On Thursday 3 May 2018, Manchester Masons hosted a Giving Evening at Manchester Hall.  Over the past year, Manchester Masons have given a staggering in £55,000 in donations to non-Masonic Charitable Organisations and on this evening, cheques were presented to twelve exceptional organisations from Greater Manchester. The 109 attendees included Brethren, their guests and representatives from the good causes we have supported. The Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, Sir David Trippier, and The Lord Lieutenant for Greater Manchester, Warren Smith, were both in attendance.
Each of the organisations receiving donations had laid out a stand in the Goulburn Lodge Room and the evening began with the guests navigating their way around the room, learning about the amazing services they provide to the larger community, whilst enjoying the drinks reception and canapés. This was an excellent opportunity for networking and identifying potential good causes to support in the future.
The focus of the evening then turned to the Goulburn Dining Room, where the donations would be presented.  As everyone made their way into the room, the Drum Corps of the Manchester Army Cadets demonstrated their new instruments that were bought for them earlier this year, with help from a grant from the East Lancashire Masonic Charity. This part of the evening was hosted by WBro Stephen Thomson and WBro Tony Stephenson, District Charity Stewards for the Manchester Districts.
The guests were formally welcomed by WBro Chris Welton, Assistant Provincial Grand Master for Manchester Districts and then RWBro Sir David Trippier, Provincial Grand Master for East Lancashire, spoke about the commitment Manchester Masons have to supporting their local community and commended the achievements attained, often voluntarily, by the organisations we aim to help as Freemasons.
Warren Smith, Lord Lieutenant for Greater Manchester, was then introduced to the podium and, describing Manchester Masons as Philanthropists, praised the valuable contribution we make to the community.
A number of representatives from the organisations that received donations gave short talks on the difference the money they have received from Manchester Masons has made on the lives of people in our area.  They were :
Moodswings by Wayne Ashbrook
Centrepoint by Hannah Jones
Mustard Tree by Aileen Stirman
Manchester Army Cadet Force by Lt. Col. Stewart Taylor
Proton Beam Research at The Christie by Susan Bowden & Claire Ferguson
Therapeutic & Specialised Play Services Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital by Susan Fairclough
The Private Lodges and Chapters were then invited to present their cheques to their beneficiaries and the following donations were made :
       Charity Name                                                      Lodges / Chapters Presenting
Blythe House Hospice                                  Friendship Lodge No 44
Bury Hospice                                                       Arkscroll Lodge No 6594 / Ark Menorah Chapter No 6594
Centrepoint                                                         Ashbury Lodge No 1459
The Christie                                                         Arkscroll Lodge No 6594 / Ark Menorah Chapter No 6594
Day Trippers                                                        Felicity Lodge No 4365
The Federation of Jewish Services       Arkscroll Lodge No 6594 / Ark Menorah Chapter No 6594 /
Zion Menorah Lodge No 1798
Mustard Tree                                                      Ashbury Lodge No 1459
Royal Manchester Children’s                  Felicity Lodge No 4365
St Annes Hospice                                             Friendship Lodge No 44
The Nicky Alliance Centre                          Zion Menorah Lodge No 1798 /
Ark Menorah Chapter No 6594
Wood Street Mission                                    Ark Menorah Chapter No 6594
Finally, two cheques were presented on behalf of Manchester Masons.  The first to Challenge4change, and the second to the Lord Lieutenant’s Charity – The Duchy of Lancaster.
This wonderful evening was closed by WBro Chris Welton, who declared it to have been a great success and commended the hard work and dedication displayed by WBro Stephen Thomson and WBro Tony Stephenson, in delivering this momentous event.
Article by Chris Armstrong
Photographs by Richard Zoltie and Chris Armstrong

You may view all the photographs from this event here