The Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge took his Team to Dunston to visit Clavering Mark Lodge. The Team was in for a treat as it was not only the Installation of the new Master of Clavering, but also the presentation of a 60 years certificate.
It was an early start due to the agenda for the evening. This didn’t deter many from turning out and fighting the traffic on the A1. It wasn’t long before the DPGM in Charge, David Hanson and the Provincial Team were warmly welcomed into the Lodge.
The first business was to Install Ian Dixon into the Masters chair of Clavering Mark Lodge. This was executed in style by the Installing Master, Christopher Ansell before Ian invested his officers for the year.
The next important event was for the DPGM in Charge to present Alfred Morris with a certificate for 60 years of continuous service in the Mark Degree. David invited Alf to join him on the floor to reminisce about his time.
Alf was a child of 1938 and born in the Scotswood area of Newcastle. On leaving school he took an apprenticeship as a panel beater before setting up his own coach building company. He retired from the business at 50 due to poor health but carried on working as a gardener until a cancer diagnosis called time on this at an age of 79!
In his teens, his interest was football. He both played and managed at a local non-league level for St Bede’s and Malvain. Alf entertained everyone with many funny stories of this era.
Alf commenced his Masonic journey when he was initiated into Clavering Lodge on 4th February 1962, at the age of 21. His proposer was his father and his seconder was a well-known Freemason, Tom Butterwell. Alf progressed through the ranks, becoming Master in 1983, receiving Provincial honours in 1992, promoted in 200 and further promoted in 2017. In the Mark and Mariner Degrees, Alf holds Grand Rank.
When his mother Lodge surrendered its Warrant in 2006, Alf joined Winlayton St. Paul’s Lodge. He was proposed by Frank Rankin and seconded by Keith Liddell and progressed to the Lodge Master in 2012.
Hi early Masonic career saw him join a number of other Masonic Orders, namely Royal Arch Chapter, Mark, Royal Ark Mariners, Rose Croix, Red Cross of Constantine and the Allied Degrees. However, business commitments forced him to resign from a number of these Orders.
He is renowned for his ritual and puts this down to his late mentor, John George Hancock. Together, they were prolific visitors in Northumberland and Durham Provinces and spent many Sunday evenings together reciting ritual.
To this day, Alf has remained very active in his various Masonic activities and thoroughly enjoys delivering ritual whenever the opportunity arises. He is often relied upon to stand in at very short notice and always happy to oblige.
It was noted during the toast to Alf by Frank Rankin, that Alf had a very good memory and David had a struggle to get a word in, Alf being so enthusiastic. Frank then presented a gift on behalf of Clavering Mark of some ‘light refreshment’ to go in the decanter he got for his 50th.
It was a superb night, one to remember and it is fair to say that Alf left his mark with everyone who attended.