One of the Most Unheard-of Inspirational Stories in Essex Freemasonry

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In 1951 Malcolm was initiated into St Margaret’s Lodge No. 5168 which met in Leigh. He recalls “As soon as the door was opened the whole place took off with the first verse of “Lead, Kindly Light” (a hymn written in 1833 by John Henry Newman as a poem entitled ‘The Pillar and the Cloud’). With a big attendance it sounded like a Welsh male voice choir singing from above.”

On getting a job in the drawing office with Marconi in Chelmsford it made it difficult to get to Leigh in time for the Wednesday afternoon meetings. His father was well known in Chelmsford as a Fire Chief in WW2 and had become the first Assistant Secretary of East Saxon Lodge. He arranged for Malcolm to join East Saxon which was just a walk across the road from the Marconi drawing office which made life considerably easier.

“The Lodge of Instruction (LoI) in those days was unbelievable compared to now” exclaimed Malcolm “the Preceptor thought he was on a parade ground with raw recruits and one senior City bank manager said that even his directors had never spoken to him like that”.  

Despite that Malcolm has thoroughly enjoyed all of his 70 years in Freemasonry and reflects on the many things that have happened and in meeting the range and variety of people he became acquainted with whom he would otherwise have never known. He particularly remembers going to Maldon with his family one Sunday to watch Sir Neil Thorne horse riding.

For his charitable work on the Committee and as the Secretary of the Marconi Charity Fund for several years, Malcolm was awarded the BEM. Having been made redundant in the early 1990s he took whatever work he could to make sure his family were always provided for. “I am sure everything happens for a reason” he said ”I used to play football but in one game playing for Chelmsford City B Team I broke my leg and was taken to hospital. Whilst there I first met Pamela who was a nurse and became my wife. We are still happily married today.”

Still regularly driving himself to LoI and Lodge Meetings, Malcolm is one of the most ‘continuously-for-70 years’ active Craft Freemasons in Essex, if not in UGLE, but he has not taken the fourth step into Royal Arch even though he would have liked to had circumstances been different.

“My reasons for not joining” he explained “are because both my children were born profoundly deaf. This had a big effect on the family knowing they will never hear. Envisaging the problems they would encounter in life, I decided to devote all my spare time to help them prepare for life ahead.”  All the love, devotion encouragement and teaching of Malcolm and his wife Pamela has come to fruition as both children graduated with Honours degrees from Oxford University. David is a Senior Scientific Officer in the Meteorological Office and Jane specialises in environmental sciences.

Malcolm Robinson BEM, Family man, Father and active Essex Freemason for 70 years, inspires and moves us all with what is possibly one of the most unheard-of inspirational stories in Essex Freemasonry.

Tony Hales

Content Generator
Provincial Grand Lodge of Essex