When Ian Kirkbride, Provincial Information Officer for the South of the Province of Durham, enquired into the possibility of Hartlepool’s Central Library displaying copies of the Gazette, he opened up one of the best opportunities there’s been for promoting the Craft
Diane Marlborough, the library’s Events Co-ordinator was only too pleased to approve the request, and having already experienced the generosity of local Freemasons whose donations had earlier helped with their 'Here and Now' project (help for the elderly and those experiencing memory difficulties) she offered to host an exhibition to further promote Freemasonry in general and Hartlepool’s contribution in particular.
Ian contacted W Bro John Thompson of Harte Lodge No. 4217 who had helped with the earlier project and asked him if he’d like to take it on. John readily accepted and began by recruiting a team comprising Bro Bill Horsley of Haven of Rest Lodge No. 4350, experienced in organising Hartlepool’s annual Carol Service with John, and fellow Harte Lodge member W Bro Kevin Dixon. Further assistance was forthcoming from W Bro Peter Kay who edits the famous local masonic newsletter The Heugher News, and W Bro Peter Hodgeson, both local respected masons from the town.
The exhibition runs from 29th July and run for 5 days.
John said, 'The team are focusing on 3 themes: Freemasonry in general, Freemasonry in the community of Hartlepool, and charitable giving, both nationallly and locally throughout Durham.'
'Local Masons have volunteered to act as guides throughout the exhibition to answer questions that the public may have.'
'Open days are also planned for the Friday night of 2nd August to round off the exhibition at both of the town’s Masonic centres of Raby Road and Regent Street on the Headland.'
He went on, 'We’re already getting great support from the Provincial executive, and Adam Lamb at the Provincial Library and Harry Norman who masterminds the TLC Teddies project in our area.'
The intention is on the completion of the exhibition it will be moved to a permanent disply in Raby Road masonic building with the view that if other masons around the Province would like to use it in their area, it will be made available to them.
'This goes to the heart of Freemasonry in the Community, I’m a Mason and proud of what we do and what we have accomplished as local Freemasons in hartlepool and on a wider scale within the Province of Durham,' John continued.