300 Years of Freemasonry
2017 saw Freemasonry celebrate its tercentenary. Below are just a few of the ways showing how this was celebrated by, and with, the Province of Durham.
TERCENTENARY BIKE RIDE
Whitehaven to Sunderland, 2nd June 2017
Friday 2nd June saw 30 cyclists from our Province complete a three day Whitehaven to Sunderland Coast to Coast in a joint Tercentenary/2021 Festival venture.
The ride was limited to 30 cyclists (each rider representing ten years of Freemasonry as we know it). This event, combined with the Great North Run, made £36,000!
A further cycling event was held in 2018, and yet another is already in the planning stage for 2019.
OPEN WEEKEND &
TEDDY BEARS PICNIC
Masonic Halls Across the Province, 24th June 2017
On the weekend of 24th June 2017 many Masonic Centres throughout the Province threw open their doors to the local communities. These events took the shape of craft fairs, summer fetes, historical tours, and a Teddy Bears Picnic for the TLC Appeal. They provided an ideal opportunity to engage with our local communities, helping to break down the barriers, dispel the myths, and welcome people with open arms into our halls.
PARTY IN THE PARK
Walled Gardens Wynyard Hall, 12th Aug 2017
A summer’s evening of celebration was held. The evening started by gaining entry into the Walled Gardens. Musical entertainment played whilst the guests enjoyed a summer cocktail, followed by a song and dance show. It continued with a five-course dinner, a variety of cabaret entertainment, dancing to live music, a prize draw, and then, for those with the energy, disco dancing until the hourly hours.
It was a once in a lifetime opportunity for Durham Freemasons, and their partners and friends, to enjoy a very special and unique celebration of 300 years of Freemasonry.
GREAT NORTH RUN
Newcastle to South Shields, 10th September 2017
Since being devised in 1981 by Brendan Foster, the Great North Run has established itself as the largest half-marathon in the world. The Province secured 23 places for 10th September 2017 event.
Combined with the coast-to-coast cycle ride, the event helped raise £36,000. The brethren have continued to support the Durham 2021 Festival, and charity in general, by taking part in the 2018 event, with a number already signed up for 2019!
SPECIAL MEETING OF GRAND LODGE
Royal Albert Hall, 31st October 2017
On the 31st October 2017 there was a special meeting of Grand Lodge, at the famous Royal Albert Hall. Apart from some traditional elements, such as addresses and processions, there was a theatrical extravaganza. Some 2,000 guests then dined at Battersea Evolution, which included a reception, wine with dinner, and drinks afterwards.
Our Province was allocated 90 tickets and in the interests of fairness the following format for allocation was chosen: 15 Grand Officers, 15 Provincial Grand Officers, 15 Worshipful Masters, 15 Master Masons, 15 Royal Arch Masons and 15 Executive and Provincial Staff.
DVDs of the event have been distributed to all lodges within the province.
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”….
“My husband would be so proud that you still contact me so many years after his death, thank you for remembering me”
“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”