Sixty Years Uninterrupted Royal Arch Chapter Service For Charlie Harrison

27th November 2023

Today Northumberland Freemasons congratulates E.Comp Charles Harrison on completing sixty years of uninterrupted service to the Royal Arch Chapter.

He was Initiated into Freemasonry in Lodge De Ogle No.636, which meets at Morpeth Masonic Hall, in August 1962., becoming a joining member of Northumbrian Masters Lodge No.3477, which meets at Fern Avenue Masonic Hall, in 2001, subsequently resigning in 2009. 

He occupied the office of Master in 1973 and was acknowledged in Provincial Grand Lodge when he was Appointed to the rank of Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden in 1983. He received acknowledgment in the United Grand Lodge of England when he was Appointed to the rank of Past Grand Standard Bearer in 1989, receiving subsequent Promotion, in 1997, to Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies. 

Charles was Exalted in the Royal Arch Chapter in 1963 when he joined De Percy Royal Arch Chapter No.636, occupying the office of First Principal in 1976. He was Appointed in Provincial Grand Chapter, to the rank of Provincial Grand Treasurer in 1981, and received subsequent Promotions to the ranks of Past Provincial Grand Scribe Nehmiah, in 1989, and Third Provincial Grand Principal in 1992, prior to being acknowledged in Supreme Grand Chapter when he received Appointment to the rank of Past Grand Standard Bearer. 

He was Installed into Brinkburn Preceptory in 1979 and was a founder member of Tutelage Preceptory, becoming Eminent Preceptor in 2013. His service to the order was recognised when he was appointed to the rank of Past Great Chamberlain in 2000 and promoted to Past Great Herald in 2009, in Great Priory. Charles is also a member of the Red Cross of Constantine, being installed into St Oswald Conclave in 1999 and joining De Bouillon Conclave in 2011, another order where he holds Grand Rank. 

Charles was born in Morpeth in 1938, the second son of Robin and Isabella. Growing up, he showed an interest in the business of drapery and outfitting and, on completion of his education, worked in Bainbridges Department Store which was subsequently acquired by John Lewis & Partners. After 2 years of National Service, serving in the 3rd Royal Tank Regiment in Germany, he returned to Bainbridges for a short period of time, prior to working in the pay office and supplies office at St Georges Hospital in Morpeth. 

On the death of his father in early 1963, he took the family business over and married Maureen, who he worked with until his retirement in 1999. For many years he was an active member of the Morpeth & District Chamber of Trade, becoming Chairman in 1969. In addition, for thirty years, he served as a Governor at the Morpeth All Saints C of E Aided First School, becoming Chairman and overseeing a large new rebuild and modernisation of the premises. 

In 1984 he was  licensed, by the Bishop of Newcastle, to administer, in the Parish of Morpeth, the chalice at the act of Holy Communion, something he continues to undertake to this day.

Charlie was a regular fell walker in the Lake District and also learnt to ski at the age of 48, a skill he used to assist on school skiing trips. In 2010 he commenced a new hobby when he took up archery. 

Congratulations to Charles from everyone at Northumberland Freemasons and we wish you many more happy years of service.

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