Today we celebrate with W.Bro Charles Edward Harrison on attaining sixty years of uninterrupted service to the Craft.
Charles was Initiated into Freemasonry in Lodge De Ogle No.636, which meets at Morpeth Masonic Hall, in August 1962. He also subsequently joined Northumbrian Masters Lodge No.3477, which meets at Fern Avenue Masonic Hall, in 2001, resigning in 2009.
He occupied the office of Master of the Lodge in 1973 and was Appointed, in Provincial Grand Lodge, to the rank of Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden in 1983. He was acknowledged in United Grand Lodge when he was Appointed to the rank of Past Grand Standard Bearer in 1989, receiving subsequent Promotion, in 1997, to Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies.
Charles was Exalted in the Royal Arch Chapter in 1963 when he joined De Percy Royal Arch Chapter No.636, which also meets at Morpeth Masonic Hall. He was Appointed, in Provincial Grand Chapter, to the rank of Provincial Grand Treasurer in 1981, and received subsequent Promotions to the ranks of Past Provincial Grand Scribe Nehmiah, in 1989, and Third Provincial Grand Principal in 1992, prior to being acknowledged in Supreme Grand Chapter when he received Appointment to the rank of Past Grand Standard Bearer..
Charles was born at the family home in Morpeth in October 1938, the second son of Robin and Isabella. Growing up, he showed an interest in the family drapery and outfitting business and, on completion of his education, worked in Bainbridges department store, subsequently acquired by John Lewis. After 2 years of National Service, serving in the 3rd Royal Tank Regiment in Germany, in 1960, Charles returned to Bainbridges for a short while, prior to working in the pay office and supplies office at St Georges Hospital..
On the death of his father, in early 1963, Charles took the family business over and married Maureen later that year, who he worked with until their retirement in 1999. For many years he was an active member of the Morpeth District Chamber of Trade, becoming Chairman in 1969. In addition, for thirty years, Charles served as a Governor at All Saints School, becoming Chairman and overseeing a large new rebuild and modernisation of the premises.
In 1984 Charles was licensed by the Bishop of Newcastle to administer, in the Parish of Morpeth, the chalice at the act of Holy Communion, something he continues to undertake to this day. Charles was a regular fell walker in the Lake District and also learnt to ski at the age of 48. a skill he used to assist on school skiing trips. In 2010 he commenced a new hobby when he took up archery.
Many thanks to W.Bros Dr Greg Smith, Chris Allen and Charles Harrison for the submission of this article.
Congratulations to Charles from everyone at Northumberland Freemasons for reaching this magnificent milestone and we wish you many more happy years in the Craft.
If you have a story, event or news item you would like to have published on the Provincial website, or social media, please get in touch with our Communications Team at firstname.lastname@example.org