Grand auction

Durham 2021 Festival Auction – Winners


Grand auction

Congratulations to all those who bid on the items and won, apologies to those who were unsuccessful. The Auction was a one off way of trying to raise funds for the 2021 Festival and we managed to raise the tremendous sum of £9,300 towards our target. It generated quite a bit of interest from members and some very late last minute bidding up to 11:59pm on the night of the auction. Click on the link below to open the list of successful winners.

If you have been successful you will have received an automated email from the site asking you to pay, however we have had a few issues with this and we have now sent personal emails to those members, with bank details for those to now pay.

Auction Winners

Breaking News

A message from the PGM

Brethren, as we approach the end of year 4 in our 5-year Festival in aid of the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys which will end early in 2021. I have just announced that we have passed our original target and we have now raised a total of : –

£2,752,675 as at October 31st 2019


This is a phenomenal achievement by the members of our Craft Lodges, Royal Arch Chapters and many other orders and organizations who have given their support.

Everyone who is contributing to the Festival, in whatever way, should be rightfully proud of what they have achieved so far. I hope you will agree with me that it is our duty to raise as much as we can in the time we have left.

Whatever we raise in excess of the original target will be a bonus that we can be proud of.

Your generosity, the hard work of our Charity Stewards and the numerous volunteers who are organising the many and varied fund raising events continues to excite and enthuse our members.

I express my sincere appreciation to all of these volunteers, our Charity Stewards, our Hall Ambassadors and especially the 2021 Festival Team under the leadership of John Thompson for their continuing support in the work that they do. The Province of Durham committed to a 5 year fundraising campaign and I urge you all to keep on supporting the Festival until our conclusion in 2021. I hope you all become Festival Stewards and to make every effort for your lodge to reach its potential.

We have exciting events planned for 2020, please get involved we have one year left to make a real difference.  Once again thank you.

John Arthur

Provincial Grand Master

30th November 2019

platinum lodge award

Corinthian Lodge No. 5808 – Platinum Presentation

Corinthian Spirit at Corinthian Lodge!


The November meeting of Corinthian Lodge No 5808, saw their magnificent charitable achievements recognised by the Provincial Grand Master John Arthur. John, accompanied by a team of Provincial Officers, was delighted to award Corinthian Lodge with their Platinum Certificate and Award on the evening. The Platinum Award itself, came after the Lodge members and their supporters raised over £21,000 towards the Durham 2021 Festival. Corinthian Lodge’s Charity Steward, Jamie Rielly, was also awarded the Platinum Badge by John in recognition of the Lodge, and their supporters, outstanding commitment in their charitable endeavours since the start of the Durham 2021 Festival.


The Assistant Provincial Grand Master, John Thompson, was then invited to give an illuminating video and PowerPoint presentation regarding the work of the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF), as well as reviewing the wide range of charitable events that had taken place, in support of the Durham 2021 Festival, across the 2019 calendar year. John thanked all those who had given their time, energy and commitment in supporting the 2021 Festival to raise over £2.5 million to date, towards the Festival target, at the rate of over £10,000 per month!


John also reminded those assembled of the great friendships and Masonic bonds that can develop from such activities and further encouraged individuals to continue to support the 2021 Festival in whatever way that they can.


Then, to make the evening even more special, fourteen Freemasons, from a variety of Lodges across the Province, who had actively participated in a range of events such as walking, canoeing, cycling, skydiving, skiing, ‘Dragon Boat’ racing & the Great North Run were asked to gather on the floor of the Lodge. John Arthur and John Thompson then took great delight in awarding each participant with their well deserved 2019 Festival Supporters Medal. Consequently, those assembled, in the packed Lodge room, duly showed their appreciation of their charitable efforts and Corinthian Spirit!


At the well-attended Festive Board, John Arthur stood to respond to the Toast and began by formally recognising Corinthian Lodge’s huge achievement in raising over £21,000, 130% of their Festival target. He then formally presenting the Platinum Award to Corinthian Lodge’s Worshipful Master Paul Westgarth who had already presented John with a further £2150 on the evening for charitable causes.


Upon the closure of the Festive Board many of those in attendance remained to enjoy the company and fellowship of old and new friends alike. Many congratulations to the members of Corinthian Lodge upon their Platinum Award, and to the medal winners for their charitable achievements !


Durham 2021 Festival Supporter Nights

Dear 2019 Supporter,


Due to the demand in places we have added a 5th date and venue for our supporters evenings. Please see full information below, if you’re attending please let Paul Quinn know ASAP or if you want to change your chosen night to this new venue.


