Date :

Bede College Lodge receive CPR Talk

Lee Whitworth Past Master and Owner and Trainer A&E Harmonious Compliance Training Ltd, was asked to deliver a talk on (CPR), CardioPulmonary Resuscitation and Safe use of an (AED), Automatic External Defibrillator. Lee started by talking about how important it is to gain access to a local AED and the benefits of getting an AED on the body as quickly as possible. Lee explained the way to contact the emergency services and get access to a Defibrillator and what to do whilst you are waiting for one if you have sent a bystander to collect one. He also explained why they have codes and how this system works to ensure the defibrillator is checked, new pads attached if necessary and getting the defibrillator ready for use again. Lee explained that The Circuit is the national database which all UK Ambulance Services have signed up to; this is where any Defibrillator that is accessible to the public should be registered and this database supports and filters through to The National Website Defib Finder, allowing anyone to find the 10 nearest Defibrillators to any postcode:

Lee then talked about technique over strength and that hands only CPR is better than nothing BUT (in the words of John Spiking’s from Zetland Lodge 603 Yorkshire East Ridings) the Gold Standard of CPR includes rescue breaths. If you are willing to and preferably with a face shield, rescue breaths give a greater chance of survival by adding oxygen to chest compressions and the use of a Defibrillator can make a massive difference to survival and quality of life, if successful. ANY chest compressions are better than nothing, however training gives you the knowledge and the confidence to give the patient a better chance of survival.

Lee then gave a full demonstration from finding the casualty, calling for help, sending someone for a Defibrillator; whilst checking the scene for Danger, trying to get a Response from the casualty, checking the Airway and then checking if the casualty is Breathing normally. (DRAB). Why you must start CPR as soon as possible after establishing the casualty needs support and then applying the Defibrillator as soon as it arrives. Lee demonstrated that all you must do to use a Defibrillator is TURN IT ON, follow the instructions and stay calm. The defibrillator tells you to apply the pads, as per the pictures on them, stand clear whilst the defibrillator checks the body or is shocking and then to give a shock or not, depending on the rhythm the machine picks up from the heart. The Defibrillator then tells you to start CPR. Peter Green DC then came and demoed using a Defibrillator with no guidance, to prove how easy it is to just have a go and use one, after which members and visitors to Bede College Lodge were encouraged to have a go Barry Nicholson asked several great questions, which allowed Lee to point out that when giving rescue breaths you must ensure that you do a head tilt and chin lift and no one in the UK has every been sued for attempting CPR, anything is better than nothing.

Lee then moved on to talk about an amazing piece of equipment that Yorkshire Ambulance Service Volunteer Responders use to lift uninjured fallen patients and to demonstrate that his Volunteer First Responders use this Razor Chair to lift a fallen patient, with the power of one finger! Alas, due to the fact that the chair alone costs £4500-£5000, before you consider the responder would also carry other equipment, like a Defibrillator, Oxygen, Slides Sheets, Grab Sheet and Belts, meaning a Falls Responders equipment costs approximately £8000 per kit, Yorkshire Ambulance Service has approximately 900 Volunteer Community Responders across the whole trust, and they have multiple Responder Schemes within this. However only a small amount of these schemes have falls capabilities due to cost of the equipment and the extra time volunteers need to give on scene.

Lee built the chair around the fallen patient, Dave Young, who was amazed that the chair could lift him ….. so easily.  Lee explained that a CFR would complete a full set of observations on a patient and obtain a (NEWS) National Early Warning score, they would then obtain guidance from a clinician in the Clinical Hub, who would then grant or deny permission to lift. The Responder can then lift a patient with one finger whilst only needing to support the patient’s head. When the chair is halfway up, the CFR would check the BP and then lift the patient fully if safe to do so. Once the patient is “raised” the Responder would complete another set of observations and if all is well; they would contact clinical hub again for further guidance and if all observations were safe and satisfactory, this could prevent an ambulance being required, which frees up resources to be ready for life-threatening emergencies.

Lee finished by explaining that Volunteer responders are in many Ambulance Service Trusts and any support people can give via Trust Charities would not only provide assistance to Responder departments, but patient care.

Basic First Aid, Really Does Save Lives!

