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150 Years of Celebration at the Halfway House

7

September 2019

The Earl of Durham Lodge No. 1274 takes its name from the Lambton family, in particular Rt Hon George Fredrick D’Arcy Lambton 2nd Earl of Durham (1828 – 1879). George Lambton was the son of John George Lambton 1st Earl of Durham (1792 – 1840), Colonial Governor of Canada and Provincial Grand Master of Durham (1818 – 1840). The Lodge was consecrated in 1869, and on this day, Friday 6th September 2019, Assistant Provincial Grand Master Simon Craig Steele, led a Deputation of Provincial Grand Lodge Officers to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Lodge.

 

Past Master of the Lodge, Michael Green delivered a very concise and informative history of the Lodge and this was followed by an oration by Julian D Ward the Provincial Deputy Grand Chaplain.

 

The Worshipful Master, Anthony Best had the pleasing task of presenting £1,274 as a Lodge donation to the 2021 Festival. Simon Craig Steele praised the members for this charitable contribution from a Lodge who are renowned for their generosity. A collection was taken and all retired to the festive board to continue with a celebratory dinner.

 

Turn the clock back 150 years and Freemasons from the Lodge of Industry No. 48 travelled the arduous journey from Gateshead to Durham City where the Marquis of Granby Lodge No. 124 met.  As many of the brethren were members in both Lodges it was incumbent on them to attend meetings which in those days by horse and carriage was no easy task. They would often take refreshment on route at the Lambton Arms Hotel situated as it is today on the main street of Chester-le-Street.  At the time two Masonic Lodges were using this establishment for their meetings, Lambton Lodge No. 375 and Wear Lodge No. 618 which is now defunct. As the location was a convenient Halfway House, the Brethren decided to petition for a new Lodge and a warrant was granted by the Grand Master, The Rt Hon The Earl of Zetland, KG. There were ten founding members of the Earl of Durham Lodge, six from the Marquis of Granby Lodge, three from Wear Lodge and one from the Lodge of Industry. The consecration ceremony was conducted by R W Bro John Fawcett, Provincial Grand Master supported by eighty six brethren. The Lodge continued to meet at this venue between 1869 and 1870, during this time numbers grew sufficiently so that on the 9th February 1870 it was felt a new building should be found. The dwelling house immediately adjoining the Lambton Arms Hotel was deemed to be suitable and through the kindness of the Rt Hon George Fredrick D’Arcy Lambton, the members were allowed to become tenants. From this building The Earl of Durham Lodge met continuously until 1932, when it moved to the present building that is in use today.

 

All privileged to attend this 150th Anniversary Celebration enjoyed a splendid meal and were gifted a commemorative pen and a 2020 diary to mark the occasion. Both Provincial Grand Wardens in their toasts gave a vote of thanks to the Lodge for their friendship, loyalty and charitable giving.

 

The evening concluded with singalong harmony and a raffle draw.

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