You’re receiving this invite because you have raised money for our festival in 2019 either by taking part or volunteering in one of our 2019 sponsored events


May I take this opportunity to either thank you for the fundraising / volunteering you have done this year or are about to in the forthcoming GNR.  It is our intention to thank everyone who raised funds with us this year by inviting you along to one of our lodge meetings to receive the 2019 Supporter medal. This invitation is open to non masons and family members or friends who joined us in our activities this year.  Four lodges covering our Province have graciously offered to facilitate our supporter nights on the dates below. The format of the evening will be a presentation from the festival team on our events this year and our plans for 2020, with a presentation of a supporters medal. Please respond as shown below.


Please pick a location or a time that suits you best.  The cost of the meal will vary from £7 – £22. Start time will be 6.30 – 7pm. Full details will be on the summons which will be forwarded to you on release.


St Paul Lodge

(Jarrow)               Thursday 3rd October 2019  – Masons and non mason supporters only, no partners or wives 7pm start, £7 per head, Numbers for attendance and dining to be confirmed by 30/9/19


Eanred Lodge

( Billingham)              Monday 14th October 2019 –    wives and partners are welcome at the festive board. 7pm start, £7.50 per head,  Numbers for attendance and dining to be confirmed by 5/10/19


Lodge of Progress

( Chester Le Street)    Friday 18th October 2019 – Masons and non mason supporters only, no partners or wives 6.45pm start, £8 per head, Numbers for attendance and dining to be confirmed by 13/10/19


Corinthian Lodge

( Shildon) Tuesday 26th November 2019 – Masons and non mason supporters only, no partners or wives 6.45pm start, £7 per head, Numbers for attendance and dining to be confirmed by 20/11/19


Elvet Lodge

(Durham) Tuesday 17th December 2019 – wives and partners are welcome at the festive board. 6.45pm start, £22 per head for a five course festive meal with live entertainment,  Numbers for attendance and dining to be confirmed by 1/12/19



I would appreciate if you could let our Festival Secretary Paul Quinn   know ASAP if you can attend one of our events, with the following response


If you are attending, are you dining, which location, do you have an dietary needs, can’t attend


( if its Billingham or Elvet will you bring a partner), if you can’t attend please also let us know and we will ensure we get a medal to you.


I hope you can join us on these evenings and give us the opportunity to say “Thank you”

silver lodge award

Spirit of Rugby Lodge No. 9910 – Silver Award Presentation

Spirit of Rugby Lodge No. 9910

Silver Award Presentation


Bill Baty attended Spirit of Rugby No. 9910 representing the PGM and Officers of PGL at their Annual Installation. A raucous evening in the Festive Board, reflective of the Lodges connection with their sport, was preceded by a very good Ceremony of Installation upstairs at Chester-le-Street. This saw WBro. Kieran Fyland going into the Chair as the fifth WM of this, the newest Lodge in our Province.


At the conclusion of the Second rising Bill was presented with two cheques of £50 for the Teddy Bear Scheme and £250 from the Lodge towards their Durham 2021 Festival Target.


Downstairs in a very enjoyable and unique Festive Board, they use a whistle, not a gavel, to gain order, for example and during my reply I then presented W Bro. Barry L. Clark, PProvJGD with the Lodges Silver Award for their achievements.


Barry then stunned me by presenting me with a further cheque for £750 to go to their credit for the Durham 2021 Festival from the Chester-le-Street Fundraising Committee as a result of their fundraising in the building itself. Chester-le-Street have a unique system of supporting each other in many ways and sharing the funds between the Lodges in the building which results in all Lodges working towards their Festival Targets, a great initiative.


Bill was delighted and overwhelmed to receive this further donation from the Lodge and Charity Steward who work hard to support the Durham 2021 Festival and many other initiatives and made sure this was reflected in my reply.


Beer and Cider Festival

Chester le Street Masonic Centre hosted its 3rd annual beer and cider festival over the first weekend in July.

The Beer & Cider festival kicked off with a sponsors and VIP event on Thursday and was open to the public from Friday evening until Sunday when a barbecue and live music brought the festival to a close. The profits made over this weekend are all going towards Chester le Street Lodges  2021 festival targets and the event has been arranged by the charity stewards of Chester le Street. To celebrate the weekend a special whisky infused cider had been commissioned named whisky 2021 and it was only fitting that this was the first of the 18 beers and 20 ciders on offer to be completely sold out.” Another amazing event from the brethren in Chester Le Street.

Provincial website & photos





Great North Run 2019



Tyneside was bathed in sunshine on Sunday the 8th September to welcome some 57,000 runners from across the globe eager to take part in the world’s greatest half marathon.


Once again amongst the throng of participants were Durham Freemasons proudly pounding the tarmac to raise over £7,500 in donations and pledges for 2021 Festival, all wearing their distinctive MCF Festival shirts.


Along with the Durham contingent were many more of our brethren, friends and family who were raising funds for individual charities and we of course equally applaud their efforts, and congratulate all on having  successfully completed the gruelling 13.1-mile transition from Newcastle to the South Shields coast, where thousands of spectators applauded their triumphant efforts.


