Tony as he likes to be known was born on the 26th July 1948 in Redruth. He was educated first at Illogan County Primary School and then at the newly opened Tolgus School, Redruth. He attended Cornwall College at Pool to take his O level exams. Whilst growing up Tony took a keen interest in the Illogan Boys Brigade, meeting in the village and became an active member.
After leaving school his first job was with the plumbers merchants Thompsons in Chapel Street Redruth. It was while at Thompsons that he met his future wife Jenny and they have now been married for 52 years. They have two sons Stephen who lives in Kent and Christopher who lives in Redruth. They have three grandchildren. Outside of his work and Masonic Commitments he became a Justice of the Peace in 1992 and served on the bench for 20 years before retiring. In 1984 he became a member of the Rotary Club and as served for 39 years as a member, the ethics of Freemasonry proving invaluable to him in this role.
In 1972 became a director of a building company operating in Redruth with which he had been involved for a number of years. In 1999 he started his own Funeral Directors, in Falmouth Road, Redruth and then in 2008 moved to a purpose-built building in Trewirgie Hill, Redruth, from which he still operates today.
Tony’s Masonic career began on the 12th February 1973 when he was Initiated into the Druids’ Lodge of Love and Liberality Lodge No. 589 by the then Worshipful Master W. Bro. W.A. Wearne. His Proposer was his Father-in-law W. Bro. J. Williams and his Seconder was his wife’s Uncle Bro. R. Stubbs.
In 1973 the Prime Minister was Edward Heath and the UK joined the EEC on the 1st January.
Value Added Tax (VAT) was first introduced. The Open University awarded its first degrees and women were admitted as full members of the London Stock Exchange.
The super-tug Statesman and three Royal Navy Frigates were sent to protect the British fishing fleet in the Icelandic Cod War.
Rail workers and Civil Servants went on strike but nobody noticed! Some things never change!
Queen Elizabeth The Second opened the replacement London Bridge.
Princess Anne married Captain Mark Phillips at Westminster Abbey.
The House of Commons voted against restoring capital punishment.
£20 million compensation was paid to the victims of the Thalidomide drug issue following an eleven-year court case.
British Leyland launched the Austin Allegro to replace the long running 1100 and 1300 models and the top three selling cars were the Ford Cortina, the Ford Escort and the Morris Marina.
Concorde made its first Trans-Atlantic flight in September.
The BBC’s sitcom Last of the Summer Wine was launched as was That’s Life with Esther Rantzen. ITV’s Man About the House and MASH were also shown for the first time.
Due to the Arab Oil Producing Countries restriction on oil supply the Secretary of State warned that petrol rationing may be introduced. The speed limit on all roads including motorways was reduced to 50 mph as a result. Coal shortages caused by industrial action resulted in the implementation of the three-day working week.
Prices were a little different in 1973 a gallon of petrol was 39p, a bottle of whisky £2.45 and a bottle of Harvey’s Bristol Cream £1.45.
A Watneys Party Four Pint can of beer was 45p and a Party Seven was 78p. A pint of draught beer was 18 and half pence.
The average pay was £38.10 per week and electronic calculators cost from £32.50 upwards.
The bestselling cigarette was Players No.6.
A 22” Pye Colour TV was £208.90 and an inflation adjusted price now would be £1900 and similarly for a 24” Ferguson black and white television was £61.75 and would now be £580. A Bendix washing machine was £106.95 and would now be £1000. The average house price was £9000.
Tony was Passed on the 9th April 1973 by the then Worshipful Master W. Bro. F.R.H. Waters and Raised by him on the 11th June 1973. Tony very soon took a keen interest in the workings of the Lodge and joined the Stewards List in March 1976 an office he held for 4 years. He was invested as Assistant Secretary in 1980 and the following year as Inner Guard.
He became Junior Warden in March 1982 and Senior Warden the following year. On the 12th March 1984 he was Installed into the Chair of King Solomon as Worshipful Master. Tony has also held the office of Charity Steward for 5 years from 2002.
His Masonic Career further developed when he was promoted to Past Provincial Grand Standard Bearer in 1991 by the then Provincial Grand Master Right Worshipful Brother Robert Eliot and further promoted on the 1st April 1997 to Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden by the then Provincial Grand Master Right Worshipful Brother Nicholas Barrington.
Tony’s Masonic Career has not been confined to the Craft as he was Exalted into the Rose of Sharon Chapter No. 1006 on the 4th June 1974. He soon joined the officer’s list and became the Most Excellent Zerubbabel on the 1st December 1988. The following year he again took the chair of Joshua. He was appointed Scribe Ezra in December 2002 an office he held for 3 years. He has also held the office of Assistant Director of Ceremonies on four separate occasions as well as Second Assistant Sojourner, Principal Sojourner and Scribe Nehemiah. He became a Joining Member of the Cornish First Principal Chapter No. 3324 on the 13th April 1991. He took the chair of Joshua in March 1998 and became their Most Excellent Zerubbabel on the 30th March 2005. He was promoted to the rank of Past Principal Grand Scribe Nehemiah by the then Most Excellent Grand Superintendent Excellent Companion Nicholas Barrington on the 2nd October 1999.
