Excellent Companion Paul Charles Settle MBE
Born in 1951 and resident in Wilmington (West Kent), where completed of his secondary education at Dartford Grammar School, where he was also an active member of the Combined Cadet Force. On leaving school he was a Cadet with the City of London Police and then a Police Constable.
In 1973 he moved to the London Fire Brigade where he completed a successful career in 2001 ‘retiring’ in the rank of Group Commander based at Brigade Headquarters. He service began in Croydon and he moved to other parts of south east and north east London as his career progressed. He remained an operational officer throughout his career as well as having responsibilities for fire safety and finally for operational resource planning.
1973 was also the year he married wife Wendy with whom he had two sons. They moved to East Kent in 1983 where they have remained. Currently two grand daughters are very demanding of his time and this gives him great pleasure.
On ‘retiring’ he became a civil registrar with Kent County Council, on a sessional basis, which he continued with for 15 years. Also, he began working for himself as a Fire Safety Consultant. This is, mainly in the UK but opportunities for travel abroad arose when he became a consultant reporting to a major airline on various safety aspects at hotels featured in their brochures etc.
With so much ‘spare’ time available he undertook the duties of General Secretary of the Firefighters Memorial Trust. More latterly his duties have been reduced to the role of Finance Officer.
For several years Paul has also been a member of the KCC Independent School Appeals panel reviewing cases for parents who are appealing against a decision not top send a child to a school of their choice at both primary and secondary level.
He was initiated into freemasonry in 2000, taking the Chair in 2009, subsequently becoming the Secretary. In 2014 the honour of Provincial Grand Steward was bestowed. Other participation includes membership of a Stewards Lodge (5866), Past Masters Lodge (3931), and Scriveners Lodge (9622).
From being a founder member of a Lodge (9802) that meets in West Kent and after becoming the WM, he has been a Charity Steward and is currently Treasurer. He was honoured with an active appointment as a Provincial Junior Grand Deacon.
The Holy Royal Arch beckoned in 2003 and in 2016 he was appointed Provincial Grand Almoner, an active appointment which has been reconfirmed in subsequent years. He is a member of a First Principals Lodge (3931).
Paul has also been a Provincial Grand Standard Bearer (active) in the Mark Master Masons Province of Kent and continues to participate in a Royal Ark Mariners Lodge as well as a Past Master and Past Commander Lodge.
In 2013, HM The Queen, in the Birthday Honours List, graciously made him a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for “Public and Charitable Services”, which he subsequently received from Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace.
2013 also brought appointment as a Fellow of the Institution of Fire Engineers.
Other hobbies and interests have included: Young person and adult activities with the Scout Association. Working with the Royal Life Saving Society to educate children and adults in the general principles of water safety as well as pool and beach lifeguarding.
Active involvements have also included the Fire Service National Benevolent Fund, First Aid instruction and examination, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, National Fire Prevention Youth Quiz, service on a Parish Council.
When time permits, golf is attempted, and time is devoted to the granddaughters. He and his wife also travel far and wide whenever they can and can ‘disappear’ from the busy world by spending time in their French retreat.