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​NEWS 2023

Another first for Lodge 779, Garvagh

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L. to R.  

Bros. Simon and Martin Lamont, W.B. Garth Nevin W.M., Bros. Christopher and Jordan Lamont. 

A recent first for Garvagh Masonic Lodge No. 779 occurred where a father and his three sons are now Entered Apprentice Freemasons.

St. John's 281 Children's Christmas Party

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The first ever Children's Christmas Party was held on Saturday 9th December 2023 in St. Johnston Masonic Hall, St. Johnston. Co. Donegal.

47 children attended along with their Parents, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, etc.

The party started at 5 pm with the Children being fantastically entertained by "Mr. Gary Mc Music". 

Everybody enjoyed a light snack of Sausages, Chips, and juice supplied by our Ladies on the Catering Committee.

Santa (Bro. Richard Brown) arrived at 6:30 pm in a Sleigh suitably made for the occasion by Wors. Bro. Terrence Milligan who accompanied Santa dressed as an Elf. Santa's Sleigh was pulled by a small Tractor all dressed in Christmas lights and driven by Bro. Nigel Buchanan.


The whole evening was a marvelous success, so much so that we have booked our entertainer "Mr. Gary Mc Music" to entertain the Children again on the 14th of December 2024 between 5 pm and 7 pm.

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Simon Community

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New SImon Community Home

Part of the funds received by Grand Lodge for the Vision 20/20 appeal were sent to Simon Community headquarters in Belfast. They decided to use the funds to buy a house in the Waterside in Londonderry and convert it into a home for a family of five.

R.W. Bro. Raymond Eakin, our representative on the Northern Committee for Vision 20/20, and I were invited along to see the finished home.

The representative from the Simon Community was delighted with the contribution from Grand Lodge as it enabled this project to be procured and managed by themselves for the first time and not having to place the family in a privately owned property. They are hoping this may be a pilot for more to come.

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Londonderry Masonic Club Children's Party


On Saturday 9th December 2023 the Londonderry Masonic Club held their popular Children's Party in the Freemason’s Hall,  Bishop Street.

Thanks to the hard work provided by V. W. Bro. Norman Boyd, his wife Margaret, Wor. Bro. Colin McCandless and  Wor. Bro. Ivan Smyth who provided the music. Several other Masons and their wives kindly devoted their time and energy to making the event a very enjoyable experience for the children.

A special thanks must go to Santa and his elf who provided the highpoint of the afternoon for the children.

The children were entertained by novel events such as creating “Small pastries”, “Colouring In” and a “Bouncy Castle".  The games included “Musical Chairs” and “Pass the Parcel.”

Thanks also to Ms.Linda McCallister who provided some appetizing sausages and chips for the younger guests.

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Maghera 42 Christmas Party


Santa at Maghera Masonic Hall having presented gifts to 26 children.

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Pioneer 271 & Friendship 341
Presentation of cheque for €1,500 to Donegal Hospice

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Brethren and helpers from Pioneer 271 Letterkenny and Friendship 341 Stranorlar presented a cheque for £1.500 to the Donegal Hospice. The money was raised from their joint BBQ held over the summer.

Friendship Lodge No. 341 Annual Donations to Foodbank

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L-R. Joe from  We Care food bank, Alistair Moore 341 and Lester Long WM 341, as they present their annual food bank donation collected by the brethren of Friendship 341 Stranorlar 

Visit to Dalry Blair Lodge 290 (S.C.)

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Brethren from Stranorlar, Raphoe, Ballyshannon and St. Johnstone pictured on their recent visit to Dalry Blair lodge 290 in Scotland.

Installation of the Prov. Deputy Grand Master
and Prov. Assistant Grand Master

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Rt. Wor. Kenneth Doherty, Prov. Deputy Grand Master, having completed his tenure in office, retired at our November Communication. Rt.Wor. Bro. Doherty had given enormous service to Prov. Grand Lodge as Prov. Grand Master's Standard Bearer, Prov. Inspector, Provincial Assistant Grand Master, and finally Prov, Deputy Grand Master. He was well known in Londonderry and Donegal as he was a prolific visitor to Lodges throughout the Province and especially in Donegal.

