Double Celebration For Coquetdale Lodge

23rd May 2023

Today we assist Coquetdale Lodge No.5122, which meets at Alnwick Masonic Hall, in celebrating a double historic milestone with two of their number, James Renwick and James Oliver, completing fifty years of uninterrupted service to the Craft.

James Renwick was initiated into Freemasonry in January 1973 and, having never taken the office of Master, was rewarded for his dedication to the Craft, in 2009, when he was appointed to the rank of Provincial Grand Steward. He received subsequent promotion, in 2021, for his continued dedication to Past Provincial Grand Standard Bearer. He is a holder of the 2020 Provincial Grand Lodge Festival Stewards jewel and supports the Lodge in all the raffles etc to raise funds for the many good causes it is involved with.
Whenever he attends a Lodge meeting, he is very willing to stand in, at short notice, as a Candidate, or in any of the offices. In addition he regularly assisted with transport to and from Lodge meetings for the late Bro. Robert Walton.

He was a member of Coquetdale Lodge of Mark Master Masons, previously occupying the office of Master, and is also a member of Risingham Lodge of Mark Master Masons.

James R worked as a carpenter/joiner, and lived near Netherwitton most of his life (37+ years), but this rural village did not stop him getting involved with organisations and subsequent events. On retiring, he moved to Corbridge with his wife so she would be closer to her family, but still travels all the way to Alnwick whenever he can. He regularly supports us on our Fraternal Visits.

He joined the Coquetdale Round Table and was an active member for well over 20years until he retired from them when he reached the age of 40. The Coquetdale Roundtable organised the annual Rothbury Carnival – the last one was circa 1978 – and they regularly did log runs for the elderly during the winter months and also helped organise and run the annual Christmas Lunch for the elderly of Rothbury and surrounding areas. Jim helped his son Scott during his sons years motorbike racing as a sort of pit crew, all over the country and beyond.

James Oliver joined Freemasonry on the same day as his counterpart, when he was also initiated into Coquetdale Lodge. He occupied the Masters Chair in 1983 and was acknowledged in Provincial Grand Lodge with appointment to the rank of Past Provincial Assistant Grand Registrar, in 1993, receiving subsequent promotion in 2003, to the rank of Past Provincial Grand Registrar. He was acknowledged in United Grand Lodge when he received appointment to Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies.

James O joined the Royal Arch Chapter in 1975, when he joined Alnwick Royal Arch Chapter No.1167, receiving honorary membership in 2020. He has occupied the chair of Z on an impressive three occasions in 1990, 1997 and 2007. He was acknowledged in Provincial Grand Chapter with appointment to the rank of Past Provincial Grand Standard Bearer in 1996, receiving subsequent promotion to Past Provincial Grand Registrar in 2001 and Past Provincial Grand Scribe Nehmiah in 2007. He was acknowledged by Supreme Grand Chapter in 2010 when he received appointment to the rank of Past Grand Standard Bearer.

In addition James has received appointment to Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies in the Mark, Grand Rank in the Royal Ark Mariners, Past Provincial 1st Constable in the Knights Templar, 31st Degree in the Rose Croix, Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies and Silver Trowel in the Royal and Select Master, Past Grand Warden of Regalia in the Red Cross of Constantine, Past Grand Standard Bearer in the Allied Masonic Degrees, Past Grand Sword Bearer and Past Grand Director of Ceremonies in the Order of the Secret Monitor, 4th Grade and Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies in the Scarlet Cord, Past Grand IV Pillar in the Knights Templar Priests, Past Senior Grand Warden in the Royal Order of Scotland, Past Provincial Grand Sword Bearer in the Commemorative Order of St Thomas of Acon and Past Provicnial Junior Grand Deacon in The Masonic Order of Athelstan.

James was a farmer and over the years has held tenancies at Laings Hill in 1976, Davy Shiel in 1987 and Meldon Lane House in 1992. He played the Highland Pipes in Rothbury Highland Pipe Band from 1957 until 1967 and was a glider pilot throughout the ‘80’s and also a Special Constable.

Congratulations once again, from everyone at Northumberland Freemasons, to the two Jims, on their reaching their fantastic milestones.

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