On the 12th of January 2017 we had the good fortune of being able to celebrate our 260th anniversary, having been consecrated on the 14th January 1757.
The main business of the evening was the initiation of a new brother, a Mr Paul Wallace. Someone that I have known, a rather scary, 29 years and counting! We’re old school pals.
Paul has shown a great interest in the formal and historical sides of Freemasonry since we first started discussing it, and I felt sure he would be a worthy candidate. I am suitably reassured now he has taken his first step. I look forward to watching his journey on the next steps, and guiding where I can.
Brother Paul Wallace on the left with Worshipful Brother Wayne Rumley on the right
We also had the presentation of a 50 year certificate to Brother James (Jim) Hopper. Jim was unable to make the meeting due to poor health, but we will be presenting him with his certificate on the 19th January, which happens to be his 94th Birthday. Hopefully he will be feeling well enough for a few pictures.
Jim was initiated into Palatine Lodge on the 12th January 1967, so it was 50 years to the day. He was passed on the 14th November 1968, and was raised on the 13th March 1969. He was a very regular attendee at Palatine Lodge when his work would allow (a sea-going engineer), until such time as his health started to deteriorate. He still supports the lodge.
The Worshipful Master receiving the certificate from the APGM, Worshipful Brother Simon Craig Steele
To mark the 260th anniversary, we gave the usual ‘birthday cheque’, this time for £260. We’ve achieved our silver badge for the 2021 festival already, and will continue to raise funds with the aim, and hope, of eventually making gold, and dare I say platinum badges, too.
We had a good number of visitors, with 57 brethren dining at the festive board. Official visitors for the evening were Phoenix Lodge No. 94 and St. Peter’s Lodge No. 8953. Both were well represented on the night by their Worshipful Masters’ and brethren. I should also give a special mention to the Worshipful Master and brethren of Horton Lodge No. 6690 in the province of Northumberland. Horton Lodge is the mother lodge of our Senior Warden, and a good number turned up to support us on the night.
At the festive board
Harmony on the night was provided by Worshipful Brother Mike Green from the Earl of Durham Lodge No. 1274 who sang a number of music hall classics (and a song about the Tyne), which were very well received by all present.
To commemorate the anniversary, I designed a mug and had a limited run produced. I still have a few available should anyone wish to purchase. Selling for a very reasonable £5, £1.50 of which goes towards the 2021 festival. Drop us an email if you would like one. When they’re gone, they’re gone!
You'd be a mug not to want one...
All in, a very enjoyable evening, but, as always, I look forward to the next one!
Thanks go to Brother Bob Jubb for the photographs.