Worshipful Brother Les O’Neil

It is with deep regret that the Provincial Grand Lodge reports the very sad passing, at the age of 96 years, of Worshipful Brother Leslie O’Neil, PJGD.

Les was initiated into Freemasonry in Hextoldesham Lodge No 5577 in October 1963. He took the Master’s Chair in 1975 making him, at the time of his passing, the longest serving Past Master in the Lodge. In consequence of his service to the Order he was appointed to the rank of Past Provincial Deputy Grand Registrar in 1986 before his first appointment in Grand rank, to Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies in 1993. Further promotion in Grand Lodge followed, in 2005, to the rank of Past Junior Grand Deacon. Les continued to actively support his Lodge and was, for several years, the Chaplain of the Lodge.

In the Royal Arch, he was exalted in the Albert Edward Chapter No 1557 in November 1976, taking the Chair of First Principal in 1989. He subsequently was appointed in Provincial Grand Chapter to the rank of Provincial Grand Registrar in 1994 before promotion as the Provincial Third Grand Principal in 2000.

Renowned throughout the Province for his quiet and courteous manner, Les was a true gentleman in every sense of the word and Northumbrian Freemasonry is very much the poorer for his passing.

The funeral will be held at Hexham Abbey at 12.15 pm on Tuesday 16th February, with the Committal at Newcastle Crematorium, West Road at 1.30 pm. Please remember: attendance will be strictly limited and the regulations of the social lockdown apply.

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