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50 Years Service to Freemasonry

On the 21st February, W.Bro. Bill Caughie, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, went along to the Rutlish Lodge No 4416 meeting in Sutton to present a 50 year Certificate to a senior member of the Lodge, W.Bro. Sidney Furlonger, PPGReg.

After the Lodge was opened by the Worshipful Master, W.Bro. Tony Oaklands, PPAGSuptWks, there was a report on the door.  Outside was W.Bro. Bill who demanded admission to Rutlish Lodge.  After being warmly welcomed, W.Bro. Bill said that he had come along to present W.Bro. Syd with his Certificate marking 50 years of loyal service to Freemasonry.

W.Bro. Bill Caughie first spoke about W.Bro. Syd the man and then highlighted the key points in Syd’s Masonic career.

Syd was born in Mitcham in July 1932.  Home was a small cottage in Love Lane near to the Parish Church where his father was a Bell Ringer.  His father was a Carpenter by trade but worked for many years as a quality controller for Triang toys so Syd and his younger brother were fortunate enough to have various toys brought home for testing purposes.

Syd has been married to Jill for 63 years.  They have 2 children, 3 grand daughters and two great grand daughters.  Syd and Jill met one Saturday night at the old Wimbledon Palais.  As Jill lived in Hampton Wick Syd had a long walk home to Mitcham if he missed the last bus.  They have been dancing ever since and eventually it became serious enough to take their teaching exams.  Still in their 80’s, Syd and Jill manage to dance two nights most weeks, although no longer teaching.

Syd can recall many incidents from the war years.  In particular watching the daylight dog fights over Croydon and Biggin Hill during the battle of Britain with red hot shrapnel falling all around him.  Another near miss was when a doddlebug (flying bomb) landed and exploded at the bottom of their garden on some stables.  They were very lucky to escape injury, although the house was badly damaged.  As scouts Syd and his friends acted as “runners” for the Air Raid Wardens taking messages between the various ARP posts during air raids in the Blitz.

In 1942 Syd passed a scholarship which enabled him to attend Rutlish School and he eventually joined the Old Rutlishians   On leaving school he joined an Insurance company in London and then the Treasury Department of Mitcham Borough Council until he was called up for National service with the R.A.F., which included a posting to the Canal Zone during the Suez  emergency.  Syd has as medal to prove it!  He served just over a year in Egypt before injuring his knee playing rugby and being flown home for an operation.  During that year he played a lot of cricket.  He scored over a 1,000 runs and took a 100 wickets in a season and was chosen to represent the R.A.F Egypt team.

Having completed his National Service Syd worked for a firm of Coffee brokers in the city as the office manager, got married and with a family on the way decided he needed a more secure job so joined Lloyds Bank ending up as an Assistant Manager.

Syd was initiated into Rutlish Lodge on the 20th February 1970 at the Throgmorton Temple, Throgmorton Street, London.  He was passed in December 1970 and Raised in February 1971.  In 1976 Rutlish Lodge moved from London to Sutton and W.Bro. Syd was the first Master in their present home.  Syd was Master again in 1984 and 2010; and will be Master during their Centenary year in 2022.  Syd is a member of three Surrey Royal Arch Chapters and is currently Third Principal in Mid Surrey First Principals Chapter.

In 2013 W.Bro. Syd was Advanced into Richmond Lodge of Mark Master Masons and in 2016 they asked him to be their Worshipful Master.  In 2016 Syd was also Elevated into the Richmond Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners.

Syd is someone who always wants to be involved.  When moving to Bedford 3 years ago he quickly contacted and started attending a local Lodge, Stuart No. 540.  He soon becoming a joining member and immediately stood in as Inner Guard, and then acted as Senior Warden for a year when the elected Senior Warden’s job took him abroad.

The Lodge would like to say a big thank you to W.Bro. Bill Caughie for making the time to come along to present Syd with his certificate.  He had to leave immediately after the presentation as he had another engagement.

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