Double Celebration At Tyne Valley Lodge

29th October 2021

Tyne Valley Lodge No.7506, which meets at Haltwhistle Masonic Hall, had cause for double joy when two of its members, Keith Surtees and Brian Todd, were acknowledged for their fifty years of uninterupted sevice in the Craft, by R.W.Bro Ian Craigs, the Provincial Grand Master.

Bro. Keith was initiated into Freemasonry in June 1970, into Tyne Valley Lodge and has never felt the need to take office, enjoying his time in Freemasonry from the sidelines., having taken the office of Steward of the Lodge for many many years.

He was born on 11th June 1942 and educated at Greenhead prior to Haltwhistle. On leaving school, at the age of 15, Keith took an apprenticeship as a motor mechanic with Jack Wallace at Bardon Mill, after which he joined the family business, Alf Surtees, as a Mechanic/Driver..He later returned as Foreman to John Elliott’s garage in Haltwhistle, then to Ivinson in Brampton and finally Fergusson at Hallbankgate, Keith married Kathleen in May 1968 and have one daughter, Tonia, and are proud Grand and Great Grandparents.

Keith was a keen dog breeder for over 20 years and showed his dogs all over the country, winning the Utility Group at the Windsor Championship Show 2002 and reserved best of breeds at Crufts 2003.

W.Bro Brian was initiated into Freemasonry in May 1970 and has been Master of the Lodge on three occasions. He has occupied the office of Chaplain, on and off, since 2010, undertaking the office on a full time basis since 2015. and Junior Warden for the last two years. He was recognised in Provincial Grand Lodge in 1991 when he was appointed to the rank of Past Provincial Assistant Grand Standard Bearer, being promted to Past Provincial Grand Sword Bearer in 2001 and finally to Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden in 2009.

Brian was exalted into Alston Royal Arch Chapter, in the Province of Cumberland and Westmorland, in 1973, resigining his membership in 2008.

He was born on 20th February 1040, at Haltwhistle, and educated at the local schools, which he left at age 15 and started work, a week later, as an apprentice joiner, obtaining the skills of the trade, a trade which stayed with him throughout his working life. After an initial 10 years Brian set up his own business and still lives in the premises above the workshop. The same year as he set up his business Brian married Patricia Hewitson, having a daughter, Karen. Sadly Patricia passed away in 2009.

Many thanks to W.Bro Philip Barsack for the submission of this article.

Congratulations from everyone at Northumberland Freemasons to Keith and Brian on their fantastic achievement in the Craft.

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