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.