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​NEWS 2018-19

Presentation of Cheque to Charis Cancer Care which supports men and women affected by cancer at every stage of their journey. They also assist and support the families and supporters of those living with Cancer.

Their Cancer Centre is on a hill overlooking Lough Fea outside Cookstown.

Presentation 06 60 year Bar to W. Bro. John Knipe of Star 16, Kilrea bt R.W. Bro. Alan Maguire, Provincial Assistant Grand Master.

Left to Right.

Rt.Wor.Bro.Raymond Robinson (Provincial Grand Master)  Ms.Govanna McKurley,

Ms.Fiona Wallace, Rt.Wor.Bro.Noel Drain,  Ms.Rhona McGeady,  Rt.Wor.Bro.Ken Doherty (Provincial Deputy Grand Master)


Following an appeal by the Past Provincial Grand Master of Londonderry and Donegal, Rt.Wor.Bro.Noel Drain, to all Lodges for financial support to deserving cancer charities in the North West, a presentation of £2500.00 was made to Marie Curie Cancer Services on Monday 9th.September 2019.  This was just one of a number of similar donations he was able to make to equally deserving cancer charities, marking his retirement as Provincial Grand Master.  His thanks go to all the brethren in the area who enthusiastically gave their time and effort raising the money. He hopes this small gesture, so freely donated by Freemasons, will provide some assistance towards the essential work carried out by Marie Curie, providing the necessary comfort for so many in our community.Add News Story here

Noel A. Drain presenting a cheque for £2000 to Gillian Wallace, fundraiser for Cancer Focus, in Freemasons' Hall, Coleraine. Also included is Sharon McIlwaine from Limavady who will be running in the Great North Run, a half marathon, 13.1 miles from Newcastle City Centre to North Shields in North East England, on Sunday 8th September in aid of Cancer Focus Northern Ireland.

Past Provincial Grand Master, R.W. Bro. Noel A. Drain presenting a cheque for £2000 to Andrea Kearns, fundraiser for Pancreatic Cancer UK, in Freemasons' Hall, Coleraine.

Michael O'Loan of Lodge 716, Coleraine, who was Runner-Up in the Grand Master's Millennium Cup Competition in Killymoon receiving his prize from the R.W. Deputy Grand Master, R.W. Bro. Rodney McCurley.

Congratulations to Michael O'Loan and David Laverty from Lodge 716, Colerain, on winning the Team Prize at the Grand Master's Millennium Cup Competition held at Killymoon Golf Club. They are being presented with the Cup and prizes by R.W. Bro. Rodney McCurley, R.W. Deputy Grand Master.

Past Provincial Grand Master, R.W. Bro. Noel A. Drain presenting a cheque for £2000 to Sheila Duffy, fundraiser for N.I. Children’s Hospice in Limavady Masonic Hall.

L. to R. Mr. Jim Hughes (Trustee), Rt.Wor.Bro. Arthur Graham,  Rt.Wor.Bro. Noel Drain and

Mr. Jason Hughes (Trustee)


The second presentation made on Tuesday 13tn August was to “Northern Irish Cancer Care” who received the sum of £1500.00.

N.I.C.C. is a local based charity in Londonderry providing a free service for cancer patients and their families throughout Northern Ireland. 

Some of these services include transport of patients to and from Londonderry and Belfast or the North West Cancer Centre at Altnagelvin Hospital.

Use of Electro Hospital bed which can be delivered free to patient’s home

Free pet boarding services for patients who are required to stay in hospital

Free advice and in some cases, meals can be provided for patients with specific dietary requirements, supported by ICON Restaurant.

They are entirely dependent on voluntary contributions and their Charity shop 90, Spencer Road, Londonderry will always welcome good quality second hand items for resale

Mr.Jason Hughes was really overwhelmed by the generosity of the Freemasons of Londonderry and Donegal and expressed his sincere thanks to everyone who contributed.

