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Launch of Cornerstone North East.

On Friday 8th December 2023 Civic Lodge No5841 met at Burdon Road Sunderland to carry out a Third Degree ceremony for Brother Simon Walker. It was also an occasion at which the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VWBro Michael Graham was leading a small deputation of Provincial Officers to mark the launch of the Cornerstone North East. The Durham Cornerstone is a vibrant social and educational network aimed at our Light Blue Masons.

Their journey with Freemasonry starts from the day of their initiation and they become part of The Durham Cornerstone from day one. It extends across the entire geographic area of the Province of Durham but due to differences in geography, culture and distance, our Province is varied, and this is recognised in its structure. As a result, The Durham Cornerstone is sub divided into four semi-autonomous regional committee led areas, the NE, SE, SW, and NW.

The Durham Cornerstone will look to foster an environment where new Brethren can become Engaged in the life of the Province, Discover more about our organisation, Explore their early years in Masonry and Develop as Masons. The Cornerstone is a space to encourage inclusion, involvement, and development by engagement through social events for members, non-members their partners and families. They are encouraged to discover all aspects of Masonry through visits to Masonic themed attractions, talks and events as well as visits to Lodges and Chapters. We will also put on learning and development events throughout the year to develop their knowledge, skills and confidence.

Civic Lodge did indeed rise to the occasion and put on a spectacular event. Not only do they have all light blues on the ladder, those same Light Blues conducted the ceremony taking on pieces usually reserved for Past Masters. In fact, there was only one Past Master involved in a small portion of the ritual the whole evening. A truly impressive event.

At the Festive board the Deputy Provincial Grand Master praised Civic Lodge for its vision and foresight in keeping its members engaged, a great example of the Members’ Pathway in action.

If you are a Light Blue and we haven’t already made contact with you, you can get in touch by speaking with your Mentor or Lodge/Chapter Visiting Support Officer who will be happy to support you. Alternatively, the contact details for each of the four areas are shown. If you are not sure which is your area don’t worry. Contact us via any of the emails shown and we will connect you to the right person.

Cornerstone.ne@durhamfreemasons.org
Cornerstone.nw@durhamfreemasons.org
Cornerstone.se@durhamfreemasons.org
Cornerstone.sw@durhamfreemasons.org

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Brother Herbert Harvey Hewison

Along with his pastoral role Rev David Youngson researches military archives to ensure that all Commonwealth forces who died in the First and Second World Wars, will never be forgotten and laid to rest in a War Grave, working in close conjunction with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

His research uncovered Brother Herbert Harvey Hewison of Benedict Biscop Lodge, who was discharged as medically unfit prior to the armistice and died on 21st December 1918 aged 23. The (CWGC) were granted permission some years ago to honour them with war grave status and having presented the case to the CWGC, the Ministry of Defence approved the recognition of Herbert. David had been asked by CWGC to conduct a short act of dedication of the grave, similar to what I have done in Oxbridge Cemetery Stockton and 15 Ravine Cemetery, Somme, France for the Revd Alan Cecil Judd MC who had been listed as Missing.

Having agreed with Sunderland Bereavement Services the dedication took take place at Ryhope Cemetery, Sunderland on Friday 7th July 2023 @ 10:30 am. The Provincial Grand Master John Paul Thompson, accompanied by several other representatives of Durham Freemasons plus members of the deceased’s family gathered at the cemetery gates off Burdon Road, Ryhope.

They made their way to the grave where The Rev. David delivered a short dedication to Brother Herbert, the last post was played by Stewart Major, and those in attendance respected a 2-minute silence prior to the laying of wreaths, followed by the First Verse of the National Anthem.

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