On the evening of Thursday 29th June 2023, the brethren of Castle Eden Lodge of Installed Masters (9666) met at the Masonic Hall in Castle Eden. This was a special meeting to celebrate the lodge’s 25th Anniversary (Silver Jubilee) Meeting with 70+ brethren in attendance including John Thompson – Provincial Grand Master accompanied by a Deputation of Provincial officers
Once the lodge was opened and the deputation was welcomed into the room, Eric Smith stood and talked on the first 25 years of the Castle Eden Lodge of Installed Masters. Eric started saying that the lodge was consecrated on 23rd May 1998 at Gateshead, but the formation of the lodge started much earlier. The first meeting of interest in creating this lodge started back in October 1996 when the lodge name was agreed upon and where the lodge was to be located after being agreed upon by the Castle Eden Hall management.
A 2nd meeting took place in December 1996 where everyone agreed to Hall rent, Annual subscriptions and how many meeting to hold each year (4 meetings were agreed upon – 1 for wives and partners, 1 on a Saturday, 1 to have an outside speaker and lodge installation)
Many more meetings took place and one with Derek Richmond and Alan Hall in attendance to help answer questions. Other meetings included the agreeing of Lodge byelaws and who would be the lodge’s first master. A petition was completed and sent to London in 1997
On 23rd May 1998, a meeting was held at Gateshead, as it was believed that Gateshead was a bigger venue to hold for the number of attendees of this first meeting of the Castle Eden Lodge on Installed Masters. Also, the meal that day is the same meal that will be had tonight.
Eric then talked about the significant event that had happened since the congregation till today. Once Eric had finished his talk, Graham Boddy thanked Eric for all his hard work in producing this talk and the work he had done for the lodge.
Eric Heaviside stood and said he remembered being at Gateshead for the Initial meeting in 1998.
Graham then presented John with a cheque from the lodge.
Michael Davis then read out the Charter in recognition of holding regular meetings for 25 years. Then John presented the Charter to Graham Boddy and the lodge.
The evening was finished off at the festive board of Farmhouse Pate, Roast Beef and Seasonal Vegetables and Peach Melba followed by Cheese and Crackers.
John responded to his toast and thanked the lodge for the invite to allow everyone to join in the Silver Jubilee celebrations. He said the lodge had played an important role in Durham being both inward and outward looking. John then spoke about the New Province of Durham Website and asked everyone to use it to attract New members and Promote their own lodges. He then spoke about the wonderful work the TLC teddies have been doing and about a Plague for the TLC teddies is now at North Tees Hospital and so far Durham a given 113,000 teddies and raising £250,000 and how these bears are making a difference when they are given out. Finishing his response, John thanks everyone for their support on this special day and thanked his New team on their first visit.
Graham Boddy stood and said nice it was for the Provincial team to visit tonight (joking calling it a ‘reciprocal visit’ so soon after his visit to the AGM at the weekend’). Graham thanked everyone for all their hard work in setting up tonight and to the Catering staff and the ladies serving the food and including the bar staff.
Charles Marshall then stood and spoke about how the 25 years have ticked over and how he was deeply honoured to be invited tonight and he also remembered being there at Gateshead at the lodge consecration meeting.
Other toasts were given by Wayne Rumley and Richard Davison
John and Graham then stood and presented the lodge founders with a gift from the lodge.
Thank you to everyone involved for this evening at Castle Eden.