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60 again for Vin


March 2017

There are many reasons to become a Freemason and many thoughts on what good it does for the individual and for others, but in relating it to the celebration evening of 28th March 2017 the premise that Freemasonry ‘makes good men better’ was certainly evidenced.

John Vincent Spencer became a freemason when he was only 21, passing through the degrees and becoming a Royal Arch mason way back in January 1957, this early start allowing him the exalted position of 60 years of membership in both the Craft and the Chapter.

Vin has spent the last 60 years of Chapter membership by progressing through the ranks and never standing still in his masonry and in his private life. 

The Second Provincial Grand Principal, Gordon Brewis, was in attendance, with his team of Provincial Officers to present Vin with his 60th certificate and to regale everyone with an overview of Vin’s long and distinguished Masonic career whilst referencing his successful private life.  Gordon noted that this was the first time he had the pleasure of presenting a 60th Chapter certificate and was thus an advancement in his Masonic career too.

Vin achieved prominent acting & past rank in both the Craft and the Chapter but still continued to put his efforts into support for his local lodges.  When it became apparent and unavoidable to address falling membership in the two chapters that resided in the Aln Street hall, Vin was instrumental in achieving the smooth and effective amalgamation of Pele Tower and Perseverance, recognising that this amalgamation was of supreme importance, to become the success that is Hebburn Chapter.   Not satisfied with sitting on his laurels, Vin has continued to put himself forward to benefit his Chapter and the Province although it is now time for others to step up and take the lead, allowing Vin to withdraw and enjoy watching others progress.  This evening allowed Vin to see that progression in action, as Stewart Baxter took another step in his masonic advancement when he was installed as one of the three principals of the chapter, now just two years away from taking the leading chair.  This progression is most pleasing for Vin and the other past rulers to witness and especially seeing others take the lead in the ritual with a very accomplished display of the necessary ritual by the present occupant of the chair, Lew Curry, and his hard-working team.  The presence of the Provincial Deputation could only enhance the experience for Stewart and will no doubt be another lovely memory as he continues his masonic journey.

Vin has not spent all of his time attending to his Masonic career, having enjoyed 63 happy years of marriage to Connie and the joy of raising their three children, as well as a working career that started in the Swan Hunter shipyard before continuing elsewhere, including a spell in Wales where he helped open a new shipyard.

The closing words came from Vin, who thanked everyone for their companionship, help and support over the years and noted how grateful he was to have been in good enough health to attend tonight.


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