News


Grand Masters visit to lodge 66 - 150th Anniversary Special Communication

The Grand Master Most Worshipful Brother Douglas T Grey and the Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother  Roger Matthews  both visited Star of Kilwarlin Masonic Lodge 66 in Hillsborough on the 7th December 2017 to join in their 150th Anniversary celebrations. The GM also presented VWBro Norman Smyth with a 50 year Jewel , WBro Douglas Galbraith with a 60 Year Bar and Bro Ervin McKinstry with  his Maser Mason Certificate (a busy evening !)

PICTURE: Bro Ervin McKinstry receives his MM cert. from the GM

The Lodge had already hosted one of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Downs. Communications earlier in the year and also held a Special Church Service in Hillsborough in June 2017. The GM and PGM were guests at the  Special Communication where over 50 Lodge 66 Brethren and guests attended the Communication and Festive Board.The date, the 7th December 2017   coincided with the date the Lodge 66 was issued with their warrant in 1867. It was a very fitting way to conclude a great year’s celebrations for the Lodge, the Worshipful Master Alan Gilmore and Brethren.

PICTURE: GM with VWBro N Smyth & WBroD Galbraith 50yr jewel and 60yr bar presentations



60 Year Bar and Certificate - ML 66 Hillsborough

In May 2018, the Worshipful Master Hammy Megarry, and other members of Star of Kilwarlin Masonic Lodge 66 Hillsborough including RW Bro Ivan Boreland (PAGM) and WBros Ivor Walker and John Kelso visited WBro Bob Arnott MBE at his home to present him with his 60 Year Bar and Certificate. 

WBro Arnott is unable to attend Lodge Communications due to an illness but still maintains close contact with Lodge members. Bob joined Union Band Masonic Lodge 556  in 1958 before affiliating to Lodge 66 in 1976  where he has been a dedicated member since. Bob was presented with the MBE by Prince Charles  in 2013 for his  long association, hard work and Fund raising in relation to Kidney Research in Northern Ireland.



150 YEARS OF PGL DOWN - Book order

There will be a book launch on Sat the 12th May by one of the authors of a book being released for the 150 years celebration of Provincial Grand Lodge Of Down. Orders for the book will be able to be made from Saturday the 12ths communication and onward with the books being available in September.

We will have more details of this exciting publication in the coming months. Below are some of the draft details of the hardback that will be available. It will be available for 20 and if you require more details and cannot attend on Saturday a contact email is below, for more details.

email: cliffmiller@hotmail.com



PGM's Address - 12th May Communication

PGM’s Address 12th May 2018

The Provincial Grand Master in his address to the Brethren referred to the on-going work being carried out within the Change Programme such as work on a handbook for Lodge Secretaries as well as a Mentoring Programme for new Master Masons, uniform application and enquiry forms and a Seminar for Lodge Directors of Ceremonies.

He informed the Brethren that he had asked the Provincial Grand Secretary and the Provincial Grand Registrar to produce a draft Policy Document on the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). When finalised and agreed by his Council it would be given a wide circulation to include all Lodge Secretaries, Classes of Instruction and Inspection Committees.

The P.G.M. then referred to matters of Ritual and Inspection Committees. He said that the seven Classes of Instruction within the Province had completed a successful season and the Class Leaders who he personally thanked for their time and commitment would now be embarking on a well- earned break before resuming activities again in September. He encouraged all Brethren to enrol in these classes and reap the benefits they provided.

The Provincial Grand Master said that he had been delighted earlier during the Communication to present W.Bro Butler with his Provincial Instructors Certificate and Jewel after he had successfully passed a rigorous examination process by elected members of the Grand Lodge of Instruction.  He said that the total number of Provincial Instructors was now eleven, which was the highest number within any Province of the Irish Constitution.

 The P.G.M. then referred to the excellent work undertaken by the six Inspection Committees in the Province and to the extremely important role they played in approving the names of suitable candidates submitted by Lodges for joining Freemasonry.   He paid tribute to the diligence and commitment of Lodge representatives who attended Inspection Committee meetings.

