Men Extant in Harmony
In October 2020, the Felling Male Voice Choir are holding a Centenary Concert in the Sage Gateshead. Over the last 99 years the choir has grown in numbers and competed and indeed have won many music festivals around the country. The highlight of the choir’s contest achievements was in 1951 when against competition from all over the UK the choir won the “Festival of Britain Trophy”. This was against fourteen choirs in the Festival Hall. The skill of the conductor Tom Mearis, was demonstrated not only in the wonderful singing of the choir, but his excellent ear for music. Tom like many of the founders of the choir was a Freemason from the Lodge of Industry. The trophy has a place of honour in the Gateshead Mayor’s Parlour to this day.
Secretary of the choir, Michael D Scott applied to the Freemasons of Durham to assist in their fund raising for the choir to hold their Centenary Concert. On Friday 11th October, Freemasons Ian Self and Stewart K Bell were invited to attend the choirs Patrons Concert at the Felling Methodist Church. It was of particular interest to Ian, as his brother, Freemason Ken Self had for some 30 years been the Chairman of the choir and it was only through ill health that he had to stand down and was now in a care home. Ian was overwhelmed with the well-wishers from the choir who reminisced about times past with brother Kens many years of dedication and they sent their sentiments and best wishes on.
Before the concert started Ian and Stewart representing the Freemasons of Durham, were introduced to the packed hall by choir Chairman Stuart Dearlove and Ian was honoured to present a grant of £750 which was received with a rousing round of applause. Ian and Stewart thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the evening, which included a buffet plus fund raising raffle, both noting the similarities between the warm welcome and friendship they received to being within a Masonic Lodge environment. The choir often run concerts for charitable purposes and regularly contribute to designated charities. They aim to interest the public to the art of singing, take part in concerts and similar activities. The things that bound them together is the love of the wonderful sound of male voices in harmony together with a feeling of friendliness, the wonderful social atmosphere overshadows divisions of other interests in the quest for a perfect sound which pleases ourselves and the listener. The choir are looking to recruit new members, whether you are tenor, baritone or bass they would love to hear from you.
Ian and Stewart left with a feeling of satisfaction and pride that an organisation that they were both proud to be members of were able to support and assist a similar association of men, brought together in a common purpose to enjoy life and help others while doing so.
TLC Teddy Initiative……
“thank you Freemasons for the thousands of teddies donated to children’s casualty departments”
Community Support Grants…..
“The grant from Durham Freemasons has made an enormous difference to our service users”
Provincial Annual Meeting….
“The Provincial annual meeting is one of the highlights of my year, it’s great to meet everyone and support all those being rewarded for merit”….
“My husband would be so proud that you still contact me so many years after his death, thank you for remembering me”
“The Provincial annual meeting is one of the highlights of my year, it’s great to meet everyone and support all those being rewarded for merit”
The Royal Arch…..
“I feel that I have a much better understanding of the whole Masonic story after joining the Royal Arch”
What have you gained?
“I’ve made wonderful friendships with people from all walks of life who I wouldn’t otherwise have even met”
In respect to the TLC Teddy initiative
“A child patient copes with medical treatment so much better when they’ve been given a TLC teddy”
What Freemasonry has done for you?
“The teachings of the masonic ceremonies helped me to be a better father, better husband, better son and better neighbour”What Freemasonry has done for you
One of the best things I have ever done…
“Along with getting married, the birth of my children and Sunderland winning the FA Cup, becoming a Freemason is one of the best things I’ve ever done”