Mr Fixit receives his 50 year Certificate
The Lodge being opened in due form the Brethren assembled stood to receive The PastDepPGM, who after formal greetings took the chair, and shortly afterwards vacated the chair to detail WBro Joe’s Masonic Career to date. Joe was initiated into St Bede No1119 24th April 1963, after being proposed by his father. He was Passed 27th May 1964 and Raised on 16th December of the same year, becoming Master for the first time in 1976 which he had the honour of attaining on another two occasions the last being some 30 years later in 2006. A stalwart of the Lodge he has held numerous offices including Charity Steward and Benevolent representative an office he still occupies.
Joe gained Provincial honours in 1985 when he was appointed Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies, and subsequently promoted Past Provincial Grand Sword Bearer in 1996, a further promotion being received in 2008 when he was given the Rank of Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden. He was Exalted into St Bede Royal Arch Chapter in 1968 becoming their First Principal in 1986. A member of many other orders he is extremely proud of attaining Grand Rank in both the Mark Degree and the Royal Arc Mariner Degree.
Denovan went on to give a potted history of Joe’s professional life having begun work as an office boy with Hawthorn Leslie Shipbuilders where he went on to become a design Draftsman at the age of 21 winning the prestigious McKenzie Apprentice Cup for Endeavour. He went on to be employed by a number of engineering companies before finally retiring from A.E.I. Cables ltd. Denovan commented on how he himself had an almost parallel career path, each gaining identical professional qualifications in their formative employment years.
He then spoke of Joes interests outside Masonry of DIY, Photography, The History of Technology, Fell walking which unfortunately he can no longer participate in, and his love of Golf from the comfort of his armchair. Joe met his wife Kathleen at the age of 17 who was serving then in the Royal Air Force, and went on to become married at St Pauls Church Jarrow in 1968; they have two sons and the proud grandparents of two granddaughters, the latter showing musical talent. The family are looking forward to celebrating their 40 years of marriage in September.
WBro Dexie Hartis acting as ADC for the evening then read the citation from the Provincial Grand Master, prior to The PastDepPGM formally presenting the certificate, after which Joe gave a talk on his life in Masonry and his professional Career which had the brethren riveted by his experiences for some 45 minutes.
The Festive Board began with a superb meal followed by The PastDepPGM thanking the Brethren of St Bede Lodge No1119 for the generous donations he had previously accepted on behalf of the province in the Lodge room, each for £50 pounds towards the TLC appeal and Durham Benevolence. The evening reached yet another high, when the Worshipful Brother Bill Fletcher Master presented him with a bottle of Spirit and a bouquet of flowers for Kathleen from the Brethren, and a bottle of whiskey from the Management committee of Hebburn Masonic Hall as token of appreciation for the service he has given over many, many years.
The name of Joe Harrison is embedded into the fabric of the Masonic Halls of both Jarrow and Hebburn, his tireless commitment to the maintenance of each has been extraordinary, as the PastDepPGM stated in his opening statement of the evening A Stalwart of Freemasonry
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”