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It’s Freemasonry, But Perhaps Not As We Know It !

Following the successful relationship between our Lodges that started in 2022, the members of St Mary’s Lodge.Gateshead returned the visit that Lodge Possilpark (Possilpark, Glasgow) had made to them in September 2022 with 12 St Mary’s members going along to witness a Scottish Third Degree Ceremony at their Lodge in Glasgow.

Our Worshipful Master Joe Kendall was welcomed into the Lodge by their Rt Worshipful Master, Edward Dixon and St Mary’s members formed two columns ahead of him. The ceremony started at 7.30pm and it did not finish until 10.30, then we retired to the Festive Board where the informality of the proceedings extended the evening considerably. Dinner was three courses: Scotch Pie; Chicken Curry and Rice and a Tunnock’s Biscuit; interesting but greatly accepted by all.

Back to the ceremony, where the ‘volunteer’ candidate for the evening was our very own Paul Sutton, of St Mary’s Lodge who was subjected to often ‘brutal treatment’ on his being Raised to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason. At some point it was unsure whether he would indeed be accepted as a new Master Mason, such was the unabated ‘testing’ demanded and scale of the physical attention demanded of him !

Also in attendance on the evening were an Official Visit from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Glasgow, established 1739 led by their Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Rt Worshipful Brother Alan Cuthill who interestingly is a Past Master of another St Mary’s Lodge, Partick St Mary’s Lodge No.117. Alan formally welcomed St Mary’s members to the Province of Glasgow. He had also done his homework on our Lodge from Gateshead, commenting on St Mary’s Church and its prominent position on the Gateshead side of the iconic Tyne Bridge. The former Principal Church of Gateshead, for over 900 years it played a significant part in life in the Town and Borough. He hoped that the association between our two Lodges would grow and be mutually beneficial to both parties. Bill Baty thanked Rt Worshipful Brother and his Provincial members for the honour of being supported by them; he thanked him for his remarks and sentiments and wished them well.

At the Festive Board our member, Joe Kendall spoke of the honour of heading our visit to Lodge Possilpark. In his own special way he made reference to the candidate, to the quality of the (long) ritual worked and for the generous hospitality afforded to us.

Several Possilpark Brethren have promised to attend our Lodge Installation in February 2024 (first Friday) when Joe Kendall will install Michael Kendall, his son, into the chair of St Mary’s Lodge; a unique and special occasion – all are welcome!

We look forward to seeing them next year and for the relationship between our Lodges to continue to grow, flourish and develop in the future.

I would recommend any member to consider visiting a Lodge or Lodges outside their own area or Province; it is illuminating and so rewarding to see how others perform ritual and it broadens one’s masonic knowledge.

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Date :

Coast and Castles Cycle Ride

This epic long distance cycle route from Edinburgh to Chester le Street takes in the outstanding scenery of the Holy Island of Lindisfarne and Bamburgh Castle along the way, helping to mask the fact that it incorporates 180 miles of hard cycling spread over 3 days.

24 keen cyclists from Durham took on the challenge setting off from Edinburgh on Friday 15th September to raise funds for the “Durham 2029 MBF Festival” and “Durham Benevolence”. The weather on day one was wet and cold but a lunchtime stop at Dunbar Masonic Hall helped refresh everyone for the final push to Berwick. Day two took in Alnwick and Seahouses Masonic Hall on another wet and chilly day. The good news was filtering through that the total raised had passed £15,000.00 and this gave everyone an extra lift.

On the first dry day of the whole event the team set off from Alnwick full of purpose, ibuprofen and paracetamol. After some climbs that were a bit of a struggle for aching legs the riders reached the coastal path and one of the most enjoyable sections of the Coast & Castles tour, riding through Warkworth and Amble before some had a well earned ice cream in Creswell. The Province of Northumberland surpassed themselves once again, providing a lovely lunch for our incredibly grateful group. It was then time for the final push. Down the Coast to Tynemouth and then along to the pedestrian tunnel back into the Province of Durham. From Jarrow the team rode through Washington before regrouping on the outskirts of Chester le Street. They were then able to ride into the finish at the Masonic Hall where they were met with rapturous applause from waiting friends and family before presenting a magnificent cheque for £25,000 for the sponsorship raised to David Hanson the PGM of the Mark to be shared between the Mark 2029 Festival and Durham Benevolence

Quote from John Thompson PGM of the Craft :-

“I’ve supported many previous bike rides from the sidelines but to participate has brought a very different perspective. The camaraderie, emotions undulating with the terrain and weather, the sense of achievement and being part of a supportive team are only felt by participation.  I’m truly grateful for the experience, the enhanced friendships and all who have donated to such worthy causes as Durham Benevolence and the MBF.”

