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British Empire Medal to William(Bill) Joseph Watson

On Tuesday 14th May 2024 Durham Freemason William (Bill) Watson had the great pleasure of being presented the British Empire Medal, by The Lord-Lieutenant of County Durham Sue Snowdon.

This medal is granted in recognition of meritorious civil or military service by His Majesty the King. Bill Watson has made a huge, significant difference to the musical lives of countless over the whole of the North East. As a music teacher, Director of the Great North Big Band Festival, Musical Director of the Sunderland University Big Band and as a founder member and Secretary of the Saint Cecilia Freemasons Lodge in Durham he has given countless opportunities for young musicians in a variety of ways.

His passion for music is palpable, and Its impossible not to be impressed by the amazing range of activities Bill has been involved with and his passion for music.His drive and total dedication and energy makes him a most worthy recipient of this honour.

Congratulations from all at Durham Freemasons Bill.

Stronger Together

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Saint Cecilia Supports Local Young Musicians

Saint Cecilia Lodge is a lodge of musicians and music enthusiasts. One of its main aims is to support local young musicians from within the Province. This is achieved by giving bursaries to local young musicians to help with instrumental lessons, purchase of instruments and fees for attending major musical courses and workshops. For twenty years they have also organised an annual competition for young composers. After the compositions have been judged, a trophy is given to the winning school and cheques are presented to the winning composers. This all took place at the September meeting of the lodge, when the winners, their parents and teachers were invited. Members of the Lodge also invited non-masonic guests to the presentations and dinner.

After the dinner, all guests were able to hear performances of the winning compositions before the cheques and trophies were presented.

This year the Saint Cecilia Trophy was presented by the Worshipful Master Michael Liddle to Mrs Jessica Holmes of Durham Johnston School. He then presented cheques for £100 and £50 to the winner Joseph Sollis and runner up Aine O’Sullivan, in the senior competition.

R W Bro. Eric Heaviside then presented the Benfeldsyde Trophy to Durham Johnston School as the winner of the Junior Section. RWBro Heaviside then presented cheques of £50 to Tilly Stacey and £25 to Amy Hall.

The Lodge will be celebrating its 25th Anniversary next year. It meets on the 4th Wednesday of the month and at the January meeting, it will have a performance by the Chapel Choir of University College Durham.

Anyone wishing to attend and dine should contact the secretary: Bill Watson bill@billwatsonband.co.uk

Stronger Together

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