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An evening of welcome and celebration


February 2017

Friday evening  of 13 January saw the Old Dunelmian Lodge celebrate the 50th anniversary of continuous service to Freemasonry for William Roy Curry. Assistant Provincial Grand Master David Sanders Hay accompanied by his ADC , David Atkinson, was also in attendance to make the formal presentation of the Celebration Certificate.

This evening was also a special event in the Lodge Calendar as on this evening the Lodge opened its doors to welcome members and staff, of the school, to an explanation of Freemasonry to be followed by a very enjoyable dinner.

On closing the Lodge the School members and staff  were admitted to the Lodge room and were welcomed by  Godfrey.W.Hedley,  the Lodge’s School Liaison Officer, who proceeded to outline the events of the evening. The first event was the  presentation of the 50 year certificate to  Roy. This was carried out by David Hay who proceeded to outline some of Roy’s life and his long masonic masonic career and was as follows:

Roy was born on the 2nd June 1926 and attended Durham School during the War years of 1942-43 where his achievements as a first team cricketer were notable. On leaving school he served one year as an articled clerk with a Sunderland firm of charted accountants. On leaving he attended Cambridge University for a year and then attended Kings College, Durham University , now Newcastle University, where he graduated with the Degree of Bachelor of Commerce. At both colleges he had a reputation for being a keen member of the rugby teams.

On entering the world of work he was appointed Managing Director of Clayton Armstrong, a timber importing company and spent all of his working life in this profession.

At the age of forty he was initiated into Old Dunelmian Lodge on the 13th January, 1967, His proposer was Charles Scott, a founder of the Lodge, and a Gateshead builder with whom Roy had many commercial dealings . Sadly Charles was not able to attend the presentation due to ill health.

Roy was passed to the second degree on the 8th September 1967 and was raised to the degree of a Master Mason on 12th January 1968. Twelve years later , in 1980, he became Worshipful Master and later, in 1993, he  went on to serve as lodge Almoner, a position he filled for 14 years.

Roy was exalted into Old Dunelmian Chapter on the 19th June 1987 and became its First Principal in 2000.

In recognition of his contribution to Freemasonry, in 1989 Roy was appointed PPGReg and in royal Arch he was appointed PPGStB in 2005.

A family man, Roy now a widower, has a son and a daughter. In recent years, he suffered a stroke which prevents him from Driving and getting about, however, this has not stopped him from being in attendance to celebrate his 50 year Jubilee among friends who hold him in the highest regard.

At the conclusion of this Godfrey held a short question and answer session which referred to the Federation of School Lodges, the work on a Masonic Evening and the charitable aspects of Freemasonry referring to donations and support for Air Ambulance, Red Cross etc and School projects which included Cupboards for the Vestry in the Chapel, Chapel Altar Table, new computer for Colin Lookers printing dept. refurbishment of the Music Recital room, £1500 for the Grand challenge, 8 oars for the Boat Club, a new stained glass window for the Chapel, a set of hymn books and shelves and a new pedal stop for the organ.

This was followed by an explanation of Freemasonry by  Lloyd Pickering, Senior Warden, and this  was then followed by a very informative presentation on Lady Freemasons by Mrs. Gillian James and Mrs Allison Stephenson.

On conclusion of this the Lodge made presentation to Roy of a signed print of an original etching by William Monk (1863-1937) the subject of which was a view from Chapel Hill into the Quad, School Buildings and Kerr Memorial Arch. Roy’s only comment on the changes in the School since he was a pupil was that,” Not all pupils now wore trousers”.

On conclusion of all presentations all guests and members retired to enjoy a very good Festive Board and at the close of the evening many of the guests expressed their thanks  that they had been pleased to attend and had enjoyed and informative and welcoming evening.

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