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Ted scores 50 at Yoden


April 2018

The Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Stephen Walker, had the pleasure of attending the April meeting at Yoden lodge who meet in Castle Eden. Stephen had a very special duty to perform in presenting Edward (Ted) Leighton with a certificate to mark his 50 years in continuous membership in freemasonry.  After talking the chair of King Solomon for greetings Stephen swiftly returned it to the Worshipful Master, Graham Dockrill, so that he could get on with the meeting proceedings.

Stephen invited Ted to sit with him in the East to have a conversation about his wonderful achievement. Stephen pointed out to the brethren that there are only 9 such certificates to be presented in the South of the Province this year and that Ted was joining a very select group of freemasons.  Stephen also pointed out that he had enjoyed being able to make a similar presentation to Bill Stephen and Ivan Thompson in the lodge approximately 3 years ago.

Ted was born in 1936 in Newcastle and was taken home to Blackhall by his parents where he was schooled and raised. After school Ted worked as an electrician for the National Coal Board having started out as an apprentice.  Ted’s career moved on and up and eventually became the President of the Northumberland Branch of the Institute of Engineers which led to some interesting visits to other industries including Vickers Armstrong and Rothmans.  Ted retired from work at the age of 55.

Ted was initiated into Yoden lodge as part of a double ceremony on 11/04/1968, and then passed 11/07/1969 and raised 10/10/1968. Ted recalled Yoden being larger in membership back then and the majority of the seats being filled at the meetings.  He also mentioned that the waiting list was much longer to progress up through the different offices and stewarded for 7 to 8 years and that he very much enjoyed doing so, remembering dining separately with his fellow stewards.  Ted was installed as Worshipful Master on 10/03/1983 and remembers having a very enjoyable installation where “he had a good celebration and drink” and stayed at his friend’s house in Sunderland.  Ted was the DC of Yoden lodge for 26 years and has rarely missed a meeting since joining.  He was also exalted into Royal Arch Chapter in Hetton-le-Hole.  Ted has had an interest in cars over the years as well as enjoying gardening; although it has gotten harder as the years move on.

Stephen advised Ted that it was a sincere pleasure to be at the meeting to be able to present the certificate to him. Stephen congratulated Ted on a magnificent milestone and thanked him for his support in freemasonry over the years and finally wished him many more happy years to come.

The celebration continued at the festive board upstairs in the dining room where Ted was also presented with a gift by the Worshipful Master on behalf of the lodge. Stephen responded to his toast and highlighted some other notable moments that went on in 1968, when Ted was initiated;  Martin Luther King was shot dead as was Robert Kennedy.  The Boeing 747 was introduced and was the largest passenger aircraft, Cliff Richard topped the charts with Congratulations, the colour TV licence was introduced and also Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was released!

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