A special double celebration, in the West of the Province, was order of the day when Hextoldesham Lodge No.5577, which meets at Hexham Masonic Building, helped W.Bro. Douglas Bell and Bro.Malcolm Johnson celebrate sixty and fifty years of uninterupted service in the CRaft.
Douglas was initiated into Hexham Priory Lodge No.6318, in October 1961, until its recent erasure, subsequently joining Hextoldesham Lodge. In 1977 he became a joining member of Zetland Lodge No.561, in the Province of Yorkshire, North & East Ridings, resigning in 2007. He served as Master of Hexham Priory Lodge on two separate occasions in 1969 and again, some fifty years later, in 2019.
In 1980 Douglas was appointed in Provincial Grand Lodge to the rank of Past provincial Junior Grand Deacon, being subsequently promoted in 2012 to Past Provincial Grand Superintendent of Works and finally in 2020 to Past Provincial Grand Registrar.. He also holds the rank of Past Provincial Grand Superintendent of Works in the Province of Yorkshire, North & East Ridings.
In 1991 he joined Zetland Royal Arch Chapter in the Province of Yorkshire, North & East Ridings, finally resigning in 2005
Douglas was born in 1938 at Corbridge Bridge End Hospital and bought up in Branch End Stocksfield where he lived for 30 years. During his time there he had a wonderful life playing football and cricket for the village team in the West Tyne League and also met his wife. Dorothy. They married in April 1960 and have three children and eight grandchildren.
In 1968 they moved to Guisborough when Douglas started work as a maintenance fitter for I.C.I. and in 1971 he travelled to Saudi Arabia with work for ARAMCO Oil Company for two years, then onto Norway to work on the construction of a B.P oil refinery for about two years, and finally onto Libya to work for “Occidental Libya “ for 15 years before returning to I.C.I Wilton as Piping Inspector.
During this time, and during their retirement Douglas and Dorothy spent many happy holidays touring Europe by car, as well as touring America, Canada and the Far East. Their eldest daughter and family moved to New Zealand in 2005 so they’ve enjoyed about 6 winters with them also.
Malcolm was initiated into Hextoldesham Lodge in October 1971, where his father occupied the office of Secretary of the Lodge for many years, however, he never wished to progress, acting as Assistant Secretary now and then.
Thanks go to W.Bro. Howard Foster of Hextoldesham Lodge, for the submission of this article.
Northumberland Freemasons send their best wishes to both Douglas and Malcolm of their fantastic achievements in the Craft.
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