The Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Andrew Foster had the honour and pleasure to visit Doric lodge with his Director of Ceremonies to present a 50th Anniversary Certificate to John Culine MBE. This was a unique experience for Andrew, being the first one he had undertaken on behalf of the province.
They were very warmly welcomed into the lodge where 21 members and 25 visitors had assembled. Andrew sat with John within the lodge room and reminisced about his 50 years in masonry and his life in general, which was both informative and interesting.
John was born in a caravan on Gala Day in Jubilee Park next to the second tree and his Birth certificate showed this information. He was born into a family of showmen with a history dating back some 500 years. He has held various positions including Sgt. at Arms, Chairman of the Northern Section of the Showman’s guild, Secretary, Trustee, Safety Officer, President of the Showmans Guild of Great Britain, Delegate in over 38 years continuous service. He was a councilor for Spennymoor Town Council and Mayor in 2004/05. He has met the past Queen on three occasions and received the MBE from the now King Charles III.
In masonry he has not held any office within the lodge, but Andrew was delighted to hear that the only item on his bucket list not achieved was to be elected as Master of Doric Lodge. John had invited guests from the Showman community to witness the occasion of him receiving his certificate.
The lodge photo shows Garry Campbell from Leeds lodge, Graham Canfield of King Edward VII lodge, Stewart Newsome of Showmens Lodge, Jimmy Newsome of Tower Lodge and Arthur Newsome of Tower Lodge along with John Hodgson the Master, Jeffrey Rowe the visiting support officer on his first visit, William Swift and Andrew.
At the festive board John was presented with an Anniversary Cake, a bottle of whisky and an engraved decanter by the Master on behalf of the lodge, which he received with delight. In turn John presented Andrew with a signed copy of the book that he had written “From Fanfare to Funfair.
Here’s to many more happy years in freemasonry.