R.W. Bro. Grahame Harper, Prov. Asst. Grand Master of St. Columbs Lodge 297 Moville, was installed as Prov. Deputy Grand Master and V.W. Bro. Robert Mitchell of Island of Inch Lodge 589, Prov. Grand Chaplain, was installed as Prov. Assistant Grand Master. Two men of great worth and ability who will be, without doubt, a great asset to Prov. Grand Lodge 

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White Horse Hotel
2023 P.G.L. Social Evening


On Thursday 12/10/2023 the P.G.M., Rt. Wor. Bro. Raymond Robinson hosted his now popular social evening for Lodges in Londonderry, Limavady, Moville and Donemana, in The White Horse Hotel, Campsie.

At 7.00 pm. the P.G.M. welcomed everyone, expressing his delight and pleasure to see so many guests at the resumption of this important event in our Masonic calendar.  There were appx. 85 guests.

The compere for the evening was Rt. Wor. Bro. Noel Drain.

The evening began with a superb two-course carvery dinner with tea or coffee.

Rt. Wor. Bro. Noel then introduced the first of three entertainers of the evening.  The Sollus Dancers gave a polished display of Scottish dancing. They were followed by The Hamilton Flute Band ensemble who provided some tuneful music, before the final act by a group from the Killaloo Accordion Band.  Both performances were on a par with Andre Rieu and this was reflected by the ovation they received

Thanks must go to the management of the hotel for their invaluable catering on the night.  Credit must also be given to V. Wor.Bro. Norman Boyd and Wor.Bro Ivan Smyth for their proficient organizing of the evening. The support of the Lodge Almoners who ensured our guests were suitably and safely escorted to and from the hotel was greatly appreciated.

Arthur Graham


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Royal Blue 404, Portstewart
Red Sails Festival Open Day


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Our best congratulations should go to the Officers and Brethren of Royal Blue Masonic Lodge No 404, Portstewart, for their efforts on Saturday 29th July. They opened their Lodge room, as part of the annual Red Sails Festival in Portstewart, to allow the general public to visit the hall and see around and have the opportunity to meet up informally with people expressing an interest in joining a Lodge. 

In both cases, they were very successful with over 71 visitors calling in to view the Hall and see what we do, and three or four young men expressing their interest in learning more about Freemasonry.

Right Wor. Bro. Raymond Robinson, Provincial Grand Master of Londonderry and Donegal, was in attendance, giving his support to the Lodge, on this busy afternoon for all present.

Much to his surprise, he met a lady, Daphne Huston, from Newtowncunningham, in County Donegal, who had travelled to Portstewart specifically to see inside a Masonic Hall as she attended the Masonic Girls School for two years before it closed. During discussions, she said that she works as a carer and had been assisting Raymond’s aunt in Newtowncunningham before she came to Portstewart!

Just goes to show that you never know who you will meet when you are out and about,

Amongst the visitors was a Brother from County Down, who thought the idea was excellent and may well go on to consider something similar for his mother Lodge in Millisle,

There was also an American lady, who also attended the Masonic Girls School and was originally from Randalstown, before going over to settle in the States. She comes home every couple of years for a few weeks to spend time with her local relatives and clearly enjoyed her visit to the Hall.

As you will see from a picture of the commemorative Lodge Plate in the photographs (Click Below), the Red Sails motif has been adopted by the Lodge and can now be found on the Lodge Ties, as the symbol of the Lodge.

Robert Bashford

31st July 2023

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Northern Star 438 Raphoe BBQ

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Northern Star 438 held their BBQ on the evening of Friday 28th July and luckily the weather cooperated and made for an extremely successful event.  A total of 142 people were in attendance.  In fact an emergency run had to be made to their butcher across the way who kindly opened up his shop to top up  provisions such was the attendance above and beyond what had been expected.  

Thankfully everyone was well fed, watered and entertained by the music provided and everyone went home happy....some later than others!! 

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St. John's 281 St. Johnston
BBQ and Entertainment


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The St. John's Lodge 281, St. Johnston held their Annual BBQ  on Friday 30th June 2023 with 76 present. The food, especially the steak, was superb so thanks to 'Master Chef' Terence Milligan and his team of caterers.

The entertainment was provided by "Mr. Gary Mc Music", who was outstanding, keeping the evening and dancers alive and kicking. If you click below you will see the hall was alive with everyone totally involved.

The evening generated a profit of £€1277 towards the annual utility bills for the hall.

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Friendship 341 Stranorlar
present cheque to St. Bernadette's Special School

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L - R Nigel Patterson SW, Trevor Patterson DC, Lester Long WM, Mr Haran principal St. Bernadette's 


Brethren of Friendship 341 Stranorlar pictured presenting a cheque for €1000 to the principal of St. Bernadette's special school. This was the proceeds from a bake sale which the brethren held at Finn Valley agricultural show.

