ISSUE 18, July 2006
Editorial
Archbishop Fisher: A Godly man and a Brother
Travel: The train takes the strain
Quarterly Communication: Annual Investiture speech by the Grand Master and Speech of the Pro Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes
Supreme Grand Chapter: Speech by the First Grand Principal and Report of the Committee of General Purposes Grand Lodge of New York: Speech by the Pro Grand Master
   Specialist Lodges: Keeping their eyes on the ball
Education: Planning ahead for the Chair and Events and New premises for Masonic research
Royal Opera House: A right Royal occasion
Royal opening: Beamish Museum
Digital records: Saving our past for the future
Library & Museum: The hall in the garden
Queen's Birthday: Masons played a prominent part
International: A Mason and the Foreign Legion
Masonic Charities: Grand Charity and NMSF and RMBI and RMTGB
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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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


Footnote
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.

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