Durham Masonic Motorcyclists (DMM)

The Widows Sons ride into Town

It was a quiet and glorious sunny day at Provincial Office on The Esplanade, when suddenly the thunder of Motor Bikes was heard as the Durham Masonic Motorcyclists (DMM) rode in to present a cheque for £250 to The Festival Director John Thompson.

The group was formed in January 2015 by members of Freemasons Lodges within the Province of Durham. They are the Durham Chapter of The Widows Sons of Great Britain.

The first Chapter of The Widows Sons was founded in the United States of America in 1999. The association quickly grew in popularity and spread across the States and into Canada.

The Widows Sons arrived in Great Britain in 2004 formed by a group of Masons in the Nottinghamshire area. Since then they have grown substantially and now cover most of the UK.

The cheque was presented by Chapter President Trevor Harbottle and members of the Durham Chapter, Trevor explained that the Chapter had only formed a few months ago but they were very keen to support the Festival.

John thanked them for the kind and generous donation and explained that the money would be put to good use in supporting our 2021 Festival Campaign for the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys. He further explained that although we don’t launch for another 7 months the support has been tremendous  from the Brethren of Durham with donations already in excess of £620,000.

The Widows Sons then had a detailed tour of The Provincial Museum from Adam Lamb followed by an ample selection of cakes supplied by Chapter member John Watts.

If you want to know more about the Widows Sons follow the link www.dmmwidowssons.org.

Aims & Objectives

Their aim is to raise funds through donations, organised events and social activities to support Masonic charities and raise awareness of Freemasonry within the community.

They hope to assist neighbouring provinces and national chapters of The Widows Sons in their endeavours to encourage growth and prosperity within the fraternity.

Above all Durham Masonic Motorcyclists hope to combine their passion for biking and their enthusiasm for Freemasonry, enabling them to promote both within the Province of Durham.

2021 Festival team

Festival presentation, Peace & Unity Lodge

The Peace and Unity Lodge were the one of the first Lodges to invite the Durham 2021 Festival Director, John Thompson and the Festival team, to join them at their Lodge and complete a PowerPoint presentation for the members.

The WM, who is also the Lodge Charity Steward, is a very passionate Charity Steward and going by that evening the Lodge will be a big player within the Festival process. Robin Middleton has plenty of ideas and initiatives that he is planning and hopes to get near to 100% regular payers as possible.

2021 Festival team

There to support the Festival Director were Paul Quinn, Festival Secretary, Edwin Jeffrey Festival Treasurer, Geoff Lewis Hall Ambassador.

Pictured here with the Worshipful Master & Lodge Charity Steward Robin Middleton.

The Festival Director addressed the assembled Brethren to highlight not only the commitment that the PGM has given to the Royal Masonic Trust for Boys & Girls (RMTGB) but to also highlight the charity itself and the excellent support given by the Trust.

The Festival Director began his presentation by explaining the role of the Charity and the myths surrounding the RMTGB and how the charity has not, for over 30 years, continued to run schools. The Festival Director informed the Brethren of the Festival Objectives and that the Gift Aid Envelopes will be an important factor along with the Chancellor and Gift Aid.

At the start of the evening, as happens at the Provincial meetings GAE were handed out to the Brethren and were asked to fill in with the relevant details to claim the gift aid. The Lodge Treasurer informed the Festival team that their collection would normally be an average of £30 – £35, however due to the use of GAE’s the Lodge and the RMTGB benefited with an uplift of £149.00 including gift aid, so a worthwhile exercise and the biggest uplift of the so far presentations.

The brethren warmly received the presentation and the Lodge pledged their support to the Festival cause.

If you would like a presentation at your Lodge please contact Paul Quinn for further detail paul.quinn@durham2021.org

Festival Team Longscar

Festival Presentation, Longscar Lodge

Festival Team Longscar

Longscar Lodge No 6203 welcomed the Festival team to their May meeting on its first working night following the Installation of the new Worshipful Master Brian Bullock. Just to ease the newly appointed officers in to their new positions the WM agreed to ask at short notice the Festival team to come along to highlight the upcoming start of the Durham 2021 Festival.

The Longscar Lodge have, as many Lodges have, been chipping away at getting members signed up for regular payment scheme since the start of the “Continuous Giving Scheme” in 2010. At present the Lodge is above the average within the Provincial Grand Lodge at 18%, however as was pointed out by the new Lodge Charity Steward Phil Johnson, the Lodge is looking to sign up a few more Brethren.

There to support the Festival Director were Paul Quinn, Festival Secretary, and Keith Schaible South Area Director & Mike Smithies Hall Ambassador. Accompanied by Brian Bullock, Worshipful Master and Phil Johnson Lodge Charity Steward.