L. to R. Rt.Wor.Bro. Arthur Graham, Mrs. Yvonne Martin (Director of Nursing), Mrs. Terri Sythes (Administrative Service Manager), Mr. Donall Henderson (C.E.O.), Rt.Wor.Bro. Noel Drain and Wor.Bro. John McLaughlin (W.M. Lodge 589)


Following the appeal by our Past Provincial Grand Master, Rt.Wor.Bro. Noel Drain for donations towards various Cancer Charities, it was a pleasure to make donations to two worthy causes on Tuesday 13th August 2019.  The first to benefit was the Day Care Facility in the Foyle Hospice, Londonderry who received £2700.00 which was spent on the purchase of garden table, chairs and a parasol as well as a custom made awning for the front door over a patio area.  These items were specially chosen by the sister-in-charge of the unit, Ms.Teresa McGowan, knowing they would add to the patients comfort and well-being.

The C.E.O. Mr. Donall Henderson expressed his profound thanks to the Masonic Order for their kind gesture which he knew would be a great benefit for patients’ welfare.


The Past Provincial Grand Master, R.W. Bro. Noel A. Drain presenting cheques to Allan from Donegal Hospice and Grainne from Cancer Care West. Proceeds were raised by Lodges for his Appeal for funds for local Cancer Charities on his retirement from the office of Provincial Grand Master.


Very Worshipful Brother Archdeacon McLean Provincial Grand Chaplain,

Iris McKeown, Area Representative for Macmillan Cancer Support,

Right Worshipful Brother Robert Overend, Provincial Assistant Grand Master


On Tuesday 23rd July  members of South Derry Masonic Lodges gathered in Magherafelt Masonic Hall to present a cheque for £2,000·00 to Iris McKeown, area representative of Macmillan Cancer Support. 

This sum was raised as a result of the Former Provincial Grand Master’s initiative for Lodges in Londonderry and Donegal to have special fund raising events to raise money for local charities - this to coincide with his retirement as Provincial Grand Master. 

Right Worshipful Brother Noel Drain

launched this idea in autumn 2018 and was present for the handing over of the cheque.  


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St Johns Masonic Lodge No 196
W Master John Bratton
10 June 2019


50 years in Masonry - W Bro Noel Lyttle


On 8th May 1967, it was proposed by W Bro R Ramsay and seconded by W Bro W Hogg that the name of Mr Noel Lyttle Full Masonic age, School Teacher,29 Rossdowney Gardens, Londonderry, be placed on the books for ballot.
The ballot took place the following month on 12 June 1967. The ballot being clear the W Master W Bro E G Drayston declared that Mr Noel Lyttle be elected as a candidate for Initiation to the Lodge subject to the approval of the Londonderry Committee of enquiry.
The Lodge officers in 1967 were;

W Master - W Bro E G Drayston,
SW - W J Woods,
JW - R G McFarland,
Treasurer - A J Davin,
Secretary - W Bro W B Evans,
SD - J D Anderson,
JD - S Mitchell,
IG - R E Patterson,
Organist - T L Woods.

On 9 October 1967 Mr Noel Lyttle who had been balloted for at a previous communication and subsequently received the approval from the Londonderry Committee of Enquiry, being in attendance and having paid the initation fee (£8 8s 0p) was admitted with his conductor W Bro R J Ramsay, and received the 1st or EA Degree conferred by Bro RR Harpur.

On 13 November 1967, Bro Noel Lyttle who had served a time as an Entered Apprentice, was admitted with his conductor Bro D McCracken and passed to the 2nd or Fellowcraft degree.
The Degree was conferred by W Bro D J Hogg. The candidate was then saluted according to ancient custom.

On 12 February 1968, Bro Noel Lyttle a fellowcraft Freemason was admitted with his conductor Bro D. McCracken and raised to the degree of Master Mason and saluted. The W Master congratulated W Bro R Ramsay for the excellent manner in which he conferred the degree and thanked Bro McCracken for his assistance.

Noel became Organist in 1972, I Guard in 1973 and W Master in 1978

Wor.Bro.Jim Kay being presented with his certificate from Ms. Kirsty Burns , Ass. Manager of the Cancer Research UK. shop, Ferryquay Street, Londonderry. 

Wor.Bro. Kay is the Almoner in Temple Lodge 138, Londonderry.

Cancer Research UK is fortunate to have the support of over 40,000 volunteers and fundraisers across the UK and the annual “Flame of Hope Awards” celebrates some of the most inspiring supporters.