The Provincial Grand Master informed the Brethren that he wished to formally announce his decision to stand down as their Provincial Grand Master with effect from 10th November 2018. Since 2003 he had been wearing a chain of Office in some capacity or other whether at Grand Lodge or Provincial Grand Lodge and after 15 years he felt it was time for him to stand aside. He said that when he was Invested and Installed as P.G.M. in November 2014 he told his Deputy that it was his intention, DV, to remain in Office for four years to coincide with the 150th Anniversary in November 2018.

He then informed the Brethren that within the Province over the past 25 years the average term served by a P.G.M. had been around four and a half years. He genuinely believed that insofar as Craft Masonry in Down was concerned, its governance needed to be ventilated on a regular basis to bring new and capable men into Office.

The Provincial Grand Master stated that his recommendation to the Grand Master, who alone was responsible for appointing P.G.M.’s, was that for the good of Freemasonry in general and this Province in particular he should be succeeded by his Deputy, and he was pleased to say that the MW Grand Master had whole heartedly agreed and had further agreed to Invest R.W. Bro John Clarke at the Anniversary Stated Communication on 10th November 2018 in La Mon as our new Provincial Grand Master.

The Provincial Grand Master then appealed for the full support of the Province for the Anniversary Stormont Concert and the Gala Ball, stating that if 3% of subscribing Masons in Down purchased a ticket for themselves and a partner both events would be filled to capacity.

The P.G.M. then took the opportunity to thank all Brethren involved with the fund raising events to date that had been so well organised and supported for Brainwaves NI.

 He then provided the following quotation which he felt had some significance for him following today’s announcement:-

“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, rather concentrate the mind on the present moment”

In closing the P.G.M. said that he appreciated very much the Brethren’s attendance and attention. He looked forward to seeing them all again in September when he would, God willing, close P.G.L. for the last time. He then wished all a safe journey home and a pleasant summer break.


Dromara ML 498 - Coffee Morning for Brainwaves NI

Dromara Masonic Lodge No. 498 

At a recent coffee morning held by Dromara Masonic Lodge and hosted by the Stewart family in their commercial premises in Ballynahinch 1000:00 was raised to assist the ‘Brainwaves NI’ charity, the Charity provides information and support to all those affected by a brain tumour. 

A huge THANK YOU to Rhoda along with the fantastic staff at Stewarts and to everyone who supported the event on the day. When we service our own charities each year we are also acutely aware of other veryWorth while causes in the community, at Dromara we always strive to be part of the community and notapart from it, so  when  Brainwaves NI’ was selected by the Provincial Grand Master as his special charity for 2018 we readily and willingly sought to support this as best we could to help him and everyone celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the formation of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Down.


The culmination of the fundraising will be a special presentation to Brainwaves NI during a Gala Ball to be held in November 2018.

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Comber Ulster Star 133 - Brainwaves NI presentation to PGL

At their last communication Ulster Star 133 made a cheque presentation to the nominated charity of the Provincial Grand Master for this years celebratory 150th Anniversary year Charity which is Brainwaves N.I.

RWB Sam McMullan was there to represent PLG and receive the cheque and give a short stirring talk on the charity itself and what the money would be used for, the money was collected through the efforts of the members and the Immediate Past Master Wesley Francis who through various initiative's collected the money over the past year, being able to donate a fantastic figure of 500

From left to right:

WB James Megraw, WB Norman McKibben, WB Wesley Francis (IPM), The WM Geoff McRobert, RWB Sam Snodden, WB Harry Milliken


Brainwaves Northern Ireland - Cheque Presentation

A recent cheque presentation by Victoria Unity Masonic Lodge No. 296 to the Provincial Grand Master RW Bro. Roger Matthews for a fantastic amount of 980 for Brainwaves N.I.


Charity Presentation for Brainwaves NI at Blaris Masonic Hall

At a recent meeting held in Blaris Masonic Hall representatives of the three Lodges sitting there, Lord Arthur Hill No147, Largymore Star of Down No753 and Sirron No874, presented a cheque for 500 to R W Bro Barry Brewster for Brainwaves NI. The money was raised at barbeque held at the hall.


