Southend Freemason, yachtsman and explorer celebrates 50 years in the Craft

Atlantic solo sailor, North Pole expedition leader and river conservationist given field promotion

On 23rd February 2024 at Southend Masonic Centre, Roy Hart, a purchaser of the Barracuda of Tarrant yacht, a cherished piece of television nostalgia from Howards’ Way, was presented his 50 years meritorious certificate by the Assistant Provincial Grand Master (APGM), Philip Lovelock.

In congratulating Roy, Philip also gave him a field promotion to the rank of Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden. The life of Roy Hart has been no less eventful than two famous Freemasons of the Navy Lodge, explorers Robert Scott and Ernest Shackleton, who are renowned for their courage, service, and comradeship.

Having single-handedly crossed the Atlantic six times, Roy has sailed more than 80,000 nautical miles, on one occasion to Antigua with his wife who is not a keen sailor. Roy has also led an expedition to the North Pole raising £138,000 for charity. As a keen conservationist, Roy has fought 16 court cases over pollution in the river Crouch, losing only one. He has also sent a letter to HM The King about pollution in the river Wye.

Having been up in a Mark 9 Spitfire and owning a Riley 9 Lynx which has been in his family for 84 years is just two more attributes of his amazing life.

In freemasonry, Roy was initiated into the Benfleet Lodge No. 3798 becoming the Worshipful Master (WM) in 1988 & 1998. He became a joining member of Drayton Standard Lodge in 2007 and WM in 2012. The Lodge motto is ‘Excellentia Colimus’ which means ‘to cultivate excellence.’

Very appropriate in this instance as the APGM added, “Roy Hart is an extraordinary man.”

We have just under 300 lodges in Essex with members regularly fundraising for charitable causes, but not usually leading expeditions to the North Pole to do so!


Top (L-R): Philip Lovelock congratulating Roy Hart on his wonderful achievement