Ms.Rae Armstrong, manager, was delighted to nominate Jim for the category of Honorary Fellowship in recognition of his incredible contribution to Cancer Research UK.  She expressed her sincere thanks for his exceptional support over the past 18 years. 

Without volunteers like him the organisation simply wouldn’t be able to raise money to support life-saving research.  Not only do they give their time, energy and passion to beat cancer, but they are at the heart of Cancer Research UK in our community, making it possible for our scientists, clinicians and nurses to develop kinder treatments and find new ways to prevent and treat all cancers.

The Cancer Research UK shop in Ferryquay Street was nominated the top branch in Northern Ireland this year for its fund raising efforts and all thanks go to the general public for their constant support.Add News Story here

W.Bro. John Nesbitt, a member of Victory M.L. 941 Castlerock, was accompanied by the Provincial Grand Master and 7 other Brethren of the Lodge to witness W.Bro. Nesbitt receiving his 60 year certificate and bar at his Mother Lodge, Scott M.L. 300, Coalisland.

The Deputy Grand Master, R.W. Bro. Rodney L. McCurley, performed the ceremony.

Also present was the Provincial Deputy Grand Master of Tyrone and Fermanagh, R.W. Bro. Jim Moore.

John joined Freemasonry in Scott Masonic Lodge 300 in 1959: -

E.A.  15 April 1959

F.C.  17 June 1959

M.M. 16 Sept. 1959

W.M. 1971

Lodge Secretary from 1977 to 1989.

P.P.G.L. Organist 1982 & P.G.L. D. of C. 1988 in P.G.L. of Tyrone & Fermanagh.

He also served on the Board of the Masonic Welfare Fund from 2007 – 2014 having taken over from R.W. Bro. John Hadden (P.D.G. Master).

After he moved to Castlerock in 1990 he affiliated to Victory Masonic Lodge 941 where he served as Worshipful Master in 2012

John, now in his 90th year, has  rarely missed a meeting of the P.G.L. of  Londonderry & Donegal and as such we sometimes forget to mention him as a visiting P.G.L. Officer!

Brethren of Temple Masonic Lodge No.138 performed a number of “Bag Packing” days at Iceland, Foyle Street, Londonderry and raised the marvellous amount of almost £1830.00.  The donation was presented to the Manageress, Ms.Ray Armstrong, of The Cancer Research U.K. shop in Ferryquay Street, Londonderry  by the Provincial Grand Master, Rt.Wor.Bro.Noel Drain.  Also in the picture (left) is Wor. Bro. Jim Kay who also collected donations in Costa Coffee,  Foyleside which are included in the above amount.  On the right is Wor. Bro. Robert Simpson whose help in Iceland was most valuable.

To all of the general public who contributed so liberally to this worthy charity, Freemasons in general, but the Brethren of Lodge 138 in particular, express their sincere appreciation for their generosity.

30th December 2018

Ava, the Granddaughter of Albert Edward 235’s Secretary Gary Tosh, fell in her bathroom and banged her head on the floor resulting in a massive egg lump shape on the back of her head. Her mother made the quick decision to take her to the A & E in Coleraine. Ava was very distressed from the fall and at 2½ years old she had never been to Causeway Hospital before. There were people everywhere, patients, staff and even the Police were in attendance.  Ava was overwhelmed by the whole experience and was getting more and more anxious and was crying inconsolably.  Just as her mother was about to take her outside to calm her down a nurse appeared with a box full of Teddies and ask Ava if she would like to choose one and as soon as she saw the Teddies she became more relaxed.  Ava chose the red one as red is her favourite colour. She kept the “Red Bear” and held it tightly as she had to get blood taken.   After being treated for her bump she couldn’t wait to get home and show her Daddy and little Brother her new bear. The next day her mother and Ava called at Gary’s home to show him the bear she got from Hospital and it was then that Gary asked his daughter to look at the label on the Bear. She was amazed that it was donated by local Freemasons who support the Teddies for Loving Care Appeal.   His daughter has asked Gary to thank everyone who donates to this very worthy cause.  She is a primary school teacher and she took Red Bear to her Classroom to show the children the Teddy Bear and how all the kind men gave money to purchase teddy bears so that the Children would not be scared if they unfortunately had to attend hospital. 

