Congratulations from everyone at Northumberland Freemasons to our Antipodean Brother, W.Bro Roger Hutchinson Johnstone, on his Appointment to Grand Rank under the auspices of the United Grand Lodge of England.
Roger was Initiated into Freemasonry, into the now erased Defendit Lodge No.6049, which met at Maple Terrace Masonic Hall, in March 1965, where he remained a member until 2013. He became a joining member, in the District Grand Lodge of North Island, New Zealand, of Alexandra Lodge No.1188, in 2001, which meets at Waikato Masonic Centre and then Northern Light Lodge No.1878, in 2013, which meets at Ellerslie Masonic Centre.
He was acknowledged in Provincial Grand Lodge when he was Appointed to the rank of Past Provincial Senior Grand Deacon in 1987, receiving subsequent Promotions to Past District Grand Treasurer in 2016 and then the active rank of District Grand Almoner in 2017.. He has been acknowledged, this year, in United Grand Lodge with appointment to the rank of Past Assistant Grand Sword Bearer.
He was Exalted into Defendit Royal Arch Chapter No.6049, in April 1972, remaining a member until it was Erased in 2013. He subsequently joined Aleandra Royal Arch Chapter No.1188, of the District Grand Chapter of North Island, New Zealand, in 2002 and then Chapter of Discovery No.8737, which is an unattached Royal Arch Chapter on the island of Port Vila.
He was acknowledged in the District Grand Chapter of North Island, New Zealand, with Appointment to the rank of Past District Grand Scribe Ezra in 2008, and then Appointment to Supreme Grand Chapter with the rank of Past Grand Standard Bearer.
Roger was born in Gateshead in August 1941 and educated in Gateshead Grammar School, leaving in 1957 when he commenced work with British Rail as a Goods Clerk with a view to a career in the management side of the railway. The axe fell on jobs in the railway industry and, under the unions policy of ‘last in, first out’ he found himself redundant at 16 years of age. In February 1959 he joined the Royal Air Force in the trade of Storeman, undertaking postings at RAF Gaydon, Warwickshire, 402 Air Stores Park at RAF Wildenrath, Germany, 431 Maintenance Unit, RAF Bruggen, Germany and 16MU, RAF Stafford, Staffordshire, completing his service in 1964.
On leaving the Royal Air Force he joined the Newcastle City Police where he fulfilled various roles such as beat PC, Plain Clothes, Community Beat PC, Motor Patrol Officer and numerous stints as an Acting Sergeant. He transferred to Middlesbrough Borough Police in 1966, returning to Newcastle a year later, and in 1986, following a back injury sustained in a struggle with a prisoner some twelve months earlier, he was retired from the police on an injury pension.
He was then employed in the information service of a local Passenger Transport Executive, as a gatekeeper at the Olympia Exhibitions in London and was later the Car Parks Supervisor for both Olympia Exhibitions and Earl’s Court Exhibitions.
In 1966 he was married to Pamela at the Church of the Venerable Bede, West Road, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, and had three daughters, Nichola in 1967, Rachel in 1970 and Clare in 1973. In 1997 Nichola had married a Kiwi and was living in Hamilton, New Zealand. Roger and Pamela visited and liked the place so much that immediately, on their return to England, they set the ball rolling to apply for New Zealand residency. They arrived in New Zealand in 1998, settling in Hamilton, however, unfortunately Pamela sadly passed away in 2012. Roger has three granddaughters and six grandsons, and was finally granted New Zealand citizenship in 2020.
Many thanks got to W.Bros Roger Johnstone and Stuart Cairns for the submission of this article.
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