It is with sadness that we report the passing of
V.W.Bro. Walter ‘Wally’ Ernest Simmons
Passed to the Grand Lodge above on 16th February 2017.
Wally was born on the 27th July 1913 in London one of five children.
He started work as an apprentice with British Tompson in their Drawing Office, and then followed Times Standard Telephones, Balfour Beatty, the Civil Service and Crawley New Town. Gaining qualifications in Electrical, Mechanical and Civil Engineering on the way.
He married Ivy Carke in late 1939 in the Forest of Dean, Ivy died sadly a number of years ago.
The rest of his career was with the Air Ministry, firstly at Abingdon, and then overseers with the equivalent rank of Wing Commander. Ceylon to prepare and handover Negomba Airfield to the Civil Government, then Singapore upgrading Tengah Airfield.
While in the far East he visited Australia, Thailand and Malaysia as well as winning a golf competition flying from Ceylon to Singapore. Obviously distance not a problem.
On his return he was in charge of work services for Boscombe Down. Finally he was the Engineer in charge of Planning, Design and Project management for the Bulford Area Office.
He also ran the “BAGS” Bulford Area Golfing Society which played regional matches throughout the South West.
He was initiated into the South Croydon Lodge No 4567 on 20th April 1951 and served as Master in 1965 and 1982. He was exalted into Holy Royal Arch Chapter on 14th January 1960 into the Duke of Connaught Chapter No. 2940 meeting in Ceylon, he joined the South Croydon Chapter No 4567 in 1961 and served as MEZ in 1969 and 1975.
He joined Lodges and Chapters in Wiltshire, serving as Scribe E for Stonehenge Chapter for 4 years. He received Provincial Honours in both Surrey and Wiltshire in the Craft and Chapter.
In the Mark Degree he was advanced into the Elias De Derham Lodge on 2nd June 1967 and served as Master in 1984, he joined Mark Master Lodge No 1460 in 1986 and was Secretary from 1987 until 2011 some 24 years.
He was appointed to Grand Rank in 1993, promoted in 2004 and again 2009 to PGSO. He was a founder member of Wiltshire Downs Lodge.
In the Royal Ark Mariner Degree he was elevated into the Elias de Derham Lodge in 1981 was Commander in 1986, appointed to RAMGR in 2001. He was a founder member of the Reginald W. Short Installed Commanders Lodge and also Stuart Parry Lodge.
In the “Operatives” he was admitted as an Apprentice into the Box Tunnel Assemblage in 1996, one the first group admitted, served as DMM in 2003 at the age of 90 and appointed VII° (Honoris Causa) in 2004. He was a founder member of 2 other Assemblage in the Region.
He was Admitted as a member of Harewood Forest Council in the Order of Royal and Select Masters in 2005.
He will be sadly missed as an inspiration to us all.
There will be no funeral as Wally has asked for his body to be donated to medical science.