Keith was born in St Austell on the 8th May 1938 to Clayton John Harris and Enid Harris who were both from Cornish families.
During the Second World War Keith’s father decided to relocate the family to Bardsey Island in North Wales to help keep them all safe. The family settled into the local way of life and decided to remain there for a number of years after the war ended.
There were no schools on or near Bardsey Island at that time, and the responsibility fell on his family to provide his early education through homeschooling until the age of ten. These early years are fondly remembered as a great time in his life but the basic education
provided by the family needed to be supplemented for his future and the decision was made to move.
On returning to the mainland Keith continued his education and as his Father worked as an engineer for Trinity House, he applied for and served a full engineering apprenticeship with Edison Engineering Wadebridge from 1953-1959. During these years he also attended Camborne Technical College on day release which allowed him to obtain several City & Guilds certificates in engineering.
On completion of his apprenticeship, he had been engaged to his now wife Lesley for two years and wished to get married. This was in the days of National Service and he had just received his call-up papers. To avoid this and another two years at two bob a week, he signed on with the Royal Engineers for a period of six years. This in a way was the best thing he ever did as the Army Education Corps did a lot to correct his basic education. In the end, he served 34 years in uniform gradually rising through the ranks from Sapper to Major. On leaving the army at the age of 55 he continued to serve the Royal Engineers by signing on as a Retired Officer under the MOD. Throughout his army career, he specialised in the maintenance of essential services. During his army career, he saw service in the UK, Germany, Malaya, Hong Kong, Brunei, North Borneo, Gibraltar, Belize and the Falkland Islands. He was accompanied by his wife Lesley for much of the time.
Keith’s Masonic career began on the 15th of April 1971 when he was initiated into freemasonry at the United Services Lodge No 3813 EC Gibraltar. He was passed to the Second degree on the 16th of September 1971 and Raised on the 21st of October 1971. Whilst stationed in Gibraltar he also became an active member of the Hammerton Mark Lodge No 516 on the 4th of November 1971.
On being posted to Berlin Germany he joined Phoenix Lodge No 847 operating under the Grand Lodge of British Freemasons in Germany. He went on to be a member of Berakas Lodge EC No 8560 In Brunei and later in his army career, he joined Niederrhein Lodge No 892 also under the Grand Lodge of British Freemasons in Germany.
Keith became a Worshipful Master of a lodge for the first time of Niederrhein Lodge in 1982 and is still a subscribing member to this day. On his return to the United Kingdom, Keith joined the Royal Engineers Chatham Lodge No 4465 in E. Kent on the 19 Jan 1995 and remained a member until the 20th of October 1998. On retiring Keith returned to Cornwall and became a member of The Earl of St. Germans Lodge No 7031 on the 20th January 2000. He took the office of Senior Warden on 22 October 2001 and then became the Worshipful Master on the 28th October 2002. He also held the office of Charity Steward, Tyler, Assistant Director of Ceremonies and Inner Guard during 20 years as a loyal member.
Having joined St Petroc Lodge No 1785 on the 6 March 2007 he remains an active member and held the office of Junior Deacon in 2015, Senior Deacon in 2016 along with the Charity Steward, Junior Warden in 2017, Senior Warden in 2018 and became the Worshipful Master of the Lodge on the 3rd December 2019. Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, he agreed to remain in the Chair for a further year and provided sound leadership and guidance to the members through this period and installed his successor in 2021.
Keith’s Masonic Career has progressed over the years, and he was first awarded provincial honours when he was promoted to Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies in 2007. He was promoted to Past Provincial Senior Grand Deacon on 2 April 2011 to Past
Provincial Grand Registrar in 2016 and further promoted to Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden on the 1st of April 2023.
His Masonic career has not been confined to just the craft as he was Exalted into the Holy Royal Arch on 13th Feb 1995 as a member of the Royal Engineers Chatham C4465. He later joined St Gwethnoc C1785 on the 16 Feb 2000 before also joining Cornish First Principles on the 30 March 2006 where he has held a large number of offices and remains a subscribing member. Keith is also a member of the Mark and Royal and Select Masters.
As with his Craft Career Keith has received the following Provincial Royal Arch Ranks. He was promoted to Provincial Grand Steward in 2007, promoted to Past Provincial Grand Sojourner on 03 October 2009 and further promoted to Past Provincial Grand Scribe N
on the 1st of October 2016.
He is a Member of the Royal British Legion, and as he lives in Wadebridge he was Chairman for 7 years and runs a weekly Whist Drive in the Masonic Hall at Wadebridge. Whilst serving as the Worshipful Master he has actively raised money and given donations
that have been distributed to poor and distressed Servicemen, Shelterbox and more recently to help the people of Ukraine.
During Keith’s Long and very distinguished career in Freemasonry, he has shown a great deal of commitment and dedication to maintaining the traditions and principles of the craft. From his magnificent record, it can be seen that Keith has served Masonry and Cornish Masonry in particular 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 to share his expertise, as well is being a highly skilled ritualist who is renowned for his rendition of The Charge
After Initiation and other long pieces.