There was a grand display of family values at the Installation Meeting on 5th November 2021 at Frinton and Walton Masonic Hall with the Investiture of Robert John William Eels (Rob) as an Assistant Provincial Grand Master by Paul Tarrant, the Provincial Grand Master for Essex
Very happily married for 33 years to Sarah, and with two children Sophie and Will, Rob is first and foremost a family man. The 124 Brethren who attended saw Rob’s son, Will, father Harry and Sarah’s father Rob Humphrey, all take part in the ceremony. From being Initiated into Ostrea Lodge in 1991, Rob rose to become Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies in 2012 and on one memorable occasion he escorted the Pro Grand Master, Peter Lowndes, to a parliamentary lodge and was Director of Ceremonies for him.
Since joining Freemasonry 30 years ago, Rob has a clear understanding of the impact on lifestyles caused by economic, social and technological changes affecting working conditions, job security and the pressures of life. As such he is a befitting Pathway Lead for the Province and will apply the poignant advice which has helped him through life: ‘You reap what you sow’.
Those who know Rob have found honesty and fairness as two of his key attributes but he is also a ‘driver’ and prepared to go the extra mile to complete the course, as he has done as a competitor in the famous Mille Miglia from Brescia to Rome and back for five years running. In 1955 Stirling Moss beat Juan Manuel Fangio in this legendary race of 1,000 miles.
Rob is keen to successfully steer the Members’ Pathway forward with Ray Quiddington, the Provincial Grand Membership Officer, and his team to help lodges plan, gain new members, engage with existing brethren and encourage back inactive Freemasons. Rob added 'I have seen first-hand the benefit to my Mother Lodge of being part of the University Scheme and the enrichment young members have afforded membership and fellowship within'.
With much praise for the work of Almoners. Rob is a believer in the motto ‘Audi, Vide, Tace’ (listen, observe and be quiet) which first appeared in the Freemasons’ Calendar in 1777 and he is pleased to see more involvement by Almoners especially in encouraging those brethren who simply want to come for the mindfulness of listening, observing and being quiet at Lodge Meetings.
In Rob’s Masonic career the Brother who has had the biggest impact is John Robertson, his Mentor from when he joined Freemasonry. 'I emulated lots of the good things John did' said Rob 'and I also learned from Terry Nicholson for always being straight to the point as a Director of Ceremonies'. With lots more to do for our ‘Masonic Family’, Rob Eels is looking forward to meeting many more Brethren during his formal visits to Lodges as Assistant Provincial Grand Master and at the upcoming Pathway events being held across the Province.