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The 2023 Prestonian lecture | Durham Freemasons

The 2023 Prestonian lecture – 5th July 2023 at Durham Lodge of Installed Masters

We are pleased to announce the 2023 Prestonian Lecturer, Akram Elias the Past Grand Master of Washington D.C. who gave a preview of his forthcoming lecture: The 1723 Constitutions: The Indispensable Trowel: Cementing America’s Foundations at the Especial meeting of UGLE in January. Brother Elias was an excellent and engaging speaker, and the content of his lecture was thought-provoking and encouraged much discussion.

This will be a sell-out – You don’t want to miss this!




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50 years Chapter Celebration for David Railson

On the evening of Monday 19th December 2022, the companions of Elevation Chapter assembled at the Stanley Masonic Hall. This special meeting was of immense importance, it was a celebration of 50 years service to the Chapter for EComp Thomas William David Railson and the exhalation of Bro Hugh Dorans .

This evening started with the Provincial Grand Superintendent John Thompson being warmly welcomed into the Chapter Room and being introduced to the Companions.

The Companions of elevation Chapter then increased their numbers with a fine exhalation ceremony of Bro Dorans in which many members of the chapter and visitors took part.

The next business of the evening was for the Provincial Grand Superintendent to present the long service certificate to EComp David Railson. John did this in his usual style by inviting David to have a chat with him. Two chairs where placed and the companions took their seats.

David has been married to Christine in 1974 and has 3  daughters Fiona, Lynsey and Gemma….6 Grandchildren Elizabeth, Harrison, Grace, Hannah,, Jackson and Spencer aged 3

David’s  Education was at Newcastle upon Tyne Cathedral Choir of which he eventually became Head Chorister.

He Said “All I particularly wanted to do in those early years was to sing in the Choir and play Cricket.”

He later attended Newcastle Colleges on leaving School and decided  a Police Career was what I wanted to commit myself to as I had been interested in that for some time.

January 1964 saw him accepted into Newcastle upon Tyne City Police, after training was posted to West End Police Station where he met a myriad of characters all in a blue uniform.

After some years served in Divisional Administration ,Crime Intelligence and C.I.D. Promoted Sergeant 1978 …Stationed in Sunderland, Gateshead, Blaydon and Whickham from where I retired as Station Sergeant/ Custody Officer in 1993.

November1968 saw his initiation into Derwent Lodge No 4250 becoming W.M.1983.

His Royal Arch journey started in September 1972 with his exhalation  into Rowlands Gill Holy Royal Arch Chapter No 4694 becoming M.E.Z in 1987 going back to J. and H then M.E.Z. in 1990. After that in 1991 I took over as Scribe Ezra’a post I held for over 20years.

In 1992 received Provincial position of DepProvSwdB

Promotion. to DepProvGDC 1998-2000  and then ProvGDC  2000-2007.

During his  time as ProvGDC. there were many initiatives in which he was involved in organising provincial support for the second and third principals on official provincial visits and the introduction of the revised ritual into the Province, which was a major task.

During all of his time in the Holy Royal Arch Chapter David wrote and delivered many Lectures in and out of this Province , his Church background seemed to just be a forerunner  to Freemasonry more particularly the Holy Royal Arch where the many Biblical references and stories were so familiar. Indeed this followed on into many other  Masonic Degrees.

However ,  in the following years his Masonic Career really took off and in all the many Degrees he is still  a member of, he  achieved Acting Grand Rank in every Degree bar one  He particularly  enjoyed was Dep. Grand EPISCOPUS (CHAPLAIN) in the Order of the Scarlet Cord where he was in that Office for 3 years and gave ‘ orations’ relative to Consecrations and Enthronements over much of the Country, Past P.G.M in The order of Athelstan 2012-17  in Northumbria …P.G.M. Royal Order of Scotland   2017–date in Durham…..  Grand Supt. of The Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests and The Order of Holy Wisdom in Northumberland and Durham .

On conclusion John invited the Provincial DC EComp Nigel Fallow to present the 50 year long service certificate

E Comp Thompson acknowledged his amazing service to many degrees and thanked him for the work he has done in Durham in promoting the craft and the Holy Royal Arch. John further Commented that many of the things we do today in our visits and deputations and the ritual will read has David’s hand in it somewhere along the line.

Chapter Photos were taken before the evening progressed to the festive board.

Following an enjoyable meal, John Thompson thanked the Chapter for a Wonderful evening and was grateful for the invitation to share in this  special  Celebration. The full room in attendance added to the occasion. John then spoke about everything that was happening around the province and to encourage everyone to go out and enjoy their freemasonry.

Toast followed with Ecomp Railson thanking EComp Thompson for his attendance and the companions and visitors for their support.

All enjoyed an excellent and entertaining evening.

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