RWBro Raymond Dinning celebrates 50 years in the Craft

RWBro Raymond Norman Dinning, KSM, Provincial Grand Master for the Athelstan Province of Lindsey, has celebrated the remarkable milestone of 50 years in Freemasonry.

“A very special occasion for a very special person” were the opening words of a tribute paid to RWBro Dinning, who holds the Craft Grand Rank of PSGD, by the Craft Provincial Grand Master for Durham Eric Heaviside when he presented a 50 year membership certificate on 17th November 2010. It was 50 years and one day since Ray’s initiation into Lumley Lodge on 16th November 1960. Since that time his contribution to Freemasonry in the town, throughout the Province and beyond has been immense.

His first Craft Provincial Duty was as a Benevolent Representative from 1977 to 91 when he became the personal representative of the then PGM Lord Barnard on the committee. He was a Provincial Warden in 1985, Chairman of the 1999 Festival Committee for Area 8 from 1993 to 99 and appointed Assistant PGM in 1997.  During his time as Asst PGM Ray Dinning introduced email to the Provincial Grand Lodge of Durham, initially with some resistance but later acknowledged for being an innovator and credited with setting up the first Provincial website.

In the Royal Arch, Lord Barnard made him the first holder of the unique position of Assistant to the Grand Superintendent in 1996 (a forerunner to the current rank of Assistant to the Provincial Principals). At the investiture of Dr Alan Davison as PGM and Grand Superintendent in 1998 Raymond was reappointed Asst PGM and became 3rd Provincial Grand Principal and was 2nd Provincial Grand Principal from 2001 to 2004.

Holding the equivalent of Grand Rank in many other Masonic orders Raymond is the Past Provincial Grand Supreme Ruler in the OSM.

All this has been carried out in a caring and supportive way while maintaining the principal that family and work must come first.  In the former this has ensured many happy years marriage to Margaret and in the latter a successful career as a police officer culminating in the position of Assistant Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary.

After the formal meeting, a dinner was held in the Masonic Hall.  A dining room full to capacity with Rays friends and former colleagues including all but one of his Assistant DCs were entertained by Rays response to his toast during which he reminisced about his Masonic Duties, time as Head of the NE Regional Crime Squad, and expressed his gratitude for the gifts he had received during the evening and for the attendance of both Provincial Grand Masters who he had served.

The above photo (courtesy of P Grieveson) shows L-R Past PGM Dr Alan Davison, PGM Eric Heaviside, Past AsstPGM and PGM for Lindsey Raymond Dinning, Past PGM Rt Hon The Lord Barnard.