Mike Cross Receives his 50 Year Long Service Certificate
Monckton Lodge No 9236 enjoyed a memorable meeting when Worshipful Brother Major Mike Cross was presented with a long service certificate to celebrate his 50 years as a Freemason. The certificate was presented by Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Nick Waller, at the regular meeting of the lodge in October.
Mike was born in Mauritius in September 1939, just at the outbreak of World War II, and spent his first few years there with his family while his father was posted to other countries. After the War Mike saw much of the world as his father continued in army service, having his education at a number of schools. After school he commenced work with the NAAFI, before enlisting as a Private with the Army Medical Corps in Germany in 1958.
While serving in Germany, Mike met his future wife – Ann – who was working with the British Forces’ Education Service. They married in 1964, in Herne Bay, and went on to have two daughters, Sarah and Julia.
Mike’s army career spanned 41 years, serving all over the world, gaining promotion through the ranks to Major. In 1984 he resigned from the Regular Army, but was appointed a Permanent Staff Officer in the Territorial Army at Ditton, serving until his final retirement in 1999. In that same year Mike was awarded The Freedom of the City of London and Nick Waller joked that: “Mike was given the privilege of being immune from prosecution for being drunk in the City of London, and able to herd his sheep across London Bridge without tithe”. In 2000 Mike was honoured by Her Majesty The Queen, being awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list.
Mike’s Masonic career started in Germany in April 1965, when he was initiated into Lodge Niederrhein in Duseldorf - a member of the Grand Lodge of British Freemasons in Germany. Throughout his travels, he visited and in some cases joined Lodges wherever he was posted. Mike’s Masonic career in East Kent began in earnest when he became a Founder and Primus Master of Monckton Lodge in November 1987. He went on to serve the lodge as its Secretary for a number of years as well as taking on many other roles since then.
In recognition of his services to the Lodge and the Province, he was appointed a Provincial Grand Steward in 1991, and was further honoured by promotion to Provincial Junior Grand Warden in 1994. In 2000, shortly after his MBE, Mike was appointed Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies in Grand Lodge, and subsequently promoted to Past Junior Grand Deacon in 2008. Mike has also been active in the Holy Royal Arch and other Masonic Orders, including the Mark, the Royal Ark Mariners, and the Rose Croix. Mike, who sadly now suffers from poor health, was presented with his certificate in the presence of his lodge members and some ladies and other non-Masonic guests.
The occasion was made all the more memorable by the presence of a group of Gurkhas and their ladies to celebrate the lodge’s long standing support for the local barracks as well as the Gurkha Ladies’ charity in their efforts on relief in Nepal . Before retiring to the Festive Board, the Gurkhas performed a native dance much to the enjoyment of everyone present.