The Gavel Lodge Initiates Nine Candidates in One Memorable Evening

08th October 2023

A wonderful and historic event took place on Friday 6th October 2023 in the Province of Northumberland. The Gavel Lodge No 8928 initiated 9 candidates simultaneously in a ceremony at Byker Masonic Hall attended by over 140 Masons, including one of our Grand Rulers, Assistant Grand Master, R W Bro Steven Varley.  The Lodge also welcomed 9 new joining members, including one member who was last in a Masonic Lodge in 1993.

Each of the 9 candidates was led around the Lodge Room by a personal conductor led by the Junior Deacon, Bro David Purkis, who carried out his duties flawlessly.  Almost all of the conductors were Light Blue Freemasons, and one of them Bro Marc Merrilees, is a Fellowcraft Freemason who only joined the Craft earlier this year. Marc was unbelievably proud of having been given the opportunity to take part in the event.

There were some changes to the perambulations so as to accommodate a multiple-candidate ceremony, but none of the meaning or significance of the ceremony was lost.  The team of Lodge Officers and Members worked in memorable harmony to deliver an outstanding ceremony, with the delivery of the ritual shared by 10 members of the Lodge, many of them Master Masons.

RW Bro Ian Craigs, Provincial Grand Master presented the ‘Gavel Nine’ with their Candidate Packs at the conclusion of the ceremony, and expressed his hope that their experience would lead to a wonderful bond of friendship that they would enjoy for many years. He went on to say that The Gavel Lodge had brought a great deal of pride to the Province of Northumberland and hoped that it would inspire other Lodges to consider multiple ceremonies.

At the Festive Board, which was held at Gosforth Palace Chinese Restaurant and attended by 120 brethren, the Assistant Grand Master commented that the event had put Freemasonry in Northumberland on the map. He showed the Brethren a century-old Past Masters Jewel, which was inscribed with the names of the 33 candidates who had been initiated in one year at that Lodge, commenting that multiple-candidate ceremonies are not new, they were an important part of our past and must be embraced as an important part of our future.