A special meeting for us this month. We celebrated the 50th Anniversary of WBro Bob Parsons. As it was Bob's special night, we took the opportunity of having a 'night off' from ritual, thus ending a two year run of 'live' ceremonies. A welcomed respite!
The Lodge was opened and we then admitted our official Fraternal visitors, before receiving the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W Bro Simon Craig Steele, who was in attendance to present the 50-year certificate to Bob.
We were straight down to business and handed the proceedings over to W Bro Steele and the presentation of the certificate. As is the usual format for these events, Craig invited Bob to take a seat in the centre of the Lodge room. They started off talking about Bob's work career, where he had spent a lot of years at both Pyrex and Rolls-Royce. He was the Apprenticeship Manager at Rolls-Royce and it was here where he was introduced to Freemasonry, as a number of colleagues were members and invited him along. Whilst his proposers may no longer be with us, we were lucky enough to have a brother, who is a member of Nautilus Lodge, attend, who served as an apprentice under Bob. Bob was also a quite handy footballer and had trials with both Leeds and Burnley, but such was the economics of the game at the time, he'd have taken a pay-cut to sign a contract. Unthinkable these days.
Masonically speaking, Bob was initiated on the 12th February 1970, passed and raised shortly after, and was ultimately Installed as Worshipful Master of this lodge in December of 1979. Both his Senior Warden and Senior Deacon of that year were in attendance to see him receive his certificate! Undoubtedly a lot has changed in 50 years, with numbers across Freemasonry being down, but Bob was delighted that he has stuck around long enough to see Palatine Lodge have an upturn in numbers, and expressed great pleasure in seeing the lodge flourish under the newer members.
At the conclusion of the chat, Craig read out the certificate and presented it to Bob, who received a very warm round of applause from all those that were present. The Worshipful Master then presented him with an engraved crystal clock on behalf of the lodge to mark the occasion.
That was not the only business of the evening. One of our more recent members, Bro Liam, received his Grand Lodge certifcate, and the full explanation of the certificate was expertly given by our visiting Grand Lodge Officer, W Bro Roy Neville.
We also took the occasion of Craig's visit and the second rising to present 'the birthday cheque' for £263 towards the Durham 2021 Festival. 263 marking the number of years since our consecration. There was a further cheque given for £100 towards Durham Benevolence.
After the conclusion of the risings, the lodge was duly closed and everyone retired to an excellent festive board, with in excess of 50 people sitting down to enjoy the remainder of the evening.
Fraternal visitors for the night were from Sunderland Lodge No. 4114 and Quest Lodge No. 7102, but there were many more visitors in attendance. Special mentions to our friends at Phoenix Lodge No. 94 and Ernest Dixon Lodge No. 7856, who both attended in good numbers.
A special night for a special man. May we have many more years to enjoy his company.
Back to business next month. A double second. Here's hoping to see another good turnout.
Until the next time.