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Gordon McKillup Celebrates 50 Years in Masonry


November 2017

Hetton Lyon Lodge that meets in the Masonic Hall, Station Road, Hetton le Hole recently had cause to celebrate by having its second 50th year celebration within 3 months.  September saw Alf Wood enjoy that great pleasure and this month, the pleasure fell to Gordon McKillup.


To mark this special celebratory evening, the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Simon Craig Steele, joined the Hetton brethren on Thursday 9th November.


After being warmly welcomed into the Lodge room, Craig and the rest of the brethren present were treated to a well worked demonstration of the First Degree Ceremony.  Sadly, the planned candidate for the evening’s ceremony was unfortunately, otherwise engaged in sea trials aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth.


Craig then stepped forward to transact the main business of the evening by presenting Gordon with his 50 year certificate.


Gordon was born in Murton in June 1936, going to Prep School in Hurworth and then Durham School.  After leaving school, Gordon took a position at Huwood Mining Machinery, a company that manufactured mining machinery in Team Valley.  In 1957 Gordon joined the Coal Board working in the central workshop.  He then moved to Murton Colliery and was a fitter.


In 1984 Gordon had a change of career and became an Insurance Advisor, which in his words “wasn’t the happiest job he has done”.  In 1986 the Land Registry became a happier environment to see out the next 20 years until he retired in 2006.


Gordon married his wife Gladys in August 1962 and they enjoyed their wedding reception in the Masonic Hall in Hetton.  They have a daughter, Claire and a son Andrew.  Outside of masonry singing has always been a great passion for him.  In 1982 he joined the award winning Hetton Lyon Male Voice Choir and enjoyed some great times with them, until it sadly had to fold due to lack of membership.


As an old boy of Durham School, it would naturally follow that when Gordon joined masonry he would join the Old Dunelmian Lodge in Durham, Durham School’s affiliated Lodge, however, with his father, a Past Master of Hetton Lyon Lodge, it was always going to be this lodge that Gordon would become a member of.  That was of course after the obligatory 4 year waiting list to join in those days.  Gordon didn’t go through the chair in his Lodge but he did enjoy that pleasure in the Mark Master Mason Degree in 2007.


So 50 years to the very day that he joined masonry, the full Lodge Room was testament to a much respected Mason and Gentlemen.  Craig then read the certificate citation and then presented the certificate to Gordon.


Gordon is a humble man and firstly thanked everyone for coming. When he joined 50 years ago his late father paid his subs for the year which were £4.10.  He recalled that it was a lot more formal in those days, but it is something that has always given him great pleasure.


A the festive board the brethren of the Lodge presented a special glass figurine, which in 2 parts signified the open welcoming hand which Gordon has offered to people over the 50 year period, and a globe to signify Freemasonry being universally spread over its surface.


That brought a close to an evening which will be long remembered by everyone who had the pleasure in sharing Gordon’s wonderful 50 years in Freemasonry.





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