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A Celebratory Night at Sincerity | Durham Freemasons

The Worshipful Master and brethren of Sincerity Lodge No 6036 on Wednesday were very pleased to welcome the Provincial Grand Master, John Paul Thompson and a Provincial Deputation team to their Installation night.

With the help from the number of the Provincial Deputation, over 70 brethren filled the lodge to see the Installing Master, Douglas Barkass, take charge for the night, resulting in the Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Gordon Brewis, being installed into the chair for his third time. Gordon’s first pleasing duty was to hand over two cheques to John Paul Thompson for Durham Benevolence and TLC Teddies which were great fully received. John reciprocated by performing a presentation and explanation of a Grand Lodge Certificate to one of Sincerity’s newest members, David Lee Barnes.

At the festive board the guest were treated to a hearty meal served from a team of stewards from Eardulph Lodge. On John’s reply to his toast, he thanked the brethren of Sincerity for a wonderful evening and commended Gordon Brewis for his service to the Province as an Assistant Provincial Grand Master. John went on to remind everyone the importance of every lodge in the Province to have or invest in a five-year membership plan to keep attendances like tonight, more achievable.

After the Master’s song, Gordon responded to his toast stating, “that was still as emotional as his first time as Master”, he then produced an album containing photographs taken at his first Installation in 1993, to pass around the room for viewing, claiming he looks no different almost 20 years on! You can see from the photos, the jury’s out on that one Gordon.

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Harte Chapter Centenary Celebrations | Durham Freemasons

Monday the 26th of September was a night of special celebration for the members & visitors of Harte Chapter 4217, who meet at the Masonic Hall at Raby Road in Hartlepool.  A lot of preparation had been invested in advance by a number of companions to make sure everything was in place to celebrate Harte Chapter centenary, having been founded in 1922.

John Thompson, Grand Superintendent, welcomed the Provincial Team (led by David Hanson, Second Provincial Grand Principal) in his capacity of Zerubbabel of Harte Chapter.  The companions were treated to a rich & detailed history of Harte Chapter that was prepared & delivered by Darren Bethell, Scribe Ezra, where appreciation was shown by all companions in a manner usual among Royal Arch Masons.

Companion David Kirwan took the floor & presented John with a trophy for the centenary of Harte Chapter.  The trophy being very detailed demonstrated that a lot of time & effort had been put in by David to craft it by his own hands.  David explained that he had joined Harte Chapter as a joining member where he was warmly welcomed by the members, which he very much appreciated.  David has never found the opportunity progress in office due to busy work commitments but has enjoyed every minute of being a member & wanted to give something to the chapter as a thank you & also something that can be looked after & displayed for many years ahead.  John commented on how wonderful he thought the trophy was & thanked David for his kind gift.  David also pointed out that there is a secret door on the back of the trophy.

A facsimile of the centenary charter was read out by Tom Gittins, Provincial Grand Scribe Ezra, who advised that the official charter is delayed due to a shortage of materials.  Tom also advised the companions that he is sure that the Grand Superintendent would be happy to visit in the future to officially present it when it arrives.  David Hanson presented the facsimile to John on behalf of the Province.

John presented David Hanson with two cheques from Harte Chapter; one for £100 towards Durham Benevolence & the other also for £100 towards TLC teddies.  David thanked John & the members of Harte Chapter for their kind generosity.

After the business was concluded upstairs the companions enjoyed a fantastic festive board & each others company downstairs as well as a raffle with many prizes.  The raffle raised the grand sum of £561.75!

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Durham TLC in video | Durham Freemasons

Director Andy Kelleher and Videographer Damianio Petrucci of Kartoffel Films based in London arrived at the University Hospital of North Tees to produce a video on behalf of the MCF, showing the wonderful work being done by the TLC throughout Country. There are 48 local ‘Teddies for Loving Care’ (TLC) charities/initiatives across England and Wales that provide small teddies to their local A&E departments. In addition some TLC charities also donate a portion of their funds towards teddies for minor injuries units, children’s wards, hospices and women’s refuge centres. There are even teddies flying on air ambulances.

The Masonic Charitable Foundation ( ) are producing on behalf of ‘Teddies for Loving Care’, a short video that celebrates the initiative, the people that run it and the medical professionals that use the bears day-to-day. The TLC video will offer an insight into what the TLC charities do and their impact on their local communities. Durham TLC along with another Province will appear in the production and it will be featured on this site as soon as it is available.

Duncan Maw and Mark Davies were present representing Durham TLC, along with Helen Bainbridge, the Programme and Engagement Manager of the MCF, who briefed the film crew as to the content required. Many thanks to the hospital staff who went out of their way to assist. We all look forward to the finished product.

Together we are making a difference

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