Date :

Protocol and Etiquette

Which tie should I wear to Masonic meetings?

The common tie that is correct and acceptable for all meetings for both Craft and Chapter is the plain black tie. The Provincial Merchandising team have included in the new range a plain black tie which includes a masonic shadow motif and is shown on the right of the above photograph.

United Grand Lodge Tie

Universities Lodge No. 2352

Spirit of Rugby Lodge No. 9910

Anglers Lodge No. 100049

The Merchandising team have launched a full range of ties and other items which will be available for purchase at the Provincial Meeting. After the Provincial meeting they will then be available via the web shop on the Provincial website. They can be purchased by cash although card is preferred.

The range of extends to polyester, silk and clip on ties with pocket squares, lapel badges (for use when not on official Provincial business) and cufflinks. Further items will become available soon.

It is 24 years since the last tie change happened so why not embrace our new design?

Andrew P.F. Foster

Assistant Provincial Grand Master

June 2024

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Provincial Buildings Strategy Presentations

We will be hosting two seminars to support our management teams and those who support our buildings.

SATURDAY 3RD FEBRUARY – SHINEY ROW MASONIC HALL  9.30 – 11.30 am

SATURDAY 24TH FEBRUARY – FERRYHILL MASONIC HALL   9.30 – 11.30 am

These presentations will be of interest to Masonic Hall Management Teams, Directors, Trustees and anyone with an interest in the management of buildings.

The focus will be on the legal ownership of masonic halls, maintenance, repair and development opportunities, as well as minimising expenditure particularly utilities and rates.

There will also be an opportunity to engage with the Provincial Asset Management team who are happy to assist and advise where necessary.

To book your place please use the ticket Tailor on the provincial website at the following link , these links will be live from Friday 12th January 2024

https://www.tickettailor.com/events/provincialgrandlodgeofdurham/1117096?

Please note we are hosting RA Reps seminars at the same venue at the same time, please ensure you click on the correct link when sourcing your tickets.

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Date :

New Assistant Provincial Grand Master

Rakesh Bhalla, PAGDC

Consequent to the recent appointment of a new Deputy ProvGM, I am directed to announce the appointment of a new Assistant Provincial Grand Master, WBro Dr. Rakesh Bhalla, PAGDC with immediate effect. WBro Rak will assume responsibility for the North West of the Province and will continue in his role as 3rd Provincial Grand Principal in the Royal Arch until further notice.

The Provincial Grand Master adds, ‘Rak has proved to be an important member of the Provincial Executive as 3rd Provincial Grand Principal and will bring this experience to the role of AsstProvGM, and I wish him well in this new role’.

Arrangements are being made to invest both new appointments at Gateshead Masonic Hall on the evening of Wednesday 31st January 2024 – further information will be issued in due course when the arrangements are finalised.

Sincerely and Fraternally,
Tom

T. F. Gittins 

Provincial Grand Secretary / Scribe E
8 The Esplanade
Sunderland
Tyne and Wear
SR2 7BH

Tel: 0191 567 5365
Office: enquiries@durhamfreemasons.org

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2024 Masonic Group Break

Applications are now open for the Provincial 2024 Masonic Group Break. This time, it will be at The Queens Hotel in Blackpool. Commencing on the 17th of June for 4 nights, at the cost of £350.00 per person.

Situated on South Promenade, overlooking the Irish Sea, Queens Hotel offers live entertainment, home-cooked food. The bright and airy bedrooms are traditionally decorated, and each has a radio, television, and tea/coffee facilities. All rooms feature a private bathroom, and some have wonderful sea views. The Theatre Bar regularly hosts live cabarets, comedy and music. The spacious restaurant serves a full English breakfast and a Table d’hote evening menu.

Just a 10-minute walk from Pleasure Beach, Queens Hotel is just 200 meter’s from South Pier. Blackpool Tower and the Grand Theatre can be reached in a 25-minute seafront stroll.

