Old Palace Lodge No.7173


Press Cuttings

W. Bro Eric Allen visited the Shooting Star Children’s Hospice and presented a cheque on behalf of the members of Old Palace Lodge and met W. Bro Vernon Watts who is the Community Fundraising Manager for Shooting Star and the current W. Master of Sunbury Lodge No. 1733. The Lodge were thanked for their generosity by him and many members of staff he met. The donation will provide the cost of materials for a little over 18 months for the Arts and Crafts room for wet play activity such as painting, water and sand or papier mache. The room will also be used extensively for drawing and colouring. Vernon went on to say:

“Following 10 years of hard work and support from the local community The Shooting Star Children’s Hospice opened it’s doors in July 2005 and welcome it’s first life-limited children and their families”.

There are around 1,500 children and young people in north Surrey and the western half of London who are living with a life-limiting condition. Many of these children’s families are struggling to cope with the everyday care and desperately need help. Shooting Star House in Hampton will provide invaluable care for these children and their families. It will provide residential care, day care, a ‘Hospice at Home’ (outreach) service, counselling, medical treatment and much more.

This ‘home from home’ facility will include 10 bedrooms, 2 of which are ensuite and can be used by teenagers or for emergency use, 6 family rooms, a family lounge, kitchen and roof terrace area. Other facilities include a Hydrotherapy Pool and Spa, Multi-sensory room, Music Therapy room, in addition to wet and dry play areas for the children and room for equipment such as PC’s, with adaptations for children with limited movement. Outside, there is a play area with a nest swing and roundabout. The Secret Garden can be used by children looking for adventure whilst The Peaceful Garden will be used by families and friends spending their final moments with their loved ones.

The task now is to raise the annual running costs of £2.5 million. Children’s hospices do NOT receive any statutory government funding so the charity is so reliant on support from the community.

The Children’s Hospice covers the western half of London and north Surrey. If you would like to know more, volunteer or make a donation to The Shooting Star Children’s Hospice please telephone 020 8481 8180 , or visit the website.”.


Carry on Giving!

Members of Croydon’s Old Palace Masonic lodge made record donations over the last 2 years year to help local charities and hope to give even more. And they are already well on their way.

The lodge in January promised a total of £2000 to three organisations. Half of it will go to the Marie Curie Cancer Care home in Caterham. The organisation which runs it each year helps 30,000 patients throughout the country – entirely free of charge. Its aim is to promote quality of life for all of them, as well as give much needed support to carers.

Another £500 will go to the new Shooting Star Children’s Hospice in Hampton, Middlesex, which serves North Surrey and the western part of London. The charity, founded in 1995 by Kathryn Turner, says its aim is to make the hospice “a place of love and understanding; of fun, laughter, hope and friendship.” One mother described it as “above all, a place for living.”


The lodge, who raise all their donations from its 40 or so members, is to give another £500 to the famous Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, which this year celebrates its 200th anniversary. Acknowledged as one of the world’s leading centres for eye health, its main focus is the treatment and care of NHS patients with a wide range of problems. Some have conditions so rare that treatments are not available anywhere else in the United Kingdom.

They call themselves the Addiscombe Raiders, a group of soccer-mad youngsters who play in one of the divisions of the Tandridge League. They might not yet be champions, but they will certainly look as smart as any other team when they line up for the new season in September for they will all be wearing bright new sky-blue shirts bought with money donated by members of Croydon’s Old Palace Masonic Lodge. 

The Raiders are managed by Mr Mark Hewish, of Storrington Road, Addiscombe, whose son plays in the team. Mark said: “It’s a fantastic gift. To be honest, our old kit was almost threadbare because it had been washed so many times, and we had no idea how we would get the money to buy a new set. It will cost almost £500.” The Masons have now stepped in to solve their problem.

Mr Hewish said: “As 7-year-olds, my son and some of his friends attended football training sessions at Crystal Palace Sports Arena, but at the end of 2001 the sessions were no longer being run. So myself and a few other fathers got together and decided to start a team. At first there were only four boys but we soon had a group of 12, all from the same class at St Thomas Becket Primary School in Addiscombe, and that’s how the Raiders were born. We were admitted to the Tandridge League in 2002 and when the new season starts we will be up in an under-11s division with an option to increase the team’s size from 7 to 11 players.

“We feel that it is quite an achievement for us to hold our own against long-established multi-teamed clubs.  We play against teams that have trials for their players. We have never turned away any child because of lack of ability, and we’re very proud of that.”

