A Landmark Day For Durham Freemasons
Today, Saturday 25th June, saw Gateshead bathed in sunshine, as over 400 Durham Freemasons and Brethren from many other Provinces gathered to witness the installation Ceremonies of WBro John Paul Thompson as Provincial Grand Master and Grand Superintendent.
Some 4 years have passed since the Freemasons of the Province of Durham witnessed an event of such high importance, emphasised by a packed FED Banqueting Suite who enjoyed a wonderful day with all the pomp and pageantry you would associate with such a momentous occasion.
Both Provincial Grand Chapter and Provincial Grand Lodge were reciprocally opened in due form by the Presiding Officer, Bro Stephen William Walker, before he graciously handed over to the Pro Grand Master, Peter Geoffrey Lowndes, to preside over one of his last such investitures in the provinces, having recently announced his retirement year, having been appointed as Pro Grand Master on 11 March 2009.
Peter went on to preside impeccably over both ceremonies, supported by Charles Hopkinson-Woolley, Grand Director of Ceremonies of UGLE.
The day also saw Michael Graham appointed as Deputy Provincial Grand Master having served as Assistant Provincial Grand Master since 2018.
Other appointments included the reappointments of Clinton Eliot Leeks, Andrew Moule and the returning John David Watts as Assistant Provincial Grand Masters, and the appointment of Andrew Peter Fall Foster as Assistant Provincial Grand Master to complete the quartet.
It was a fitting day for Stephen William Walker, Deputy Provincial Grand Master, and Gordon Brewis, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, to stand down from their respective positions having both served the province with distinction.
Likewise, in the Royal Arch Michael Stuart Shaw was reappointed as Deputy Grand Superintendent, David Nigel Hanson was appointed Second Provincial Grand Principal, and Rakesh Bhalla was reappointed as Third Provincial Grand Principal, with Paul Anthony Lee Hopper standing down as Second Provincial Grand Principal, also having served with distinction.
Following his investiture as our Provincial Grand Master and Grand Superintendent, John gave his addresses, each inspiring and both rapturously applauded by the brethren. We congratulate him and look forward to a bright future under his leadership.
To read the Grand Superintendent’s Address in full Click Here.
To read the Provincial Grand Master’s Address in full Click Here.
At the conclusion of the formal proceedings, the room was hastily transformed into a banqueting suite to allow over 300 members to enjoy a fabulous luncheon and continue the celebrations into the early evening.
Together we are stronger.
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”