History was made on Thursday when Northumberland Freemasons became the latest Province to sign the Armed Forces Covenant, after many months in the planning.
The military style operation saw members come together, at the Fusiliers Museum of Northumberland, situated in Alnwick Castle, to witness the Head of the Northumberland Freemasons, Ian Craigs, sign the historical document in conjunction with Brigadier Bibek Banerjee, Queens Honorary Surgeon, QVRM, DL, VR, Head Army Medical Service Reserve, of the Reserve Forces Lodge of Northumberland No.2666, which meets at Fern Avenue Masonic Hall.
The Northumberland Freemasons Armed Forces Covenant is a bespoke document which makes additional, specific guarantees and promises above and beyond the usually pledges assured in the document.
It is a pledge to acknowledge and understand that those who serve, or who have served, in the armed forces, and their families, should be treated with fairness and respect in the communities, economy and society they serve with their lives and focusses on helping members of the armed forces community have the same access to government and commercial services and products as any other citizen.
Ian Craigs, the Head of Northumberland Freemasons, explained “By signing the covenant this morning on behalf of all of the Freemasons in Northumberland I am delighted to pledge our support to the Armed Forces . We have quite a number of members and former members of the Armed Forces within our ranks. We are very grateful for all that they do and have done for our communities and our country . We are also very pleased to contribute to the numerous charities associated with the Armed Forces.”
Brigadier Bibek Banerjee said “It is a great honour and an immense pleasure to facilitate the signing of the Armed Forces Covenant today by the Northumberland Freemasons community. It sees one of the oldest social and charitable organisations cement its already well recognised bond with the Armed Forces born out of both serving and retired being part of its community as well as the recurrent absolute support for them.
The commonality is obvious with relationships born out of loyal comradeship based on friendship and respect. A proud day for the Freemasons and I have no hesitation, on behalf of the Armed Forces, our continued gratitude for all of your support.”
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