Brainwaves NI was selected by the Provincial Grand Master as his special charity for 2018, the 150th Anniversary of the formation of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Down. The Charity provides information and support to all those affected by a brain tumour. The culmination of the fundraising will be a special presentation to Brainwaves during a Gala Ball to be held in November.

Pictured L-R

W Bro Tom Jamison, Secretary of Lodge 753, R W Bro Ivan Boreland, Provincial Assistant Grand Master, R W Bro Donald Milliken, Master of Lodge 147, R W Bro Barry Brewster, W Bro Michael Burton, Secretary Lodge 874. 


Banbridge District Masonic Charity Committee Family Carol Service 2017

The annual Banbridge District Masonic Charity Committee’s Family Carol Service was held on Sunday 10th December 2017 in Bannside Presbyterian Church, Banbridge.

Over 300 Masons, family and friends attended and distinguished guests included the Provincial Grand Master, R W Bro Roger Matthews, the District Grand King, M E Comp Neil Coey and the Provincial Grand Master of Armagh R W Bro David Hamilton.

The service was lead by the Rev Dr Mark Gray, the organist was V E Sir Kt Stephen Thompson and music was provided by the Banbridge Silver Band, lead by W Bro Jimmy Robinson, and the Accolade Community Choir. The readers represented Lodges, Chapters and Councils from Banbridge, Blaris, Dromara, Hillsborough and Gilford and the collection for the Down Masonic Widows’ Fund raised 1100.


Moneyrea Union Band 556 - Cheque presentation to TLC

On Saturday 2nd December, a cheque presentation was made to Rt. Wor. Bro. David Penpraze at Union Band's stated communicaton for the benefit of T.L.C. for the amount of 2320.00. This was raised by Trevor for his Sky-diving Freefall from 15000 feet in Portugal in August 2017. This was one Mason who is prepared to go to new heights for Charity !

Photo: W. Bro. Trevor Ferguson, W.M., Bro. John Gibson, Rt. W. Bro. Samuel Snodden & Rt. W. Bro. David Penpraze.


The Widows Sons Charity evening with Phillip McCallen - for Brainwaves NI

On Saturday evening the Widows Sons Masonic Bikers Association held an evening with Phillip McCallen who very kindly donated his time to do a talk on his racing career and life all in aid of their nominated Charity this year Brainwaves NI. It was a brilliant evening for all those in attendance and all money raised on the night goes towards a very worthy charity.


Myra Castle score a hat trick for charity

On Saturday 18th November 2017 Myra Castle held their annual bus trip to Dublin. After breakfast in the hall friends, wives and brethren with only two seats to spare set of to Dublin. At the meeting Worshipful Master, W. Bro. Harry Ramsey presented Rt. W. Bro. Sam Snodden with cheques to Diabetes UK for 1,400.00, TLC for 1,400.00 and one for Brainwaves NI for 865.00. The fund raising all started with W. Bro. William James George getting his beard shaved at their installation after having it for 47 years ! with various other fund raising events being held throughout the year. Everyone returned to the hall in Saintfield for dinner that evening and everyone that was in attendance had a great day out.

Photo: Sec. W. Bro. William James George, W.M. W. Bro. Harry Ramsey, Rt. W. Bro. Sam Snodden and W. Bro. Raymond Sherlock.


PGL of Somerset visit to McCammon Crozier Masonic Lodge 497

On Friday evening, the Worshipful Master of McCammon Crozier Masonic Lodge 497, Worshipful Brother Wilbert Kerr, welcomed a visiting delegation from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Somerset to their Stated Communication and subsequent dinner in Holywood Masonic Hall. 

Representing the Province was RW Bro David Selby, Provincial Assistant Grand Master.



