My name is John Kirby, and I am the Almoner of City Lodge 3568, a position I have occupied since 2008, when I completed my year as Worshipful Master of my Lodge. I joined Freemasonry in 1997 at the invitation of my father, who was also a member of City Lodge 3568.
I was born in Thornley, a pit village in the East Durham coal field, and attended Durham Johnston Grammar Technical School. In the early 1960 s I played and sang in rhythm groups until I joined the Police Force in 1966, where I remained until my medical retirement in 1992. I worked in craft fairs doing calligraphy and glass engraving for a while, before qualifying as an OFSTED lay school inspector, which I carried out for eight years. In between these positions I became a voluntary steward at Durham Cathedral in 1993 and continue to carry out this function. I also continue to carry out calligraphy activities for several churches in the Durham area.
As Almoner I accept responsibility for the well being and care of the membership, both past and present, and its dependants. Maintaining contact with members who may be ill, injured, or may be experiencing difficulties brought on by age or infirmity is essential. I endeavour to advise, assist and, where necessary, seek out the help and assistance of various Masonic, and possibly outside bodies who may be able to assist. Much of the work of the Almoner may be of a private and personal nature, and must be handled with the utmost discretion, which means that full facts may often not be reported or even known to the Lodge itself. A strong liaison with the Lodge Benevolent Representative is maintained in an effort to cover all aspects of care