being considered as the base for a new sailing section of the Middlesex Masonic Sports Association.  The £1,000 donation from Fortitude Lodge will go towards a £2.8m redevelopment of BLYM’s sailing centre, providing enlarged facilities to extend activities to all sections of the community.

The Freemasons’ Grand Charity Minor Grants Programme

posted 22 May 2012, 22:57 by Michael Goldthorpe

The second installment of grants during 2012 totals £20,000. 

Grants range from £1,500 to £5,000 and are given in the areas of medical research, support for vulnerable people and youth opportunities.

Eight charities have received funding - click here to view all the grants

Over £1 million for Rescue Services

posted 15 May 2012, 12:33 by Michael Davey   [ updated 15 May 2012, 12:43 ]

23 April 2012

Helping to save lives
The North West Air Ambulance Credit: NWAA

Air Ambulances save the lives of thousands of people every year by getting doctors and paramedics to patients in emergency situations, as quickly as possible - operating almost entirely from donations.

In April 2012, The Freemasons' Grand Charity announced over £1 million has been donated to these rescue services since 2007. Every Air Ambulance charity in England and Wales has received funding.

The following video presentation has been created to celebrate over £1 million in donations for these vital services.

Air Ambulance Video Presentation

In 2012, Provincial and Metropolitan Grand Lodges across England and Wales are being invited to present a share of £192,000 to their regional rescue service.

Full list of Air Ambulance Grants 2012

England Rugby Squad Sign Up For Fortitude Lodge

posted 15 Apr 2012, 11:41 by Michael Davey   [ updated 15 Apr 2012, 11:44 ]

A chance meeting in a bar in Geneva’s old town could prove very successful for the good of
Middlesex and Hertfordshire Freemasonry in general and the Fortitude Lodge in particular!

After meeting the partner of a member of the England Rugby Squad, Fortitude Lodge Charity
Steward, W.B. Goldthorpe, managed to obtain 3 tour shirts signed by the current Squad. One of the
shirts, which are highly sought after by rugby clubs and fans alike, will be a star lot in an auction
to be held at the Fortitude Lodge Ladies Weekend. The second will be passed to Goff’s Oak Lodge
(Hertfordshire) whose Ladies Weekend coincides with Fortitude Lodge while the third will donated
to the Middlesex Family Fete Committee to raise funds at this year’s fete.

Fortitude Christmas Social

posted 4 Dec 2011, 06:46 by Michael Davey

Friends of Fortitude Lodge are cordially invited to the Fortitude Christmas Social on Saturday 7th January from 6:00pm (6.30pm sit down) at Moor Mill, Radlett.

The cost is £20 per person (cheques payable to Fortitude Festival Account).

Friends and family, please contact a member of Fortitude Lodge for more details.  Further details available from Bro. Michael Davey.

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