Brainwaves NI Charity presentation by Cathedral View ML 917

On Wednesday evening, Cathedral View ML 917 presented a cheque to Rt Wor Bro Barry Brewster for Brainwaves NI the Charity nominated by the Provincial Grand Master, Rt Wor Bro Roger Matthews for the Anniversary Year.

Rt Wor Bro Brewster gave a short informative talk on Brainwaves and the excellent work and support that this amazing charity provides.


Friendship Lodge no 447 Celebrate 251 years - Newtownards

Friendship Lodge No 447

On Tuesday the 14th November 2117 Friendship Lodge no 447 met in the Masonic Centre, Regent Street, Newtownards to celebrate 251 years of continuous working. Worshipful Brother Stephen A Arnold P.P.G.L Std Bearer was the Worshipful Master who just was released from hospital 2 days previously after having knee replacement surgery. That evening also had our new incoming P.G.Lodge Inspector W/Bro Peter Lowry in attendance along with the outgoing Inspector, R/W/Bro Finnigan who having been made Representative of Estonia at Grand Lodge. A festive board was held later and was enjoyed by all.

Issue of Warrant

The Grand Lodge of Ireland issued the Warrant No 447 to the Masonic Lodge in Newtownards. It is the 24th oldest Lodge in Ireland, and 3rd eldest in the Province of Down. It was issued on the 6th November 1766 along with 4 other Lodges being constituted the same year

It was signed by the Rt and Rt Honorable the Earl of Cavan GM, Rt Wor Holt.W.Waring DGM, George Hart and Peter La Touche Grand Wardens and John Calder Grand Secretary.

Grantees of Lodge 447

The Grantees were Samuel McMahon,James Wallace, and Samuel Frederick. There is no record of the Dedication of the Warrant or as it was called then “Installing the warrant.” It must have been one of the Class 1 conditions giving them the authority to open and work the Lodge without the usual ceremony, as there was no other Warranted Lodges in the area. It can be seen that the grantees and other brethren must have come from other unwarranted lodges in the area as there is no record of them in the archives in Dublin. On the 6th December 1766 one month after the Warrant was granted 26 members were recorded as members of Lodge No 447. They too must have came from unwarranted Lodges in the area.Meeting Places

Records show that Lodge No 447 met in a licensed tavern called the Cock Inn from 1766 to 1812. The Cock Inn was situated at the junction of High Street and South Street, facing Conway Square were the Town Hall is situated.

Lodge No 447 met there until 1812 as the cash book can confirm this spending 30.00 on repairs  after their temporary absence. The landlord at the time could not afford the repair work. It can be seen from the records that the landlord past away and his widow took over. The lodge room needed more repairs, but the members did not wish to spend any more money. It came to head one evening.

Minutes show that the brethren unanimously passed a motion on the

 7th July 1812:

                    “ That a Masonic Lodge should be built for the better                    

                      accommodation of the brethren thereof” which movement was

                      carried and agreed to and the night concluded in Harmony.                 

                                                                         signed by order

                                                                          William Park (Secretary)                                

Cock Inn

Regent Street Hall

The Brethren obtained a lease of half a Cunningham or Scottish acre, which is 3125 sq yards( note a statutory acre is 4840 sq yds and an Irish or plantation acre is 7840 sq yds), from a Mr Johnson the Brewer who built Regent House next door.They paid a rent of 2. 3s 1.1/2p per annum. when he passed away the land went back to the Marquis of Londonderry who charged 1.19s 0p per annum. After 1887 a new lease was obtained for anominal rent of 5 shillings.

 
   

Article Credited to: W/Bro Stephen A Arnold


Mount Carmel 594 - Grand Dinner Dance

A few pictures from what was a fantastic night at the Mount Masonic Centre which hosted the Mount Carmel Social Club's Grand Dinner Dance for 2017. Food, drink, music and laughter was in full flow all night long. A well supported evening and the Lodge Widow's fund benefited from the generosity of those in attendance from the ballot, with a lot in turn becoming lucky winners.


110 Years of Celebration for Lodge Francis Crossie No. 83 Newry

A recent meeting celebrating 110 years of labour for Lodge Francis Crossle No. 83, Newry.