Quote from David Hanson PGM of the Mark :-

“It is wonderful to see two brilliant charities benefiting from the Coast & Castle Bike Ride. Congratulations to all the support staff, cyclists and all who donated. Remember it’s not just about making a donation it’s about making a difference and you have certainly done that. Inspirational!

Quote from Gavin Rowell :-

“The weather conditions and general lack of fitness made this probably one of the hardest events we’ve organised but the camaraderie was amazing and more importantly we’ve raised a great sum to help local and national charities supporting those in need”

More photos will be added as received and a link to Flickr for a full album

Click here for more photos

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Date :

Whitwell Lodge Surrenders Warrant After 138 years.

On Tuesday 12th September the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Andrew Moule, had the solemn duty of collecting the warrant from Whitwell Lodge 2104 which was done with due ceremony; however, the evening was not entirely a solemn one. The lodge celebrated its achievements and Martin Hayton gave a short history of the start of the lodge and the eponymous Thomas Whitwell, after whom it was named.

Thomas Whitwell was a committed Quaker and inventor who variously worked with Robert Stephenson and filed several patents for his inventions for the iron industry. He was captain of the local fire brigade and founded the Cleveland Institute of Engineers.

Whitwell lodge was formed in 1885, and it was decided no alcohol would be drunk at the lodge as Thomas felt that alcohol was one of the biggest threats to society at the time.

After the sombre formalities the members retired to the dining room for their final meal, which was far from sombre, and certainly not alcohol-free as Thomas Whitwell would have preferred. The brethren showed that they were still in excellent spirits. The brethren are joining new lodges in Stockton, Billingham and as far afield as Chester-le-Street. Good luck to all!

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Date :

A Sad Night for St Helen’s Royal Arch Chapter

On Thursday 14th September, the 2nd Provincial Grand Principal Excellent Companion David Hanson attended St Helen’s Royal Arch Chapter No.531 at Raby Road, Hartlepool.

The Chapter was opened by the three principals, Z – Excellent Companion Dennis McIndoe, H – Excellent Companion Terry Potter and J – Ian Toy. After the minutes the Provincial Deputy Grand Director of ceremonies announced that the 2nd Provincial Grand Principal was at the door of the Chapter.

Excellent Companion David was welcomed into the Chapter by the three principals, there then followed a proposition from the Scribe E. Excellent Companion Neil Syres that any remaining Chapter funds be donated to the HMBA charitable account. After the proposition proved successful, he then gave a brief history of the Chapter, which was well received by those present.

The next business of the evening was to vote on surrendering the warrant of the Chapter, which proved, with a heavy heart from the companions of the chapter, successful.

A notably upset first principal, Excellent Companion Dennis, passed the warrant to the 2nd Provincial Grand Principal Excellent Companion David.

David then read out the following words:

“With the closing of the volume and the opening of a door think not this Chapter has ended, think what has gone before.

Remember all those worthy men who as Masons came, and who developed love and skill and worked in friendship’s name.

When you take up the labourer’s tools, to gently put aside, think not their work has ended, think; how they were applied.

Remember well the lessons taught, to Companions tried and true, of Principals worthy of the name and their sash of crimson and blue.

When your Pedestal is covered and the tools laid at rest, think not their teaching ended, think more a message blessed.

Remember the special meaning to Companions all, of rebirth and life and learning and waiting for the call.

With the sounding of the sceptres and as the lights at last go out,think not your Chapter has ended, dispel all lingering doubt.

Zerubbabel, Haggai, Joshua, remember as you depart, your Chapter will live forever, in every Companion’s heart.”

The Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies asked the companions to stand, then Excellent Companion David paraded the warrant around the room halting by the entrance.

