NEWS - 2022

May 15th - As part of Men's Health Week, and in a Health and Wellbeing alliance between the P G.L. of Down, the D.G.R.A.C. of Down and the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, an afternoon of information and activities has been organised to take place on Tuesday 1 4th June 2022 from I .30 — 3.30pm at Galwally House.Click here to read more.

April 7th - As part of the Mental Health Awareness, in​partnership with South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust. There will be a Mental Health Awareness Week commencing from the 9th - 15th May 2022. Mental Health Awareness Week is an annual event when there is an opportunity for the whole of the UK to focus on achieving good mental health. Details on this year’s theme can be found here: Mental Health Awareness Week | Mental Health Foundation

 
APRIL EDITION of the South Eastern Trust 'Take 5' newsletter. Click here to view
 
SPRING 2022 edition of ‘E-Male Matters’ - the newsletter of the Men’s Health Forum in Ireland (MHFI). Click here to view
 

DISTRICT GRAND KINGS REMARKS - Saturday 5th March 2022

Companions, I thank you all for your attendance here this afternoon. It's great that we can meet again in person.

The wind of change is blowing through District Chapter with some force, I might add.

Having served as District Grand Chaplain since 3rd June 1978, some 44 years, M.E.Comp. Rev. Charles McCurdy has indicated his desire to retire. Charles is undoubtedly one of the rocks on which the success of this District Chapter has been built. A shining example of all that is good in Freemasonry in general and Royal Arch Masonry in Down in particular. I can't thank Charles enough for all the support he has given to this District and I am particularly thankful for all the help and advice he has given me over the years. It is with great reluctance that I have accepted his decision but am delighted he has agreed to stay on in a "consultancy" role until a suitable replacement can be found. When I asked the District Deputy Grand King to seek out such a person he replied "it may take some time".

Our June Convocation will see V.E.Comp. James Robinson complete 15 years service as District Grand Almoner and he has indicated that he wishes to stand down at that time. James has been a faithful servant to District Chapter throughout that time and on behalf of the District I thank him for his contribution and dedicated service and wish him well in his retirement.
This has created a vacancy and it gives me the greatest pleasure to announce that, to the Office of District Grand Almoner I have appointed E.Comp. Adrian McQuillan PK of Warrenpoint RAC No.697. I am delighted Adrian has accepted the appointment and look forward to investing him as District Grand Almoner at our next Convocation.

Having served as District Grand Treasurer since 3rd December 2011 and as Assistant for 4 years prior to that, R. E. Comp. Cecil J E M Wilson has decided it’s time to retire and I have reluctantly accepted his decision. Cecil has been a faithful servant to District Chapter and as a Senior Officer has assisted in many capacities behind the scenes. On behalf of the District I thank him for his contribution and dedicated service and am delighted that he will continue to represent Down in progressive Office at Supreme Grand Chapter.
V. E. Comp. John Robinson District Assistant Grand Treasurer has also decided it’s time to step down having held that Office for 5 years. Again, I thank John for his service and wish him well in his retirement.
This has created 2 vacancies and it gives me the greatest pleasure to announce that, to the Office of District Grand Treasurer I have appointed V. E. Comp. Noel Cowden PK of Mount RAC No. 501, District Grand Inspector and to the Office of District Assistant Grand Treasurer I have appointed E. Comp William McCoy PK of Banbridge RAC No. 124. I am delighted both Companions have accepted these appointments and look forward to investing them at our next Convocation.
With his promotion to District Grand Treasurer V. E. Comp. Noel Cowden will have to relinquish the Office of District Grand Inspector which he has held for 4 years. To that vacancy it gives me the greatest pleasure to announce that I have appointed V. E. Comp. Ian Jordan PK of Rosetta RAC No. 188, Past District Grand Steward. I am delighted Ian has accepted the appointment and look forward to investing him as District Grand Inspector at our next Convocation.

During lockdown District Chapter held a number of Zoom meetings, many of which focused on Men's Health and Wellbeing. These were very well received.
Presentations were given by Brien Frazer, Community Health Development Practitioner from the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust after which emails were sent to the Companions informing them of the help and assistance available from various organisations along with their contact details. Having formed a partnership with the Trust it is our intention to continue to have these Zoom meetings throughout the year for the benefit of us all. Companions your Health is your Wealth and its worth looking after.

In response to a proposal from our hard working Task Group the District Chapter web site was taken apart, updated, given a makeover and rebuilt. My thanks go to all those involved, especially R. E. Comp. Ian Simms and E. Comp. Richard Wade for all the time and effort they have given to this important project. I would encourage everyone to visit the web site wwdgracdown.org.uk have a look around and see what you think. Your feedback would be greatly appreciated.
While you are there please have a look at the classes of instruction. All the information is there, meeting nights, class leaders etc. We have classes in Banbridge, Belfast (Galwally) and N'Ards and they would appreciate your support. We all benefits from attending classes, as do our Chapters. We learn the correct ritual and gain in confidence. I would urge all Companions to support the Classes of Instruction for the benefit of us all.

District Chapter has been very fortunate to receive an invitation out for each of our next 2 Convocations. They will be held on :-
1. 7th June, Dromore hosted by RAC No. 521
2. 7th Sept., Belsize Road hosted by RAC No. 978
Our grateful thanks go to both Chapters concerned and we look forward to being able to visit them to help celebrate their Centenaries.