Constituted in Newry on Friday 25th October 1907 with 29 founder members. R.W.Bro. Francis C. Crossle, one of the founder members, was Provincial Deputy Grand Master of Down at that time.

He permitted the Lodge to take his honoured name as its title. He became it's first Worshipful Master in 1907 and 1908. They had a great evening and a big thanks went to all the visitors who were in attendance as well.


Annalong Masonic Hall - Fish Night

A very successful annual  “Fish Night” in Annalong Masonic Hall on the First Friday in October. Visitors were welcomed from the Provences of Londonderry and Donegal, Antrim and Armagh. Wor. Bro. Neill Richie from Antrim entertained the Brethren throughout the evening with music, song and jokes.


Coffee morning held by Dromara Masonic Lodge No. 498

Saturday 30th September was the date for a coffee morning held by Dromara Masonic Lodge No. 498. The chosen charity for the Lodge was Brainwaves NI. Lodge members, friends and family raised 935 while having a great time.

W.Bro. DJ Stewart, Lodge Almoner, W.Bro. TR Somerville, Steward of Charities, W.Bro.K McLoughlin Worshipful Master  and R.W.Bro.Barry Brewster.


Afternoon Tea hosted by Banbridge District Masonic Charity Committee

On Sunday 24th September 2017 the Banbridge District Masonic Charity Committee hosted an Afternoon Tea for Lodge widows in the Belmont Hotel, Banbridge. This was the fourth year for the event and this year 149 widows, companions and representatives from fifteen Lodge attended. The Lodges ranged across the district with representatives from Banbridge, Ballyward, Blaris, Cargycreevy, Dromore, Dromara, Hillsborough, Loughbrickland, Magherally, Maralin and the Maze.

 The guests were welcomed by the Chairman of the Committee, W Bro Bobby Cosgrove, who said it was a privilege to welcome so many Lodge widows to the event and he thanked R W Bro Des Smyth, President of the Down Masonic Widows’ Fund, for funding the event.




​Lodge 119 Long Service presentations

At the regular meeting of Lodge 119 Banbridge on Tuesday 12th September, the Provincial Grand Master R.W. Bro. Roger Matthews assisted the W.M. Jonathan Maxwell with the presentation of long service medals and Certificates to three of the senior Brethren. W.Bro. Joe Hozack  60yr; W. Bro. Roy Forsythe 60 yr and W. Bro. Wilfie Baxter 50years.

L to R:  W.M Jonathan Maxwell, W. Bro. Roy Forsythe,(60yrs) W. Bro. Joe Hozack,(60yrs) W. Bro. Wilfie Baxter,(50yrs) R.W.Bro. Roger Matthews, Prov. Grand Master of Down.








Front row:

R.W.Bro. Jim Copes, , W. Bro. Roy Forsythe,(60yrs), R.W.Bro. Roger Matthews, Prov. Grand Master of Down, W.M Jonathan Maxwell, ) W. Bro. Joe Hozack,(60yrs) W. Bro. Wilfie Baxter,(50yrs), W. Bro. Denis McBride. 

Behind, the members of the Lodge 119 and their guests.


Presentation of 50 year Certificate and Jewel

Antiquity and Integrity Masonic Lodge No. 80 Rathfriland had a very successful and well attended meeting on September 8th where W.Bro. Lyndsay Magill was presented with his 50 year jewel and certificate by Right W.Bro. Harold Henning PAGM, pictured with W.Bro. Michael Scott W.M.


