Brethren it is with great sadness I have to pass on the message I received this morning from Jane Donaldson the daughter of W BRO John Donaldson an elder member of our lodge.
John passed away early this morning only close family members can attend the funeral but the family would like to have a memorial service at a later time and will inform us when it will take place.
Yours S & F
Allan Sinclair

John was a lovely man and I have many happy memories of him, he will be greatly missed.

Please keep safe.

Adrian Bury

Brethren all,

I am coming a little late to the tributes but I have found John’s passing difficult.  I echo the kind comments of others and thank them for sharing them with me.

John was one of the three brethren that visited Pam and I at home before I joined, the other two being George Brittan and Phil Worner.  Most of you will not remember Phil but he was a big man in every respect and all three of these brethren were then and continued to be a great inspiration to me throughout my Masonic journey.  All three in their different ways have become unassuming giants among the Royal Edward brethren.

I am currently ploughing through 30 years of our minutes – looking for nuggets to include in our History.  I have lost count of the time John’s name comes up.  Despite being dyslexic (which probable few knew) he still performed every office with enthusiasm and his own brand of JD doggedness.  Often taking offices and doing jobs that no one else would do (or in the case of the cleaning mentioned be David) would never think of doing – it just magically got done by the JD fairy.

I was thinking a lot about John on Sunday morning before hearing that John had passed to the GLA and made a note from the minutes of a meeting on 8th June 2001 when the Lodge of Sincerity No. 7658 attended REL and performed a demonstration 2nd Degree Exeter Working Ceremony.  John acted as Candidate as a tribute to his Grandfather who was Initiated into St John the Baptist Lodge No. 39 meeting in Exeter.  They were founded in 1732 and are the oldest Masonic Lodge constituted under the UGLE to continuously work outside of London and the eighteenth oldest Lodge in England & Wales.

John was not only busy with the Lodge, he was also very active with the Thornbury & District Stroke Support Group, an Almondsbury Wine Circle and many other things – he was not one to sit still.

I remember in 1996, Pam and I moved to a quite large rambling 1860’s Vicarage in need of considerable repair (a project).  And true John, he turned up unannounced with his video camera to record THE BEFORE so that we had a permanent record.  He also brought with him John Patching who I think was supposed to be the Director but as usual, JD did everything.  I still have that video (converted recently from Beta) which I treasure because it also captures my mother who was staying with us at that time.

John was friend and inspiration to many and will be greatly missed.

Best wishes,

Colin Bendon


Like all of you words escape me regarding the great loss of Worshipful brother John D Donaldson,  John was always a helpful man and Mason,  willing to help anyone who required assistance, he certainly was a wonderful treasurer for many years, stalwart of Royal Edward Lodge, I will join you all raising a glass at 9.30 pm Friday, and reflect on the man we all knew.

Not to forget W bro Alec Kerby, being part of the 1984 masters circle, whom I knew since my initiation in January 1985. 

We will raise our glass, remember! and never forget. 

Dave Alexander. P M. 

Dear Brethren, since Allan informed me on Sunday about the sad loss of John I too have been reflecting on this wonderful man. He typically made me feel welcome in lodge from the first moment I joined. He was always a souse of information if I was not sure. He did everything with a smile on his face. When I went self employed in 1998 he asked to be one of my clients, probably more to help me with my new venture than me help him with his finances. He remained my client for many years. John had a second property in Cornwall which I rented a few time for which I have fond memories. Although quite upsetting I was glad that I got to see John in his care home in Wales. It upset me to see him so poorly but he still had that glint in his eye as he joked with all the staff, they all loved him of course.

So much already said about John which I agree with. He was a wonderful man who will be greatly missed. RIP you lovely, special man.


Paul Watkins

A lovely idea to send the tributes to Jane and Johnathan, thanks

I have known John all my life, he was the first to offer help to my mother following fathers’ stroke. I have lost count of the times he helped me whenever I had a problem over the years.

If John was with us during this crisis, he would be the first on the phone checking we are all ok, making sure we had everything we need and putting people who can help in touch with those that need it.

As a man and a mason he was an inspiration to us all.

He will be deeply missed by me and all that knew him.

Keep Well

Tony Pursey

I have many happy memories of John, he was always very active in the Lodge and a mine of information about the Lodge and Lodge members.

He was such a lovely man who always had time for everybody, especially with new members always making them very welcome.

When Ollie was born John came to visit Michelle and I in Southmead Maternity Unit as she had stay in for a while because she had to have an emergency cesarian, John came in with a card and flowers from the Lodge, John stayed for over an hour, we all know he loved a good chin wag. Michelle she still remembers this with great fondness and thought it was a lovely thing to do, Michelle has just said to me while I’m writing this, he was such a lovely person, a real gentle-man. John touched a lot of lives at Royal Edward and will be greatly missed.


