Geoff Lewis

Two amazing charities one amazing man

Geoff Lewis

Geoff Lewis

Our Provincial Grand Tyler and Area Ambassador for Sunderland Queen Street Geoff Lewis has recently completed a 12 mile walk on Saturday 3rd October 2015 from Cowgreen Reservoir to High Force. All monies raised will be towards the 2021 Festival and the British Lung Foundation. In 2012 Geoff was diagnosed as having Fibrosis of the lungs which is a progressive degenerative disease. It is not known what causes this condition and to date a cure has not been found. In 2014 Geoff had to visit the pulmonary Unit at Sunderland Hospital and after further tests was advised to contact the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Unit. This group is supported by the British Lung Foundation.  This unit supports and educates people suffering from C.O.P.D..

During various exercises Geoff had to perform it was discovered that his oxygen level was far too low when.  Following a visit by the Home Oxygen Assessment Unit Geoff was prescribed liquid oxygen which he must use when doing any physical activity.

Geoff said “What was going to be a social event I have now decided to make it a sponsored event with family and friends.  I am advertising this event amongst two groups. Firstly Freemasons and any monies raised by them will go to RMTGB.  I am also advertising the event outside of the freemason fraternity and any monies from this group will be donated to the British Lung Foundation”. Two very deserving charities. To date Geoff has rasied in excess of £1,100 for the two chrities.

Geoff Lewis

If you see Geoff out and about with the Provincial Team remember to sponsor him

Geoff all set on the morning of his walk with his oxygen in hand

Better Prepared Campaign

Better Prepared Campaign

Better Prepared Campaign

Better Prepared Campaign

The Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys has awarded £211,200 to The Scout Association to support their Better Prepared campaign. Better Prepared seeks to ensure that every young person in the UK has the chance to be involved in Scouting and will open at least one new section in 200 of the most deprived areas of England and Wales.

The Trust’s support means that grants of up to £3,200 will be available to new groups for hiring premises, purchasing equipment or delivering training to volunteers. The first groups funded by the scheme are set to launch later this year.

Les Hutchinson, Chief Executive of the RMTGB, said: ‘This grant is one of the largest that we have ever awarded and we are excited to be part of a project that will help us to achieve our aim to alleviate poverty and advance education for disadvantaged young people beyond the Masonic community.’

Paul Wilkinson, Project Manager for Better Prepared, said: ‘Our mission is to help young people grow, develop and take an active place in society. We welcome the generous support from RMTGB in helping us reach out to new communities, especially those otherwise let down by society. Our aim is to create 1,320 new spaces for young people and recruit 66 adult volunteers. The RMTGB funding is essential to help us meet these targets.’

The partnership between TSA and the RMTGB was celebrated with an event on Tuesday 29th September. Mike Woodcock, President of the Trust, welcomed members of TSA to Freemasons’ Hall including Young Spokesperson, Ben, and his mother Florita who spoke about the tremendous impact that Scouting has had on their lives.

The 2021 Festival Team

The Team Get Together

The 2021 Festival Team

The 2021 Festival Team

Tuesday 22nd September was a key date in our Festival preparations, it was the night of the Hall Ambassadors seminar.

The Festival committee members along with Area Directors and Hall Ambassadors from across the Province got together at Ferryhill Masonic Hall to listen to The Festival Director John Thompson give a detailed presentation on all things Festival.  Gala Director Andrew Foster was on hand to give everyone an update on Gala Preparations likewise Andrew Thompson with an update on the Sage.

John started the night by welcoming everyone and quickly inform them that they were not just Hall Ambassadors but Guinea pigs for his presentation which would be the forerunner for the Charity Stewards seminar coming in October.

The night was all about preparation, John was keen that the team were fully up to date and had the correct tools to go back to their halls and be ready to give advice to lodges upon the start of our Festival.

This was the first time the team were all together under one roof, so area communication officer Rod Scott was on hand to mark the occasion with the customary photograph.

The evening was well supported and everyone went home knowing at lot more than when they entered the building two hours earlier.


Durham Masonic Caravan and Camping Club Rally at the Raby Gala


Come and camp with your family and friends in the grounds of the magnificent Raby Castle during the weekend of the Raby Gala.

On behalf of the 2021 Festival and Raby Gala Committee, the Durham Masonic Caravan and Camping Club (DMCCC), are organising a caravan and camping rally from Thursday 30th June to Sunday 3rd July, 2016, to coincide with the Raby Gala.

We have secured a large site adjacent to the main exhibits/activities area. Importantly, this Premium site is located on firm, flat, even ground, perfectly suited for vans & tents and there will be improved facilities including several water standpipes along the edge of the rally field, proper waste and chemical toilet disposal points and portable toilets.

There is no electricity but generators are permitted up to 11pm. As well as enjoying the many activities of the gala day itself, you will be able to attend the other entertainment (at additional cost) that the Mark Master Masons and members of the North East Corner are organising in the Marquee on the Friday and Saturday evenings respectively (more information to follow).

There will be a get together on Thursday evening in the DMCCC large tent. The tent will also be available for people to drop in for a coffee or to meet up with friends throughout the rally.

The cost of the weekend is £40.00 per unit for the weekend (3 nights) and includes entry to the Gala. In the event of the rally being oversubscribed, allocation of pitches will be made on a first come first basis.

