News Sheet Five

The Grand Lodge of Ireland

News Sheet

March 2003

In Memory:
R.W.Bro. John F Kerr

P.G. Master of Down

It is with deep regret and sadness that we have to inform you of the sudden passing of our esteemed R.W. Brother John Fraser Kerr, on Tuesday 3rd  December 2002.
Initiated in Felicitas Lodge No. 760 in November 1959, he was Worshipful Master in 1971.  His active interest in the affairs of the Province was reflected in the successive Offices to which he was called:- P.G. Supt. of Works 1986; Hon.P.P. Junior Grand Warden 1991; P. Asst. Grand Master 1994; P. Deputy Grand Master 2000 and Provincial Grand Master in 2001.  As a Chartered Surveyor, he used his skills to great effect in the maintenance and uplifting of Masonic properties in the Province.  R.W. Bro. Kerr also held the position of Chairman of the Corinthian Housing Association.  Such was his work for and commitment to all levels of the Order, he had been elevated to the 280
To his Widow and family circle we tender our sincere sympathy.

In Memory:-
M.E.C. Alan S Watt M.B.E.; J.P.

Alan S Watt, a Scotsman, was born in the  Shetland Islands and following the 2nd World War his family moved to Liverpool. He was conscripted for National Service from 1949 to 1951.  In 1958 he started a printing company in Belfast and in 1959 he opened an office in Dublin, followed soon afterwards with further expansion to his operation in London, Glasgow and Edinburgh.  He married in 1955 and has 3 children.

In 1971 he was appointed a Justice of the Peace and later in 1996 he was honoured with the M.B.E.  Alan is a Past President of the Belfast Benevolent Society of St. Andrew; Vice President of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association and currently Vice President of the RUC Football Club.

As a Mason, he was initiated in Lodge 427 in 1964and was W. Master in 1972. He also affiliated to Lodge 763 and served 2 Grand Masters as Standard Bearer in 1980 and 1981.  Alan was elected as Junior Warden at Grand Lodge in 2000 and Senior Grand Warden in 2001. He became a Royal Arch Mason of Chapter 427 in 1968 and appointed District Grand King of Antrim in 1997.  He represented Western Australia at Grand Chapter. 

As a Knight Templar he was invited to join Unity Preceptory in 1972 and as a Foundation Member of Liscoole Preceptory was the Em. Preceptor in 1981.  In 1995 he was made an Honorary Past Great Constable of the Great Priory of Ireland.

He became a member of Prince Mason’s Chapter No. 5, was M.W.S. in 1988, received the 28th Degree in 1989, the 30th Degree in 1995; the 31st Degree in 1998 and the 32nd Degree in November 2002. He is also a member of the Royal Order of Scotland.

M.E.C. Watt passed away suddenly on 8th January 2003 while on a cruise in the Caribbean with his wife Shelagh and daughter. Our sincere sympathy is extended to his Widow and family circle.


 Grand Master’s Remarks 

The New Year started with an interesting experience. On January 4th, The Mayor of Lisburn, Councillor Betty Campbell graciously welcomed me to the City of Lisburn with a Civic Reception to mark my visit. We exchanged gifts and greetings. I was accompanied by the Assistant Grand Master, R.W.Bro. William Mawhinney and Officers of Lodge Ireland 2000, our Internet Lodge. The event was pleasantly informal and enjoyable. We were interested to see the very fine new Civic Centre and the Chamber where the City Council meet. Following this engagement, I attended the Installation Meeting of Lodge Ireland 2000, which  was impressive and well supported. 

Now that most of our Lodges have installed their Officers for 2003, I wish to congratulate all Brethren involved on attaining their new Offices. In my December address to Grand Lodge, I drew attention to the importance of future planning and I appeal to all Worshipful Masters, Wardens and Secretaries to work together to plan effectively for the future of their Lodge, your efforts will ensure that the Lodge is vibrant and successful.

I look forward to seeing a good attendance at our next Grand Lodge Meeting on Thursday March 6th at the Cabra Castle Hotel, Kingscourt, Co. Cavan by kind invitation of our Brethren in the Province of Meath.

                                                                  Eric N. Waller   Grand Master


 Farmer’s Lodge of Friendship Ballylesson 

In January 1998 a social committee was elected for the purpose of fund-raising, the idea to hold a charity golf competition seemed to be the choice of the eleven strong committee.
The first competition was held at Mount Oben Golf Club and it has remained the venue ever since. The £800 raised on that evening was presented to the then P.D.G.M., R.W.Bro. J F Kerr.
The second competition was held in May 2000 and raised £1,500, the cheque being presented to the then P.G.M. R.W.Bro. W Mawhinney at the Slieve Donard Hotel.
The 10th May 2002 was the date for our next competition and was organised to coincide with a visit from Friendship Masonic Lodge 1712 Edinburgh, the social evening in the Golf Club was attended by 140 guests.
On Saturday 11th May a gala evening held at the Ramada Hotel was organised by Bro. Jackie Geddios, a member of Lodge 978, 170 guests attended and the entertainment was provided free by stars from Northern Ireland Show Business.

The Secretary of Lodge 978, W.Bro. R J White presents the cheque for £3,000 to R.W.Bro. R H Gray (PAGM Down)

On Saturday 12th October, at a stated communication, the Lodge presented the P.A.G.M., R.W.Bro. R H Gray, with a cheque for £3,000 which was donated to the Victoria Jubilee Masonic Benevolent Fund.
The Farmer’s Lodge of Friendship wishes to thank the Brethren from nearby Lodges who gave their support to this very successful weekend.