The Festival Director addressed the assembled Brethren to highlight not only the commitment that the PGM has given to the Royal Masonic Trust for Boys & Girls (RMTGB) but to also highlight the charity itself and the excellent work that they do.

He explain that we had two objectives throughout the Festival Campaign that of raising money but also awareness to ensure the Brethren of Durham understand how they Trust can help those in need.

The Brethren of Longscar Lodge were treated to a Lodge quiz at the Festive board. There were five teams of four each competing for the four bottles of wine. It was a hard fought battle, however the Lodge honoured the Festival Team with allowing them to win the four bottles of wine with a clear five point’s majority.

If you would like a presentation at your Lodge please contact Paul Quinn for further detail paul.quinn@durham2021.org

Aycliffe Lodge

First time out for the Team

Aycliffe Lodge

Festival Director John Thompson and members of the Festival team we very pleased to receive an invitation to give a Festival Presentation at Aycliffe Lodge, This was the first time out for the team.

The Festival Director addressed the assembled Brethren to highlight not only the commitment that the PGM has given to the Royal Masonic Trust for Boys & Girls (RMTGB) but to also highlight the charity itself and the excellent work that they do.

There to support the Festival Director were left to right: Phil Grieveson Festival Communication Officer, Jonathan Carling Ferryhill Hall Ambassador, acting Worshipful Master Terry Green. Paul Quinn Festival Secretary and Mike Arnott Hall Ambassador.

The Festival Director began his presentation by explaining the role of the Charity and the myths surrounding the RMTGB and how the charity has not, for over 30 years, continued to run masonic schools, he then went on to brief the Brethren on the different methods of support given by the RMTGB, Talent Aid supporting young persons with exceptional talents and Stepping Stones the initiative to support Non –Masonic charities. The Festival Director pointed out  what he sees as our two key Festival Objectives firstly of course to raise funds but equally important to raise awareness about the Charity.

At the start of the evening in similar fashion to our Provincial meetings Gift aid envelopes were handed out to the Brethren. The Lodge Treasurer informed the Festival team that their collection would normally be an average of £30, however due to the use of GAE’s the Lodge and the RMTGB benefited with an uplift of £74.00 including gift aid, so a worthwhile exercise. John Thompson explained the benefit of using the envelopes and how the added gift aid tax makes a significant difference.

At the end of the presentation the Brethren were treated to “Maddie’s Story” a moving video of a true life Freemason benefiting from the RMTGB. The brethren warmly received the presentation and the Lodge pledged their support to the Festival cause.

If you would like a presentation at your Lodge please contact Paul Quinn for further detail paul.quinn@durham2021.org.

£500,000 Cheque Presentation

£500,000 Cheque Presentation

£500,000 Cheque Presentation

The dripping tap will eventually fill the bath!

As the Province of Durham gears up for the launch of their next Festival, starting in 2016 in aid of the Royal Masonic Trust for Boys and Girls it has been extremely encouraging that their ‘Continuous Giving’ has been an enormous success.

Provincial Grand Master for Durham, Norman Eric Heaviside has always been a champion of the Continuous Giving scheme and his now famous saying of “The dripping tap will eventually fill the bath” is known Province wide!

It was therefore with immense pride that Durham were able to invite President of the RMTGB, Mike Woodcock and Chief Executive Les Hutchinson to their Annual Promotions Meeting at Rainton Meadows Arena in November to present them with a cheque for £500,000.

The cheque was presented during the meeting after the PGM had delivered his Christmas Address and after receiving the donation Mike and Les took to the stage to thank the brethren for their fantastic generosity, explain in more depth about the fabulous work the RMTGB carries out and deliver a small talk on the history of Masonic Charity. Mike ended with the famous quote “No man stands as tall as when he is kneels to help a child” and the 500 brethren present showed their appreciation with a rapturous applause.

With over 12 months until Durham officially enters Festival the brethren of the Province have given themselves every chance of making a huge difference to this most worthy cause, may the dripping tap continue till that bath overflows!

After the meeting, Festival Director for Durham, John Paul Thompson, was clearly delighted at the presentation

“Charity is an important part of what being a Freemason is all about and to be able to play a part in supporting such a worthy cause is extremely rewarding to all of the members of our Province who have donated so far”.

Mike Woodcock sporting a pair of Festive Antlers, pulling a Christmas cracker with the PGM and Les Hutchinson incognito as Santa Clause with the brand new Deputy Provincial Grand Master for Durham, John Arthur.

The Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys (RMTGB) is a charity funded by Freemasons which aims to relieve poverty and advance education for children and young people.

In addition to their main grant-making work, they also support young people with exceptional talents and those who need financial assistance in order to embrace life-changing opportunities.

They award grants to both national and local children’s charities and provide support to a separate but subsidiary charity Lifelites.