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. 



Having welcomed the Brethren, The Provincial Grand Master reflected on some of the major milestones achieved and on some projects, which are in the pipeline. He paid tribute to his Working Group under the chairmanship of the PDGM, the Charity Executive chaired by the PGL Registrar and the PGL Supt of Works R W Bro Kirk.

The PGM referred to the change programme having had three distinct but sometimes overlapping phases, namely examination in 2015; preparation in 2016 and delivery in 2017. The changes included: -

1.  Delivery of Seminars to:- Lodge Secretaries and Treasurers,  Lodge Almoners and SOCs, New Master Masons, Inspectors and Inspection Committees and District Charity Committee Personnel.

2.  A Lodge health check questionnaire completed by all Lodges, using a traffic light code indicator to represent a Lodge’s status, which thankfully only a few Lodges were classified as being of concern.

3. A revised Down Charity Report.

4.  A mentoring system is in the process of being rolled out for all new members, which will alleviate the need for the present New Master Masons seminars with a more progressive approach to the education of new Masons.

5.  A revised Inspector’s Reporting form was also introduced.

6.  A unified selection process for PGL appointments has been introduced throughout the Province.

7.  All PGL return forms for membership and finance are now available in digital format and can be downloaded for completion from the PGL website.

The Provincial Grand Master then referred to future Projects which he has approved for 2018:-

1.  Publication of a FAQ booklet to help provide more assistance to Lodge  Secretaries on a wide range of Masonic practises and procedures.

2.  Delivery of a Seminar for DOCs.

3.  Examination of the liability status of Hall Committee Trustees and the presentation of future best working practise recommendations.

4.  The PGL Information Officer will in 2018 carry out an audit of all Down Lodge websites to ensure, inter alia, that all uploaded data is current and correct.

Turning to the 150th Anniversary events, the PGM paid tribute to Rt W Bro Ivan Boreland PAGM for his continuing role in the coordination of the forthcoming events. He also provided the following update:-

Around 960 of the 1000 limited edition anniversary Jewels have now been purchased. Surplus monies generated will go to the nominated Charity Brainwaves NI.

Details of the Church Service to be held on 25th March have already been circulated to all Lodge Secretaries.

Details of the Church Service on 20th of May 2018 in Downpatrick Non subscribing Presbyterian Church, as part of our 150th anniversary celebrations will be sent to all Lodge Secretaries with the May Circular.

The Widows Sons Masonic Bikers Association will be hosting a Convention at Shaw’s Bridge Belfast in July 2018 with delegates from Europe and the USA.  Rt W Bro David Selby PAGM has pledged support for the Brainwaves appeal from this event which has the full support of PGL.

A flyer providing details of artistes etc. for the Stormont Concert on Friday 28th September 2018 will be sent to Lodges very shortly.

The production of a book detailing the history of Down Province from 1868 to 2018 will be finalised this year.

The Gala Anniversary Ball will be held in La Mon Hotel on Saturday 3rd November 2018 when the PGM will hand over a substantial cheque to the nominated Charity Brainwaves NI.

The Provincial Grand Master thanked Rt W Bro’s Barry Brewster QGM and Sam Snodden for visits they have made on his behalf to lodge functions and for the co-ordination of processing donations through the Newtownards District Charity Fund.  The PGM appealed to Lodges who are planning events to ensure that any promotional material is copied to the PGL Information Officer for placing on the Province’s website.  

The PGM said that was also looking forward to the final celebratory function on Saturday 10th November 2018 when PGL will hold their Stated Communication in La Mon. That date corresponds exactly with the Consecration Communication of the PGL of Down on 10th November 1868 in Downpatrick Masonic Hall when representatives from twelve of the forty-four founding Lodges were in attendance. No less than thirty-four of these Lodges are still working and have already been or will be visited as part of the 150th Anniversary celebrations.

In summing up, the PGM read the following quote:-

“Senselessly pontificating about things does not get anything done, but doing something about it does”

The PGM thanked all for their attendance and attention and wished all a safe journey home. 

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.

Comber Star 133 - Trip to Grand Lodge of Ireland

Comber Ulster Star 133 conferring a FC Degree in Dublin on one of their famous bus trips. Well done to the degree team, W Bro Brian Finlay ,W Bro James McGraw and W Bro Wilmer Strickland who did a fantastic job on the day, looking great in the stunning setting of the Grand Lodge of Ireland

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.

Farewell to Lorraine

A sad morning at 115 The Mount today as we said farewell to Mrs Lorraine Butler who has been a valued member of the administration team for almost seven years. Lorraine's exemplary contribution was also recognised with the presentation of a somewhat unique certificate. We thank Lorraine most sincerely and wish her well in her new job.

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.

Grand Master’s Millennium Golf Competition

The 17th Annual Grand Master’s Millennium Cup competition organised by the Freemasons of Ireland Golfing Society was held at the Killymoon Golf Club, Cookstown on Friday 25th August 2017.

R.W.Bro Harold Henning accepts the Millennium Cup from the Grand Master M.W.Bro. Douglas T Grey on behalf of the cup winner W.Bro.  Alan Gilmore of Kilwarlin Lodge 66 (Hillsborough). Robert Morrow from East Belfast Lodge 559 was runner up.

Also in the photo is R.W.Bro. Noel Simson who has organised the competition for this last 17 years and has raised over £120,000 for various non Masonic and Masonic charity's to date.

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.

PGL Down - 150th Anniversary Jewel 1868 - 2018

 Two photographs of the 150th Anniversary Jewel (one showing the 3 dimensional design). The ribbon is coloured blue (right picture).