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Alfred Wood Celebrates 50 Years in Masonry


October 2017

It was a case of second time lucky at the September meeting of Hetton Lyon Lodge for Alfred Wood. Alf was due to receive his 50 years in Freemasonry certificate at the Lodge’s June meeting, however, unfortunately he fell off a step ladder whilst decorating, forcing him to miss that meeting: the presentation was rearranged for the Lodge’s September meeting. To mark this special celebratory evening, the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Simon Craig Steele, joined the Hetton Lyon Brethren in an evening to celebrate Alf’s 50 years in Masonry.


After completing his National Service in 1950, teaching was Alf’s chosen career and his first teaching appointment was at Horden Boys Secondary School. After 9 years at the school he was appointed Deputy Head. Two years later, at the age of 31, he was appointed the Head of Peterlee, Shotton Hall Junior Mixed School, happily spending the rest the rest of his career there, enjoying a fulfilling, challenging, exciting and very successful period in his professional life.


Alf has always considered it a privilege to be involved in the education of young people.

Alf and his wife, who have been married 65 years, have started a dynasty of teachers; their son Geoffrey, now aged 63 and retired, was a lecturer in Business Studies. Their daughter Janice, now 61 and retired, was Deputy Head at Banff Academy, while her husband Paul was Principal of Banff Marine and Technical College. However, it doesn’t stop at that point, with many more offspring going into the profession.


Alf became interested in the Rotary movement which is similar in many respects to Masonry, with the importance of charity and service to the community, local and international a key foundation of the organisation. Many Masons are also Rotarians. He is a Past President and Secretary of the Rotary Club of Easington and Peterlee and is an honorary member.


Alf played rugby for many years and has hit the ground many times but never as hard as when falling from a stepladder decorating the bedroom. Fortunately x-rays showed there were no broken bones. With his wife’s care and painkillers he has recovered well enough to attend the September meeting and thanked Craig for rescheduling this very special evening for him.


Craig then presented the certificate and read the certificate citation out, which honoured a well-respected Mason, Rotarian and gentleman.


Hetton Lyon Lodge is one of the 3 Craft Lodges that meet in Hetton Masonic Hall.

Its name is derived from the founders of the Lodge who wished to have the Lodge name associated with the history of the local area and at first chose the name BOWES LYON for submission to United Grand Lodge. This, however, was not felt by Grand Lodge to be appropriate because of its Royal connections and the Founders were invited to reconsider the name.  Bowes Lyon was the maiden name of Queen Elizabeth, (the late Queen Mother) the Queen Consort of King George VI, the reigning monarch.  HETTON LYON was then chosen, because of its close links within the immediate area.


The Lodge Crest is made up of three emblems: The Masonic Symbol, The Bernard Gilpin Boar (the emblem of their Mother Lodge) and The Puffing Billy, a symbol of the connection with local industry.


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