Provincial Grand Master receives a gift from Brainwaves N.I. at Killinchy No.624

L to R: Rt. W. Provincial Grand Master, Mrs Kate Ferguson MBE, W.M. 624 W. Bro. Jason Fisher and Rt. W. Bro. Sam Snodden

Rt. W. Bro. Roger Matthews Provincial Grand Master attended Killinchy No.624 Spuds and Scallions evening where he received a gift of appreciation from Mrs Kate Ferguson MBE. Hon. Secretary of Brainwaves N.I.
Mrs Ferguson had been invited by the Lodge to give a talk on Brainwaves NI and explained the work Brainwaves does and how they help people with brain tumours.
The brethren were impressed that everyone working for Brainwaves NI are all volunteers and have had someone who suffered a brain tumour.
The W.M., W. Bro. Jason Fisher thanked Mrs Ferguson for attending and the collection for Brainwaves NI amounted to 425.00.
Mrs Ferguson thanked the brethren and Rt. W. Provincial Grand Master for nominating Brainwaves NI as his charity for Provincial Grand Lodges 150th Anniversary.


Presentation of 50 year Certificate and Jewel

At the closing down communication of Cambridge Masonic Lodge 727 W.Bro. Bobby Marrow was presented with his 50 year jewel and certificate by Right W.Bro. Harold Henning, Provincial Assistant Grand Master.


The members of Cambridge Masonic Lodge 727 were treated to 40 minutes of music from current world champions, Ballygowan Senior Flute Band, after their spuds, scallions and fish meal. The 12 strong flute band was lead by Bandmaster Bro.Darren Canmore.

L to R, Right W.Bro. Harold Henning, P.A.G.M. and W.Bro. Bobby Marrow.



Presentation of 50 year Certificate and Jewel

Loughbrickland Royal Blue Masonic Lodge 173 had a very successful and well attended closing down meeting on June 14th where W.Bro. Robert Cherry was presented with his 50 year jewel and certificate by Right W.Bro. Ivan Boreland PAGM, pictured with W.Bro. James Robinson W.M.


The RH Finlay Cup

This year’s RH Finlay Cup charity golf tournament was held at Clandeboye Golf Club, Bangor on Friday 26th May.

Congratulations to W.Bro. Michael Noble for winning the Finlay Cup and defending his title as Champion.

We had 20 golfers, 53 diners and an excellent day and evening of fellowship, friendship and happiness raising 905 for our chosen charity. We were pleased to be joined for dinner by Tara Colins, Programme Manager for Dementia NI.

The Worshipful Master and the organising team would like to express thanks to the Club Secretary, Ken McMullan and his team at Clandeboye for all their help and professionalism, to Diane the Catering Manager for all her advice, assistance and superb service by her team and to the Chef for an excellent menu.

      

The Champion!! WBro. Michael Noble                          wins again!
Glenn McCabe and Tara Colins of Dementia NI receiving our cheque from our WM, WBro Roy Kelly.

  




Iveagh 184 host AGM of Magheralin Village Community Association

On the evening of 18th of May Iveagh 184 hosted the Annual General Meeting of Magheralin Village Community Association in Magheralin Masonic Hall. Approximately fifty people turned up including local politicians: Doug Beattie MLA, Carla Lockhart MLA, Delores Kelly MLA and Maire Cairns a local councillor.

Several members of the Community Association and our local politicians were given a guided tour of the hall and Lodge room.

W.Bro. Waddell was glad none of the degree team were present as some of his answers to questions may not have been absolutely accurate!!

However we provided an impressive Magheralin Supper and got good PR from hosting the event.

W.Bro. Trevor Waddell
Treasurer of the Magheralin Village Community Association and Secretary of Iveagh Masonic Lodge No. 184.

 


Iveagh Masonic Lodge No. 184 - Presentation of 60 year Certificate and Bar

At our closing meeting in May, R.W.Bro. John Clarke, Provincial Deputy Grand Master came along to present W.Bro. Robin English with a bar on his 50-year jewel.

Robin started his masonic career in Fernhill 587 Belfast, remaining a member until the Lodge returned its warrant.

His veterinary career took him to Omagh where he joined Lodge 332, obtaining Provincial Grand Lodge honours.

He retired to Moira where the secretary of Iveagh 184 grabbed him, becoming Lodge chaplain until 2017. An absolute gentleman
After labour, we had a hearty Magheralin meal.



L to R. W.Bro. Kyle Savage, R.W.Bro. John Clarke, Provincial Deputy Grand Master and W.Bro. Robin English.