On Friday 17 April, W. Bro. David West represented the lodge at the funeral of W. Bro. Harry Ball, who died on the 31st March 2015 at the age of 90. The photograph shows Bro. Harry on his 90th birthday with a cake displaying a picture of himself in RAF uniform. He served as a radio operator/navigator in heavy bombers during the latter half of the 1939-45 war.
Harry was initiated in 1961, became Secretary as a lay brother 1965-68 and was Master in 1976. He was the son of W. Bro. Ralph A Ball (founder and Master in 1940) and the brother of W. Bro. Ralph E Ball (Master in 1978).
Together with Bro. Reg Wingate (d. 1978), Harry was initiated by a founder (his father), passed by a founder (W. Bro. Andrew Edwards) and raised by a founder (W. Bro. Bert Milner) – this, some 26 years after the consecration. Reg and Harry worked in the same law firm and the actor Victor Maddern (1928-1993) was his client and a regular guest at St Laurence Lodge. (Vic Maddern is perhaps best known for his roles in such films as Cockleshell Heroes, The Sea Shall Not Have Them, Private’s Progress, and the Carry On series.)
W. Bro. Harry retired to Great Wakering where he lived very happily with his second wife Pat and her family. The service was led by Harry’s stepson, Mark Hobbs, who now combines a very successful business life with the role of Pastor in a group of Evangelical churches in East Essex and of an internet church known as the Acres of Diamonds Church. Older brethren will remember that Mark was a member of St Laurence for several years. He has indicated an interest in returning.