Mr Eric Allen, secretary of the Old Palace Masons, said: “Our members can’t wait to see the Raiders team playing in their new strip.” He explained that the Lodge was a great supporter of deserving causes in the Croydon area and its members had donated from their own pockets many thousands of pounds to help charities, hospitals, and disadvantaged youngsters.


A Freemasons’ lodge has given to £1,500 to worthy causes.

The Old Palace lodge in Croydon has donated £1,000 to the Guildford-based Prostate Action charity and £500 to the South East Cancer Help Centre, which is located next to the Tesco’s superstore in Purley. Old Palace Lodge meets bi-monthly at Croydon Masonic Hall in Oakfield Road, Croydon.


Gratefully received: Masonic Money For MS Action

The Walthamstow branch of multiple sclerosis charity MS Action was pleased to receive a donation from theFreemasons. Former branch chairman Steve Short was presented with a cheque for £1,000 by Geoff Bird on behalf of Old Palace Lodge, Croydon. The money will be used to service the oxygen chamber the charity offers to local residents suffering from multiple sclerosis. Current chairwoman Debbie Peacock said: “The money has come just in time. Oxygen therapy can help ease people’s pain but the equipment costs a lot to maintain. We’re delighted to receive the cheque.” In the picture Steve Short from MS Action with Geoff Bird (seated right).

Mason’s donation

Old Palace Masonic Lodge has donated £1,000 to the South East Cancer Help Centre. The money will go towards the centre’s running costs, which include free treatments, counselling, activities and outings for its members.

The centre, based in Purley Road, Purley, currently holds a prostate cancer support group on the first Monday of each month for people affected by the illness.

For more information visit www.sechc.org.uk


Masons put fans in VIP box

Freemasons from the Old Palace Masonic Lodge in Croydon helped six disabled Crystal Palace fans watch their team in action with a donation of £750 last month.

The six youngsters from the Bromley Deaf Society watched the match against Sheffield Wednesday on February 22 from a VIP box.

The money went to the “Kids in the box” appeal, run by local Eagles enthusiast Ray Bateup, through his Crystal Palace Fast Information and Results email bulletin service.

In January the Croydon Guardian donated £500 prize-money to the appeal, when our unique kick-by-kick online commentary won a BT award for technical innovation.


Masons help a child’s dream come true.

Let there be light! That could well be the new motto of Croydon’s Old Palace Masonic Lodge. In the 50 years since it was formed, the lodge members have always quietly supported many types of charities in the borough, and 2003 has started the same way.

But the past year was one with a big difference for the freemasonry movement in all parts of the country for it saw a concerted effort to show more light on the historic movement and make the public more aware of its aims and honourable traditions, trying to show that it was not some sort of “secret society” intent only on helping its own members.

In its 50 years, the Old Palace Lodge – named after the old part of the town and its historic church – has raised many thousands of pounds for local charities, including Dr Barnardo’s Homes, Guide Dogs and Talking Books for the Blind, the Salvation Army, St Christopher’s Hospice, the Spastics, Alzheimer and Multiple Sclerosis Societies, and the Rupert Bear Children’s Ward at the Mayday Hospital.

And at the dawn of 2003, the lodge, which meets four times a year at its headquarters in Oakfield Road, Croydon, has already chosen the first of the many local charities it will help this year.

The members, who total 40 at the moment with ages ranging from 90 to 28, raise the money by their own donations without appeals to the public. Already in 2003 they are in the process of giving £1000 to the Mayday Hospital’s new A & E Children’s Play scheme for a TV and video, as well as cooking and arts and crafts equipment, and a further £500 to the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation.

They have also voted to support for the first time the Dreams come True charity, which aims to “bring some happiness and laughter” into the lives of seriously and terminally ill children. It is intended that a local child benefit from the lodge’s gift of £1250, which the charity says will give him or her something to look forward to, a dream to be treasured as others have enjoyed dreams such as a trip to Disney World, swimming with dolphins or meeting a pop star. The second cash gift of £750 will go to a Croydon charity boosting children’s interest in football and full details will be revealed once the organisation has first been given the news.

The Old Palace Lodge is in the Provincial Grand Lodge of Surrey which in turn is under the jurisdiction of The United Grand Lodge of England, and substantial Sums are distributed each year, all of which comes directly from the pockets of individual masons and not from any public appeals.