Today Northumberland Freemasons help WBro Richard Long of Albert Edward Lodge No.1557, which meets at Hexham Masonic Hall, celebrate fifty uninterrupted years of service to the Craft.
Richard was born at Ayletts Farm, Halstead, Essex in 1938, delivered by W Bro Dan Gemmell who subsequently conducted his Third Degree ceremony. His father was a solicitor and the local town clerk and he was educated at The Halstead Grammar School for girls and small boys, leaving when the Preparatory Department closed under the Butler Act in 1948, subsequently attending Holmwood House Prep School in Colchester before progressing to Felsted School.
On leaving school Richard completed his National Service in the UK, Germany and Aden, most of which was spent shooting and skiing and on discharge he was articled to a partner in his father’s firm and attended the Law Society’s School of Law, being admitted to the Roll in 1965 and upon which he still remains as a non-practising solicitor. He joined the firm and became a partner in 1968 with it eventually merging with two other practices from Ipswich. The partnership dissolved when he was 58 and as he had planned to retire at the age of 60 he ceased to practice.
Whilst out shooting one day out shooting he met a farmer who eventually died having made him one of his executors. On looking at his three farms when he died, he noticed that there were two quarries next to one of them, which the executors decided not to sell, over 40 years ago. The family decided to keep the farm and Richard was given a directorship of the company to develop it. After enormous efforts with the planners, and despite massive objections, the project is one of the largest sand and gravel quarries in the country and they also have under construction a 665,000 tonne waste processing plant on the site of the expired extraction area of the site.
Masonically Richard is a Lewis, however his father promised his mother that he would not attend Lodge again if she would marry him. Both his paternal and maternal grand fathers were Past Masters and all were members of Richards Mother Lodge. His father kept his promise and attended neither his Initiation or Installation, and subsequently resigned when he occupied the Masters chair.
Prior to joining the Craft Richard was doing a committee members duty as a barman in a local club, which at the time had the Temple of Joshua Nunn Lodge, holding its meetings on its upper floor. Some of the members came in for a drink and as an aside he advised them he was contemplating becoming a mason. There was a huddle and he was asked if he could be free on the third Thursday in December and the rest is history!
He was initiated into Joshua Nunn Lodge No 2154 in 1972 and installed as its Master in 1984, holding the office of secretary for ten years. He is also a member of the Old Felstedian Lodge, Essex Masters Lodge, Gainsborough Lodge and Albert Edward Lodge, right here in Northumberland. He was a member of King Edward Vll Lodge GNLF another of Bertie’s which was erased due to the suspension of recognition of the Grand Loge National Francais.
I was on the committee of Friends of Prince Edward Duke of Kent Court at its inception and was appointed to the rank of Provincial Grand Registrar in the Province of Essex and holder of London Grand Rank. He was acknowledged in United Grand Lodge in 1999 when he was appointed to the rank of Past Assistant Grand Registrar.
He has occupied the Chair of Z in Colne Valley Chapter, The Marquis of Dalhousie Chapter and is a member of Priory Chapter. In addition he was Past Z of King Edward Vll Chapter GNLF and holds the rank of Past Provincial Grand Registrar in the Provincial Grand Chapter of Essex and Senior London Grand Chapter Rank.
In addition Richard is a member of two Mark and RAM Lodges and has occupied the Chairs of both. He was acknowledged for his work in the orders when he was appointed Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden in Essex, Past Provincial Grand Standard Bearer in London and Past Provincial Grand Rank, in the Royal Arc Mariners in both Essex and London. He is a member of the Order of the Red Cross of Constantine Edmund the Martyr Conclave and holds Provincial Rank, and a member of two Chapters of Princes Rose Croix, holding 30 degree. He is a member of The Royal Order of Scotland, and the SRIA as a magus honoris causa and was also the Procurator General of the Society during the reign of four Supreme Magi. He is an Adept of Christian Rosencreuz, a member of 5 Colleges, two of which are honorary, an adept of the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross and a member of CBCS. Finally he is a Past Commander of the Brian Borg Faslairht, Royal Order of ERI and a member of the Mur Olamgh.
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