Derek Barr, MBE

Derek Barr, MBE remembered by Surrey Freemasons

If you have a young child who is anxious about going into hospital, you will be pleased to know that at all the Surrey hospitals, a cuddly teddy bear is given away by the nurses to comfort the child.

The teddy bear has been donated by the Freemasons of Surrey.

The Freemason who was the instigator of “Teddies for Loving Care” (TLC) in Surrey was Derek Barr, MBE who sadly died on 8th September 2018.

On Saturday, 6th April, fellow Masons honoured Derek by renaming a meeting room at the Nutfield Masonic Centre, Redhill, Surrey, in his name.  The head of Surrey Freemasons, Ian Chandler, spoke about all the charitable work done in Surrey by Derek.

Those of you who have attended the last night of the Croydon Proms at the Fairfield Halls, may know that Derek Barr was the Chairman who along with colleagues organised the yearly concert to benefit local charities and deserving causes.

As a young man Derek was employed by Fairfield Halls, Croydon, where rose from the humble role of theatre management trainee to the rank of CEO.

Along with organising innumerable theatre productions, concerts, and exhibitions Derek was honoured to an enviable list of celebrities during his forty-year career.

When asked who were amongst his favourite personalities, he would always reply: “Bette Davis, a truly lovely and inspirational woman”.

More recently he would amuse friends with a tale of fearing for his safety when the theatre was invaded by a stampede of young girls eager to see the boyband JLS.

In 2010 Derek was flabbergasted to be awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his services to Music and the Arts.

Ever humble in his deeds on hearing news of his MBE Derek remarked: “I am delighted but it is a bit embarrassing, however, I am really pleased.

It is partly due to the great work Fairfield Halls does and this award is for everyone there too.”

In A moving ceremony attended by Derek’s family, friends and fellow Surrey Freemasons a portrait and plaque were unveiled and a commemorative scroll was presented to his wife Sandra.  Lodge members also donated a cheque to further advance TLC in Surrey in Derek’s name.

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