Today Northumberland Freemasons congratulate W.Bro Alan Cunningham on reaching fifty years of service to the Craft.
Alan was Initiated into Bothal Lodge No.4116, which meets at Ashington Masonic Hall, in November 1970. He occupied the office of Master of the Lodge in 1984 and was acknowledged in Provincial Grand Lodge when he was appointed to the active rank of Provincial Junior Grand Deacon in 1992
He was Exalted into Ashington Royal Arch Chapter No.2868, which also meets at Ashington Masonic Hall, in 1979, remaining a member until his resignation in 2002.
Alan was born in Lynemouth in 1930 and was the youngest of seven children, having five brothers and a sister. Whilst still at school he secured his first employment assisting a school caretaker cleaning classrooms, after the school day had finished, and washing floors at the weekend, for the princely sum of ten shillings.
On leaving education Alan secured work painting the Beven Boys Hostel on behalf of Evans Painters. He subsequently took up an apprenticeship as a plumber, then took the exam to work for the Co-op where he became an errand boy at the Arcade Chemist, prior to joining the painting department, firstly as a coach painter and then as a house painter.
Alan was bound for his National Service, however, instead of joining the Armed Forces he joined the National Coal Board at Ellington Colliery, taking up a Deputies course in 1970 and staying there, as a Deputy, until 1984 when he was made redundant, and returned to painting at Jennings Garage in Morpeth.
Alan served as a Special Constable for 24 years, joining in 1964. He was a member of the Northumbria Constabulary Quiz Team, travelling throughout the country competing. He is particularly proud of the Certificate he received on retiring from the Police in 1988.
Alan was married to his wife, Audrey, in 1953 and, during their 67 years of marriage, had four children, nine grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Sadly Audrey passed in 2020 at the age of 88. .
Many thanks to W.Bro Ian Forster for the submission of this article.
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