Christmas Arrives Early as Festival Target Reached
The Annual Provincial Promotions meeting or the Provincial Christmas Party as it has now become known, took place at the Lancastrian Suite, Dunston as the winter sky’s gave way to a blaze of sunshine to welcome the throng of Freemasons from across the Province.
The greatly anticipated event provides the backdrop for our members to renew acquaintances and make new friends as we celebrate together, not only those who are to receive their well-earned Provincial Promotions as a reward for their continued service to Freemasonry, but also the many initiatives and achievements we have made together throughout the year.
Provincial Grand Lodge was opened in due form by the Provincial Grand Master, John Arthur, after several processions the Provincial Director of Ceremonies with his customary military precision had everyone in their respective places.
Provincial Grand Lodge then paused in Memoriam as John paid tribute to 50 Brethren who had passed to the Grand Lodge above since the Annual Meeting in June, calling upon those present to stand as the Provincial Chaplain gave the eulogy.
The main item of business then took place seeing the Provincial Grand Master, assisted by the Director of Ceremonies Team, proceed to Promote Members of Provincial Grand Lodge being honoured for their continued dedication within their respective Lodges, Masonic Halls and communities.
Following the procession, the normal charitable collection was taken, the proceeds of which being donated to the 2021 Festival, which for some reason seemed to be creating a Buzz around the room.
The Provincial Grand Master then delivered his address in which he congratulated all those that he had earlier promoted, before providing and updating the brethren on the many changes taking place within our Province including, the lifting of the profile of the Holy Royal Arch Chapter, the effectiveness of our currents structures whilst outlining future initiatives, with a New Provincial Management Delivery Group being established.
Other changes highlighted in his address covered the broad spectrum of the Provincial Business Planning and Review Portfolio which can be read in the Link to Johns full address below.
Having taken count of the days collection John then went on to the 2021 Festival as we approach the end of the 4th year in our 5-year Festival in aid of the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys which will end in January 2021.
He proudly stated: – “ I am pleased to announce that we have passed our original target and we have now raised a total of………….£2,752,675 as at October 31st 2019, this is a phenomenal achievement by the members of our Craft Lodges and Royal Arch Chapters”.
After thanking all who had individually or within their Lodges contributed to this outstanding achievement, he made particular reference to those Charity Stewards and volunteers who have striven to reach their respective targets, ending in a rallying call, to continue in our efforts to support the Festival as we approach 2020, where we have many exciting events planned, so please stay involved we have one year left to make a real difference.
To rapturous applause John acknowledged his privileged position within our Province, working alongside so many dedicated and enthusiastic masons, during time of change throughout Freemasonry in general and our Province in particular.
Quoting: The Installation Address to the Brethren.
“I therefore trust that we shall have but one aim in view, to please each other and unite in the grand design of being happy and communicating happiness”.
In his closing remarks he thanked the secretariat, DC team, The Stewards’ Lodge as well as the large number of volunteers who have helped prepare for and organised this event and the Management and Staff of the Lancastrian centre for making this evening possible.
John reminded the Brethren of our Provincial Carol Service to which friends and family are welcome held within the magnificent Durham Cathedral on Thursday 19th December.
Finally delivering his Christmas Address:
I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you, your loved ones and friends a very Happy Christmas and a Prosperous and healthy New Year.
Let us all see if we can:
“please each other and unite in the grand design of being happy and communicating happiness”. Especially during this Festive season.
May we all take some time out to remember those who are less fortunate than ourselves and (if the opportunity arises) offer a helping hand where needed.
Thank you for your attention Brethren and please enjoy the rest of the evening and have a wonderful time with your families and friends in the coming weeks and beyond.
With the business completed the collection raised the magnificent sum of £1,371.00, Provincial Grand Lodge then reverberated to the brethren singing the first verse of the National Anthem. The Provincial Grand Master closed the meeting and the retiring processions were applauded in the usual manner.
Whilst the Brethren chatted over a social drink, the staff at the Lancastrian Suite, assisted by the ever-hard-working Provincial Grand Stewards, transformed the arena into a banquet hall allowing the returning Brethren to take their seats for the Festive Board.
The banquet that followed was enjoyed by all, with the brethren enjoying the Christmas spirit with friends.
To view more photos click on link below
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”