Worshipful Brother Geoffrey Greenhalgh PPJGW
7th November 1930 – 26th December 2019
Worshipful Brother Geoffrey was born in the Lancashire town of Bury in a two up two down house with an outside privy, being lit by gas. He used to say, “My early memory of life was the lamp lighter with his long pole turning on the gas street lights and the sound of the men in iron shod clogs walking over the cobbled streets to work”.
Aged 8, the family moved to Epsom with its tree lined, grass verged and paved streets, all a long way from Bury he would talk about. Starting School in Epsom he soon made friends and his fellow class mates were amused by his broad Lancashire accent.
Aged 18, he did his National Service with the Royal Navy, in the signals, having to go back each year for two weeks, then being in charge of recruits some of whom, he would say, needed a lot of help or they were just not interested.
He was proud of his position within the Canadian High Commission whom he served for many years dealing with the Canadian Veterans. Ensuring that a Poppy Cross was on every veteran’s grave throughout the country for Remembrance Sunday. One year, Geoff and Marie were guests of the British Legion at the Festival of Remembrance at the Albert Hall.
Brother Geoffrey’s Masonic career began in 1954 after being invited to Porchway Lodge’s Ladies Festival by two of the three Directors of the company where he was employed, all three Directors of the company being Freemasons, two of whom, were founder members of Porchway Lodge.
Indeed, Geoffrey was proposed and seconded by these two founders, and was initiated into Porchway Lodge on Saturday 10th April 1966.
Geoffrey progressed through the various offices to become Master in 1976/77, again in 1992/93.
To mark and celebrate his 50 years in Freemasonry, he stepped up once again as Porchway’s Master for the third time in 2015/16. During this year he was presented with his 50 year Grand Lodge Certificate at the April meeting in 2016 by W. Bro Trevor Rains Assistant Provincial Grand Master.
Geoffrey’s personal guest at that meeting was his dear friend, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Sussex, who came in his unofficial capacity, having received permission from our Provincial Grand Master to attend a meeting in Surrey.
In those early years, Brother Geoffrey was charged by his proposer and seconder to write the first 25 years of Porchway history. Subsequently, he collated the following 25 years to celebrate the production of a Golden Jubilee book, leather bound history of Porchway Lodge, a copy of which was placed at attending members and visitor seat at the Festive Board.
Brother Geoffrey became only the third Chaplin in the history of Porchway Lodge in October 1983, the office he held until honorary membership was bestowed on him. His prayers at our Festive Board will now be sadly missed.
In 1985, he received his first appointment to Provincial Office as Senior Grand Deacon and again in 1992 he was promoted to Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden, to which very few Brethren in the Province achieve that exalted rank.
Other Masonic Orders were beckoning him, and In 1978 he was exalted into Phoenix Royal Arch Chapter No. 173 and was its First Principal in 1982, becoming Scribe E of the Chapter for 15 years. He eventually stepped down in 2010.
In 1984 he became a joining member of East Surrey Installed Master’s Lodge No. 5888 and in 2009, he was invited to take the office of Junior Warden, an office he held for one year.
With his move to Felbridge it wasn’t long before Geoffrey became active in the Province of Sussex, he joined and held office in the Earl of Courtown Lodge of Mark Master Masons and also the Earl of Courtown Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners and the Ashdown Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees of England and Wales.
He was also elected by the Brethren of a London Lodge, the Lodge of Nine Muses Lodge No.235 as an Honorary Member.
This being notable and unique as he was the first non-member of the Lodge to be so elected in its 200 years history.
For the many Brethren who knew him, they would say,
The Grand Lodge above will most certainly feel the benefits of his warm presence. On reaching the doors of the Grand Lodge above, he will be greeted with the words, well done my Brother, a true Gentleman and Brother, never to be forgotten.
It is telling that 47 Brethren from many Lodges and Orders came to say farewell, such was the profound way he touched people’s souls during his life.
W.Bro Geoff has laid down his mortal working tools for the last time and has ascended Jacobs’ ladder to join the Great Architect in the Grand Lodge above. He is now at eternal rest in the company of Angels and his brothers past.