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A Diamond Jubilee Celebration at Rowlandson Lodge


November 2018

Wednesday 28th November was a very special evening for the brethren of the Rowlandson Lodge No. 3360 in Ferryhill, as the night marked Derek Hartley’s 60th Year in Freemasonry.


The full Lodge Room was testament to the standing Derek has in Ferryhill and the Province of Durham. The Assistant Provincial Grand Master, John Paul Thompson, the Past Deputy Provincial Grand Master, George Clark, the Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Kenneth Edward Coatsworth Howe, along with 11 Grand Officers were warmly welcomed into the Lodge Room by John Nye, the Rowlandson Lodge’s Master.


The main business of the evening was Derek’s 60-year certificate presentation. In a role reversal for the evening Derek stepped forward and gave an explanatory talk entitled “60 Years of Freemasonry in the Rowlandson Lodge No. 3360”


Derek firstly gave some background to Ferryhill at that time; a world with 2 forms of communication, Royal Mail or telegram as very few people had telephones at that time.


Derek was initiated into Rowlandson Lodge on 26th November 1958 at the age of 22 as a Lewis, his grandfather was also a mason.


On 31st October 1973 Derek was Installed as the Master of the Lodge. He has served as Director of Ceremonies from 1978 to 1987, Secretary from 1987 to 1989 and as Treasurer from 1997 to 1999. Derek was a member of the Hall Management Committee for many years, serving 12 of those years as Vice Chairman.


Derek’s working life started at the Coal Board as a trainee Mining Surveyor and became a Certified Mining Engineer in 1958. In 1966 he moved to Northumberland County Council as a Civil Engineer for 4 years and became a Certified Civil Engineer and Qualified Highways Engineer, retiring in 1997.


Golf is a hobby of Derek’s alongside playing bowls and he has been a lifetime supporter of Newcastle United, holding a season ticket since the 1960s. Sadly his wife Margret passed away in 2017 after a long illness, however, his 2 daughters have been a tower of strength to him.


It was also fitting that 10 years ago when Derek received his 50 years Certificate, presented that evening by George Clark, that George was present tonight.


John stepped forward and thanked Derek, in a change to the usual format which allowed Derek to tell his story.


John then asked Geoff Austin, his Provincial Director of Ceremonies to read the certificate citation out. John then had the great privilege in presenting it to Derek. Derek thanked John and everyone present for making the evening a very special one for him and he hoped to be here in 10 years’ time for his 70th presentation.


The full to capacity Lodge Room was mirrored at the festive board, with everyone enjoying the famous Ferryhill welcome and hospitality.


In the reply to his toast, John thanked the Rowlandson brethren for the welcome he had received on the evening. John, again, congratulated Derek for his magnificent 60 years in Freemasonry before highlighting the new Durham Light Blues Club, the upcoming Promotions Meeting on Friday 30th November and it would be a remiss of him not to mention the Festival as the Festival Secretary Paul Quinn was at the table. Since the Festival started it has received £10,000 every week! This is absolutely outstanding, with 160 people taking part in events this year, having fun and raising money for a great course.


John Nye then had the pleasure in presenting Derek with a present of behalf of the Rowlandson Lodge, a fitting end to a memorable evening in Ferryhill.





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