 R J White (Secretary)

Back Page :

Grand Master’s Millennium Cup Golf Competition 2002

L to R: R.W.Bro. Dennis Millen (VJMBF Board Member) & R.W.Bro. Noel Simpson  

The 2002 Competition raised the magnificent sum of £3,000, which was decided by the Northern Provinces Committee to be donated to the V. J. Masonic Benevolent Fund. As shown above, a cheque for £3,000 was handed over to R.W.Bro. Dennis Millen (deputising for the Chairman of VJMBF) by R.W.Bro. Noel Simpson (Secretary of Golf Committee). This is the 3rd year of the Competition and significant sums of money have been donated to Charity on each occasion. The 2003 Competition will take place on Friday 12th September 2003 at Killymoon Golf Club, Cookstown.  All Brethren wishing to participate should be mindful of advertising material, which has already been delivered to your Lodge Secretary.


 New PGM for Tyrone & Fermanagh


M.W. The Grand Master with R.W.Bro. D H Weir – newly installed P.G.M. of Tyrone & Fermanagh 

At the Grand Lodge Communication held on Saturday 5th September in Enniskillen, the Grand Master had the pleasure of installing R.W.Bro. David H Weir as P.G.M. of Tyrone & Fermanagh. He replaces R.W.Bro. Sam Dukelow who had served a full term of 10 years as P.G. Master of the Province.  The Grand Master thanked R.W.Bro. Dukelow for his commitment and enthusiasm for the stewardship of the Province and its Brethren and wished him many happy, memorable and healthy years ahead to enjoy his, so called, “masonic retirement”. 


 Three Generations in Bellaghy 291
Andrew Robert Overend, the 20th member of the Overend family to join Bellaghy Temperance Masonic Lodge 291, received his EA degree at the February 2002 meeting of the Lodge. His father, Wor. Bro. Robert A. Overend, Lodge Secretary, his grand father Wor. Bro. Robert Overend senior, who has been an active member of the Lodge for 52 years, and his two uncles, Bro. Wesley Overend and Bro. Nigel Overend, were present on this special occasion.
The Overend association with the Lodge stretches back to its formation when Silas Overend, a member of Lodge 532, together with seven other Brethren, was granted Warrant number 291 in December 1900.
Silas Overend the founder member in 1900 began a family tradition which has lasted 101 years and is still going strong. Throughout this time four sons, six grandsons, six great grandsons, three relatives and Andrew, a great, great grandson have all joined the Lodge. There are currently eight members of the Overend family on the roll of the Lodge and several more waiting in the wings.


Freemasonry Working in Society 
This year Ruby Lodge (339 Dublin) decided to put a more “human face” on Irish Freemasonry and as well as bringing the good works of Masonic Lodges into the public arena, the money raised went towards:-
1.  A greater understanding into Chronic Crumulatous Disorder and its treatment
2. Partly funding treatment for three young boys with this very rare genetic illness that affects the immune system.

The only potential cure is a bone marrow transplant, which can only be carried out in the U.K.  Without treatment the chances of survival into their teens is unlikely.

W.Bro. Sean P McCabe presenting a cheque for €1,737.67 to Mr Colm Faherty of Met. Eireann for The Ben McMahon’s Childrens’ Fund, on behalf of Ruby Lodge 339 and The Grand Lodge of Ireland

The McMahon Family, who have relocated to Newcastle General Hospital in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, are extremely appreciative for all the support they are receiving during this difficult time.  The first bone marrow transplant took place for their

 son, John aged 31/2 , on 12th April 2002 and so far all is well.


 Grand Master makes historic visit to new City 

The M.W. Grand Master accompanied by the R.W. Assistant Grand Master attended a Civic Reception held in their honour by the R.W. the Mayor of Lisburn, Councillor Betty Campbell, on Saturday 4th January 2003.  The Grand Master was presented

with a plaque of the City’s coat of arms and reciprocated by presenting the Mayor with an inscribed crystal bowl from the “Donegall Collection”.  The Grand Master and Asst. Grand Master were in the City to attend the Installation Meeting of Lodge Ireland 2000 in the Belsize Road Masonic Hall.


 A Golden Occasion in Castlederg Masonic Lodge No. 799

The first official function of R.W.Bro. Harry Weir (PGM Tyrone & Fermanagh) was to visit Castlederg Masonic Lodge on the occasion of V.W.Bro. Will Harron (P.P.S.G.W.) celebrating 50 years as a member of the Lodge.  V.W.Bro. Rev. Canon Harry Trimble reminded the Brethren of the leading role V.W.Bro. Will Harron had played and still continues to play in the Lodge. He had served periods as Secretary, Treasurer and is currently a Trustee, a member of the local Inspection Committee and an Auditor.
W.Bro. Ralph Lyons (W.M.) led the tributes of other Lodge Members and in presenting V.W.Bro. Harron with his 50 Year Jewel and Certificate, R.W.Bro. Harry Weir paid further tribute to his work for Freemasonry in general. V.W.Bro. Harron reflected on the advances he had seen in the Lodge over his 50 years and wished the Lodge continued success. V.W.Bro. Harron is pictured at the left hand of the P.G.M.

V.W.Bro. Rev. Canon H Trimble

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Copyright - Grand Lodge of Ireland 2002