Double Celebration For Severus Chapter

28th October 2023

Today Northumberland Freemasons send their congratulations to another Royal Arch Chapter Mason, E.Comp John Cummings, who has completed fifty fantastic years of uninterrupted service to the organisation, and at the other end of the spectrum, Comp Alan Denton, on being Exalted into the order. In addition John was honoured to have his certificate presentation witnessed by his son, Mark.

Initiated in February 1972 into Lord Collingwood No.3246, which meets at Byker Masonic Hall, John subsequently joined Severus Lodge No.7864, which meets at Throckley Masonic Hall,  in March 2008.  He occupied the office of Master in 1981 and 2009 and was acknowledged in Provincial Grand Lodge when he was appointed to the rank of Provincial Senior Grand Deacon in 1990, receiving subsequent Promotion to Past Provincial Grand Registrar in 1996,  and again to Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden in 2012.

He joined the Royal Arch Chapter when he was Exalted into Seymour Bell Royal Arch Chapter No.3635 in September  1973, which met at Byker Masonic Hall, subsequently resigning, and becoming a Founder Member of Blackfriars Royal Arch Chapter No.7556, which also met at Byker Masonic Hall, again resigning, and re-joining Seymour Bell Chapter prior to its sad demise in 2009. He subsequently joined Severus Royal Arch Chapter No.7864, which meets at Throckley Masonic Hall, in 2012. Je occupied the office of Most Excellent in 1997 and 2000, receiving Appointment in Provincial Grand Chapter to Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies in 1996, and Promotion in 2003 to Past Provincial Grand Scribe Nehmiah.

John was born in 1937 in Scotswood and was educated at Todds Nook School and then Heaton Grammar. On leaving school in 1953 he went to work in the Finance Department of Henry Moat and Sons Builders Merchant for over 20 years. After being made redundant he was appointed as Credit Manager for Thomas Ayres and Denny Mott, which is now known as Wickes Ltd.

During this time John met, and married, his wife Joyce in 1960 and they had two children, Deborah and Mark. After sixty years of marriage, in September 2020, they received a card and telegram from the Queen to celebrate their Diamond Wedding Anniversary.

John has a love of all sport but primarily football, having attended his first match in 1946 when Newcastle United played Swansea. The next game he attended was when Newcastle scored their greatest victory, against Newport, having scored 13 goals. He never missed a game until he completed his National Service with the RAF, during which time he was involved with a Top Secret radar site and assisted in the trials of the original P1 fighter jet. John can boast that he witnessed Newcastle United win the FA Cup against Blackpool, at Wembley, in 1951.

John became involved in the North East Sunday League, in 1964, taking the position of Club Secretary. He was subsequently appointed League Secretary and Treasurer in 1984 and then, in 1987, was elected onto the Northumberland Football Association, attending every FA Cup Final since. During these visits he was received the honour of twice being invited into the Royal Box. He has since been elected to the position of Vice President pf the Football League and, in September 2021, received his Fifty Year Long Service Football Award.

Congratulations to both John and Alan on their achievements and we wish them many more happy years in Royal Arch Chapter Masonry.

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