Today Northumberland Freemasons congratulate W.Bro Ian Bee, of Perfect Ashlar Lodge No.7966, which meets at Morpeth Masonic Hall, on receiving his 50th cerificate accolade for fifty years of uninterupted service to the Craft.
Ian was initiated in April 1970, into Perfect Ashlar Lodge, of which he became Master in 1980.. He subsequently took on the unenviable task of Lodge Treasurer in 2010 and has kept the finances of the Lodge viable since then, and continues to do so. In recognition of his work in the Lodge he was appointed to the rank of Past Provincial Deputy Grand Registrar, in Provincial Grand Lodge, in 1990, receiving subsequent promotion, in 1997, to Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden. He was exalted into Servavi Royal Arch Chapter No.6105, in 1972, and took the Chair of Most Excellent in 1984.
Ian was born in 1942 in Wylam, Northumberland and, as his father was a Police Officer, they moved to several Police Stations until his father was finally promoted to Sergeant of the Fingerprint & Photography Department, at Police Headquarters in Morpeth in 1947, when they finally set down roots in the town. His father was a Freemason and member of Servavi Lodge No.6105, and in 1964 he was a Founder Member of the Perfect Ashlar Lodge No.7966. In 1970 he became Master of Perfect Ashlar Lodge and Initiated Ian.
Ian left school at the age of 15 and, with a view to becoming a Police Cadet, went to Morpeth Commercial College. In 1958, at the age of 16, he joined the Northumberland County Constabulary as a Police Cadet No.3, and was stationed in Morpeth. Over the next two years he worked in the Head.Quarters Crime Department., the Administration Department and Traffic Administration prior to joining the Morpeth Divisional Office in the old Morpeth Gaol Building.
In November 1961 he was finally sworn in as Police Constable No.571 and undertook his initial training at Newby Wiske, near Northallerton. He was subsequently stationed at Gosforth where he completed his two years probatiion and in 1963 he was posted to the Berwick Division at Berwick upon Tweed where he worked as a beat constable, then in the Divisional Administration Office and finally the Divisional Court Office.
In 1973 he returned to Gosforth Division at Gosforth, again as a beat constable where he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant, and transferred to Newcastle City Centre at Pilgrim Street Police Station. The Force had now been amalgamated and was now known as Northumbria Police. After being a beat sergeant for a few years he was made the Licensing Sergeant for the City Centre and in 1980 he was transferred to the Forces Clubs and Vice Squad, based at Market Street Police Station, where he worked for the next ten years, returning to the City Centre, in 1990, asthe Licensing Sergeant and Football Liaison Officer.
In 1995 Ian finally retired from Northumbria Police having obtained employment with Newcastle City Council in the Public Health Department Licensing Section, dealing with Taxi Licensing, Street Trading, Liquor Licensing and Betting and Gaming Legislation. After a few years he was promoted to Senior Licensing Office and worked with the City Council for 14 years, finally retiring at the age of 66, .
Many thanks go to W.Bros Dennis Beecroft and Ian Bee for the submission of this article.
Many congratulations from everyone at Northumberland Freemasons for the magnificent achievement.
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