Chaplain of Citadel Lodge, No. 1897, W. Bro. Ray Grace PPrSGW had his 50 Years in the Craft marked by the chain visit of W. Bro Brian Fisher SGD APGM.
W. Bro Ray was presented his Certificate by W. Bro Brian in the Lodge after a very moving and inspiring account of Ray’s journey by Secretary W. Bro Ronald Clark PPrSGW, which is summarised below:
“His father died when he was two of TB. His mother partnered with his stepfather for 12 years, before they married. Ray adopted his step father’s name by Deed Poll. During his early life the family lived in a small Devon village in the country, and he led a very lonely life with little human contact, consequently he became a thinker about his surroundings.
The family was living at Exeter and Ray was 11 years old when World War 2 started. Much of Exeter and his secondary school (Ladysmith Secondary School), were blitzed one night when he was not there. He gained a scholarship to and attended Exeter Technical school studying Building. After leaving school Ray attended technical schools in Gloucester and Twickenham three nights per week 7.00-9.00pm attaining craft and professional qualifications over six years, that then being the normal way to advance.
He met his wife Doreen when 18, they courted for 7 years, before getting married, buying a small 2 up, 2 down semi-detached house in East Twickenham for £1,424.00. On a 4% fixed 20 year mortgage costing £7 and 2 old pence per month, whilst he and Doreen each had a salary of £10.0 each per week. Son Peter arrived after about a year of marriage, followed 1 year 3 months by David, and two years later by Christopher. With the later arrival of Linda, they moved to a four bedroom detached house in Esher, near Imber Court, the Police Sports ground costing £8,500. When bought, that house was the only one in Esher with a working gas lamp ! So they had a huge amount of work to do to make the house into a modern home.
Regrettably, his wife Doreen has become severely disabled with a worn hip that she refused to have fixed, saying “if I go into hospital I shall not come out again.” She later developed Alzheimer’s and ultimately Ray could not cope. Doreen has been in a nearby nursing home for about three years.
Ray Grace serves on the Parish Church Council and is an active member of St Nicholas Church, Thames Ditton, being responsible for opening it every Sunday for 8.00am Communion, where he sometimes officiates serving the wine. He regularly helps with the Church Tuesday lunch, usually making the soup, and holds a Food Hygiene certificate level 2, similar to that required by chefs.
Ray leads a very active life, enjoys walking, music painting and art, DIY, does Tia Chi and Yoga weekly. He gave up “all things” sugar about 40 years ago, and will be 90 this July. He took up singing about two years ago, and enjoys singing in four local choirs. His hobby has been researching weather phenomena, on the internet, and brainstorming how events could occur from a physics/common-sense viewpoint and has written papers explaining phenomena such as Tornadoes, Hurricanes, natural crop circles.”
The evening was rounded off with a jolly St George’s Day themed Festive Board with singing and merriment. W. Bro. Brian presented W. Bro. Ray a decorated cake, which had been baked by Mrs. Fisher.
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