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Provincial Team

Headed up by John Arthur, who is both the Provincial Grand Master of the Craft and the Provincial Grand Superintendent of the Chapter, the team comprises his Deputies, Assistants and Principals, ably assisted by the Provincial Grand Secretary.

RWBro John Arthur

John spent his entire career in the Steel industry, holding numerous management and senior management posts in different locations, before retiring from his role as Director Special Profiles in 2008.

John was invested as an Assistant Provincial Grand Master on 7th January 2011, after the November meeting was cancelled on the day due to dangerous winter weather. On his appointment, John assumed responsibility for the Lodges in the East of the Province. He was invested as Deputy Provincial Grand Master on Friday 28th November 2014, and invested as Provincial Grand Master and Grand Superintendent on 6th October 2018.

If he has any free time, he lists his other interests as following rugby union; photography; music; movies; current affairs; reading and keeping on top of the gardening. John and his wife Joan have no children and live in Great Broughton, North Yorkshire, with their border collie Cleo.

VWBro Stephen William Walker

Stephen was born in Darlington and currently lives near Yarm. He married Helen in 1980 and together they owned and ran two community pharmacies, but they are now retired. They have three children, who all live in the Teesside area, and two granddaughters.

Stephen was appointed as an Assistant Provincial Grand Master on the 28th June 2014 with responsibility for Lodges meeting in the South of the Province, and was promoted to Deputy Provincial Grand Master on 6th October 2018.

Outside of Freemasonry, Stephen is a Justice of the Peace, enjoys trying to play golf, scuba diving and spending time with his family. He is also very fortunate in having a wife who enjoys foreign holidays and feels compelled to accompany her at every opportunity.

WBro Simon Craig Steele

Craig was born in Darlington and educated in Leeds and Middlesbrough. After graduating from The University of Leeds in 1981, he worked as a junior doctor in Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and the North East, before being appointed as a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Sunderland Royal Hospital in 1994.

Craig has been married to Liz, a nurse, for over 30 years. They have two sons and a daughter. In the past, he has completed the Great North Run on nine occasions, but more recently, has opted for a slower pace and has acquired an allotment. He regularly enjoys the fruits, and vegetables, of his labours.

After his appointment on 28th November 2014, Craig has been responsible for lodges that meet in the East of the Province. He was appointed Chairman of Durham Benevolence on 9th March 2019.

WBro John Paul Thompson

John was born in Billingham in 1968 and has lived all of his life in the Town. He has been married to Andrea for over 27 years. They have three children, Danni, Joseph and Katie.

John was appointed Provincial Junior Grand Warden in 2013, promoted to Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden in 2014, received Grand Rank as PAGStB in 2015, and was promoted to PSGD in 2018.

After his appointment on 30th November 2017, John was given responsibility for the Lodges in the West of the Province, as well as continuing as our 2021 Festival Director.

WBro Gordon Brewis

Gordon was born in Gateshead to a farming family who owned land between Gateshead and Birtley, now occupied by the Angel of the North. Educated locally in Birtley, Gordon decided to follow a very different career path, starting as an architectural technician with a practice in Durham and continuing his education in Durham and Newcastle. He is currently Chairman of Howarth Litchfield Partnership in Durham.

After serving the Craft as Provincial Senior Grand Warden in 2012/13, and Chapter as Second Provincial Grand Principal, Gordon was appointed Assistant Provincial Grand Master in October 2018.

Gordon has been married to his wife, Norma, for 40 years. They have a son, Gary, and daughter, Karen, and are the very proud grandparents of Freya and Isla, both born in 2011.

WBro Michael Graham

Michael was born in South Shields in 1972 and lives in Jarrow with his wife Kelly and son Joseph. Michael has been in the Motor Trade for most of his life and is a Partner in successful independent Motor Factor in South Tyneside.

Michael served as part of the Communications Team for nearly a decade, and was appointed Provincial Communications Officer in 2011, a post he served in until his appointment as Assistant Provincial Grand Master in October 2018.

