Four years ago Ralph Walker marked his golden jubilee as a Freemason. The latest meeting of Semper Sursum Chapter No 5622 saw him celebrate 50 years as a member of the Royal Arch.
Leading the celebrations at Barrow in Furness Masonic Hall was Chris Butterfield. He was accompanied by acting Provincial officers in the persons of Barrie Crossley, Neil McGill, Mike Jenkins and Jim Richards.
Adding further lustre to the occasion were grand officers John Quiggin, Ollie Chalker, Alan Jones, Rowley Saunders and Peter Mason. Also in attendance were Furness and South Lakeland Group Chairman Peter Schofield, his deputy Gary Rogerson and secretary Barry Hadley
As is usual at such celebrations, Chris gave some details of Ralph’s work, family and Masonic life. In work he had been employed mainly in the local shipyard rising to the position of senior planning manager.
As regards his family, Ralph and his wife Pauline were rather uniquely delivered on the same day in the same hospital and by the same doctor. He is the proud father of three daughters and is a grandfather seven times over.
Outside of the home Ralph, when not engaged in Masonic business, can be found next to a stretch of water casting flies for trout. He has been a member of Barrow Angling Club for 67 years, for 24 of which he was chairman. He is now a well-respected life member.
On 1 February 1967 Ralph was exalted into Semper Sursum Chapter. He became first principal in 1983 and subsequently served as chapter director of ceremonies for seven years.
He was the group charity steward for 14 years and became the very first vice chairman of the highly successful Furness and South Lakeland Boxing committee. Ralph has served as chairman or vice chairman for 25 of the 31 years that this very successful fund raising committee has been in existence.
Provincial appointment in the Royal Arch came in 1988 and in 2002 he was appointed to Grand rank.
To mark his 50 years in Royal Arch Masonry, Chris presented Ralph with a certificate from the Grand Superintendent.
The festive board following the meeting was held in the Fairfield at Barrow In Furness Masonic Hall with 60 members and their guests sitting down to dine.