The Installation of St Mark’s Lodge No. 5529, which meets at Fern Avenue Masonic Hall, saw three generations of the same family part of the proceedings
John C. Bruce, who first occupied the Masters Chair in 1975, was installed, with a full ceremony, by his grandson Ryan J. Bruce, with his son John N. Bruce giving the Address to the Master, followed by the Toast to the Master and The Master’s song at the Festive Board.
John Snr's father and brother were members of St. Nicholas’ Lodge No.1676 whilst his brother, Robert (Bob) Bruce was in the Chair in 1968. Whilst he was home on leave that year, having previously emigrated to Northern Rhodesia/Zambia, arrangements were made with the then Provincial Grand Secretary of Northumberland, to contact the District Grand Secretary of Zambia, to inform them that they had a potential candidate with family members who were members of Lodges in Northumberland. He was subsequently Initiated into Mufulira Lodge No. 5326 English Constitution, in March 1969 and on the night of his Initiation, he received a telegram from his father, brother and a number of uncles, from Northumberland, congratulating and welcoming him as a Brother.
He became Master in 1975 and was appointed to the rank of Past District Senior Grand Warden in 1986. Whilst a member of the Lodge, for the majority of the time, he held the Office of either Secretary or Treasurer. He subsequently became a joining member of St Mark’s Lodge in 2006 and also Northumbrian Master’s Lodge No. 3477. He joined Mufulira Royal Arch Chapter No. 5329, English Constitution, in June 1971, becaming Most Excellent in 1978. He subsequently joined De Loraine Royal Arch Chapter No. 541 in 2007 and is also a member of Northumbrian First Principals Chapter No. 3477.
It was decided to form a Lodge of Installed Masters, hence Copperbelt Lodge of Installed Masters No. 9136, English Constitution was consecrated in 1985 with John Snr being a founding member who held the Office of Junior Warden and became Master in 1987. He was also a member of the Knights Templar and the Rose Croix.
The Installing Master, Ryan J. Bruce, who was eager to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather and father, was Initiated into St Mark’s Lodge in 2011. As the Master of St Marks Lodge at the time, his father, John Jnr, had the honour of Initiating, Passing and Raising Ryan. Ryan became Master of St Marks Lodge in 2016 and also served as Master of Insurance & Banking Lodge of Northumbria No. 3886 in 2016, having received a dispensation. He again served as Master of St. Marks Lodge in 2019 and is also a member of Northumbrian Master’s Lodge. Ryan joined De Loraine Royal Arch Chapter in October 2011 and became Most Excellent in 2018. He is also a member of Northumbrian First Principals Royal Arch Chapter.
In 2018 he was a founder member of the Provincial Grand Stewards Lodge No. 9981 and appointed to the rank of Past Provincial Grand Steward. In the Royal Arch Chapter, he was appointed to the rank of Provincial Grand Steward in 2020 and is also a Mark and Royal Ark Mariner Mason as well as a member of the Knights Templar and the Rose Croix.
John N. Bruce was Initiated into Highveld Lodge No. 7750, English Constitution, in October 1989 and joined St Mark’s Lodge in June 2006, becaming Master in 2010 for two years. He served as Master of Insurance & Banking Lodge of Northumbria in 2013 and 2015, and has been Master of Reserve Forces Lodge No. 2666 in 2018. He is also a member of Northumbrian Master’s Lodge and Victoria Rifle Lodge No. 822. He received his first appointment to Provincial Grand Superintendant of Works in 2017 and subsequently promoted to Provincial Senior Grand Warden in 2021. He joined De Loraine Royal Arch Chapter in 2007, becoming Most Excellent in 2013. He was appointed to the rank of Provincial Grand Scribe Nehmiah in 2018 and is also a member of Northumbrian First Principals Royal Arch Chapter. John Jnr is also a Mark and Royal Ark Mariner Mason and a member of the Knights Templar, Knights Templar Priests, Rose Croix, Royal & Select Masters, Allied Masonic Degrees, Red Cross of Constantine, S.R.I.A and the Commemorative Order of Saint Thomas of Acorn.
As you can see the three Bruce’s certainly enjoy their Freemasonry.
A thoroughly enjoyable evening was had by all who attended the Installation, and Installation Banquet, and everyone is looking forward to an excellent year ahead.