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Splashing Out After 50 years – Provincial Grand Lodge of Durham

Splashing Out After 50 years

Ernest Dockwray was presented with a certificate for 50 years of membership as a Durham Freemason, representing a masonic career that started in Hedworth Lodge in 1966 and spanned across time in Gothic and Excelsior (Northumberland) Lodges so it was fitting that Assistant Provincial Grand Master, John Watts was on hand in Ernie’s mother lodge in South Shields to carry out that presentation.

Ernie has been a very active member of his lodges and was first installed as master of Hedworth only 10 years after his initiation and also as recently as 2009 before carrying out other duties including Director of Ceremonies.  As a Past Master and Ernie cannot be anything less than pleased and impressed by the

performances of his officers on the night as they carried out a second degree ceremony to pass Brother Craig.  The ritual was led by one of Ernie’s initiates, Worshipful Master Ted Hooper, performed with aplomb by all and Ernie must have been proud that the traditions he and the Past Masters have ingrained into the lodge are in good hands moving forward.

Ernie thanked John for taking the trouble and making the effort to come straight to the meeting after attending two days of meetings at Grand Lodge and Grand Chapter – of which note has been made in previous articles.

Ernie’s proposer, Trevor Murray, was also attending the presentation and after all these years, despite their being in different lodges now, they still enjoy their Freemasonry together.  That friendship extends outside

masonry with Trevor’s past employment as Superintendent of South Shields swimming baths giving another place of joint attendance as Ernie enjoyed one of his free-time passions, water polo.  Ernie enjoyed many a splash with the ball at hand following initial interest which led to trials for the national English Schools Team.  Freemasonry extended its arm into his private passion as he played under the whistle of a well-known football referee, and member of Sportsman’s Lodge, although Pat was not necessarily officiating at the match which was strangely disturbed by crowd violence!

Ernie has also been a keen Chapter man, with 48 years of membership again starting in Hedworth before time with Vane Tempest and now with Mariner.

The special bond between Ernie and his proposer was still evident as Trevor proposed a heartfelt toast to Ernie at the Festive Board which was received extremely well by the brethren present.