A Triple Fraternity Celebration Posted 02 Jun 2014

The Lodge of Fraternity, which meets in Stockton met on Thursday 22nd May for what was their regular meeting, this meeting was special though as they prepared to celebrate 50 years in Freemasonry of Ron Studholme amongst other things.

Ron was born in Staindrop leaving school at 15 to work at Bishop Auckland as an apprentice draughtsman. After qualifying with an HNC in Mechanical Engineering and later ICI Billingham Ron moved to procurement at ICI Wilton until retiring some time later aged 65.

Happily married to Cindy for 54 years Ron enjoys an extended family life with his children and grandchildren and pursues many pastimes including golf, gardening, travelling and supporting Middlesbrough FC.

Ron was initiated in to the Rose of Raby Lodge in 1964 following in the footsteps of his father and brother. On moving to Cleveland he joined the Lodge of Fraternity in 1976 becoming Master of the Lodge in 1985 enjoying the company of the installed Masters which at that time included the late Derek Richmond who later rose to be the Provincial Grand Master in the Province. Ron was Master again in 2005 having built up a reputation as an excellent ritualist. He joined Nevill Lodge of Installed Masters in 1996 and was exalted into Tees Chapter on 1970 remaining member for 16 years. Provincial honours came in 1992 and 2003 where Ron reached Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden.

Following the presentation of the 50-year certificate by the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, John Lockhart Webster, Ron recounted many occasions from his Masonic life and how times had changed over the years – many for the better. This was reflected in his account of the huge success of the Universities scheme in ensuring the survival of the Lodge of Fraternity, whose numbers had dwindled until a few years ago. He remarked that the average age of the members in the lodge before this time was 51 years. The scheme had ensured new and younger Brethren came into the lodge and enabled it to look positively to the future. It was clear the younger members were enjoying their Freemasonry as demonstrated by the active officers who took part on the night.

So what of a triple celebration? The Lodge performed an excellent initiation of Brother Kristopher Lord – another local young candidate, and it was fitting that appropriate mention was made of John Webster’s final formal visit as Assistant Provincial Grand Master to Stockton where he had served diligently for the past several years. The Lodge thanked John for attending their final meeting of the year, and of course for honouring one of their most senior Brethren.
Article from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Durham

Appointed, Obligated, Invested and Installed Posted 15 Mar 2014

Thursday the 13th March saw the regular Convocation of Tees Chapter No509 commence as it would on any normal Convocation evening, but this Convocation was to be different to most.

Not in the fact that they were to elect the 3 Principals and Officers for the ensuing year, although this is a special occasion it is done every year at this time.

Not in the fact that George William Temperton a Master Mason from Tees Craft Lodge was to become the newest member of the Chapter after a Ceremony of Exaltation, this being extremely special, but nothing that had not been already witnessed by the Companions, many times.

Not even the fact that the Most Excellent Grand Superintendant and a full Deputation of his Officers were to process in to the Chapter helping to fill the Chapter room to capacity. This although very pleasing to see and an obvious honour for the Chapter had all been seen by most on occasions before.

The item of business that was so rare was the reason the Grand Superintendent was present and that was to Appoint and Invest EComp Michael Stuart Shaw, Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals as 3rd Provincial Grand Principal in his very own Chapter and in front of his own, Tees Companions.

The Ceremony went to perfection, with word perfection, faultless perambulations and the pomp and ceremony you would expect with such a special occasion and resulted in EComp Michael Stuart Shaw, 3rd Provincial Grand Principal taking his place in the Deputation properly installed.

A Ceremony of Exaltation was then performed, and if the pressure of having to live up to what had went before them was preying on the minds of Principals and Sojourners then it did not show as John McNaughton, 1st Principal of the Chapter assisted by his Officers performed an excellent ceremony.

Now with Michael Shaw Appointed and George Temperton Exalted all that remained was for the full house of Companions to retire to the festive board where a fantastic meal coupled with friendly chatter awaited them.

Replying to the toast to the Provincial Chapter Officers, Michael Shaw thanked everyone who had attended and helped to make the evening such a special occasion not only for him but also for the members of Tees Chapter. He thanked the trust that had been placed in him and vowed to carry out his new Provincial duties to the best of his ability.

In the response to the newest member of Tees Chapter, George Temperton, thanked his sponsors and pledged his support to his new Chapter.

Special mention was also made to Michael Sydney Snowball, retiring 3rd Provincial Grand Principal for his sterling work over the years to Provincial Grand Chapter and the Offices that he has filled, thanks and best wishes were offered and the Companions showed their appreciation with a hearty round of applause.

Two magnificent Colourful Ceremonies, a memorable occasion for Tees Chapter and a fantastic evening enjoyed by everyone who attended, if that’s not what Royal Arch Masonry is all about then someone please tell us what is!
Article from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Durham

£7,600 for local charities Posted 06 Jan 2013

£7,600 was distributed to 12 local Charities by Stockton Freemasons at the Tenth anniversary of Freemasonry in the Community evening at the Masonic Hall, Stockton on Friday 5th October.

The money was donated by different Lodges as part of the ongoing national Freemasonry in the Community project initiated by the Duke of Kent in 2002.

Each Charity representative explained to the audience of nearly 90 how the money would be spent in helping to meet the specific needs of people of all ages. To hear of the fantastic work being done by so many Charity workers day in and day out is awe inspiring and the Freemasons of Stockton are really pleased to help in this small way.

The Lodge of Justice took on the challenge back in 2002, to organise each of these presentation evenings, all of which have been well received by the Brethren of Stockton and also the recipient Charities/ Good causes.

The Charities supported on this occasion were:

Butterwick Hospice, Cash for Kids, Prostrate Cancer, Daisy Chain, McMillan Nurses, Great North Air Ambulance, Stockton Armature Swimming Club, Positive Strokes, SSAFA, Martin House Hospice, Oak Tree Primary School, Church View & Mill Lane Community School.
Article from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Durham

100 Years for Triple Initiation Posted 25 Oct 2012

The Lodge of Fraternity has performed a triple initiation. This is the first time this has happened for over 100 years.