Army veteran proves it is never too late to join Freemasonry

Army veteran, Terry Payne, from Maldon surpasses Voltaire in age to become a Mason

In April 1778, 84-year-old Voltaire, the French writer, philosopher and historian, proved that it is never too late to become a Freemason by being initiated in the Lodge of the Nine Sisters in Paris. Among the distinguished visitors was Benjamin Franklin who later became Master of the Lodge.

245 years later, in June 2023, 88-year-old Terry Payne, a retired mental health nurse and Army veteran who was once on standby for the Suez Canal conflict, was initiated in the Holland on Sea Lodge No. 6639 at Clacton Masonic Centre. Among the distinguished visitors was Nick Franklin, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master for Essex.

Terry always did have an interest in joining but it was not until the sad loss of his wife Patricia after 56 years of marriage, in December 2022 that he decided to join. They had three children including son Steve who is now the Junior Warden of the Lodge.

As well as having the support of his family Terry enjoys watching football and horse racing and getting out and about on his mobility scooter. He regularly attends the services for veterans at Colchester Garrison and is currently looking into becoming a Chelsea Pensioner.


Top: 88-year-old Terry Payne (right) being congratulated by his son, Steve, on his initiation