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75th Anniversary and New Banner Dedication for Roger De Fery

4

July 2018

New banner dedications are rare events in Masonry and on this special 75th Anniversary of the Roger De Fery Lodge, The Provincial Grand Master, Norman Eric Heaviside, accompanied by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, John Arthur, along with a Deputation of Provincial Officers, joined the Roger de Fery brethren in Ferryhill on a glorious early evening in July, to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Lodge and the consecration of a new lodge banner.

 

The symbolism of banners isn’t lost in Masonry: banners were used as far back as the Old Testament during the time of Moses (1300BC). Banners helped keep order among the people as they travelled across the desert to the Promised Land.  Although some were made of heavily adorned materials, others were simply long wooden poles topped with ornaments.  The term banner is derived from the French “bannière”.

 

After the Deputation had been warmly welcomed into the Lodge room by David Wilson, the Master of the Lodge, the next business of the evening was a talk on the History of the Roger De Fery Lodge No. 5879 by Kevin Wayman. Kevin talked about how 75 years ago to the day the Lodge was consecrated. The 1939-1945 war had just turned to the Allies advance with the fall of Stalingrad and people had rationing and the blitz to contend with as well.

 

David congratulated Kevin on his very interesting talk and congratulated him on the level of research he had clearly undertaken. David then had the great pleasure in presenting Eric with a cheque for £375 which Eric gratefully received.

 

Canon Ron Black, the Provincial Grand Chaplain, stepped forward and began the consecration of the new lodge banner. The banner party escort retired from the lodge room before returning with the new banner, perambulating it in the lodge room for all to see. Ron then gave some background to the banner, from its inception from Keith Marley to its design and then to its commissioning. He went on to explain the significance of Roger De Fery, before finishing with a solemn prayer and wishing the lodge continued strength and prosperity.

 

At the festive board a special 5 course banquet was enjoyed by everyone present. Kevin Wayman then presented both Eric and John Arthur with a collaret and jewel from his French Province of Terres Du Templiers, in Albi South West France, on behalf of his French PGM. Both Eric and John graciously accepted the gifts and wore them at the festive board.

 

In the reply to his toast Eric acknowledged his time was coming to a close and with John taking over in October he will be looking forward to some rest. He then focused on the Festival, since its launch at the Sage in Gateshead to reaching the £2 million mile stone at the AGM in Dunston last week; absolutely amazing.

 

That brought the evening of the 75th Anniversary of the Rodger De Fery to a close, one that everyone present will fondly remember.

 

No one can say for sure how the town of Ferryhill in County Durham got its name, however, there are three theories.  The first speculates that the ford across the now extinct river to the east (where the railway line now runs), combined with the lofty position of the settlement gave the place its name.  The second proposes that it is named after Sir Roger De Ferry (or Ferie), “Which, incidentally the Roger de Ferry Lodge is named after,” who famously killed the last boar of Brancepeth at Cleves Cross – now a part of the town – hence ‘Ferry’s Hill’.  The third theory simply suggests that the name is derived from the Old English fiergen, or firgen, meaning ‘wood’, or ‘wooded hill’ – with the ‘hill’ suffix added later.

The name first appears in the records as ‘Ferie’ in 1125, ‘Feregenne’ in 1256 and ‘Ferye on the Hill’ in 1316 – and it appears as an unnamed settlement in an Anglo-Saxon charter of 900.  It would therefore seem likely that the latter place-name theory is correct.  It has also been suggested that the ‘hill’ element was added to differentiate the village/parish from Ferrybridge in West Yorkshire – once also known as ‘Ferie’ and also on the Great North Road.

 

 

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