20th April 2016
Steven Graham and Peter Cole of the Operative Masons Lodge in Tewkesbury Gloucestershire visited York College to present their Lodges’ annual Stonemasonry prize to third year stonemasonry apprentice Moray Western.
Moray (aged 32) is employed by Historic Property Restoration in Gateshead, for whom he worked as a labourer for eight years when all the time he wanted to learn how to be a stonemason. His tutor Paul Hill says: “Moray came to us as mature student and has completely embraced the art of Stonemasonry. He has waited a long time to be a stonemason and deserves this recognition by the Operative Masons Lodge.”
The Operative Masons Lodge make an annual presentation of tools and books to an apprentice who is worthy of some help and reward - they rotate their presentation each year around the stonemasonry colleges of the UK.
Steven Graham, who attended York College as stonemasonry student himself, explained how the lodge members are connected within the stonemasonry trade and are spread around the country. He added: "As representatives of the Operative Masons Lodge, we are delighted to help and encourage the tradition of the trade through the colleges and at the same time promote our Lodge."
Peter Cole is a stonemason from Grantham and Steven Graham is a stonemason from Huddersfield. Both their sons are former apprentice stonemasons of York College.
Moray was presented with a bag of stonemasonry tools and a book. He said: “I feel very honoured to be chosen as the recipient of this year’s prize.”