It’s A Hat Trick Of Celebrations For Eadwine Lodge

30th October 2022

Eadwine Lodge No.4398, which meets at Bedlington Masonic Hall, had recent cause for celebration when three historical events occurred on the same night.

A full Provincial deputation, led by the Head of Northumberland Freemasons, Ian Craigs visited the Lodge to help celebrate its centenary year. Named after the heir to the throne of the ancient Kingdom of Deira, which stretched from the Tees to the Humber, who was forced to flee the country when it was invaded by King Ethelfrid, ‘The Destroyer’, and subsequently proclaimed King of Northumbria; a Kingdom which reached as far as Edinburgh in the North and Lincoln in the South the Lodge was Consecrated in May 1922 at the Masonic Hall, Bedlington.

Bedlington already had one Masonic Lodge, St. Cuthbert No 1902, named after one of the most important Saints of Northumberland. There is little doubt that the prospective Founders of Eadwine Lodge sought their inspiration from St. Cuthbert Lodge’s name; and decided that the new Lodge should have the honour to bear the name of the first Christian King of Northumbria and, so far as can be ascertained, it is the only Lodge under the Grand Lodge of England to bear his name.

There were 28 Founders, all save two were members of St. Cuthbert Lodge, who had subscribed their names to the Petition for a Warrant, which was granted by Grand Lodge on 1 February 1922. The Consecration Ceremony was conducted by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Seymour Bell, in the absence of Colonel C W Napier-Clavering.  It was during this time that Napier-Clavering was in the middle of selling his estates at Axwell and relocating to Stapleford, so that may have been a contributing factor to the Provincial Grand Master’s absence.

He installed W Bro. R A Morris as the First Master, who then appointed and invested his Officers, notably W Bro. E W Carr as Senior Warden and W Bro. R Dickinson as Junior Warden. The Charges to the Master, Wardens and Brethren were then delivered by W Bro. C W Hodgson, Assistant Provincial Grand Master. and at the business part of the meeting, four candidates were proposed for Initiation; C F Simpson, J C Short, H Warburton and H Whitehouse with Bro. C Girling, of St. Cuthbert Lodge proposed as a Joining Member.

On 5 May, 1972, Eadwine Lodge celebrated its Golden Jubilee in the presence of the Provincial Grand Master, R W Bro. J M S Coates and other distinguished guests.

In addition to celebrating the magnificent achievement of the Lodge reaching its Centenary year, Ian Craigs had the pleasing duty of two further celebrations when he presented not one, but two sixty year certificates to David Tait and Brian Storey

David was initiated into Freemasonry in March 1960 when he joined Eadwine Lodge, subsequently becoming a Founder member of Bon Accord Lodge No.8252, in October 1968, resigning in 1984. He took the Chair of Master in 1973 and was acknowledged in Provincial Grand Lodge when he was appointed to the rank of Past Provincial Junior Grand Deacon.

He was Exalted into the Royal Arch Chapter in 1966 when he joined De Percy Royal Arch Chapter No.636, which meets at Morpeth Masonic Hall, however resigned his membership in 2005.

David comes from a “Masonic” family on his father’s side. Indeed, his father was a member of all the Bedlington Lodges. He comes from an interesting background as his late mother was originally from Italy and, along with his father, they started a business at Choppington in the 1920’s, opening a café cum ice cream parlour known, in those days, as “Temperance Bars”. The business expanded to Ashington and Bedlington and, after his parents died, the day to day running was taken over by David and his siblings. They made their own ice cream, in a small factory behind the Choppington shop, with .anyone in the area stating that the best ice cream ever was made by David. He eventually retired to Bedlington, however, unfortunately his wife died last year.

Brian was initiated into Freemasonry in September 1961, when he also joined Eadwine Lodge. He was Master of the Lodge in 1975 and has been both the Lodge Chaplain and Organist, on and off, since 2010. He was acknowledged in Provincial Grand Lodge, in 1984, when he was appointed to the rank of Provincial Assistant Grand Director Of Ceremonies, receiving subsequent promotions to the ranks of Past Provincial Grand Registrar in 1994 and Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden in 2004.

He was exalted into the Royal Arch Chapter when he joined King Edward VII Royal Arch Chapter No.2892, which meets at Newbiggin By The Sea Masonic Hall, in 1976, resigning his membership in 1982, and subsequently rejoining in 1992. He was acknowledged in Provincial Grand Chapter in 2006, when he was appointed to the rank of Past Provincial Grand Sojourner, receiving a subsequent promotion, in 2011, to Past Provincial Grand Scribe Nehmiah. .

Brian was originally from Newbiggin and, like David, was introduced to Masonry by a member of his family, in this case his father in law. He is a life-long member of the Salvation Army and loves his music, starting playing when he was seven, making him a practising musician for eighty years. He is a retired music teacher and, until recently, was Band Master for Bedlington Salvation Army Band. In addition he is a keen walker and is often seen out and about, however, his real passion is golf, being a regular at Bedlington Golf Club.

After presenting both David and Brian with their sixtieth certificates, the Provincial Grand Master then surprised everyone present by promoting Brian, in the field, to the rarely seen rank of Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden, and David to the rank of Past Provincial Grand Registrar.

Congratulation from everyone at Northumberland Freemasons to all the members of Eadwine Lodge on reaching their centenary and in particular to Brian and David on reaching sixty years of uninterrupted service to the Craft and for their very well deserved field promotions.

Many thanks to W.Bros Joe Patterson, David Tait, Brian Storey and Ian Brown for the submission of this article.

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