CELEBRATING 60 years with a charitable organisation, a Thirsk man has been presented with a certificate of service along with two of his colleagues.

At the Falcon Masonic Lodge in Thirsk, Terry Burt, a member of the United Grand Lodge of England, presented Peter Odling with a certificate for 60 years of service to Freemasonry. Also honoured were Bernard Porter, renowned former host at the Three Horseshoes Hotel and Inn, Boroughbridge with 50 years of service and Douglas Wood, chaplain of the lodge, awarded a 50 year certificate.

A former RAF pilot, Mr Odling joined Freemasonry in 1954 and moved to the Falcon Lodge at Thirsk in 1983 progressing to master in 1984.

Well-known as the proprietor of an electrical business in Thirsk, Mr Odling was president of the Rotary Club of Thirsk and chairman of Bagby Aero Club. Latterly, during lockdown, he put pen to paper, writing a popular selling biography telling the story of his flying career. He donated the £1,000 proceeds to The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.

As a charitable organisation, Freemasonry is second only to the National Lottery in giving, making them one of the largest donors to good causes in the UK.

During the last four and a half years, Falcon Lodge has made donations of approximately £9,000 to local causes. These included Herriot Hospice Homecare, Thirsk Royal British Legion Band, Yorkshire Air Ambulance, Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal, Swaledale Mountain Rescue, Thirsk Falcons Football Club, Freddie’s Fund, Thirsk Clock, Macmillan Cancer Support and Community works for Scrubs.