Congratulations to W.Bro Robert Smith of St George’s Lodge No.431, which meets at the Borough of Tynemouth Unionist Club in North Shields, on attaining fifty years of uninterrupted service in the Craft.
Robert was initiated into Freemasonry in 1972, into St George’s Lodge. In late June 2011 he was given three months to live, which was a huge shock to him, and so he resigned from all the organisations in order to get his affairs in order. In the July he underwent an operation for a triple bypass and valve replacement in the Freeman Hospital which appeared to be successful. After some months he re-joined Freemasonry, joining Sion Lodge No. 7562, which meets at North Shields Masonic Hall, to see how he got on and took the office of Inner Guard for them. He then re-joined St Georges Lodge and has been an officer since re-joining. He took the Masters Chair in 2016 and was acknowledged for his work when he was appointed to the rank of Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden in 2020.
During his term as Master he raised £2004, with the help of the Northumberland Provincial Office and others, for the Whitley Bay Sea Cadets after they had money stolen from them, enabling them to now be on a sound footing. He has been a constant visitor to the North Shields Lodges helping them out in various positions as needed and gets great joy from doing this.
In the Royal Arch Chapter he was Exalted into Ogle Chapter No.431 in 1978, subsequently resigning in 1991.
Away from Freemasonry Robert was a buggy driver at Rake Lane Hospital, for 12 years, taking people to wards:, both patients and visitors, however had to stop on medical grounds. He is currently a helper at the hospitals where student doctors have to diagnose what is wrong with him and are tested for their examination skills by a specialist Consultant who is present during this time. In 2020 he was made Chairman of his Ex-Service Veterans group until 2021. He was also the Chairman of the North Shields Probus Club twice, which he has subsequently left due to his age and having to cut down on his private activities., and the 8th Destroyer Association for which he was the Recruiting Officer.
Many thanks to W.Bro Craig Lilley for the submission of this article.
Congratulations once again to Robert on his magnificent achievement, from everyone at Northumberland Freemasons.
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