We are now accepting expressions of interest from those who may wish to attend the rally; if you wish to reserve a pitch or wish further information then please contact;

George Slater by email:  by phone: 07890 561290.

If you want to know more about the caravan club please visit their website

Festival Presentation, Eardulph Lodge No 6645

Eardulph Lodge

The Festival 2021 Roadshow drops into Eardulph Lodge

The East Area Festival 2021 Director, David Hansen, and Festival 2021 Secretary, Paul Quinn, dropped into Eardulph Lodge, in Chester le Street, at the request of Hall Ambassador, Ian Heaviside, to introduce the RMTGB Festival 2021 appeal.

55 Chester le Street brethren had gathered to hear the message that David wanted to get across. He started by opening with the famous quote “A man never stands as tall as when he kneels to help a child!” He went onto explain that the Masonic Festival system happened every 11 years and rotated through the 4 main masonic charities, meaning that each charity gains recognition once every 44 years of a Lodge’s life. This however would be the last festival in this way as United Grand Lodge was in the process of amalgamating the 4 main Masonic Charities. This was incredibly useful as a lot of newer brethren have only been through one festival or indeed have never experienced a Masonic festival, so we all learnt a little bit, extending our Masonic knowledge on that day.

David went to explain what the RMTGB was and how it fit into the Masonic Charity structure, what the charity was involved in, such as Ruspini House, a facility that allows the children of masons to have affordable accommodation in London. Chester le Street has first-hand experience of Ruspini House as the son of the IPM of Finchale Priory Lodge, who has since joined our organisation, has used Ruspini House while he was studying for his Master’s degree at Imperial College. Other areas that the RMTGB are involved in are the Talent Aid scheme, where the children of masons that show talent in sport or the performing arts and the Stepping Stones project, which attempts to make a positive impact on the life of an under privileged child. All of these projects have already had positive impacts on the lives of the children of Durham Freemasons, and will continue to benefit the Province’s children to a much higher rate than what we pay into the charity.

The Festival is having an official launch night on 24th January 2016, when Durham masons take over the Sage Theatre to be entertained by recipients of the Talent Aid scheme, as well as other entertainers, which should make the evening a highly enjoyable night. The cost of the night is £15 per adult with U16’s being able to attend free of charge. This will be an exciting evening and a truly spectacular launch evening. A second fundraising event already booked and will take place on Saturday 2nd July 2016 at Raby Castle and the Gala director, Andrew Foster, will be in touch soon with more details of the Gala.

To assist the Charity Steward a series of seminars have been set up around the Province for late October and early November and these should give the Charity Stewards a good toolkit to assist them in starting to raise the festival funds.

The presentation was ended with the moving video titled “Maddie’s Story”, which certainly did highlight the excellent work that the RMTGB did in assisting children when tragedy strikes a family and if that didn’t move you then nothing ever will.

David then thanked the brethren for listening and opened the floor to any questions, which both he and Paul Quinn answered succinctly and clearly, before telling the brethren the best way to donate. Of course the old fashioned way of donating a set amount each month, for the length of the Festival, but the preferred method of donation is through the continuous giving scheme, with Gift Aid increasing every taxpayer’s donation by 25%. However, although a great sum, in excess of £662,000, has already been raised, the small number of continuous givers needs to be increased and David challenged the attending brethren to break the continuous giving record of 9 new subscribers. At Eardulph Lodge this record was increased by 2 as David and Paul achieved 11 new subscribers.

The presentation was ended with a final quote, which summed up the Festival subscribers, which was “Blessed is the man who gives more than he who receives”.

With the presentation being ended the Lodge was closed and the brethren adjourned to the Festive Board. After eating and to round the evening off perfectly the brethren were entertained by a 17 year old young woman, who sang and played guitar. Chloe Briggs, the daughter of Eardulph member, who is studying at Framwellgate School. Chloe is studying Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Music, and is studying hard for her Grade 7 Voice exams, which we sincerely hope that Chloe does well in.

Chloe was well received by the brethren who enthusiastically greeted the end of each song with thunderous applause, but Chloe deserved it as she was excellent, although Chloe looked totally astounded to receive such a welcome.

Here was a girl who should have been in receipt of Talent Aid, but who had not received any help, why I hear you ask? Well the answer was simple and although her father was a mason, he had never heard of the Talent Aid.

It is our responsibility, brethren, to make sure that this does not happen again so let us totally support the Festival and raise more money than the target we are set, then we can deem ourselves successful!!!

Classic Car and Motorbike show

Classic Car and Motorbike Display

Classic Car and Motorbike show

Classic Cars and Motorbike Display
A fantastic family day out in Durham with a host of attractions in aid of the RMTGB

A major attraction to the Raby Gala will be a wonderful display of vehicles from bygone times, whether you are just a nostalgic, curious onlooker or an out and out petrol head there will be lots to view. Due to the popularity of this display at previous Galas we have now allocated space for some 300 vehicles and bikes of all makes and models.

As an owner this is your chance to show off your pride and joy at this great event, not only helping to raise much needed funds for our 2021 Festival, but also to compete for the prestigious title of “Best in Show” the winning owner receiving a prize of £50.00 and rosette, 2nd place £30.00 and rosette with 3rd place receiving £20.00 and rosette.

To details and how to book you place download the form from this website
Gala Classic Cars and Motorbike Display ADVERT