The companions then retired passing the warrant with silence and dignity to the festive board to enjoy a happy end to very poignant evening, in the knowledge that the members of the Chapter were moving on to other Royal Arch Chapters within the Province of Durham.

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Date :

Durham Provincial Ball

A Provincial Ball has been organised for Saturday 28th October 2023 at Hardwick Hall Hotel – Sedgefield, please find attached a flyer and QR code for the event. This is to be a Black Tie event with Reception drink, 4-Course meal with table wine and entertainment by the fabulous Unbreakable.

Featuring Kirsty Carr and Sharon Cardno, this high energy pairing bring you none stop hits, to create the perfect party atmosphere.

With songs from..
Abba, Erasure, The Tramps, Billy Ocean, Celine Dion, Donna Summer, Bonnie Tyler, The Four Tops, Barry White, Tina Turner, Deacon Blue, 4 None Blondes, Cher, The Killers, and many more

Tickets can be obtained by ticket tailor or the QR code attached.

Click Here To Buy Tickets

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Willington’s Diamond Celebration at 4028

On Wed. 13 September the Lodge once again opened its doors to welcome members and visitors.  Past Assistant Grand Master, David Hay and his Director of Ceremonies, Nigel Watson were also present to celebrate  a Diamond  celebration in recognition 60 years of continual membership  and Service for Ronald David Coates. It is probably no coincidence that David  also  attended for the presentation of a 50 year citation to David in 2013.

 It was also the evening of the Fraternal visit from Tow Law Lodge. In total there were 21 members  and 61 visitors in attendance.

 David was married and has two children. He worked for the railways and then joined his mother in the family business at Willington  Post Office where he served for many years as Postmaster until he retired. He is fondly remembered by the townspeople.

 As part of the evening David presented a short history of Willington in the 1800s which was well received and enjoyed by the audience.

 David has a long and distinguishes career as a freemason. It began when he was initiated, into Willington Lodge, at the age of 23 years and has had a continual working involvement ever since.

 The citation was the presented to David by David Hay and an outline of David’s life, career and Masonic career was given as follows:

 Having taken a very active interest in the Lodge David went on to be Master in 1976 and has since served as Secretary, Assistant Secretary and  Treasurer  at various times and is an active ritualist who helps out and fills in when other members are not available.

 In recognition of this he was awarded the position of Past Provincial Junior Grand Deacon in 1986 and was promoted to Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden in 2014.

 David was always a member with a keen interest in Freemasonry and continued with this by Joining Willington Chapter in 1972. In this he was promoted Provincial Grand Steward in 2009.

 David is always known to be available to offer advice and help others and many have benefitted from his vast experience.

 Everyone then retired to the festive Board where a very enjoyable meal was served by the wives of the brethren.    

 Following the formal toasts David responded to a toast proposed to him by Geoff Dunn. He thanked everyone for their support and concluded by saying,” That we should stay healthy and enjoy the craft”.

 The raffle very commendably raised £770  of which 50% will be  donated to Durham Benevolence and %50 to Butterwick hospice.

 The evening closing and many Brethren remained to chat and enjoy the companionship and friendship which we have all missed due to the Pandemic.

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Date :

Sci-Fi & Fantasy Lodge No.10016

Are you interested in joining us on a unique visit to a specialist Lodge?

A trip has been been organised for an overnight away visit to the Sci-Fi & Fantasy Lodge No.10016 in the Province of Staffordshire.

When                                   Saturday 9th December 2023

Where                                  Ashfield House, Burton on Trent

Accommodation              Rooms are available at Premier Inn, Burton On Trent East from £84

Travel                                   Minibus/Coach with various regional pickups, £25 per person

As it’s a Saturday Lodge, the coach will be leaving Durham around 7am on Saturday morning to get us there in time for an 11am start.

The plan is to attend this unique lodge, enjoy the hospitality, meet new friends and experience a meeting with some not seen before additions.

Afterwards we shall retire back to the hotel to get changed and have some free time to explore the local establishments of Burton-On-Trent.

The return coach will leave around 11am Sunday morning to head back home.

Timings at this stage are provisional and will be dependant on the number of members interested and their locations for pickup.

You can find out more about the lodge on their website and their FaceBook page

(Note the lightsabers as deacon wands and a Bat’leth sword for the tyler!)

