“I am a 47 year old ex-Royal Navy Warrant Officer 1, now working as a Naval Recruiter and living in Hartlepool. Originally from Runcorn, Cheshire, I met my wife in the Navy and we first lived together in Portsmouth, where our son was born. We moved to her native Hartlepool nearly 9 years ago, although I was still working away until December 2018. Apart from Freemasonry – something I had wanted to be a part of since I was a teenager – I have one other passion that I love to do in my spare time: maritime history. I am a Trustee of the Oakdale Mersey Flat Trust, set up to save the last sea-going example of a local type of barge.
“I served as Executive Warrant Officer, the senior enlisted person, on board HMS DEFENDER; a Type 45 Destroyer. My role was to coordinate manpower and to be in charge of personnel: encompassing discipline, training, leave, morale, equality, diversity and inclusion and something known as the ‘Divisional System’, wherein we have a structure for support, mentoring and wellbeing of serving sailors. Between the various department heads (usually Lieutenant Commanders) and myself, we ran the ship under the guidance of the Captain. As a Seamanship Specialist, I also supervised and mentored the Chief Boatswain’s Mate – the Petty Officer in charge of deck evolutions, such as sea boat drills, replenishment-at-sea and anchoring – and the Yeoman – responsible for tactical communication between ships.
“It was a very involved job; one that included a nine-month deployment to the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean in 2015 and 2016, working with various allied navies, including task groups led by British, American and French admirals, striking at Daesh and hitting drug smugglers. It was a great ship and we worked well together. As a result of my service and performance aboard HMS DEFENDER, I was pleased to be appointed as a Member of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, more readily known as an award of an MBE.
“I got into Freemasonry through a friend of my wife (now very much my friend too), a fellow veteran whom we would meet at various Armed Forces events through the years. Freemasonry is a wonderful institution that appeals to me in several ways. As a history buff, I feel connected to the people of the past, learning as they did, embracing knowledge and brotherhood in exactly the same manner as men have done for centuries. It has also given me the chance to meet people I am very lucky to call friends and brothers.
“Interestingly, there are a number of parallels with my work in the Royal Navy and being a Freemason. I have always been passionate about coaching and mentoring as part of my job, and this is also an important component of the modern Masonic lodge. There’s a lot to learn and understand around being a Freemason, but with the support of more experienced members, there is nothing that a new member cannot achieve in terms of his own personal development. It really is a great environment for you to improve yourself and others.
“But, more than that, Freemasonry is what the world of today needs; an opportunity for men of all ages and walks of life to bond over a shared desire to do good deeds and to make charity a part of their lives. A fraternity of good people wanting to make a difference in the world and not be divided by religion or race.”
– Bob, a Hartlepool Freemason
Pic :- 1st-Sea-Lord-Presenting-Award-for-Command-and-Staff-Course-to-Bob-2017
TLC Teddy Initiative……
“thank you Freemasons for the thousands of teddies donated to children’s casualty departments”
Community Support Grants…..
“The grant from Durham Freemasons has made an enormous difference to our service users”
Provincial Annual Meeting….
“The Provincial annual meeting is one of the highlights of my year, it’s great to meet everyone and support all those being rewarded for merit”….
“My husband would be so proud that you still contact me so many years after his death, thank you for remembering me”
“The Provincial annual meeting is one of the highlights of my year, it’s great to meet everyone and support all those being rewarded for merit”
The Royal Arch…..
“I feel that I have a much better understanding of the whole Masonic story after joining the Royal Arch”
What have you gained?
“I’ve made wonderful friendships with people from all walks of life who I wouldn’t otherwise have even met”
In respect to the TLC Teddy initiative
“A child patient copes with medical treatment so much better when they’ve been given a TLC teddy”
What Freemasonry has done for you?
“The teachings of the masonic ceremonies helped me to be a better father, better husband, better son and better neighbour”What Freemasonry has done for you
One of the best things I have ever done…
“Along with getting married, the birth of my children and Sunderland winning the FA Cup, becoming a Freemason is one of the best things I’ve ever done”