Firing glasses were out in force as a special meeting took place at Hulne Priory Lodge in Alnwick as ex fire fighter, W Bro Jim Thompson invited masonic members of the Fire Service past and present to attend a third-degree ceremony.
Members from Tyne and Wear, Northumberland and Durham Fire Services responded to the call to attend and enjoyed the warm hospitality. Strangely, when the IG announced that there was an alarm, they all ran out and put their wellingtons on. Other firemen insisted on climbing the masonic ladder but the DC extinguished any hint of progressive accelerant.
The degree was well executed and pleasing to watch (green, blue, red and white) and it retained the interest of the brethren who were well turned out. The appliance of the signs was well received.
Food for the night was a red-hot curry which the firefighters put out immediately followed by toasts in their firing glasses.
“It was a flaming good night, “said W Bro Jim.”I bet those that couldn’t make it were foaming. Nothing was too much trouble for the lodge and no one was put out. I hope it’s ignited more interest in our Lodge and matches some of our best nights.
“Our German brethren couldn’t attend because of the severe weather and I heard them moan on the phone, “Nien Nien Nien””
Of course, the above is all very much tongue in cheek, but it was a great night and we should all be proud of our firefighting brothers past and present.
When WBro Jim joined Hulne Priory in 1985 there had been two Masters who were also in the Fire Service at Alnwick station. One of them, Walter Wilson, had contacted fire service personnel from around the country and at the festive board somewhere in the region of 30 fire service personnel sat down on the JW table.
The lodge now has five fire officers (some serving and some retired) and each time there is a fire officer in the Chair, a night is organised where colleagues from across the Province and into Durham come to visit. When there is a fire service candidate, all the fire officers take part in the ceremony – usually for a Third Degree.