Adrian Bury

Dear Brethren

Thank you to Bro Secretary for forwarding the very sad news as notified by W Bro Sinclair.

This really is very sad  news although it may be a blessed release for dear John.

If ever there was a solid, loyal, committed, devoted Lodge man John was him in every way.   Nothing was ever to much trouble and he kept us on top of so many points of detail and admin.    

He really was a good Mason through and through and I don’t think there was a bad thought in him

He was unswervingly committed and encouraging – an utterly decent, humourous man.

He has not been able to be with us for quite some time now but this is a really sad loss to the Lodge and we will miss him terribly.

The sad news is compounded by the email from W Bro Selby of Western Tideway Lodge reporting the sad passing of W Bro Alex Kirby – another absolute Avonmouth stalwart.

Freemasonry in Avonmouth has an awful hole in our lives and heritage today.

May they rest in peace and  rise in Glory.


David Langley

Do you know I’ve been thinking about John a lot since the emails started a few days ago.

When I first joined the Lodge you will remember that it was a strange time for us, Dad was dying and Bro Simon was being initiated. I was there by special concession from PGL as I hadn’t been to a Lodge for 30 years. Amongst all of the Brethren at that time who made me feel very welcome John was at the front. He was so friendly and interested in me that it was almost alarming. 

There are not many occasions in your life when an individual has a profound impact on you, for me, John was one of those people. His warmth, compassion, love and enthusiasm for everyone, and certainly all things masonic, will not be forgotten by me, ever.

Even though I haven’t seen John for some time. We might remember him in later life when he was having difficulties but lets think about him as the powerhouse he was 10 years ago and beyond. He will be sorely missed by me and I am sure everyone else who knew him. I shall continue to think about him for a long time yet.

I salute you John.

Steve Rundle

Hi Steve that is a lovely tribute. And every word true. Perhaps through this time we can maybe try to get an old fashioned newsletter together to collate our thoughts, share other news and get it to those who only rely on email or post. Obviously the tech savvy brethren will also get some of these tributes on the new website and on twitter etc.    I too was thinking of JDD and saw a tweet from St John’s Lodge in Exeter just before we got the news. That was John’s father’s Lodge (or Grandfather’s?). J used to talk about it and they do a special installation ceremony which is also worked by Bob Preece’s Lodge Sincerity at Stapleton. He used to take us to see it. As to John and the Rundles he was so instrumental. He persuaded your Dad to come along, join and next thing we had a SW and a lovely WM. It was a great tragedy to us all that Dennis passed away before the year was out but he made a great impression, taught us a lot of good sense and enthusiasm. And we got to see him Initiate and Pass Simon and get you to join. So much intertwined history and JDD as always right at the heart. When we go back we must all sit down as John would have us do and polish all the jewels and wands to make him proud. As I type I realise how much I miss him already. Thanks for sharing your memories. Dave

Thanks Dave, I will certainly look forward to toasting John with all the Brethren when we can. It will also be a nice tribute for us all to polish the candles and jewels in his honour, he certainly would approve and it would be fun, for which he would also give his blessings!

We must make sure that we celebrate his life with them when we can. Hopefully there will be an opportunity to do this when life gets back to normal.

Steve R

I have also shared some moving memories of dear John Donaldson ( PM 1978) with Steve Rundle this morning as well as remembering his dear Dad, Dennis (PM 2007).

Brethren my extra contribution for you to remember dear John but also all our dear departed Brethren is below. 

When I seek solace and calm on the passing of a loved one I always go back to the Pie Jesu from Faure’s Requiem

It is best with a true treble voice and I have pasted a link which does it true justice.    2 separate clips.

I always cry – I hum this is my mind for all those I have lost.

My Latin is ok but not great so I have posted the translation.   It is easy to follow.

Pie ]esu   – Gabriel Faure  Soprano solo
Pie Jesu, Domine, dona eis requiem
dona eis requiem sempiternam requiem
       Merciful Jesus, Lord, grant them rest
      grant them rest, eternal rest.

I hope this will lift your spirits as well as be a fitting memorial

Take care Brethren


  Thank you for your kind words and for the sad news of the passing of John. Pie Jesu is one of my most uplifting pieces of singing and music and it was a great joy to listen as I recalled John and his cheerful smile. I shall include him in my prayers for the departed especially as we approach Easter and the joy of the Resurrection.

                                Blessings to you and yours,


May dear John rest in peace and rise in Glory

W. Bro. John Dunrich Donaldson PM Royal Edward Lodge 4140 (1978) Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden