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Northern Region, Provincial Fly Fishing Competition

Over 40 anglers from four Provinces competed in Northern Region, Provincial Fly Fishing Competition on Saturday at Aldin Grange Fishery in Bearpark, ending penultimately in Durham taking home the first prize.

The various teams from around the region started arriving at the Venue shortly before 9.00 am to register and be greeted by the Durham organisers.

After a short induction, the team pegs were drawn and the fishing started at 10.00 am with the Yorkshire North & East Ridings teams, made up of members around their Province. The Northumberland teams were supported by Ian Craigs, their Provincial Grand Master. Cumberland & Westmoreland teams were led by their Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Bill Morely and the Durham teams were supported by John Paul Thompson, the Provincial Grand Master.

Although the weather conditions were not ideal for fly fishing, the competitiveness was fierce, but light-hearted, in a Masonic way! 

When the fishing ended at 2.30 pm everyone retired to a barn, during which the scrutineers checked the scorecards and the fishermen tucked into a well earned buffet and refreshments.  After the buffet and raffle, presentations were made by John Thompson and the event sponsor, a non-Mason, Mr John Mounter, the Managing Director of T.O Mounter & Sons, who are suppliers of heat treated pallets and packing crates from Willington, in County  Durham. With Durham taking home the first prize.

The organiser of the event was Maurice Errington, who is the northern regional coordinator

For The Masonic fishing charity.  Maurice’s initial idea was to encourage those Provinces, that had not already done so, to start up a branch of The Masonic Fishing Charity in their area. This has now been achieved as both Northumberland and Yorkshire North & East Ridings are now looking to start their own branches.

The day had been a great success, with many new friendships made and talk was abundant about when the next event would be! This just goes to show that people sharing a common passion for Freemasonry and Fishing are #strongertogether.

Here are some of the social media posts on the day;

 ‘We had a great day at the Northern Region Provincial Fly Fishing Competition on Saturday at Aldin Grange Fishery in Durham’.

‘It was a great turnout and good to see it supported by neighbouring Provinces ‘

‘Great morning with the Durham Branch of the Masonic Fishing Charity. Over 40 anglers from four Provinces competed for the trophy, with Durham taking home the first prize. for my part, I didn’t catch a single fish, in fact, I didn’t get so much as a nip on my line but I did win two prizes in the raffle though!’

‘A Great day out in great company’.

Stronger Together

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Masonic Fishing Charity

Masonic fishing charity

The Masonic Fishing Charity’s aim is to bring an interactive fishing and countryside experience to people with special needs.

It achieves this by running fishing events, both coarse and fly, at various fisheries and inviting participants from special needs schools and centres and people who have suffered trauma to come and join in.

This is far more than just a day’s fishing though! It enables mentally disabled people to gain in confidence, meet new challenges and achieve tangible results to take away; it helps disadvantaged people and those from harsh backgrounds to renew their confidence in meeting people and interacting with adults from outside their spheres; it helps physically disabled people (including war heroes and stroke victims) to participate and experience something that may otherwise be unavailable to them and it enables our volunteers to give back to the community and hopefully…….  ‘Catch a Smile’ along the way.

The charity is completely run by volunteers and is a non-profit making enterprise. Whilst we are the Masonic Fishing Charity you do not have to be a freemason to help us or take part in our activities.

The Masonic Fishing Charity in our Province

The Durham Branch, since our formation in 2017 has held sixteen events at Aldin Grange fishing Lakes, Bear Park in Durham. the venue is very Kindly supplied by Brian Hodgeson from Agricola Lodge. Although not administered or controlled by the Province,we operate with the kind permission and support of PGM John Thompson and our past PGM Norman Eric Heaviside .

Durham Branch of the Masonic Fishing Charity


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How can you help

Be a Sponsor! 

Any of our sponsoring lodges come and spend the day with us as well.  Our charity provides a focus for those who care to support us, and they can see a positive and tangible result for the money that they donate. They are also safe in the knowledge that the entire donated amount is spent on providing events for the participants. The charity has no paid employees, no buildings to support or other overheads other than normal printing, stationery, specialist, and insurance requirements that any similar organisation needs to operate efficiently.

Become a Volunteer!

Fishermen (Ladies are especially welcome!) You do not need to be a Freemason to become a volunteer for us, as we provide a one-to-one fishing guide and participant relationship, we always need men and women fishermen who are willing to give up their day and act as casters.

Organisation is the key point of our activities, and all the events rely heavily on several people to help organise them. Some of the roles include Event Organiser, Schools Liaison Officer, Caster Registration Officer, Catering, Photography, Publicity and PR and general help on the day.

Suggest a participant or organisation.

We always welcome new participants. Most of our participants are drawn from Special Educational Needs Schools, or units and adult centres.

The charity does not provide transport to and from the event. Participants must be over eleven years old and sufficient carers, teachers or helpers must accompany the group to cater for their personal needs. Likewise, any special dietary needs would need to be brought with them for the day although the charity does provide a barbecue lunch with a vegetarian option and tea, coffee, soft drinks and water throughout the day.

If you want to find out more about the charity or if you want to be a volunteer or helper please contact us

Visit our Facebook Page

We will look forward to hearing from you!

Visit our National Website
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Fly-Fishing | Durham Freemasons

This Masonic Fly-Fishing Competition is hoping to attract Teams from the five Northern Provinces of Durham. Northumberland. Cumberland & Westmoreland Yorkshire, West Riding, Yorkshire, North & East Ridings.  

Each Province can enter two teams of 4 anglers, who are Lodge Members in that Province.  A team Co-Ordinator will be required to organise and manage that team on the day of the Competition.  

