Unique Celebration Ceremony For Viking Lodge

15th April 2022

The Brethren of Viking Lodge No.7934, which meets at Morpeth Masonic Hall, had cause for celebration recently when they were honoured with the presence of a Provincial Deputation, led by the Provincial Grand Master, R.W.Bro Ian Craigs, to perform a, never before seen, ceremony in the Province of the dedication of a new Honours Board.

The foundations of Viking Lodge were laid when a small group of Freemasons had an informal discussion in the cocktail lounge of the High Point Hotel in Whitley Bay in October 1962.

It was intended that the new Lodge would be a small dining Lodge, and that meetings would be held in the Masonic Hall, Norham Road, Whitley Bay, and the subsequent Festive Boards be held at the High Point Hotel. The intention was to model the Lodge on the Golfer’s Lodge in Newcastle, which dined after their meeting at the Royal Station Hotel.

Of the twelve Founders who signed the petition for a Warrant, several of those were connected with the Cullercoats Life Boat Station, who were also Freemasons, and readily accepted the invitation to become Founding Members.

The first of a number of Founder’s meetings was held on 20 November 1962, when it was agreed that the first Master be W Bro. Tony Donaldson, and a small sub-committee to organise the eventual Consecration was established which consisted of W. Bro. Donaldson, W Bro Alan Rankin and Bro. David Clough.

St. Mary’s Lodge No 3987 agreed to sponsor the new Lodge. Further meetings were held during the winter months of 1962 and 1963 which discussed such mundane matters as initiation fees and subscriptions. It was agreed, that to maintain a maritime connection the name “Viking” would be chosen for the new Lodge, and the Lodge Summons carried a depiction of a fearsome-looking Nordic warrior.

The Lodge was consecrated on 15 January 1964 by the Provincial Grand Master, R W Bro J M S Coates, and there were seventy Brethren present, who afterwards enjoyed a banquet at the Grand Hotel, Tynemouth. In 1970, due to increased costs at the Whitley Bay Masonic Hall, the Lodge relocated to the North Shields Masonic Hall, and subsequently finally found its new home at Morpeth Masonic Hall.

During the ceremony particular praise was heaped on W.Bro Richard Erskine of Duke of Connaught Lodge No.3892, which meets at Wallsend Masonic Hall, and W.Bro Gavin Latheron of Arcot Lodge No.700, which meets at Cramlington Masonic Building for their particular skill in the production of the Honours Board.

W.Bro Michael Daws, a member of Viking Lodge, during his toast to the Lodge itself, explained how proud he was that he could finally see all Past Masters of the Lodge listed in one place as the original Honours Board had been created some time after the Consecration of the Lodge and hadn’t included every Past Master.

Many thanks go to W.Bro Ian Brown for the submission of this article.

Northumberland Freemasons wish the members of Viking Lodge all the best for the future in their new home and look forward to their new Honours Board filling up for many years to come.

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