Presentation of a 50 Year Long Service Certificate to Worshipful Brother The Rev Tony Miller
It was certainly a case of lucky for all at Canterbury’s Simon Langton Lodge on Friday 13th March for, less than 5 minutes after Richard Durrant was initiated into Freemasonry, Worshipful Brother The Rev Tony Miller was presented with a Long Service Certificate from the Provincial Grand Master to mark his 5 decades in the Craft. The certificate was presented by Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Peter Rodd, with whom coincidentally, Richard Durrant works as a conveyancing lawyer.
Worshipful Brother The Rev Ronald Anthony Miller, Tony to his friends, was apprenticed to Handley Page Aircraft Company in 1957, and it was here that, on discovering that some of his colleagues were Freemasons, he received a “favourable opinion, preconceived of the Order”. After his apprenticeship he joined the Ministry of Defence and trained to be a Patent Attorney. He spent 13 years at RAE Farnborough, 11 in international collaborative research & development and finished up establishing an intellectual property rights department at Porton Down. After retirement he became counsel to Patent Attorneys Lucas & Co and, as a consequence, has already worked 51 years in intellectual property. He has defended Boeing and is currently defending Disney. In his own time he trained for the ordained ministry and is a non-stipendiary or self-supporting priest, practising nowadays mainly in Uganda where he also lectures in Theology.
As a member of the Old Langtonian Association, Tony became aware of the consecration of the Simon Langton Lodge No 7586 and, in due course, was initiated in the lodge in February 1965. Over the course of his Masonic career, Tony joined five other English lodges, two of which he helped to found.
Upon presenting the Long Service Certificate, also by coincidence by another lawyer, Peter Rodd commented on Tony’s Masonic history, referring to the old adage that if you want a job done well – give it to a busy man. Tony was Worshipful Master of Simon Langton Lodge twice – 1977 and 1994. In 1977-78 he took the opportunity to visit Les Amis Vigilants No 38, of the Grand Loge Nationale Francaise for the first time on the Queen’s Jubilee night. He visits them annually and has performed chaplaincy and musical functions for them and is now an Honorary Past Master.
At the same time he also visited a lodge in Ulm, Germany, and the Kent Museum of Freemasonry still has the collarettes he was given then as a gift. Lately, his involvement – and the Lodge’s sponsorship of an orphan named Vincent – in “Saints Andrew and Anthony Kampala Orphans’ Trust” (SAAKOT) has seen him attend numerous lodges in Uganda, in particular Light of Africa Lodge (who, it is whispered, may invite him to be an Honorary Member).Tony wrote the “50 Years On” history of the Simon Langton Lodge and was also the principal architect of its Jubilee Celebrations.
A most enjoyable double celebration was made all the more special by the presence of the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, his Escorting Director of Ceremonies, Worshipful Brother John Burgess, and five Active Provincial Officers. The Festive Board was, as usual a very happy affair which was topped-off with Tony Miller accompanying Worshipful Brother Tony Eldridge in singing the initiates song.