Members of Trinity Chapter No 254 were delighted that the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, Philip Hall, was able to present a 50 Year Certificate to their senior Past Principal at their Christmas Convocation on 21st December 2021. The Grand Superintendent and his team were welcomed by E Comp Gurdeep Sohal, MEZ of Trinity Chapter.
A very well attended assembly was enthralled with the exchanges between the MEGS and E Comp Victor, in an engagement which could have continued for much longer had time permitted. Victor’s Masonic career began in 1965, when he was initiated into Trinity Lodge – this was two years before Philip was born as he himself remarked. In the Craft, Victor held many high ranking offices, culminating in his appointment as Deputy Provincial grand Master in 2001. In Royal Arch, he was again appointed to high ranking offices, and achieved 3rd Provincial Grand Principal in 1998. After this very distinguished career, Victor is still frequently seen at meetings around the Province, and contributes significantly in Warwickshire Freemasonry, being a member of 11 Lodges, some of which have been conferred as Honorary Membership in appreciation of his services.
E Comp Victor was born in Coventry, and despite protests from Victor, he was named as “Mr Coventry” by the Grand Superintendent. There are numerous reasons for this, many of which were cited in his nomination as a Member of the Order of the British Empire, granted in 2009, which simply said ‘For Services to the Community in Coventry’. Voluntary work has been a most important aspect of Victor’s life, and he remains Vice President of Coventry Cyrenians, an organisation which tackles homelessness, and its causes and consequences. He is a Trustee and Chairman of Coventry Church Charities, Past Chairman and Trustee of the Heart of England Carers’ Trust, Governor of Coventry School Foundation, Past President of Coventry Rotary Club, Finance Chairman of Earlsdon Methodist Church and many other community activities.
In business, after National Service with the RAF, Victor joined his father’s family business based in Leicester, and is still a Director of the company today. During a brief period away from the family firm, Victor worked in New York, where he met his late wife Judith, and subsequently returned to life in Coventry where he has lived ever since.
I cannot improve on the words of our Grand Superintendent, as he presented Victor with his 50 Year Certificate:
“Companion Victor, this Lodge & the Province are so very proud of you as are all your friends here to support you this evening. To achieve 50 years membership in any organisation is a remarkable achievement and your loyalty and support over the last five decades is to be appreciated and applauded”.
Following the presentation, a proclamation by Geoff Walker, the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, covering all of E Comp Victor’s masonic achievements and honours, was truly remarkable and was greeted with spontaneous applause from all present.
Pictured below are the Grand Superintendent with E Comp Victor Keene, accompanied by the Principals of Trinity Chapter.
From the left – E Comp John Starley, 2nd Provincial grand Principal, E Comp Obi Ugwu, Haggai. E Comp Gurdeep Sohal, MEZ. To the right – E Comp Glyn Walters, Joshua, E Comp Nigel Hawkins, 3rd Provincial Grand Principal.
Footnote – The festive board for this meeting, occurring just a few days before Christmas, was concluded by the singing of carols, conducted by E Comp Victor, who rather cheekily announced that in the singing of Good King Wenceslas, the part of the King would be sung solo by the M E Comp Philip Hall, whilst the part of the Page would be taken on by E Comp Geoff Walker. After a brief hesitation, both readily agreed, and after their tuneful rendition both were loudly applauded by all present.
A great Royal Arch occasion, enjoyed by all present.
John B Hayward