Grand Master to attend PGL Installation Saturday 3rd February


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Grand Master to attend Provincial Grand Lodge of Down Installation Communication

The Grand Master, Most Worshipful Brother Douglas T Grey, has confirmed his intention to be present at the Installation Communication of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Down.  He will be accompanied by the Grand Secretary, Right Worshipful Brother Philip Daley.  The Meeting takes place on Saturday 3rd February 2018 at 2.30 pm at the La Mon Hotel and Country Club. 

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.

PGM’s Address 25th November 2017


After welcoming all of the Brethren to the Queen’s Hall Newtownards, the Provincial Grand Master announced that at the first two scheduled Stated Communications of PGL in 2018, only stalls promoting 150th PGL celebratory events would be found outside the Stated Communication room. The only exception being the already promised stall to the Down Masonic Widows Fund on 3rd February 2018. On the same vein, the PGM appealed for support for both the Stormont concert in September 2018 and the La Mon Gala Ball in November 2018, details of which would be circulated to Lodge Secretaries with the February Installation Circular.

He also reported on the progress of the publication on the history of PGL since it’s inception in 1868 by W. Bros Joe McIlveen and Clifford Millar. He sent his best wishes to W Bro McIlveen for a speedy recovery after surgery and hoped that a presentation about the publication would be possible in 2018.

On the subject of the 150th Anniversary Jewel, the PGM reported that 900 of the 1000 jewels had been sold, with only 20 Lodges out of the 140+ in the Province yet to purchase.

The Provincial Grand Master paid tribute to all Lodges who had raised funds in support of Brainwaves NI and also to those Lodges who had plans in the pipeline.  He reminded Lodges to forward any monies currently held to R. W. Bro Sam Snodden made payable to the Newtownards District Charity Fund, as HMRC had confirmed that Gift Aid refund could be claimed on donations received by the District Charity.

The PGM then referred to the Brainwaves presentation given by Mrs Kate Ferguson MBE prior to the Communication. He hoped that the Province would, at the Gala Ball on 3rd November 2018, make a very tangible donation to the Charity and by way of a kick-start before the Communication presented a cheque for £1000.  This would be published in an article in the Chronicle newspaper and on the PGL website.

Reference was then made by the PGM to his announcement in November 2014 when he said he would be asking for a review of all PGL structures and their modus operandi. A Review Working Group chaired by the PDGM was established to undertake that task. The Group’s work to date had been invaluable in helping to implement a structured programme of change and delivery of information via a number of seminars to PGL and Lodge Almoners, Stewards Of Charities, Lodge Treasures and Secretaries as well as Inspectors, Inspection Committees and new Master Masons. He said that the work would continue in the coming months and would focus on the roll out of a Mentoring programme for new Masons, with the introduction of a new and more comprehensive vetting process.

The PGM reiterated his belief that sitting back and doing nothing to meet change is not, never was and never will during his tenure be an option. He said that to do nothing is to bury one’s head in the proverbial sand. Put simply more proactive Brethren were needed to help maintain a strong and healthy Province so that it could continue to provide a force for good in the Community.

Brethren were informed that there would be a change to the arrangements for the lunch prior to the Stated Communication at La Mon Hotel on Saturday 3rd February 2018, in that in addition to all incoming Officers attending the lunch the PGM wished to make the occasion more fully inclusive by encouraging all eligible Masons to attend. Therefore all Master Masons in Down would be invited to the lunch with tickets being allocated on a first come first served basis. The PGM hoped for a good response to the first function in the anniversary year with the format being the norm for future lunches.

In closing his address, the PGM made reference to a quotation, which was in keeping with his previously expressed rejection of “a let sleeping dogs lie approach” to PGL management.

“You can avoid reality but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality”.

The PGM thanked all Brethren for their attendance and wished all a safe journey home and a very merry Christmas.

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.

PGM’s Address 16th September 2017

After welcoming the Brethren to the Kilmorey Arms Hotel in Kilkeel, the Provincial Grand Master referred to the Church Service held in St  Malachy’s Parish Church in Hillsborough, and voiced his disappointment at the comparatively small percentage of currently serving PGL Officers who were present. He reminded all PGL Officers that such attendance was an important and integral part of their job description. The P.G.M. paid tribute to those members of other Masonic Orders who regularly attended Craft Church services.

