A Small Lodge with a Big Heart

Print Email
(1 Vote)

The Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust has thanked Essex Freemasons for their “incredible support and wonderful generosity” in donating £3,000 for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the hospital.  Serving the Eastern region, Dr Kelsall and the dedicated NICU team do their utmost to save premature and new-born babies with complications so that they can survive to live full lives.

Twenty years ago, a grateful Walden Lodge No 1280 donated £1,000 to NICU, after sharing in the pain and anguish of W Bro Graham Newman and his wife when their daughter was born prematurely and had to spend several months in intensive care. Thanks to NICU, baby Imogen has grown up and completed a degree at Reading University so Walden Lodge decided to mark this milestone with another donation.

The Provincial Grand Master of Essex Freemasons, the late Rodney Lister Bass OBE, visited Walden Lodge in November 2019 for the 150th year celebrations which included a quiz night raising £1,200. A further £1,300 was raised by the Brethren, including Graham Newman, and with £500 from the Essex Freemasons Community Fund in matched-funding, the total of £3,000 was achieved.

Dr Kelsall at NICU said that once he is allowed, he is happy to visit and say thank you again in person to all the Brethren whilst sharing more about the department. The money will go towards maintaining and upgrading:

  • a video system so that during lockdown, parents can still talk to and see their babies while apart
  • Incubator covers that allow the right level of sound and light in creating a cocoon-like, safe environment for sick babies.
  • Books for siblings of babies on the unit, allowing parents to prepare their children for the often-overwhelming experience of visiting the NICU and their baby brother or sister for the first time.
  • The refurbishment and design of a calm, tranquil room for parents to take a break from the unit and make themselves a hot drink.

Based in Saffron Walden and bearing the Borough motto of Deo Adjuvante Floremus (By God’s help we flourish), Walden Lodge has a fine tradition of charitable giving which began 150 years ago, in 1871, with two guineas each for the Relief of French Peasants in the Franco-Prussian War and the Saffron Walden General Hospital. In April 1912 five guineas was donated to the Lord Mayors Fund for the Titanic disaster. As today’s Lodge Treasurer and Charity Steward, Richard Peet, said speaking on behalf of the 23 members of Walden Lodge “We are a Small Lodge with a Big Heart”.

Tony Hales

Content Generator
Provincial Grand Lodge of Essex