A Living Legend Remembers Rodney

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One of the most heartfelt personal tributes about the late Rodney Bass was made to the Brethren at the Installation Meeting on 22nd November 2021 of Grey Friars Lodge No. 5169 by one of the living legends of Essex Freemasonry, Paul Humphrey, an Honorary Member, when he thanked the Lodge Secretary Graeme Lockwood and ‘Guest Organist’, David Boylan, for taking him to the Memorial Service at Chelmsford Cathedral on 9th November 2021 for the late Provincial Grand Master (PGM).

With emotion Paul told the Grey Friars Brethren that he would miss Rodney enormously and could not praise him enough “He was a true Mason” said Paul who was the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies in Craft and Royal Arch escorting Sir Neil Thorne when he was PGM.  

Paul Humphrey is the great, great nephew of Thomas Ralling (1846-1924) an all-time legend of Essex Freemasons from Colchester who had the Thomas Ralling Lodge No. 2508 named in his honour and was primus First Principal of the Chapter No. 2508, both of which meet at Loughton Masonic Hall. When Thomas died in 1924 the Province went into mourning for three months.

Paul was Initiated into Blackwater Lodge No. 1977 in 1974 and Exalted into Blackwater Chapter in 1975 and became a Founder Member of Pyefleet Chapter 8913 in 1990. He is a Past Junior Grand Deacon (PJGD) in Craft and a Past Assistant Grand Sojourner (PAGSoj) in Royal Arch. Born with claret and blue blood in his veins Paul is a staunch West Ham supporter who enlivens every Lodge and Chapter meeting he attends with his experienced advice to help improve individual performances.

Born in 1943, from the time he attended Endsleigh House School, Paul Humphrey had known the late Provincial Grand Master (PGM) and his family for over six decades. Paul explained what he liked about the late Rodney: “He looked you in the face and told you what he thought. He was fair with everybody. His greatest strength was ‘communication’ and would talk to everyone in the room”. Listening to Paul was an amazing experience for the Brethren present to hear how a living legend remembers Rodney.

Tony Hales

Content Generator
Provincial Grand Lodge of Essex