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Durham Brethren Recognised by Grand Lodge
Wednesday 26th April once more saw brethren from all over the world flock to the spiritual home of Freemasonry, Freemasons Hall in Covent Garden, London to witness the Annual Investiture meeting of United Grand Lodge.
Amongst the masses were a large contingent of Durham brethren who had headed south to support friends and colleagues receiving Grand Rank First Appointments of Promotions from the Most Worshipful The Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent.
We congratulate them on their preferment and wish them the best of health and happiness to enjoy and perform their new duties.
Appointed to Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies
Peter Birtwisle – Amity Lodge No3193
Peter was initiated into Amity Lodge in 1979 and served as their Worshipful Master in 1987. He was Worshipful Master of Wear Lecture Lodge in 2009, a founder member of Sportsmans Lodge becoming their Worshipful Master in2011 and again in 2016 for the 25th Anniversary
Exalted into Williamson Royal Arch Chapter, a founder member of Sportsmans Chapter serving as First Principal in 2002. Founder First Principal of Vane Tempest Chapter of Installed First Principals.
Provincially Peter was appointed Past Provincial Assistant Grand Registrar in 1995 and promoted to Provincial Junior Grand Warden in 2010 and Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden in 2011. And in the Royal Arch Past Provincial Grand Registrar in 1998. Promoted to Past Provincial Grand Scribe Nehemiah in 2003. He also served as Appointed Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies for 4 years. He was then honoured by Supreme Grand Chapter receiving Past Grand Standard Bearer in 2008 and promoted to Past Assistant Grand Sojourner in 2016.
Peter is married to Christine with two children Simon and Katie who are both Optometrists and who took over the family optical business when he retired in 2015.
Adam Lamb – Manor Lodge No7908
Adam was initiated into Manor Lodge in 2001 and served as their Worshipful Master in 2006, he became a founder member of the Durham Provincial Grand Stewards Lodge in 2007 and a joining member of Lambton Lodge in 2011.
In Royal Arch Adam was exalted into Rowlandson Royal Arch Chapter in 2002 becoming their First Principal in 2013 becoming a joining member of Lambton Chapter, where he is currently a Sojourner.
Provincially Adam was appointed to Past Provincial Grand Steward in 2007 and in 2013 appointed Provincial Grand Archivist and promoted to Provincial Junior Grand Warden, as Archivist Adam leads the museum team something he considers a real honour and privilege.
A retired Nurse Manager for the NHS for approximately 40-years, over which time he has seen and been involved in many changes in the delivery of Mental Health Care in South West Durham.
Adam has been Married to Ann since 1971, they have two children Dawn and Antony and two Grandchildren, which keeps them both quite active, being a committed supporter of Billingham Juniors Football Team for the last two years.
Brian Footitt, OBE – Haven of Rest No4350
Brian was initiated into Haven of Rest Lodge in 1988 becoming their Worshipful Master in 1995 and again in 2001, he also became a joining member of Nevill Lodge of Installed Masters in 2012. In the Royal Arch Brian was exalted into Fawcett Chapter in 1996 and is currently their Almoner.
Provincially Brian received Past Provincial Assistant Grand Registrar in 2001 and was promoted to Past Provincial Grand Registrar in 2012.
Professionally Brian has served in various Nurse leader roles across the UK, his last position being Director of Nursing Development James Cook University Hospital. He was awarded the OBE in 1998 for services to the NHS. He is a visiting professor at Teesside University and currently Chairman of the Teesside Hospice Care Foundation. Brian considers it his privilege to serve on the Provincial Benevolent Committee for the past 7 years and currently represent the Province as a member of the Masonic Charitable Foundation
Brian is ably supported in his charitable and voluntary work by his wife Rosalind and son Gareth.