#Stronger Together

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Volunteering within your community

Now is a wonderful time to carry out some volunteering.

December is difficult for some in our communities and with a little help from the Durham Freemasons we can make a significant difference to people’s lives.

 Some tasks are done from the comfort of your own home.

With all the services through the Royal Volunteering Service

( www.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk )

you can opt-out or opt-in the any of the following tasks.

Check in and Chat – provides short-term telephone support to people who need a friendly call and encouragement to improve their mental health and wellbeing.

Check In and Chat Plus – provides support to more vulnerable people.

Community Response – supports people with a current health need with shopping, lateral flow tests and prescription delivery

Pick Up and Deliver – supports the NHS and people who have been newly discharged from hospital to home or are being cared for at home with the delivery of medication or equipment. Medication can also be delivered to those waiting for admission.

Connect – A pilot activity which supports people to take part in social activities, pastimes, or hobbies in the home or in their community.

Engage A pilot activity which supports in sheltered accommodation, care, residential and respite homes to assist the person leading social and wellbeing activities and groups.

Steward Volunteers – supports COVID-19 vaccination sites. They assist with managing queues, greeting, and directing people and monitoring numbers.

Just follow the link  www.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk  and it is easy to enrol, you will get so much pleasure out of helping others!

 Durham Freemasons Stronger Together Volunteering Team.

Let us know if you have joined up so we can make sure of our support to you.

Malcolm Ormiston

Volunteering lead for the Province of Durham

Malcolm.ormiston@gmail.com

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Finding Light in the Darkness:

The world around us is filled with both the joyful adverts, films, and songs of the festive season and also the sombre echoes of conflict and pain coming into our homes through the media. In the midst of this paradox, in the Christmas season we are called to reflect on the message of Christmas—a message of hope, peace, and love, a message shared by Christians, Jews and Muslims and especially Freemasonry.

The world has known more than its fair share of strife, and the echoes of war seem to drown out the carols that should be filling the air. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the darkness that surrounds us. Yet Christmas is a reminder that even in the bleakest of times, a glimmer of divine light can pierce through the shadows.

The story of the birth of Jesus Christ, celebrated on Christmas Day, was a moment of profound significance. In a humble stable, amidst the chaos of the world, a child was born who would bring light to the darkest corners of human existence. The story of Christmas is one of hope born out of despair, of peace breaking through the noise of conflict, and of love that transcends the barriers of hatred.

On Christmas day as we exchange gifts and share meals with our loved ones; -if we are fortunate to have family or friends nearby, we should not forget those who are experiencing the harsh realities of war. It is in these moments of collective pain that our faith is tested, and our response becomes a testament to the true meaning of Christmas.

The Christmas story challenges us to be agents of peace no matter what our religious beliefs, in a world torn apart by violence,. It encourages us to seek ways to extend love and compassion to those who are suffering, to be the bearers of a message that transcends borders and conflicts. In the face of war, let us be peacemakers, striving to bring about the harmony that the angels sang about on that holy night.  As we look ahead to the new year, uncertain of what it may bring, let us carry the Christmas spirit with us.

May the light that shone in Bethlehem guide our path in the days and months to come. In the face of global challenges, personal struggles, and the pains of the world, let us be beacons of hope, radiating the love that was first expressed in the form of a vulnerable child in a manger. Let us also recommit ourselves especially as Freemasons to working towards a world where peace prevails over conflict, where love triumphs over hatred, and where the light of hope dispels even the deepest darkness.

Words from the Carol

“It “came upon the Midnight clear”    

But with the woes of sin and strife
The world has suffered long;
Beneath the angel-strain have rolled
Two thousand years of wrong;
And man, at war with man, hears not
The love-song which they bring; –
Oh hush the noise, ye men of strife,
And hear the angels sing!                                                                                                                       

Best wishes and Blessings for Christmas and the New Year. 

Julian Ward and  Rev Jon Whalley, Provincial Grand Chaplains

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