Tony is also a member of the Rose Croix and was perfected into the Cornwall Chapter No. 61 on 24th February 1979. He progressed through the offices and was enthroned as the Most Wise Sovereign in February 1986. He was then recommended for promotion to the 30th degree and was advanced on 14th July 1987. He then received a further promotion to the 31st degree on 26th April 1994 and another to the 32nd degree on 1st July 1997. Tony took on the office of Recorder in the Chapter from 1990 to 1994.
Tony is a Founder member of both the Helston Chapter No.1027 and the Laurie Francis Chapter No.1137 and is a Founder Recorder of both. Tony was also the Most Wise Sovereign of the Laurie Francis Chapter in 2017.
Tony has supported the Rose Croix degree in Cornwall over many years and has helped maintain a very high standard of ritual. He is particularly thanked for the 15 years he spent as the District Recorder from 1993 to 2008, the right-hand man supporting three Inspector Generals in the running of the District of Cornwall.
Tony is also a member of the Mark Master Masons Degree and was Advanced into Meridian Lodge No73 on 22nd January 1974, progressing through the offices and serving as Worshipful Master in 1982, Tony received appointment in 1986 to Provincial Grand Senior Deacon by the then Provincial Grand Master Right Worshipful Brother Lieutenant Commander T.C. Waghorn, and was promoted in 1994 to Past Provincial Grand Junior Warden by the then Provincial Grand Master Right Worshipful Brother Frank Tonkin. He received appointment to Grand Rank in 1996 with the active appointment of Grand Steward. He was again promoted in Grand Lodge in 2001 to Active Grand Junior Deacon. In 2010 Tony was again promoted to Past Grand Senior Deacon and in 2016 was further promoted to Past Grand Junior Overseer and became a Very Worshipful Brother.
Tony has served the Mark Degree in many Lodges usually in the role of Treasurer, as which he is renowned for having a vice like grip on the Lodge finances. Tony joined the Cornish Installed Mark Masters Lodge No. 1332 in 1983, serving as Worshipful Master in 2001, He also joined the Edwin Perry Morgan Lodge No. 1632 in 1996, serving as Worshipful Master in 2012 and is the current Treasurer and he also joined the Grand Stewards Lodge in 1996.
Tony was elevated into the Royal Ark Mariner Degree in 1974 joining Boscawen Lodge No.101. He served as Worshipful Commander in 1984 and has served 40 years as Treasurer. Tony Joined the Cornish Installed Commanders Lodge No. 1332 in 1985, serving as Worshipful Commander in 1997, and was a founder member and scribe of the Edwin Perry Morgan Lodge No. 1632. Tony was appointed to Provincial Royal Ark Mariner Grand Rank in 1992 and promoted to Royal Ark Mariner Grand Rank in 1995.
Tony is also a member of a number of other orders including:
The Order of the Allied Masonic Degrees of England and Wales Districts and Lodge Overseas and currently holds the office of District Grand Standard Bearer in the District of Devon and Cornwall meeting at Plymstock and Treasurer in the Restormel Castle Council No. 85 meeting at Tywardreath.
He is a founder Member and Treasurer of the Grand Priory of Knights Beneficent of the Holy City of the Rectified Scottish Rite meeting at the Sedgemoor Lodge No. 8 in Bristol. He is also an Honorary Member of the Agri Libertas Lodge No. 21 meeting in Plymouth and a member of the Avalon Prefecture and holds the office of Treasurer and has the Grand Rank of Reverent Knight having obtained his sixth degree. He has now been promoted to Past Grand Inner Sentinel the only member in Cornwall to receive that rank.
The Order of the Knights Templar in Restormel Preceptory and St. Andrew Priory No. 90 and is a Founder member and Treasurer of the St. John of Jerusalem Preceptory and St. Michael Priory No. 611 and holds the Grand Rank of Past Grand Registrar. He is also Treasurer in the Province of Devonshire and Cornwall Provincial Priory, an office he has held for the past 28 years and similarly in the Order of Malta.
The Order of the Secret Monitor in which he is a member of the Pydar Conclave No. 385 meeting at St. Columb.
The Order of the Royal and Select Masters and is a member of the Camel Valley Council No. 223.
The Order of the Red Cross of Constantine in which he is a member of Joseph of Arimathea Conclave No. 253 and he was their Sovereign in 2014. He holds the office of Standard Bearer Constantine and is currently their Treasurer. Tony also holds the Grand Rank of Past Grand Prefect in the Grand Imperial Conclave and was an Active Officer in 2020/2021. He is a member of the Conclave of the Resurrection No. 432 and holds the office of Standard Bearer Labarum and of the Devon and Cornwall Division meeting in Torquay.
During Tony’s long and very distinguished career in Freemasonry, he has shown great commitment and dedication to maintaining the traditions and principles of the craft and of the various and numerous degrees that he is a member of. He has made good friends throughout his Masonic career, which has made his experiences all the more enjoyable and helped to relieve the pressures of running his Funeral Directors business.
From this magnificent record, it can be seen that Tony has served Cornish Masonry and Freemasonry in general with great distinction and loyalty to duty throughout his 50 years of service. He is a great ambassador to the cause and is always willing to help out and share his expertise, which he delivers in a caring and helpful manner gaining the respect of all those he meets. Masonry, which he has always enjoyed, has been a major part of his life for many years. He is a hard act to follow and as the saying goes if you want something done always ask a busy man.