We now look forward to September 2020 when the GNR celebrates its 40th Anniversary, to mark this milestone in the history of the iconic event we as a Province are hoping to encourage 40 Durham Masons to enter.


Feeling inspired to take on #GreatNorthRun 2020?


Sign up to the reminder service to be the first to get our updates for 2020.    And tell Paul Quinn you’ve done it at


For more images from the day visit the FlickR album.


Dragon Boat Race

Durham’s Masonic Dragons Roar


4 Teams from the Province of Durham competed in the 3rd Tees Dragon Boat Festival which took place on Sunday 1st September 2019, raising money for the Durham 2021 Festival.


Each Dragon Boat can carries a maximum of 16 rowers plus one drummer and is steered by a helmsman provided by the event operators. The format of the event involves each team competing in 3 races, with the 4 fastest teams then competing in the final. This year 20 teams took part.


Our Teams were The Chester le Street Masonic Dragons 1 & 2, The Billingham & Castle Eden Freemasons Dragon Boat Squad and the Paddling Pedalers’, a team drawn largely from those who completed this year’s 3 Province Charity Cycle Ride.


After registration and the safety briefing the first of our boats to compete was Chester-le-Street Masonic Dragons 2 and they soon showed that they were a force to be reckoned with, posting what was then the quickest time of the first round, an amazing 1 min 4.45 seconds, to cover the 200m course in blustery conditions. In that first round their time was only beaten by a semi-professional dragon boat, The Purple Warriors, a team of HM Forces Veterans who compete regularly and use the sport as a means of inspiration, rehabilitation and recovery. They clocked an amazing 58 seconds in that first round.

We had had a few late withdrawals from the squads and there were some who were unable to stay for the full day but in true Masonic Spirit our teams supported each other, providing rowers and drummers where required.

The weather conditions continued to be squally but our rowers were undeterred. By the start of the final round, CLS 2 remained in 3rd place. Whilst they had improved their best to 1.03.14, Dave’s Dragons, had posted an incredible 55.9 seconds. Our Peddalers’ were lying in 4th with 1.05.91 and our remaining 2 teams were not far behind.

With the news that the semi-professional team would not compete in the final, our teams redoubled their efforts. Incredibly, 3 of our Teams, CLS 2, the Peddalers’ and Billingham & Castle Eden managed to hold off the competition and reach the Final. In fact we also had the 5th fastest time from CLS 1, who only missed out on a place in the final by 4 hundredths of a second.

As the 4 boats lined up on the start line the Masonic Teams knew that Dave’s Dragons were the team to beat. There was also however some healthy rivalry between our squads as they all competed for the top spot. In what proved an amazingly close race (apart from Dave’s Dragons who, as expected, left the other 3 teams in their wake) it was the Peddalers’ who managed to steal second place with their fastest time of the day, 1 min 2 seconds, beating Billingham & Castle Eden by a very short nose and with CLS 2 very close behind.

After cheering their competitors and receiving their trophies from the Mayor of Stockton there was just time for our teams to cheer all of the supporters who had turned up, particularly those from Billingham who had manned a TLC Teddies stall throughout the day.

Freemasonry in the community at its most enjoyable – well done to all involved.

For more images visit the FlickR album

Parachute Challenge

Parachute Challenge 2019

Friday 6th June 2019 has been an honour and pleasure for to be  the organiser of this Tandem Skydive event with each Skydiver raising money for the Durham 2021 Festival. After an informal presentation held in Hartlepool Masonic Hall 10 names were put forward to take part,  and so began the steady process of getting sponsors to donate towards the Festival target and a magnificent total of over £5,000 was in place as we all met nice and early at Peterlee Parachute Centre.


Our thoughts are with Angela who sustained a shoulder injury in the cycle ride just a few days previous and was unable to attend. The remaining 9 were then put through the checking in process and training, being ready to kit up at about 11am. Their jump would be from the maximum altitude, 15,000 feet giving them over a minute in free fall and then 5 minutes under the parachute before landing.  Lee Harrison was selected to go early to fill a lift of Tandem Students from a previous course and I jumped with him complete with camera to record it. The jump went well and on landing Lee was keen to tell the others how brilliant it was.


In the next 2 lifts of the aircraft the remaining Durham brethren made their jumps and all were on a high after their return to terra firma , exchanging the thrills which can only be experienced by jumping yourself. John Arthur our PGM and his good lady and the Festival Director John Thompson were both in attendance to give their support to this superb effort by all involved.


On a personal and sad note I made my second jump of the day and very last skydive with 4 of our Tandem jumpers before retiring from a sport that I have been involved with since 1980. This event will be repeated next year and should you wish to take part please send your details to Michael Graham Senior. There will be a free skydive to one of the names put forward kindly donated by Peterlee Parachute Centre.


Pictures from the day have been uploaded to Flickr, click here to open the album.


A Brilliant day for all involved and the sun gods and blue skies were all in our favour.