J.L. Rankin Golf Competition
held at Foyle International Golf


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Zane Cole of Wilson Memorial Lodge 910, receiving the J.L. Rankin Cup from the Provincial Grand Master, R.W. Bro. Raymond Robinson.


                                                           J.L. Rankin Cup

                                                      1st      Zane Cole (910)

                                                      2nd    Frank McClintock 

                                                      3rd     Gary Anderson (404)

                                                         Masonic Visitors

                                                      1st      Cyril Monteith


                                                     Non-Masonic Visitors






Strawberry Cream Teas
Freemasons' Hall, Bishop Street


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After our enforced disruption,  due to Covid 19, we were delighted to revive our annual Strawberry Cream Tea on Saturday 19th.June 2023, in the Freemason’s Hall, Londonderry.

On arrival our guests were offered beautiful strawberry cream scones, provided by V. Wor.Bro. Norman Boyd and his wife, along with tea, coffee, sandwiches, and tray bakes all provided by members of various lodges within Bishop Street.

It was a pleasure to see so many widows with their friends, senior brethren with their wives and especially some of the younger generation who all enjoyed the succulent cuisine and entertainment.

Once again, we had a very successful afternoon with our guests being entertained by personalities such as Mrs. Jennifer Lapsley accompanied on the piano by Wor. Bro. Stan Huey. 

Wor.Bro. David Radcliff gave us a courageous but hilarious look at life as perceived from his circumstance. 

Wor.Bro.David Parkhill entertained the guests with a short version of his Bingo. 

V. Wor. Bro. Alistair Sterritt, Provincial Grand Treasurer, gave a special word of thanks to Rt. Wor. Bro. David Bratton , V. Wor.Bro.Norman Boyd and his wife for their personal contribution to the event and to all those willing helpers who gave of their time to help make the afternoon so rewarding.

He then presented Mrs. Jennifer Lapsley with a few small gifts in appreciation of her personal contribution to the afternoon.

Also,  Wor. Bros. Stan Huey and David Radcliff were presented with something to cheer them up, in gratitude for their esteemed involvement in the event!

Lodge 716, Coleraine
Installation Communication


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Worshipful Master - W. Bro. Russell Hutchison

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Lodge 716 held their Installation Communication on 7th March in Freemasons' Hall, Coleraine but it wasn't always held in March. Initially, their Installation was held on the first Tuesday in February every year up until the year 1962. In that particular year, there was a lot of snow fell during the day, and on the evening of their meeting Wor. Bro. James Connor was installed as Wor Master. When the formal ceremonies ended everyone set off to the Strand Hotel in Portstewart for the Installation Dinner. As the evening came to a close, and snow was still falling, Bro Conner and his party, who were returning home to Limavady, decided to take the coastal route, and when they reached Benone, their vehicle got marooned in a particularly large snow drift, meaning that the Brethren had to spend the rest of the night in their car. In the morning, they walked to the local train station and made their way back to Limavady.  Bro Connor ended up in bed for a couple of days, to recover from the rigors of his journey.  And in consequence, from 1963 onwards, Lodge 716 have held their installation meeting on the first Tuesday in March each year.

St. John's Lodge 196
Bishop Street, Londonderry



Presentation of 60 and 50 year certificates

At the Installation Communication of St. John's Lodge 196 on 13 February, Rt. Wor. Bro. Alan Maguire presented W. Bro. Albert Austin with his 60 Year certificate and bar and W. Bro. Wilson Manning with his 50 Year certificate and jewel.  

Albert Edward Lodge 235, Coleraine
Unique Installation


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L to R 

W.Bro. Ryan Pollock, R.W.Bro Rodney McCurley Deputy Grand Master, W. Bro. Richard Pollock W.M., R.W. Bro. Raymond Robinson Orov, Grand Master and W.Bro. Raymond Pollock Father and Lodge Almoner.

At the Stated Communication on Saturday the 3rd January Bro. Richard Pollock was installed as Worshipful Master by his brother W.Bro. Ryan Pollock who, when in the chair himself in 2011, installed his father, W. Bro. Raymond Pollock in the chair. It is not unusual for a father to install  his son but for a son to install his father and then his brother would appear to be unique............unless someone knows otherwise.

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