Promoted to Past Junior Grand Deacon
Keith Liddell – Crowley Lodge No6901
Keith was initiated into Crowley Lodge in 1973, serving as their Worshipful Master in 1983 and again in 1998. He became a joining member of Winlaton St Paul’s Lodge in 1981 serving as their Worshipful Master in 1993.
In the Royal Arch Keith was exalted into Liddell Chapter in 1976 serving as their First Principal in 1988.
Regarding Provincial honours Keith served as Provincial Junior Grand Warden in 1993 and was prompted to Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden in 1993, United Grand Lodge recognised Keith’s achievements in 1999 when he was appointed Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies. In the Royal Arch Keith was appointed Past Provincial Grand Registrar in 1993 and promoted to Past Provincial Grand Scribe Nehemiah in 2006, Supreme Grand Chapter recognised talents in 2009 appointing him Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies.
Keith worked for 40-years in the manufacturing sector with an interest in Export Freight Logistics, he retired in 2006. Married to Muriel for 48 years with two children, Tony and Julie and two granddaughters and a grandson.
Outside of Freemasonry Keith is a registered member of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy and has a small part-time practise, He is also an avid follower of Sunderland AFC (but we won’t hold that against him).
Alan Farrar – Strathmore Lodge No6229
Alan was initiated into Strathmore Lodge in 1984 becoming their Worshipful Master in 1992, he became a founding member of Old Barnardian in 1989 and became their Worshipful Master in 1994.
Exalted into the Baliol Chapter in 1986, he was a founder of both Dunelm and Old Barnardian Chapters, and has passed through the chairs in all three.
In 1996 Alan was honoured by Province receiving Past Provincial Grand Registrar and by United Grand Lodge with Past Grand Standard Bearer in 2001. In Royal Arch Alan served as Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals from 2001 was recognised by Supreme Grand Chapter in 2010 when he was appointed Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies.
Alan was born in West Lancashire and having lost both his parents before the age of six, was educated at the Royal Masonic School for Boys, and then University College, Durham. After a teaching career of 32 years, mostly at Barnard Castle School, ill health forced an early retirement in 2006, Alan immediately fell into a second part time career as a Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths.
In addition, by a happy coincidence, he discovered his real Masonic roots (going back to 1801) in Lodge Nelson of the Nile in Batley, West Yorkshire, where having joined three years ago, he now finds himself as their Secretary – in different lodges and chapters he has totalled up forty plus years of secretarial work.
Married to Barbara for over thirty years, they have two daughters, one a doctor and the other a chartered accountant, and now a little granddaughter. He is looking forward to total retirement this year, so that he can devote more time to family, the South Tynedale Railway his garden, and of course, his Masonry.
Promoted to Past Grand Senior Deacon
Stephen William Walker – Castle Lodge No6713
Simon Craig Steel – Vedra Lodge No3137
TLC Teddy Initiative……
“thank you Freemasons for the thousands of teddies donated to children’s casualty departments”
Community Support Grants…..
“The grant from Durham Freemasons has made an enormous difference to our service users”
Provincial Annual Meeting….
“The Provincial annual meeting is one of the highlights of my year, it’s great to meet everyone and support all those being rewarded for merit”….
“My husband would be so proud that you still contact me so many years after his death, thank you for remembering me”
“The Provincial annual meeting is one of the highlights of my year, it’s great to meet everyone and support all those being rewarded for merit”
The Royal Arch…..
“I feel that I have a much better understanding of the whole Masonic story after joining the Royal Arch”
What have you gained?
“I’ve made wonderful friendships with people from all walks of life who I wouldn’t otherwise have even met”
In respect to the TLC Teddy initiative
“A child patient copes with medical treatment so much better when they’ve been given a TLC teddy”
What Freemasonry has done for you?
“The teachings of the masonic ceremonies helped me to be a better father, better husband, better son and better neighbour”What Freemasonry has done for you
One of the best things I have ever done…
“Along with getting married, the birth of my children and Sunderland winning the FA Cup, becoming a Freemason is one of the best things I’ve ever done”