The Lodge room inside the
Hall is admired by visitors,
while (bottom) as it looked
when situated at Sunderland
The occupants of the carriage were the Grand Master,
HRH the Duke of Kent, the Provincial Grand Master of
Durham, Dr Alan Martin Davison and the Director of
Beamish, Miriam Harte and other members of the retinue.
After the carriage party alighted outside the Masonic hall
they were led to a raised podium where they were welcomed
by the Deputy PGM of Durham, Derek Richmond.
The formal proceedings began with the singing of Hail
Eternal by whose aid played by the band, lead by the Provincial
Choir and the spirited singing of 2,000 voices.
Speeches of welcome were made by Miriam Harte and the
Provincial Grand Master. Following these, the Grand Master
was presented with a handsome Sunderland jug covered with
Masonic symbols, on behalf of the Freemasons of the
Province, to mark this special occasion.
Leaving the podium, the party made its way to the
doorway of the building, where the Assistant PGM, Eric
Heaviside, and the Provincial Museum Chairman, Tom
Coulson, both of whom have had major responsibility for
the project, were presented to the Grand Master.
Mrs Dorothy Hall, whose idea it was to build the Masonic
Hall as the Durham Masonic Millennium project, was then
introduced to the Grand Master and presented him with the
key to the Hall.
After the Grand Master unlocked and opened the main
door, the official party were given a tour of the impressive
interior of the building, whilst outside the crowd joined in
with community singing lead by the band and choir.
Re-emerging from the building, the Grand Master and the
Provincial Grand Master stood at the top of the entrance steps
whilst everyone sang a very moving God Save the Queen. The
procession then reformed and, lead by the Duke of Kent and
the Provincial Grand Master, made its way back past the
singing and cheering crowds.
This was an unforgettable day that will live in the memory
of all those who were present, and a happy reminder of our
links to the events of 137 years ago.
Tom Coulson is the Provincial Museum Chairman
and Curator for the Province of Durham
The overall cost of the Project was £1.2m, of which Durham
Freemasons Millennium project donated £500,000. In addition,
the Province of Durham has loaned a large proportion of the
items on display from its own Museum surplus stock, many of
which came from the original building in Park Terrace.
Web site created by Mark Griffin