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A ‘Special’ and ‘Historic’ day for Durham Freemasons 

Over one hundred and forty attendees took their places at Gateshead Masonic Hall on Saturday for the Consecration of Anglers Lodge No.10049.

The Provincial Grand Master and Consecrating Officer, John Paul Thompson, accompanied by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, John David Watts, Assistant Provincial Grand Masters, Clinton Elliot Leeks, Andrew Charles Moule and Dr Rakesh Bhalla, led an impressive Consecration team.

Clinton Leeks opened the lodge in the three degrees, allowing the Provincial Grand Master to take over proceedings and addressing the Brethren on the object of the Meeting.

John explained that this occasions’ purpose was to Consecrate and Constitute a new Lodge, giving a brief history of events leading to this day.

In 2017 the Durham Branch of the Masonic Fishing Charity was formed by a small group of Freemasons from around the Province. The Charity brought an interactive fishing and countryside experience to people with special needs by running fishing events. Participants, mainly children, came from special needs schools and centres or who had suffered personal trauma and importantly, enabling the Masonic volunteers to reach out and work closely in the community and hopefully to ‘Catch a Smile’ along the way! 

From this background grew a significant ‘ esprit de corps ‘ among those like-minded Brethren who made up the Branch membership and bonds of friendship and respect soon developed.

Members began to visit each other’s Lodges and became involved in delivering presentations promoting the work of the Charity.

Social evenings were arranged to fund events and it wasn’t long before someone postulated the idea of creating a Masonic Lodge, based on the theme of the Fishing Charity. The concept was received with tremendous support and enthusiasm and from that ‘embryo’ of an idea, The Anglers Lodge No.10049 was born.


John then called upon the Provincial Grand Secretary, Tom Gittins, to state the wishes of the brethren, and to Read the Warrant.

The Provincial Grand Chaplain, Julian Ward, delivered an Oration on the Nature and Principals of our Institution. Immediately after, John Thompson, then continued with the Consecrating ceremony before allowing a presentation of the lodges Bible, by Jonathan Stapley on behalf of the family of the late, Andrew Watson, for which there wasn’t a dry eye in the lodge.

ORATION – Anglers Lodge Consecration

Immediately after, the Installing Officer, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, John David Watts stood, to proceed with the Installation of the Master designate, David Lawrence Georgeson Grey. Who finally invested his officers and ‘smashed’ closing the Lodge…. Those who were there will know!

After photographs, the Consecration Team and all the visitors sat down for a fish themed festive board, where they were served, Fisherman’s Pie followed by Angler’s Trifle then finished off with cheese and biscuits.

On the toast to The Provincial Grand Master, John Thompson replied by saying it had been such a special day for Durham Freemasons and for him personally as The Consecrating Officer to consecrate The Anglers Lodge No.10049, the first in 10years for the Province. Best wishes to all the founders as their take this lodge forward.

The next toast was to the Anglers Lodge, proposed by Richard Davison, the Provincial Senior Warden. The response by the province’s latest Master, David Grey saying, what a super day! It would be hard to imagine how it could have been better really. What a fantastic job, the Provincial Grand Master did as Consecrating Officer.

The Provincial Team were superb and everything in the ceremony seemed to go according to plan – even the drill! 

There is such a feeling of pride when it’s all come together, and 18 months of hard work has become a reality and very worthwhile! Well done everyone. We have inherited a treasure so let’s enjoy it. We seem to have several potentials, adjoining members, and candidates in the pipeline. The raffle on the day raised the fantastic sum of £840, which will launch the lodges Almoner and Charities funds,all very healthy!

A great start for this new specialist lodge and a historic occasion for Durham Freemasons. Best wishes to all the founders as they take this lodge forward.

Stronger Together

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