Freemasons around the world are very proud of their history and customs, so much so than many lodge archives as well as masonic museums are full to bursting with artefacts and items of interest going back hundreds of years. One of the most iconic and obvious items that your attentions within a Freemasons lodge is the intricate lodge banner which hangs in an illuminated position for all to see. This is an item that lodges like to keep and display for all to see, despite many decades of wear and tear.
Gateshead Fell Lodge was recently presented with a newly restored banner to mark their remarkable relationship with The Lamesley Church Ladies Sewing Circle who recently attended Gateshead Masonic Hall to present Worshipful Master, Neil King and the officers and brethren with their beautiful newly restored banner, wonderfully hand restored by over a dozen of the ladies of the sewing circle.
The presentation was the final chapter for the ladies who, after decades of meeting and making many hundreds of beautifully crafted items for various charities and local organisations, decided that this was to be the final piece to leave their hands. The circle, many of whom were wives of local Freemasons have made and presented other lodges with new banners, including Northbourne Lodge, Moseley Lodge and Eslington Lodge and also for the Provincial Lodge of Mark Master Masons. To give some idea as to how long such an intricate piece of embroidery can take to create from new, the new banner for Moseley Lodge took five years to complete.
Bill Hurst of Gateshead Fell Lodge approached the ladies and asked if they would consider making or restoring the banner for his lodge and was delighted when they agreed. On presenting the piece Mary Pearson said “Along came Bill, an ordinary man with an extraordinary banner” she added “we knew we just had to do one last project and we hope you all like it”.
Canon Ron Black, the Provincial Chaplain was on hand to deliver a blessing and dedication before the banner was ceremoniously presented to the lodge and hung in all its’ glory within the lodge room.
Ron said “Well these ladies have certainly not laboured in vain, restoring this piece of art to its former glory. The skills displayed in this work are quite exquisite and unique”.
Neil and Bill thanked the circle for all their hard work and also asked that everyone stood and showed their appreciation and thanks to Mary Pearson, Vivienne Woodward, Hazel Leonard, Pat Jackson and Pat Woodward who were present and also to Peggy Birbeck, Violet Wilson, Isobel Adams, Brenda Pears, Carole Stockdale, Sylvia Davey, Catherine McAnaney, Greta Hall and everyone else associated with the Lamesley Church Ladies Sewing Circle for all their enthusiasm and first class workmanship.
Assistant Provincial Grand Master, John Watts summed up their fabulous efforts in just a few short words of appreciation on behalf of the Province by saying “Absolutely beautiful and a remarkable effort”.