Turning to the 150th Anniversary Celebrations, the Provincial Grand Master confirmed that some 800 orders had been placed for the anniversary Jewel. He urged all Brethren to  place an order as profits will go to his chosen charity Brainwaves NI, whose Honorary Secretary, Mrs Kate Ferguson MBE, will be delivering a short talk about the work of the Charity before the opening of the November 2017 Stated Communication.

It was the hope of the P.G.M. to hand over a substantial cheque to Brainwaves NI at the Gala Ball in the La Mon Hotel on 3rd November 2018. He also appealed for support for the Stormont Concert in the Great Hall on Friday 21st September 2018.

Reference was then made to the newly invested Information Officer, WBro Richard Webber and the P.G.M. also paid tribute to his predecessor W.Bro Ian Simms for his contribution to this office over the past three years.

The P.G.M. informed Brethren that both he and his Provincial Deputy and Assistant Grand Masters intended to visit each of the 34 Lodges out of the original 44 founding Lodges who were working in 1868 and continue to do so to-day. These visits had already begun.

The Provincial Grand Master then referred to the PGL Working Group under the Chairmanship of the PDGM continued their task of examining a whole raft of practices within the Province at his request. He said that he was happy to report that the changes implemented to date especially around dissemination of information and commonality of nomination of PGL Offices had been almost universally accepted, supported and welcomed.

The P.G.M. also referred to a paper, which had now been circulated to relevant Lodges following the outcome of the Lodge Health Check initiative with a suggested recovery action plan for affected Lodges to consider. Work also continued apace with establishing a Mentoring Group to specifically target new Master Masons.

The P.G.M. said that he had asked the Working Group members to examine the possibility of holding a seminar exclusively targeting Hall Committee members, looking at such areas as to how to apply for assistance for Hall refurbishment etc.

On the subject of the Widows Sons, the Provincial Grand Master was delighted to report that Rt. W. Brother David Selby had informed him that they will be hosting a Convention at Shaw’s Bridge over the period 28th to 30th July 2018 with delegates from all over Europe and USA with 400 bikers expected to attend. The P.G.M. pledged the support of the Province in whatever capacity may be required.

In closing the PG.M. read a quotation by Bobby Kennedy:- “Progress is a really nice word but change is its motivator and change for the better can have its detractors.”

He again thanked the Brethren for their attendance and wished all a safe journey home.

​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.

Obituary for the late R.W. Bro. Robert ( Bob) Campbell, Past PGM and Grand Lodge Officer.

The Provincial Grand Lodge of Down were extremely saddened to hear of the passing to the Grand Lodge Above of our highly esteemed and most loved Past Provincial Grand Master R.W.Bro. Robert Campbell on 21 May 2017.
Brethren and friends in the Provincial Grand Lodge of Down will remember with deep appreciation the many years of dedicated service he gave to Freemasonry in general and to our Province in particular.

R.W. Bro Campbell was Initiated for St Helens Lodge No 641 by Charity Lodge No 688 in June 1951 and he progressed to Worshipful Master in 1961. He subsequently served for 10 years as the Lodge Secretary.

R. W. Bro. Campbell’s career in Provincial Grand Lodge commenced in 1978 when he was appointed as the Provincial Grand Master’s Standard Bearer. The same year he was appointed as a Provincial Grand Lodge Inspector, which he relinquished in 1982 when he was made Provincial Assistant Grand Master.

In 1986 he took up the position of Provincial Deputy Grand Master and carried out his duties in this office until 1991. He was ultimately Installed as our Provincial Grand Master on 11 May 1991 and retired from that High Office in 1996.

In the Grand Lodge of Ireland, he served as Junior Grand Warden in 1999 and Senior Grand Warden in the year 2000.

On 10 November 1994 Rosetta Lodge of Installed Masters No 188 was Constituted and R.W. Bro Campbell was installed as the first Worshipful Master. In addition he was for many years an active member of the Rosetta Masonic Charity Board.

Our Past Provincial Grand Master will forever be remembered with affection for his quiet, diplomatic yet professional management skills. With his wise counsel, ever ready advice and guidance, he continued to hold the esteem and respect of all those who knew him.

Brian Gardner
Provincial Grand Secretary

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).