The Competition will be organised on a ‘Catch and Release’ basis with team and individual trophies being awarded on the day.

Should you require any further information please contact the Event Organiser

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Durham Freemasons Benevolence Chairman ends the year at a party. | Durham Freemasons

South Shields based children’s charity The Kayaks has received grants and support from both local and national Freemasons charity over several years.

In September 2022 when short notice availability at a Masonic Fishing Charity day became available The Kayaks activity coordinator Malcolm Osborne quickly assembled a group of kids from Kayaks who experienced a day coarse fishing near Durham City.

On 23rd December John Watts attended the Kayaks Christmas party in South Shields bearing a gift of £1,000 from the Durham Freemasons Charity and was immediately surrounded on the dance floor by those who had enjoyed the fishing day all wanting to tell him how many fish then caught, and how much fun they’d had.

Kayaks have decided the grant from Durham Benevolence will be used to start up their own fishing section due to the success of the day in September.

A very happy Christmas indeed.

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A Busy Night at St Mary’s Lodge | Durham Freemasons

The first Friday in December is the last Regular Meeting of St Mary’s Lodge in their Masonic year. They always invite an individual to present their Annual Lecture/Talk and this year were delighted to have Adam Lamb, the Provincial Archivist, accompanied by Tom Coulson. Adam presented a Talk on the Provincial Grand Masters of Durham.

The Talk was superbly delivered by Adam; it had wonderful content and was received very well by the 45+ brethren in attendance. All retired in plenty of time to enjoy the Christmas festive board with 45 dining, where a wonderful Christmas meal was provided by the caterer and served by the waitresses in attendance.

The night also included the Annual fraternal visit from the Lodge of Industry, their Mother Lodge, where nine of their brethren supported Dr. Tony Richardson, the Master. Tony replied to the visiting brethren’s toast later in the evening.

Joseph Kendall was elected as Master for the ensuing year with his Installation to take place on Friday the 3rd of February 2023 at 5.30pm. The next two months will see Joseph making his preparations for that special evening when he will also appoint his son, Michael Kendall, as Senior Warden and his good friend, Steven Connor, as Junior Warden. Anyone wishing to attend the Installation is most welcome and should contact the Lodge Secretary for more details about reserving a dining place; all are welcome.

Wonderful harmony was also enjoyed, performed by Richard Straughan. In his own very individual style Richard gave some reflections on life with reminiscences of times past and with memories of his father, the late Dick Straughan, a member of Ravensworth Lodge and a Music Hall Legend who provided many hours of harmony for Lodges in the 1980-90s. All agreed it was wonderful to have such good harmony once again.

The Annual Christmas Raffle where all the ‘bottles’ were donated by Lodge Members, raised £400 profit and this will be donated to Charity and presented to the Provincial Representative in February.

So a good night was had by all . . . but that was not the end of it.

Towards the end of the evening, Stephen Willis, accompanied by Alan Jenkins, who are members of the organising committee, presented the Lord Ravensworth Golf Trophy to the Winners of the 2022 event held at Chester-Le-Street Golf Club in July. Bill Baty, a Past Master, and Bryan Scott the visiting support Officer were successful in this and came in with an extremely high score of 49 Stableford points. Stephen relayed the events of the day to the brethren and asked Adam Lamb to make the presentation. As the Provincial Archivist and lead in the Provincial Museum at Provincial Grand Lodge in Sunderland, Adam Lamb had brought the original Ravensworth Trophy (a very valuable item) along and duly presented it to Bill and Bryan. It turned out to be a good day in July with St Mary’s Lodge winning the trophy and £1,000 raised from the event presented to the Masonic Fishing Charity.

St Mary’s Lodge in Gateshead have worked hard in recent years to maintain their membership and have introduced many new members over the past few years, and with membership around the 50 mark they are able to move forward positively using the guidance of the Members’ Pathway for their future development.

The photos show Bill Baty, Bryan Scott and Adam Lamb with the original Ravensworth Trophy and the more recent crystal bowl kept by the Lodge for a year.

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Ravensworth Golf Trophy | Durham Freemasons

The Ravensworth Golf Trophy was once again staged at the Chester le Street Golf Club in the shadow of Lumley Castle on one side and Durham Cricket ground on the other. The conditions were perfect for golf with cloud cover and lower temperatures of that which we have seen recently.

About 50 golfers had been booked in for this pairs competition by the hard working organisers, with all proceeds from the raffle and any excess from booking fees, sponsored holes etc to go to the Masonic Fishing Charity. Most entrants were freemasons in the Province of Durham with a sprinkling of visitors to make up the numbers.

The first 2 pairs tee’d of at 10.00am with all golfers out on the course before 12.00pm. By 4.30pm all golfers had completed their rounds and had returned to the clubhouse to tuck in to a spledid bar meal served by the friendly catering and bar staff.

After checking and sorting all of the scores it was time for the presentation, before which the chairman of the Masonic Fishing Charity, David Grey, stood up and outlined the work the charity does for disadvantaged people with special needs and the way fishing is used in an interactive way to help them cope. Visit the website for more information on the charity   clickhere

David then proceed to award the prizes with the nearest to the pin on the 12th hole going to Ian Mason of Winlaton St Pauls Lodge, winning him £100.00. The winners of the Trophy itself with a magnificent 49 points were Bryan Scott and Bill Batey of St Marys Lodge. Other pairs posted some excellent scores but could not get near the winners.

A final total of £1,000.00 was raised and for that the organisers and David Grey in particular thanked everybody for participating. Roll on next year.

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