Douglas Moutrie, of the Hexagon Lodge, No 5380 in Rochester was awarded an M.B.E (The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in this year’s New Year’s Honours List. The Investiture Ceremony, held in the Ballroom in Buckingham Palace, took place on 19th February. Doug was accompanied to the Investiture by Margaret, his wife of 72 years, his daughter, Brenda and his granddaughter, Georgina.
The Honour was entirely unexpected!
Doug’s Award was presented by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales on behalf of H.M. The Queen and was given in recognition of his many years of service to improve the quality of life of people, including children with disabilities. He was a founding member in 1983 of the local Medway & Swale Panel of Remap, a charitable organisation specialising in making or adapting equipment for people with special needs. He also served as Panel Chairman for many years.
This local Panel worked closely with the Medway Council Occupational Therapy Department and its predecessors but sadly, after some 30 years the Panel was forced to close in 2013 due to a lack of suitably qualified volunteers to manufacture and/or adapt equipment for disabled users.
Doug, a Chartered Engineer by profession, was born in Wood Green, London in June 1920. He was largely educated in Newark, Nottinghamshire and worked in the Midlands and Tyneside before coming to Kent in 1966 to join Blaw-Knox, the now defunct road making equipment manufacturer, formerly based in Rochester, where he ultimately became Chief Engineer until his retirement in 1982. He is a Past President of the Rotary Club of Gillingham and a Paul Harris Fellow (a Rotary Award).
During World War II Bro. Doug served in the Corps of Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers (R.E.M.E.) in Egypt and Palestine, rising to the rank of Captain.
In his youth he was a Choirboy at St. Mary’s Church, Hornsey, which initially spurred his great love of choral music and ultimately of organ music, which he has enjoyed playing for some 80 years.
Doug joined the Hexagon Lodge in 1976 and, although he has never occupied the Chair of his Lodge, he has served it as Treasurer for 19 years and Organist for 30 years. Now, well into his nineties, he also plays regularly for the Dickens and Fraternitas Lodges in Gillingham. His musical and other services to Freemasonry were recognised and honoured when he was awarded Provincial Rank in 1993.
Report courtesy of Bryan Shaw