Saturday 3rd December will see us return to La Mon Hotel and Country Club for our biennial Installation Convocation.

As of yet we have not received any invitations for 2023 so if there are any Chapters out there that have recently reached or are about to reach a special Anniversary please get in touch. We would love to help you mark the occasion with a visit from District Chapter.

Companions, thank you for your attention and I wish you all a safe journey home.

     
NEWS - 2019    
Ex.Comp Hubert Thompson was proudly presented with his 25 year Jewel    Presentation of 25 year Jewel at Shamrock RAC Kircubbin No. 354
At our convocation this evening Ex.Comp Hubert Thompson was proudly presented with his 25 year Jewel by the Excellent King, Ex.Comp. Roy Shaw and the District Deputy Grand King, R. Ex.Comp. Alan Ferris. Hubert has been a very loyal and dedicated Companion of the Chapter and is very much appreciated by all in Shamrock RAC Kircubbin No. 354. Congratulations on reaching this milestone Hubert!
     
Presentation to Air Ambulance N.I.   Presentation to Air Ambulance N.I.
On Tuesday 21st August 2019 at 2.00pm a cheque for the sum of £885.00 was presented to Air Ambulance N.I. It was made up from donations from :- Friendship Lodge No 447, Friendship RAC No 447, North Down Committee of Inspection for the RAC and Killinchy Lodge No 624.
Most Excellent Comp Stephen A Arnold, Registrar of Friendship RAC No 447 and Registrar of the North Down Committee of Inspection, handed over the cheque to Ms Grace Williams, Area Co-ordinator for Air Ambulance N.I. This took place in Newtownards Square In front Lt Col Blair "Paddy" Mayne's statue who was a member of Friendship.
W/Bro Andrew Reid who was suppose to represent Friendship Lodge took ill prior to the presentation and had to be taken to the hospital.
       
Closing supper for the Mount Royal Arch Class of Masonic Instruction, Monday 8th April 2019.   Closing supper for the Mount Royal Arch Class of Masonic Instruction, Monday 8th April 2019. Closing supper for the Mount Royal Arch Class of Masonic Instruction, Monday 8th April 2019.
       
Royal Down RAC 207   Chapter Officers Royal Down RAC 207 who held their Installation Dinner on Thursday 5th March 2019 at Freemasons Hall, Belfast. Supreme Grand King together with District Grand King attended to witness V Ex Companion Jock Murray going into the chair.
       

NEWS - 2018

     
November convocation of Farmers 1000 Royal Arch Chapter

November convocation of Farmers 1000 Royal Arch Chapter Very Excellent Companion Tom Millar was presented with his 50 year jewel and Certificate by the Most Excellent District Grand King, M. E. Comp. Neil Coey and the Excellent King, Ex. Comp. Trevor Craythorne at the November convocation of Farmers 1000 Royal Arch Chapter, James Street, Newtownards.
       
  Ex. King Jewel
At the May Convocation of RAC 697 Warrenpoint the District Grand King
M. Ex. Comp. Neil A. Coey presented the Chapter with a jewel to be worn round the neck by the Ex. King. This jewel is in memory of M. Ex. Companion Cyril Beers who passed away in 2013. M. Ex. Comp. Beers left a bequest to the chapter which was then used by the Chapter to strike a jewel in his memory.
   
Friendship Chapter No 447
On Saturday 12th May 2018 W.Bro Reid, Director of Ceremonies of Friendship Lodge No 447 and Chaplain of Friendship Chapter No 447, accompanied with Most Ex Comp Stephen A Arnold of Friendship RAC No 447 and presently Junior Warden of Friendship Lodge No 447 presented a cheque for £400.00 to Rena Johnstone and Roberta Jordan on behalf of Marie Curie. 
   
North Down Royal Arch Class of Instruction North Down Royal Arch Class of Instruction exemplified the Royal Arch Degree today, Saturday 17th March in front of the Grand Chapter of Instruction at Newtownards Masonic Hall.
   

NEWS - 2017

 

Banbridge District Masonic Charity Comm Family Carol Service 2017

 

The annual Banbridge District Masonic Charity Committee’s Family Carol Service was held on Sunday 10th December 2017 in Bannside Presbyterian Church, Banbridge.

Over 300 Masons, family and friends attended and distinguished guests included the Provincial Grand Master, R W Bro Roger Matthews, the District Grand King, M E Comp Neil Coey and the Provincial Grand Master of Armagh R W Bro David Hamilton.

The service was lead by the Rev Dr Mark Gray, the organist was V E Sir Kt Stephen Thompson and music was provided by the Banbridge Silver Band, lead by W Bro Jimmy Robinson, and the Accolade Community Choir. The readers represented Lodges, Chapters and Councils from Banbridge, Blaris, Dromara, Hillsborough and Gilford and the collection for the Down Masonic Widows’ Fund raised £1100.

Banbridge District Masonic Charity Committee Family Carol Service 2017

Presentation of 50 and 25 year Jewel and Certificates

 
Iveagh RAC No. 80 Rathfriland had a very successful and well attended convocation on September 22nd when two companions were presented with their 50 year and 25 year respectively.
Ex.Comp. Fred Stevenson was presented with his 50 year jewel and certificate and V.Ex.Comp. Cecil Auld was presented with his 25 year jewel and certificate.
The presenations were made by the District Deputy Grand King, R.Ex.Comp. Alan Ferris.