Congratulations to W.Bro Andrew McNeil on reaching sixty years uninterupted service to Freemasonry.
Andrew was initiated Nepos Lodge No.6570 in June 1960., which was subsequently erased in2009. He became a Founder Member of Sure and Steadfast Lodge No.8927, which meets at Wallsend Masonic Building, in March 1980, which he is still a member of. He became a joining member of Northumbrian Masters Lodge No.3477 in March 2000, Fenham Lodge No.4019 in January 2008 and Ponteland Lodge No.8026, both of which have sadly also subsequently been erased. He was Master of Sure and Steadfast Lodge in 1990 and has held various offices, including Secretary, Charity Steward and Almoner in the four Lodges he has been a member of.
He was initially appointed to the rank of Past Provincial Grand Registrar, in Provincial Grand Lodge in 1984, being promoted to Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden in 1993, prior to being apoointed to the Grand Rank of Past Grand Standard Bearer in 2002.
He was exalted into De Lorraine Royal Arch Chapter No.541 in 1974, and joined George Stephenson Royal Arch Chapter No.3390 in 1979, before resigning from both in 1979 and 2007 respectively.
Andrew left School in May 1951 with no qualifications. He was a War-time baby. All Andrew wanted to be was a Joiner, however, his father, who worked in a factory, advised him to become a white collar worker, and so he ended up in a solicitors office, in Newcastle, as an Office Boy. He commenced evening classes for the National Certificate in Commerce which he gained in 1958 and eventually ended up in the Property Department. which he enjoyed and was encouraged to further study the subject more thoroughly and gained a First Class pass in a London Chamber of Commerce examination on the subjects of Real & Personal Property & Conveyancing at Advanced level. He left private practice in 1959 and joined the NCB Legal Dept, in December, which he moved from in 1966 and joined Durham County Council until late 1967 when he moved to Washington New Town. Andrew passed exams to be a Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives, which he is still a member of to this day, and having helped to build the New Town he subsequently moved to Northumbrian Water in December 1974, where he remained until he retired in 1997 having climbed the ladder to Senior Property Lawyer..
Congratulations from everyone at Northumberland Freemasons to Andrew on reaching sixty years of uninterupted service in the Craft. We wish you well for many years to come.
Many thanks to W.Bros Alan Dowson and Nev Johnson on the submission of this article.
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