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Scout and about celebrating 50 years


November 2017

On Saturday 4th November the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Stephen Walker, attended Indaba lodge meeting to present a certificate to John Ian Wilson (Ian to his friends) to mark 50 years continuous membership in craft freemasonry.  Stephen sat at the front of the lodge with Ian and advised him that he was joining a very select group of freemasons; in the south of the province in 2017 there are only 11 such awards being given out and that it’s a wonderful achievement.

Ian now lives in Ayrshire in Scotland and had travelled down for the evening with brethren from his lodge in Scotland.  Stephen advised the brethren that he had made contact with Ian a few weeks prior and asked for 5 minutes of his time to ask for some background information; half an hour later Stephen was still on the telephone with Ian and remarked what an interesting and likeable character he is.

Ian originates from Scotland but moved to London where he was employed by Ropner Shipping Company.  During his time in London Ian was initiated into Valence lodge 5388 in Essex on 09/09/1967, passed in the January of 1968 and raised  on 14/09/1968.  Ian was promoted to he head office which was based in Darlington and as a result moved to the area.  Ian was a seagoing personnel manager which involved a lot of foreign travel, particularly within Europe.

Ian became a joining member of Commercial Travellers lodge on 19/03/1971 having being proposed by Len Barker and seconded by Bill Dixon.  With lodges being busier some decades back membership was in greater numbers and it took Ian 14 years to become Worshipful Master in 1985, where he had followed Stuart Lee through the Wardens offices and into the chair of King Solomon.  Ian was a founder member of Indaba lodge in 1992 and was the lodge’s very first secretary.  He was appointed to the position of PPGReg in 1993.  Ian was exalted into Darlington Royal Arch Chapter in 1976.  When Ian retired from work he remarried and returned to his roots in Scotland and has maintained his membership to Indaba lodge ever since.  Ian has been involved in other side degrees and has always been a great visitor in lodges at home and abroad, which includes visiting as far as Canada.

Stephen advised Ian that it was an absolute delight t be able to present the certificate to him in person.  Stephen thanked Ian for his support in freemasonry, particularly his time in Darlington.  He proceeded to congratulate Ian and wished him many more happy years membership of the lodge.  Ian went on to make some presentations of his own and returned his past masters jewel to the Worshipful Master of Commercial Travellers lodge.  He then gave his festival and tercentenary jewel to the Worshipful Master of Indaba and asked for them to be attached and displayed to the lodge banner.  Finally Ian presented Stephen with a cheque towards the festival.

At the festive board the lodge DC showed Ian a picture of some gifts from the lodge that hadn’t arrived in time but he’d receive in the near future; a decanter as well as two pens in saltire with Ian being the founding and first Secretary of Indaba Lodge.  Ian asked if the decanter would be filled!  The evening continued with much friendship and laughter and an enjoyable evening had by all in attendance.

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