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A tribute to W Bro Raymond Norman Dinning Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master for Durham who passed to the Grand Lodge above on 13th October 2021.


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Brother Raymond was Initiated into the Lumley Lodge in November 1960 serving as its Worshipful Master in 1976.


He was a subscribing or Honorary member of six Craft Lodges in the Province of Durham, namely: North Durham Lecture Lodge, Sportsman’s Lodge, Hammurabi Lodge, Beamish Temple Lodge and Castle Eden Lodge of Installed Masters, the latter two conferring Honorary Membership upon him in 2006 and 2009, respectively.


He was also a member of Internet Lodge, East Lancashire as well as holding various memberships and Senior positions in other Masonic orders.


Provincial Rank in the Craft followed when in 1985 he was Appointed as Provincial Junior Grand Warden (ProvJGW, Durham) and promoted to the Rank of Assistant Provincial Grand Master (AsstProvGM, Durham) in 1997.


In the Holy Royal Arch, he was Exalted into the Cuneceastre Chapter in 1976 becoming a joining member of Minerva Chapter of Industry in 1978 where he became Most Excellent Zerubbabel in 1985, and in 2004 became a Founder of Vane Tempest Chapter of Installed First Principals.


Provincial Rank in the Holy Royal Arch followed when in 1991 he was Appointed Provincial Grand Scribe Nehemiah (ProvGSN) promoted to the Rank of Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals (APGP) in 1997, promoted again in 1998 to the Rank of Third Provincial Grand Principal (3rdProvGPrin,) and finally to the Rank of Second Provincial Grand Principal (2ndProvGPrin) in 2001.


Brother Raymond’s glittering career in Freemasonry continued when in 1989 he was Appointed to Grand Rank in the Craft to Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies (PAGDC) and promoted to the Rank of Past Senior Grand Deacon (PSGD) in 1999.


In the Holy Royal Arch, he became Past Grand Standard Bearer (PGStB) in 1996 and was promoted to the Rank of Past Assistant Grand Sojourner (PAGSoj) in 2004.


Raymond was also instrumental in introducing IT to the Province when using the skills gained professionally as a Senior Police Officer he is known and credited with introducing and developing the E-mail system at the Offices of Provincial Grand Lodge at Sunderland.


Professionally his career path mirrored that of his Masonic achievements. In 1950, he joined Durham County Constabulary, as a Police Cadet and was stationed at Chester-le-Street Divisional Office, performing duties in Communications and Town Office until 22nd August 1952, when he was ‘called up’ for National Service in the Royal Air Force.


After completion of his military two years’ service, he returned to the Durham Force, where he commenced his initial Training and Probationary service in 1954 which he completed went on to complete in 1956. Twenty days later 24th December 1956, he was posted to Chester-le-Street CID and appointed a Detective Constable being the youngest appointed Detective Officer in the Force at that time.


Raymond served as a Divisional Detective at Chester-le-Street until promotion to Detective Sergeant in 1963 when he was posted to HQ CID going on to form and develop the inaugural Regional Crime Squad and The Crime Intelligence Department.


His multifaceted distinguished Police career saw Raymond Temporary Assistant Chief Constable operations (Ops).


Unfortunately, this appointment, due to an administrative error, contrary to Police Regulations and relative to Police Service in other Forces, when appointing Chief Constables, their Deputies and Assistants, the Officer who Ray was replacing, could not be appointed to a higher rank, which meant he had to be re-instated, and Ray had to revert to his Divisional Commander role. He retired from Police Service in June 1989.


In his private life, he was an accomplished Magician and a member of the prestigious ‘Magic Circle’ which has over 1,500 members worldwide including many top magicians, including top professionals such as David Copperfield, Dynamo, Jamie Raven as well as others such as the Prince of Wales, Stephen Fry, Nigel Mansell and of course Raymond Dinning, all brought together by a passion for magic.


Raymond was married to his wife Margaret Rose a former Police Officer, stationed at Chester-le-Street, where they first met, sadly Margaret passed away in April 2017, following which he continued to reside at the family home in Chester-le-Street.


He leaves son Steven & his wife Jennifer, daughter Tracey and partner Jo, together with his grandchildren Kirsty (partner Alex) and Andrew.


Worshipful Brother Raymond Norman Dinning, a man who, in life was highly respected and who died, deeply regretted.


His funeral is to be held on Friday 12th November 2021 at St. Mary’s and St. Cuthbert’s Parish Church, Church Chare, Chester-Le-Street, County Durham, DH3 3QB commencing at 11.30 am.


Family flowers only. Donations if so desired to be made to the British Heart Foundation.


A private Cremation Ceremony will follow at Durham Crematorium for family members only.





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