St Albans Lodge No.5322, which meets at Shiremoor Masonic Hall, paid tribute to a unique event recently. Not only was the Lodge packed to the rafters to witness one of their number, Brian Jobes, presented with a certificate to celebrate fifty years of uninterrupted service to the Craft, but also to re-enact a First Degree ceremony conducted by the then and current Master, Francis Gilchrist, for two 'initiates', Andy Elvin, and Jim Moor, first witnessed forty years previously to the day
Brian was initiated into Freemasonry in St Albans Lodge, in January 1972. He occupied the Masters Chair in 1979, and then again in 2001 and was recognised for his dedication to the Craft when he was appointed, in Provincial Grand Lodgein 1988, to the rank of Past Provincial Junior Grand Deacon, being subsequently promoted to Past Provincial Grand Registrar in 1996, and finally to Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden in 2019.
Away from Freemasonry Brian married his first wife in 1955, sadly losing her to cancer after 27 years of marriage. He re-married in 1984 until the present day. Living in Gateshead, he began a seven year long apprenticeship, at the age of 14, training to be a Litho Printer, completing this at Robinsons, based at the south end of the High Level Bridge.
Brian subsequently moved to Hull, with his wife, to take a position with Metal Box, as a Litho Printer, remaining in Hull for 10 years before moving back to the North East where he started working with Fields in Killingworth. After close to 47 years as a Litho Printer, he took early retirement at the age of 60.
On his return to the North East Brian joined the Backworth Male Choir, where he met his proposer into Freemasonry, Bill McMasters, who was the reigning Master of St Albans Lodge when he was initiated. During his time with the choir Brian has performed in many different cathedrals and churches and has been lucky enough to travel around the UK, and the rest of the world singing, receiving his 50 years of service to the choir, last year.
During his time in Freemasonry Brian has been lucky enough to travel to the USA, on two separate occasions on masonic business, for the purpose of 'The Gathering of Lodges named St Alban', the last time being when he presented a banner to St Alban Lodge No.667 in Youngstown, Ohio, USA.