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Durham Lodge of Installed Masters Centenary | Durham Freemasons

John Paul Thompson, the Provincial Grand Master, led his mini team to the Durham Lodge of Installed Masters 100 th Birthday celebration on Monday 22 nd May 2023. Following the formal salutations, the past Provincial Grand Master, Norman Eric Heaviside gave a presentation on the history of the lodge and took those present back to the beginning of the 20 th Century, more specifically to the Great War of 1914 /1918 with a few anecdotes of one hundred years of the DLIM.

At the end of the Great War soldiers returning home were left searching for the lost comradeship they had developed whilst fighting together. Fortunately, many men found the answer to this loss in freemasonry.

After the war, the demand for membership placed a huge strain on the eighty-eight existing lodges in the province and within the short space of only five years, twenty-three new lodges were consecrated to meet the sudden influx of candidates. During this five-year period, the membership of approximately 9000 at the end of the Great War, increased by 3500, a rise of almost 40%

A group of forward-looking installed masters proposed the forming of a lodge, solely devoted to lectures and improving Masonic knowledge and understanding.

The first Minutes of the DLIM Lodge Committee was dated 9 th December 1920 when fourteen past Masters attended to discuss the formation of this Lodge. There is a Minute Book of every Committee Meeting held from 1920 up until 1988, all handwritten.

With the incredible support from its 95 founder members, the Lodge was consecrated 100 years ago, taking place in Old Elvet.

Other members of the Lodge however, who were appointed Provincial Grand Master’s much later, were Col F Walton, the Rt Hon the Lord Barnard, Dr Alan Martin Davison and Norman Eric Heaviside. Our present Provincial Grand Master, John Paul Thompson, is to be installed as Master of this Lodge next year.

In 1939, the Lodge was suddenly asked to hand their warrant in. Thankfully, it was only to keep it safe during the war, along with all the other Lodge warrants, held in the Strongroom at Provincial Office. The Lodge was given a small, printed copy of the warrant allowing the Lodge to meet in compliance with the Book of Constitutions. It was certainly put to full use, as the Lodge continued to meet quite regularly during the war.

In 1998, the Lodge celebrated its 75 th Anniversary at Hedworth Masonic Hall, South Shields. To mark the anniversary a new Banner, designed and produced by Tom Coulson and Max Gaskin, was paraded around the Lodge Room and Dedicated by the Provincial Grand Chaplain, the Revd Jack Marsden.

The Banner, which is proudly displayed at every Meeting, was provided by the generosity of Charles Marshall and Harold Easton.

In the year 2000, to mark the Millennium, the brethren of Durham Province raised £500,000 to build a masonic hall in a partnership with Beamish Open Museum.

Nowhere, in the British Isles, has a Masonic Hall been seen and visited by over ½ million visitors in the past 17 years.

The Grand Master, the Duke of Kent unlocked the door of the Museum on the opening day, the special key incorporated a Founders jewel from this lodge, now kept on display in our Provincial Museum.

The Centenary Warrant was read out in open lodge by the Provincial Secretary before being formally presented to the Master of the Lodge.

A cheque for £4,441 was presented by the master on behalf of the lodge towards Durham Benevolence before retiring to the festive board where 89 masons continued to enjoy their masonry.

#oneorganisation  #durhamfreemasons  #strongertogether

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Fenwick Lodge150th anniversary | Durham Freemasons

Fenwick Lodge No. 1389 celebrated the second half of the 150 th anniversary or sesquicentennial meetings at the Wearside Masonic Temple, Burdon Road, Sunderland on Friday 21 st October 2022.

The lodge was opened by Dr Ian Cubbin Worshipful Master, with approximately sixty Masons present.

The Assistant Provincial Grand Master, WBro Clinton Leeks, OBE, PSGD was welcomed into the lodge and took the Chair of King Solomon.

After fraternal salutations were given to Clinton, relinquished the chair and returned it to the Worshipful Master.

Ian stated that the lodge had been very privileged to have as their Visiting Support Officer, Bernard Hope who as Past Provincial Grand Orator had been great support to the lodge.  He then invited Bernard to present a history of the lodge.

Bernard’s presentation was accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation of about 120 slides which ran behind him as he spoke.