L. to R. R.W.Bro. J.Cairns, R.W.Bro. D.Blair, R.W.Bro. G.Harper and R.W.Bro. R.Robinson


The Province hosted the Grand Lodge of A. F. & A. Masons of Ireland Communication on Thursday 1st March 2018 in The White Horse Hotel, Campsie, Londonderry.

Due to adverse weather conditions, especially in Southern Ireland, the Grand Master and the Grand Secretary were prevented from travelling north. Other Grand Lodge Officers were also in the same situation and a number of Provincial Brethren volunteered to occupy the vacant offices. 

R.W. Bro. John Cairns arranged all of the details for the day and then also stepped in acting as Grand Secretary for the Communication.

Tributes were paid to these Brethren for their enthusiastic agreement to stand in at such short notice.


The following 11 Provincial G.L. Officers officiated at the Grand Lodge Communication.


R.W. Bro. Raymond Robinson - Senior Grand Deacon

R.W. Bro. David L. Blair - Grand Sword Bearer


R.W. Bro. Robert G. Quigley acting as Junior Grand Warden

R.W. Bro. D. John Cairns acting as Grand Secretary

R.W. Bro Grahame Harper acting as Junior Grand Deacon

V.W. Bro. Robbie Cameron acting as Grand Steward

V.W. Bro. Hugh Wade acting as Grand Steward

W. Bro. John Cochrane acting as Grand Steward

W. Bro. William McCausland acting as Grand Steward

W. Bro. Gareth McComb acting as Grand Organist

W. Bro. Stuart McCarter acting as Grand Tiler

On 4th.January 2018, W.E.Scott Memorial Lodge 554, Campsie held their first stated communication of the New Year and after the close of the meeting the Brethren had the pleasure of giving a warm welcome to Mrs. Pamela Smyth and her daughter Jennifer.  On their entering the Lodge room the Brethren stood in respect and gave a hearty applause as Jennifer walked down the hall.

In October 2013 Jennifer suffered a life changing accident while practising gymnastics for an upcoming competition, causing serious damage to her spinal cord.

The Assistant Grand Master, Rt.Wor.Bro. Leslie Nixon, gave the two ladies a warm welcome and he expressed his delight at the progress Jennifer has made along her journey since they last met.  The Provincial Grand Master, Rt.Wor.Bro.Noel Drain then had a few words of cordiality for Jennifer.  He reminded the assembly that when he last met Jennifer a year ago, she was in a wheelchair, but she asserted then that she would walk into her next Masonic gathering. 

She kept to her word!

Rt.Wor.Bro.Eric Henry, Deputy Chairman of The Masonic Girls’ Fund gave the meeting a comprehensive summary of the procedures followed by the various Masonic Charity Funds in general and the Masonic Girls Fund in particular.  Wor.Bro.Alistair Sterritt then gave an outline of assistances provided by the Derry Masonic Fund, of which he is Treasurer.  All these charities have subscribed handsomely to the support of Jennifer. All the speakers commended Pamela on her dedicated support for her daughter, in spite of the tragic and untimely death in 2016 of her husband Wor.Bro.David Smyth who was a past Master of Lodge 554.

In reply Pamela expressed her heartfelt thanks to all organisations, individuals and The Masonic Order for their charitable donations over the past few years.

Over the years since, numerous organisations and individuals have worked tirelessly to raise funds to assist Jennifer in her rehabilitation.  The Masonic Order was prominent in this activity. The cumulative result of these efforts has now helped provide Jennifer with a “Re-Walk 6.0” costing around £60,000.00.  This robotic style suit now assists Jennifer to stand up and walk, giving her a new perspective of everything around her since her eyelevel has been at wheelchair height for over four years. She now takes great pride at being taller than her mother!

The Lodge then provided everyone with tea and sandwiches, affording a less formal atmosphere for Brethren to offer their personal good wishes to Jennifer, who displayed her usual pleasant and congenial personality, although perhaps, understandably, a little overwhelmed by the occasion.

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