Today we help the members of De Loraine Royal Arch Chapter No.541, which meets at Fern Avenue Masonic Hall, with their double celebration of an incredible 50 years of uninterrupted service to the Royal Arch Chapter by one of their number, E.Comp Gerald Rebair, and the Exaltation of a brand new Companion, Comp David Purkis.
Gerald was Initiated into Lodge de Loraine in May 1963 however, due to work commitments, he transferred to Hull in 1964, returning to Newcastle in 1971. He missed some years attending Lodge meetings, and the senior members decided to grant him the office of Senior Steward, which put him a couple of years back down the ladder.
At that time, the Lodge met at Grainger Street, holding the Festive Board at Bainbridge’s Restaurant, now John Lewis, with waitress service. Subsequently the Lodge moved to Maple Terrace, and Gerald became Master in 1978, during which time the Lodge moved to Fern Avenue midway through his Mastership.
During his years as Master, eight brethren who were Masters in different lodges decided to form a singing group known as The Harmony Masters, and they sang at several Lodges during that year.
Following that period, Gerald served as Treasurer and Secretary on more than one occasion and returned to Junior Warden in 2021 and Master in 2022.
He was acknowledged in Provincial Grand Lodge in 1989 when he was appointed to the rank of Provincial Deputy Grand Registrar, receiving subsequent promotion in 1990 to Past Provincial Grand Registrar. In 1999 He was acknowledged in United Grand Lodge, being appointed to the rank of Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies, receiving subsequent promotion to the rank of Past Junior Grand Deacon in 2007.
He joined the Royal Arch Chapter in 1973 when he was exalted into De Loraine Royal Arch Chapter, and was acknowledged in Provincial Grand Chapter in 1989 when he was appointed to the rank of Provincial Deputy Grand Registrar, receiving subsequent promotion to Past Provincial Grand Registrar and then Past Provincial Grand Scribe Nehmiah in 1998, before being acknowledged in Supreme Grand Chapter with appointment to the rank of Past Grand Standard Bearer.
David joined Freemasonry in October 2021 when he was Initiated into Lodge of Remembrance No.6319, which meets at Throckley Masonic Hall, and subsequently became a joining member of Gavel Lodge No.8928 in September 2022, which is soon to meet at Shiremoor Masonic Hall. He currently holds the Office of Junior Deacon in Gavel Lodge and undertook the =unenviable task of leading “The Gavel Nine” in their recent Initiation.
Congratulations from everyone at Northumberland Freemasons to both Gerald and David and we wish them both many more happy years in the Royal Arch Chapter.
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