He started by saying that the history of the lodge would not be lists of long dead Past Masters or extracts from dusty minutes but would record the lodge’s journey running alongside that of the city of Sunderland.

He covered the origin of the lodge’s name and its travels the latter part of the 19 th century, through the whole of the 20 th century into the present century linking the lodge with events such as the laying of Sunderland Museum’s foundation stone, the Victoria Hall Disaster, the coronations of various monarchs and even Sunderland Football club’s two successful cup final of 1937 and 1973.

He mentioned the loss of a Brother in the First World War and that the lodge lost no-one in the war that followed.

He also mentioned that the lodge although currently small had managed to gain a Platinum Award in the recent festival and that the lodge’s support for the Province was not just financial but that it had provided three Provincial Grand Secretaries, three Assistant Provincial Grand Masters and one Deputy Provincial Grand Master who had subsequently became Provincial Grand Master.

He brought the history up to date with the previous month’s special meeting at Beamish Masonic Hall at Beamish Museum.

To read full Lodge history Click Here:

Clinton then presented the lodge with their Festival Platinum Award.

The lodge was then closed and after photographs those present enjoyed a particularly satisfying meal at the Festive Board.

He concluded by saying that many present at the meeting might not see the 200 th anniversary, but he felt the lodge would still exist.

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Fenwick Lodge Unique Evening | Durham Freemasons

Fenwick Lodge No. 1389 returned from their summer break to celebrate their 150 th anniversary or sesquicentennial meetings.

This was to be in two parts. The lodge does not normally meet in September, so their first meeting was by dispensation.

The lodge negotiated with Beamish Museum regarding the possibility of holding the meeting in the Masonic Temple within the museum.

The staff at Beamish were most accommodating and the meeting (a morning meeting) was arranged for Friday 16 th September 2022.

The lodge could not use the main Lodge Room as this was open for museum visitors at the time, but Beamish staff were able to provide an anteroom which was arranged by the lodge to resemble a lodge room.  The room was small which limited the number present to 40.

The Worshipful Master, Dr Ian C Cubbin opened the lodge and Mr Liam Aitchison was initiated.

Liam, as their newest member, was completely unaware of the significance of the building and the uniqueness of the ceremony as no Masonic ceremonies had taken place in the building since 1932.

After all those present gave their fraternal greetings the lodge was closed and those present removed themselves to the café above the Cooperative Stores where an excellent Festive Board was provided.

After the meal, the normal toasts were given and at the appropriate moment, Bro Aitchison responded to the toast to him.

After the festive board members wandered around Beamish their dress code making some visitors feel that they were in museum character.  Some sampled the Victorian public house while others visited the sweet shop.  Some visited both!

A very enjoyable morning and afternoon were enjoyed by those present and they all looked forward to part two in October.


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Ravensworth Golf Trophy | Durham Freemasons

The Ravensworth Golf Trophy was once again staged at the Chester le Street Golf Club in the shadow of Lumley Castle on one side and Durham Cricket ground on the other. The conditions were perfect for golf with cloud cover and lower temperatures of that which we have seen recently.

About 50 golfers had been booked in for this pairs competition by the hard working organisers, with all proceeds from the raffle and any excess from booking fees, sponsored holes etc to go to the Masonic Fishing Charity. Most entrants were freemasons in the Province of Durham with a sprinkling of visitors to make up the numbers.

The first 2 pairs tee’d of at 10.00am with all golfers out on the course before 12.00pm. By 4.30pm all golfers had completed their rounds and had returned to the clubhouse to tuck in to a spledid bar meal served by the friendly catering and bar staff.

After checking and sorting all of the scores it was time for the presentation, before which the chairman of the Masonic Fishing Charity, David Grey, stood up and outlined the work the charity does for disadvantaged people with special needs and the way fishing is used in an interactive way to help them cope. Visit the website for more information on the charity   clickhere

David then proceed to award the prizes with the nearest to the pin on the 12th hole going to Ian Mason of Winlaton St Pauls Lodge, winning him £100.00. The winners of the Trophy itself with a magnificent 49 points were Bryan Scott and Bill Batey of St Marys Lodge. Other pairs posted some excellent scores but could not get near the winners.

A final total of £1,000.00 was raised and for that the organisers and David Grey in particular thanked everybody for participating. Roll on next year.

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