If you are interested in joining us on what will undoubtedly be a truly different masonic meeting, get in touch to reserve a place.

Email, Phone, WhatsApp contact details below.

Arron Gilbraith, Sanctuary Lodge No.8613, Mobile 07515 392463

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Which tie should I wear to Masonic meetings 

The common tie that is correct and acceptable for all meetings for both Craft and Chapter is the plain black tie – as shown on the left of the first photograph. 

For the Craft, all members of lodges with our Province are eligible to wear the latest Durham Provincial Craft tie – as shown second from left on the first photograph. These can be worn by all members regardless of which rank they hold from the date of their joining. It is not restricted to Provincial Officers. In fact, the wearing of this tie is encouraged by the Provincial Grand Master. 

The adjoining Provinces have recently agreed that these individual Provincial ties can also be worn when attending Provincial meetings of adjoining Provinces. 

When visiting Lodges outside our Province you should not wear our Provincial tie. You are to wear a black tie or the Grand Lodge tie (these can also be worn by any member of any rank) – as shown third from left in the first photograph. 

All acting Provincial Officers, and those attending a meeting in an official capacity within the Province, must wear the Provincial tie. 

When visiting Grand Lodge you may wear either a plain black tie or an approved Grand Lodge tie – as shown third from left in the photograph. (Be aware that there are several copies of the GL tie which are not acceptable to be worn in Grand Lodge. Check the back of the tie – as shown on the photograph below. 

United Grand Lodge Tie

Some Lodges have a tradition of presenting candidates with the ritual book after they have completed their Third degree. Why not consider presenting them with a Provincial tie at the same time? 

There are two lodges within the Province who have permission to wear an individual Lodge tie which can only be worn in their lodge unless specific permission is granted to wear it in another Lodge. These are Universities Lodge No. 2352 and Spirit of Rugby Lodge No. 9910 as shown on the photographs below. 

Universities Lodge No. 2352
Spirit of Rugby Lodge No. 9910

When attending your Chapter meeting the above applies in the same way – a plain black tie is always acceptable. 

All members of a Chapter within our Province are eligible to wear a Durham Provincial Supreme Grand Chapter tie as shown fourth from the left in the first photograph.

These can be worn by all members of the Chapter regardless of which rank they hold, from the date of their exaltation, and is not restricted to Provincial Officers. The wearing of this tie is encouraged by the Provincial Grand Superintendent. 

The adjoining Provinces have recently agreed that these individual Provincial ties can also be worn when attending Provincial meetings of the adjoining Provinces. 

When visiting Chapters outside our Province you should not wear our Provincial tie. You are to wear a black tie or a Supreme Grand Chapter tie – as shown fifth from left in the first photograph. This tie can be worn by any member of any rank. 

All acting Provincial Officers, and those attending a meeting in an official capacity within the Province, must wear the Provincial tie. 

When visiting Supreme Grand Chapter you may wear either a plain black tie or an approved Supreme Grand Chapter tie – as shown fifth from left in the first photograph.

Note that this tie is also allowed to be worn in a private Lodge. 

Some Chapters have a tradition of presenting candidates with the ritual book after they have completed their Exaltation. Why not consider presenting them with a Provincial tie at the same time? 

Provincial ties can be obtained from Provincial Office for £12 which includes postage or £10 on collection. No cash please. BACS details are included in the 2nd Rising. We are currently very short on stock!

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Queen Street Masonic Hall – Heritage Open Day

Saturday 9th September 2023 saw another fantastic event as Queen Street Masonic Hall once again opened its doors to the general public as part of the Tyne and Wear Heritage Week arranged by Historic England.

The day saw guests from across the northeast visit the hall to be enlightened on the intriguing history of the building and its hidden features. Some discussion around the resident spirits said to be found in the building (not behind the bar), tours behind the scenes, and an insight into Freemasonry in general with colourful regalia from all forms of degrees and orders on display to stimulate interaction.

Detailed information was on display and available to take away on Freemasonry in the Community, the Durham Benevolence Charity, and the great work of the TLC. Great conversations were held and new friendships formed over a relaxed cup of coffee and a tour of the building. Plans are already taking shape for the next event.

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