A Lifetime of Brotherhood

15th May 2023

Plessey Lodge No.6242, which meets at Blyth Masonic Building, recently celebrated two of their number receiving 60-year certificates, presented by WBro Gordon Craigs, the Assistant Provincial Grand Master for Northumberland Freemasons.

The first to be recognized, Richard Conrad Bush, was initiated into Hastings Lodge No.6035, in January 1963 prior to its erasure. He became the Master of Hastings Lodge in 1972 and held the office of Almoner between 1993 and 1999. He was appointed to the rank of Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies in 1985, receiving subsequent promotion to Past Provincial Grand Registrar in 1997. After the erasure of Hastings Lodge, Richard joined Plessey Lodge in 2012, where he became Tyler in 2022.

Richard’s contributions to the fraternity are not limited to only his leadership roles. He was a dedicated member who actively participated in the activities of his Lodges for over six decades. Richard was known for his passion for fast cars and motorbikes, and built up a popular and well-respected Car and Body Coachworks business in Blyth. He took flying lessons and could fly small planes and gliders. Richard is an ex-Rotarian in Blyth, having served for over 30 years until he retired. More recently, he bought an MGB GT with the aim of his autistic grandson helping him renovate it. Richard is also a keen gardener and likes pottering in the garden of his current home.

The second to be recognized was Ken Appleby, who was initiated into Plessey Lodge in May 1965. He occupied the Masters Chair in October 1973, and was appointed to the rank of Past Provincial Grand Registrar, in Provincial Grand Lodge in December 1983. He served as Provincial Warden under the Past Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Peter Magnay, in 1990 and was acknowledged by Grand Lodge when appointed to the rank of Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies in 1994.

Ken’s time in the fraternity is marked by his dedication to Plessey Lodge. In addition to his role in Plessey Lodge, Ken was also a member of Chibburn, St. George of Throckley and St. Ronan Preceptories in the Knights Templar, as well as a member of De la Val, Ridley, and Blagdon Lodges of Mark Master Masons, and Blagdon Royal Ark Mariners.

During a Third Degree Ceremony Ken was once heard to say “When passing the mouth of a tavern, on a closer inspection of the tavern” rather than “When passing the mouth of a cavern.”, which the Director of Ceremonies immediately brought to his attention asking “When did he pass a tavern”?

On his first meeting as Master in 1972, Ken ordered a brother who was a Scottish Fisherman, out of the Festive board when he arrived in casual clothing shouting “Get out, Get out, Get out, and get a drink on me at the bar.”

It was the custom in Plessey Lodge to have pickled brisket and salad at the June meeting, however, Ken changed the menu to ham salad when he became Master, much to the consternation of some of the Past Masters.

On behalf of all at Northumberland Freemasons, we extend our warmest congratulations to Richard Conrad Bush and Ken Appleby for achieving their impressive 60-year certificates in Freemasonry. Their dedicated service and commitment to the craft are truly admirable, and we are proud to have them as esteemed members of our fraternity. We wish them both continued success and fulfilment in their Masonic journeys.

If you have a story, event, or news item that you would like to share, please email the Provincial Communications Team at news@northumberlandmasons.org.uk