Worshipful Brother Earl Godwin Sampson, 1931 – 2014

The Provincial Grand Lodge of East Kent records with great sadness the passing on 26th December 2014 of Worshipful Brother Earl Godwin Sampson, a Past Junior Grand Deacon in the United Grand Lodge of England. In the Royal Arch Earl was, as pictured below, appointed in Supreme Grand Chapter to the active rank of Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies for the year 2001/2002.

Earl Sampson – earlier and later – the smile says it all

Earl was born in 1931 in Belize where, after completing his schooling, he chose to become a dentist. With the determination that was to remain a distinguishing characteristic, Earl passed the medical entry exams and enrolled with the School of Dentistry in Edinburgh. Once fully qualified, he applied for and was accepted into a practice in Chatham.

There he met Rita – one of the receptionists – they became close but, after a while, Earl returned to an emergency in Belize for a few months. On his return, Rita met him at Gatwick where he proposed to her and she accepted. Soon afterwards he decided to set up practice in Wigmore. Through his approachable and caring manner, coupled with his hard work and enormous support from Rita, patients flocked in, the practice flourished and he stayed at that surgery until his retirement.

In the meantime, Rita and he had moved to Doddington where they – and their children David & Emma – became actively involved in the community and the church.

Earl was initiated in the Hexagon Lodge No 5380 in 1971 and was Worshipful Master in 1981. He was exalted into Pentangle Chapter No 1174 in 1975 and became its First Principal in 1987.

He was appointed Provincial Grand Steward in 1987 and Provincial Junior Grand Warden in 1990.

In Royal Arch he was appointed Provincial Deputy Grand Registrar in 1993, and promoted to Past Provincial Grand Sword Bearer in 2000.

In whatever he did, and in whatever circumstances he faced, nothing to him was insurmountable. Quietly he would achieve his objectives and, with that same spirit of gentle support, would encourage other Brethren and Companions to reach the same high standard that he set himself. That was what made him such a wonderful Director of Ceremonies – a thread running through his Masonic involvement.

But there was so much more to him – unfailingly good humoured, unflappable and always seeing the positive side, he adhered deeply and privately to his Christian principles. He remained very close to his family in Belize and England and was ever supportive of them, without any fuss or ostentation, in any way that he could.

Similarly Earl maintained a highly charitable approach to the causes espoused by the Craft. That followed on from him having been similarly closely involved with Gillingham Round Table, and then Gillingham Rotary Club.

By his actions and demeanour he set an example to all who met him as “ .. one to whom the burdened heart may pour forth it’s sorrow, the distressed may prefer their suit, whose hand is guided by justice and whose heart is expanded by benevolence … “

Long missed though never forgotten.

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