Fraternal Father Figures in Freemasonry - Stanley Lewis of Deo Confidimus Lodge

A long serving member of 57 years still working and encouraging freemasonry to all

Some of the most successful lodges in Essex, and in Freemasonry universal, have a father figure whom all the brethren look up to and respect. They are often long-serving members who generate emotions, encourage high standards and have always led by example. A common trait is their wisdom of always looking ahead for the benefit of members and continually encouraging everyone to enjoy Freemasonry.  No matter their age they never seem to rest on their laurels.

One such father figure is Stanley Lewis (Stan) of Deo Confidimus Lodge No. 6253 which meets at Harlow Masonic Hall. In January 1966 when Stan was initiated, The Earl of Warwick was the Provincial Grand Master of Essex, a standard loaf of bread cost less than 7p and George Harrison married model Pattie Boyd after meeting her during the filming of ‘A Hard Day’s Night.’

Deo Confidimus (In God we trust) was the motto on the arms of the former County Borough of West Ham where a good number of founder members worked on the staff.  Consecrated as a London lodge in 1946, Deo Confidimus transferred to Essex in 1984 and is today thriving with around 30 members.

Having been a Lodge member for 57 years and Worshipful Master in 1980, 1990 and 2000, Stan has always given the brethren plenty of encouragement and he recently told them “The harmony is the best it has ever been.”  Stan was awarded the Distinguished Service to Essex Masonry (DSEM) in 2007 and in the same year he was promoted to Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden (PPSGW). What Stan has done for the continued enjoyment of the brethren is impressive.

Senior Warden, Gary Williams explains, “The solid foundations of the Lodge have been laid by Stan. He loves good ritual and when he cannot get to LOI meetings Stan checks with members to see how it went and pass on any advice he can give. Already Stan is planning the June 2024 cluster meeting at Harlow.”

It speaks volumes about Stan, who is now in his 95th year, that the day before the Installation meeting in February he had a fall and was taken to hospital but discharged himself at 2am in the morning, so that he could be at the Installation meeting at which he delivered an accomplished Address to the Brethren.

Gary added, “Over the years Stan has organised many social events including ladies’ festivals and trips to the races which have raised considerable amounts of money for charity. Quite often, when requests were received from charities, Stan would find out exactly what they needed and rather than hand over the money he would make it his mission to get the item by negotiating with suppliers and made sure he got the best price. The charity received the special equipment they needed, and the Lodge was able to provide additional support to other charities with the money Stan had saved.”

Stan has also served the Brethren of Deo Confidimus as Almoner for 39 years and gives full reports at each meeting. He has always made sure the Lodge supports its members, their families, and widows through both good and difficult times. Freemasonry is not only about integrity, respect and charity but also friendship. For more than half a century Stan has made many good friends, none more so than Leslie Garnham who was initiated in September 1967. Stan and Les often share happy memories as they reflect back-on over fifty years of friendship, as fraternal father figures in Freemasonry frequently do.


Top: Stan proudly standing before the Deo Confidimus Lodge banner.

Right: Stan with (left) Lodge member and good friend, Les Tucker with (right) friend and regular visitor to the lodge Colin Frazer who collects Stan and takes him home after the meetings.


Left: Stan in attendance at a lodge members wedding.

Top Right: A visit led by Stan, by plane to visit Lodge Zetland No. 391 in the Provincial Grand Lodge of Stirlingshire, Scotland.

Bottom Right: Stan with members of the Lodge presenting a lodge donation to representatives of the Lennox Children's Cancer Fund.