It was a rather special evening for us on the night of the 14th June. Not only were we passing the Grandson of one of our Grand Lodge Officers, but we also had the Provincial Grand Master in attendance to present the lodge with a festival award.
The oldest and most historic Lodge meeting in Wearside Masonic Temple, we were consecrated on the 14th January 1757.
We are proud Sunderland Freemasons, having always met in the city. Firstly, in some of the many taverns within the old town, then in Park Terrace from 1870 (the Temple that now resides at Beamish), transferring to our current home in 1933, when Wearside Masonic Temple was opened.
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Another good turnout of our brethren for what was a pleasant evening, not only with the weather, but with the atmosphere in and around the meeting.
I'm very pleased to report that we had a number of our brethren back with us at this meeting. Still a few missing, but most of the 'regulars' were once again in attendance.
Looking back over a lot of the articles I have written, I find that I am forever mentioning that we had a whole host of absentees. I think I'm going to stop doing so, as it is becoming clear that, what was once an irregularity, is fast becoming the norm. I cannot remember the last time the full complement of officers turned up, and if it wasn't for our regular visitors, we'd often struggle to get through. It was never the case when I joined, a mere 8 years ago.
We planned a lecture this month, however, due to the late absence of the brother that was due to deliver it, as he was held up at work, and no-one else having a copy of it to hand, we ended up having an impromptu talk given to us by a special visitor on the evening; W Bro George Laverick. He is Clerk of the Works at the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Albans, and gave us a very interesting insight into some of the things they have discovered.
We hope to have him back on some future occasion to hear his full talk, complete with a slideshow and his notes!
It was the first night for our newly installed officers and we kicked off in style. We had a candidate for initiation, so they were all going to be put to immediate test!
As is more often than not the case these days, we again had several absentees due to work, holiday, and sickness. The missing officers were more than adequately covered by their stand-ins.
Our annual meeting was held on Thursday 14th December, 2017. It was the installation of WBro Martin Nicholson.
The representative on the evening was WBro Michael Graham Junior, ably assisted by WBro Richard Davison, who was his Director of Ceremonies for the night. They both received a very warm welcome from the brethren, albeit a very cold one in the temple. Our heating is still broken!
It was the Promotions Meeting for the Province of Durham yesterday in a rather snowy Dunston.
I, as a Provincial Grand Steward, spent a chunk of time out in the cold and damp, first collecting everything from storage to help set up the Lancastrian Suite for the meeting, then standing out in the horrible weather on car park duty, and finally loading the van up at the end of the meeting!
Quite a busy evening for us on the night of the 9th November. Firstly, election of officers for the ensuing year, then raising Bro Paul Wallace to the degree of a Master Mason, completing his journey.
Once again we were beset by absentees, but we did manage to find very able stand-ins to fill in for our missing officers. A huge thank-you to them all; they know who they are, with a special mention going to St. Peter's Lodge No. 8953 for the loan of their Director of Ceremonies, who acted as our ADC and performed some of the ritual.
We had a lecture this month: A Synopsis of the History of Palatine Lodge No. 97 (1757-1907). One of a number of lectures written by W Bro EG Watson, this one having been first presented at our 150th anniversary on the 14th January 1907!
Our Fraternal visitors on this occasion were Lodge Stewart No. 4261, represented by their secretary, W Bro Peter Johnson, PPJGW, and Lodge of Concord No. 6859, represented by their newly installed Worshipful Master, W Bro William Telfer, on his first outing as Master.