The presentation of long-service awards within the Province is something the recipient and their Masonic colleagues always look forward to. Sadly, the recent suspension of Masonic activities as well as the advance of time often means the recipient is not able to attend to receive the award in person.
Such is the case with Excellent Companion Raymond Macaree. Raymond will be 97 years young in August 2022 but has been unable to attend his Lodge, the Lodge of Industry, his Chapter, Minerva Chapter of Industry, as well as his Knight Templar Preceptory and his Rose Croix Chapter, for some time. His two daughters, Vivien and Pamela, make sure he continues to stay safe and well.
Raymond has a long and distinguished Masonic career, becoming a Grand Officer in both Craft and Royal Arch, a Past Constable in the Provincial Priory of Durham and attaining the 32° in the Ancient and Accepted Rite.
His service has been recognised with certificates to mark 50 years and 60 years in Craft Masonry, 50 years in Royal Arch Masonry and 30 years in Knight Templar Masonry. Earlier in 2022, Raymond celebrated 60 years as a Royal Arch mason. Determined not to let this achievement go with a form of celebration his colleagues in the Minerva Chapter of Industry resolved to present the award in person as soon as it was practicable to do so.
Consequently, on Wednesday 29 th June Excellent Companions Malcolm Ross and Neil Walker from the Chapter, accompanied by Eminent Knight Chris Mullaney, visited Raymond at his home in Newcastle to make the presentation. Chris is the Provincial Almoner in the Knight Templar Order and keeps in contact with Raymond on a regular basis.
True to his great sense of propriety, Raymond had assembled a catering committee for the purpose; his elder daughter Vivien and her husband, David. His visitors were well provided for with tea, coffee, cake and biscuits as we reminisced with Raymond on some of the highlights of his masonic journey, the people he has met and the events he has attended and taken part in. He was in excellent form and it was a pleasure to see him looking so well. He also pointed out that space on his office wall had been prepared to take the latest addition to his impressive collection of certificates of Masonic service.
Congratulations Raymond on achieving a remarkable milestone in Royal Arch Masonry, and in the words of your late contemporary, Sidney Pattison, we wish you well.
(L to R) in photo: Chris Mullaney, Neil Walker, Raymond Macaree and Malcolm Ross)