Geoffrey Newton

A Durham Freemason, initiated into the
Marquis of Granby Lodge No.124 in May 2018.
Passed to the degree of a Fellowcraft, November 2018.
Raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason, March  2019.

Geoff's journey in Freemasonry so far, in his own words....


After living in the Far East for a large portion of my working life, and having a career in education, I have met a number of Freemasons who always spoke very highly of “the craft”. This sparked my interest, so after returning to my hometown of Durham, late in 2017, I requested to join the Marquis of Granby Lodge in the city. I was very fortunate to be accepted as an initiate, and this is where my learning journey began.

The lodge itself, being established in the early 1700's, is one of the oldest lodges in the world

(No. 124 in the register of the United Grand Lodge of England & Wales). As well as having a fascinating history, our lodge meetings are held in the magnificent Masonic Hall, close to the centre of Durham City.

Being asked why I chose to become a Mason, one of the key reasons would have to be to learn about the history of Freemasonry, and how "the Craft" became established.

Returning to Durham City after living abroad for so long, I was looking to join an organisation where I could meet people of many different backgrounds. In the first few months I have met educators, builders, drivers, roofers, managers, etc., the list is endless. They all have one thing in common: they are all members of the Brotherhood and as such are all treated equally. What impresses me most is the respect they hold for each other and for self.

Before joining, I was unaware of the large sums of money donated by Masons. The funds are raised for charitable causes, which can be local charities or further afield. This selfless act of giving is held dear by all members of Freemasonry. Freemasons do not expect to receive anything in return!

Being a teacher, I have always tried to instil the joy of learning to my students. As a life-long learner myself, I am now a student of “the craft.” Anyone fortunate enough to be accepted into Freemasonry will learn new skills. I have been learning Masonic ritual, and its deeper meanings and history. I have also enjoyed the times when I have had to address the lodge during my Initiation and Second-Degree ceremonies; so public speaking and ceremony are skills for initiates who are willing to be open-minded, learn and rise to the challenge.

After the lodge meeting, there is time to relax, and enjoy the “Festive Board,” a quality meal with drinks of your choice. Here you’ll be able to make friends, have a chat (not about religion or politics though) and partake in toasts and song! You really do gain that feeling of belonging to a large group of local friends. You will also have the opportunity to visit other lodges where they may well organise their ceremonies differently.

As I await my Third-Degree Ceremony to be raised to a Master Mason in March 2019 , I can highly recommend Freemasonry to anyone who may be interested.  All you have to do is ask about Freemasonry at any lodge and then take your first steps into this fascinating organisation.

G. Newton

Marquis of Granby Lodge No.124

December 2018