In what little spare time Michael has, he enjoys, fine wines, watching movies, and following his beloved Newcastle United.

EComp Michael Stuart Shaw

Michael was born and educated in Stockton-on-Tees. He attended Leeds University, graduating in Chemical Engineering, and has worked for some time as a Chartered Chemical Engineer.

Since returning from a couple of years working in South Africa in the mid-1980s, Michael has lived in the village of Long Newton, just outside Stockton. Outside Freemasonry, Michael’s interests include music, especially classical. He organises regular concerts and musical events in Long Newton, and is occasional organist at the village church.

Michael was appointed Third Provincial Grand Principal in his own Chapter on 13th March 2014 after serving the Royal Arch as Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals since 2011. He was promoted to Deputy Grand Superintendent on 6th October 2018.

EComp Andrew Charles Moule

Andrew was born in Middlesbrough and grew up in Yarm. After graduating from the University of London in Pharmacy in 1985, he and his pharmacist wife Sarah, took over and ran a pharmacy in Middlesbrough, specialising in the treatment of addiction. They sold the business and both retired in 2015. They have two adult daughters. Andrew enjoys golf, WW1 history, and is learning to dance, somewhat late in life.

Andrew was appointed Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals in 2014, and became the Second Provincial Grand Principal in October 2018

EComp Paul Anthony Lee Hopper

Paul was born in Darlington, and at a very early age, moved with his family to Hartlepool, where he has lived since. He married Julie in 1979, and together they owned and ran a Dance Studio, before developing a much larger Entertainment and Banqueting business which they ran until their early retirement in 2012. They have a daughter Rachel , son Paul ,and two grandchildren, Harrison and Molly.

Paul was appointed Provincial Senior Grand Warden in 2000 , and in Grand Lodge to PAGDC in 2006. In the Royal Arch, Paul has enjoyed active roles as ProvAGDC, ProvDepGDC, ProvGDC, and in Supreme Grand Chapter was appointed PGStB in 2017.

Outside of Freemasony , Paul and Julie enjoy a very active life, participating in long distance walks and cycle rides, and “life on the ocean waves” on their frequent cruise holidays.

WBro Tom Gittins

Tom has 35 years’ experience in education, 25 of which were spent in the role of Head Teacher, in three schools. He retired at the end of 2014. He has been happily married to Gillian for 35 years and they have two grown up children, Jonathan and Ellie.

Having already served the Province as a Past Provincial Grand Steward and Communications Officer for the South of the Province, Tom became the Provincial Grand Secretary on 1st January 2016.

  • TLC Teddy Initiative……

    “thank you Freemasons for the thousands of teddies donated to children’s casualty departments”

  • Community Support Grants…..

    “The grant from Durham Freemasons has made an enormous difference to our service users”

  • Provincial Annual Meeting….

    “The Provincial annual meeting is one of the highlights of my year, it’s great to meet everyone and support all those being rewarded for merit”….

  • Masonic Widows……

    “My husband would be so proud that you still contact me so many years after his death, thank you for remembering me”

  • Provincial Meeting…..

    “The Provincial annual meeting is one of the highlights of my year, it’s great to meet everyone and support all those being rewarded for merit”

  • The Royal Arch…..

    “I feel that I have a much better understanding of the whole Masonic story after joining the Royal Arch”

  • What have you gained?

    “I’ve made wonderful friendships with people from all walks of life who I wouldn’t otherwise have even met”

  • In respect to the TLC Teddy initiative

    “A child patient copes with medical treatment so much better when they’ve been given a TLC teddy”

  • What Freemasonry has done for you?

    “The teachings of the masonic ceremonies helped me to be a better father, better husband, better son and better neighbour”What Freemasonry has done for you

  • One of the best things I have ever done…

    “Along with getting married, the birth of my children and Sunderland winning the FA Cup, becoming a Freemason is one of the best things I’ve ever done”

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