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Commemorative Bench donated by Local Freemasons


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South Shields Freemason Phil Stephenson  approached the Local Authority to install a Commemorative Bench in Harton Cemetery , South Shields, to celebrate the end of the First World War, but while the Authority were enthusiastic about the idea, owing to financial cutbacks they were unable to fund it themselves.


Phil then together with Norman Dunn approached the Chairman of the Hall Management Committee of the South Shields Lodges and all nine Lodges were asked to donate  £100.00 each  which they did gladly.  This enabled the purchase of the high quality bench, and with the assistance of grave diggers, Kevin, Gary and Dave, who are not Masons, the seat was installed to the front of the Chapel entrance in the central part of the Cemetery. The installation was done in their own spare time for which we are all grateful.


The Provincial Chaplain Ron Black dedicated the bench on Saturday morning, 13th April 2019 in front of a strong representation from the Lodges concerned. Ron paid tribute to the bravery of the armed services during the Great War and the many who lost their lives, many of whom are at rest in Harton Cemetery. He also gave thanks to the Freemasons of South Shields for their generosity. The full dedication is at the end of this article


The quality of this bench ensures that it will be there for many years to come.




13TH APRIL 2019


We are gathered here today to offer thanks to God for the brethren of the South Shields Masonic lodges who have worked to bring this moment into being, This bench has been placed here as a memorial to the ending of the Great War of 1914 – 18 in which so many gave their lives in the cause of peace and freedom.  May all who use this bench and take rest upon it be ever mindful of all those men and women who served and died in that conflict, those who have served in all past conflicts and those who serve now and in the future.


In your name O God I now dedicate this bench as a memorial and beseech your blessing on it and in your loving wisdom and almighty power keep us ever mindful to be worthy and work within the principles of peace, love and harmony to the honour and glory of your great and Holy name, this day and for evermore.  Amen.

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