Companions, it is my pleasure this evening to present a Certificate to E Comp Norman James Shepherd to mark his 50 years in the Royal Arch.
E Comp Norman was born in Nottingham on the 15th November 1925, when King George V was on the Throne and Stanley Baldwin was Prime Minister; the year in which were also born, among others, Margaret Thatcher, Tony Benn, Nat Lofthouse and the actor George Cole.
During the war Norman volunteered for RAF aircrew and, after training, was posted to 196 Squadron 38 group (SAS). After VE Day he was transferred to Transport Command and sent to the Far East to equip the Tiger Force for the invasion of Japan. He flew essential supplies to Burma and Malaya and, in India, completed his service.
He returned to England in 1947, was discharged and married Margaret. At the last count, he has three daughters, a son, seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
In 1950 he was awarded the Carnegie Hero Citation and the British Empire Medal for saving lives at sea.
His career, as a manager for Smiths Clocks and Watches, took him from Nottingham to Birmingham in 1954, where he eventually managed the Midlands area. He returned to Nottingham in 1961 and formed his own company, Shepherds Clocks and Watches, importing and dealing in clocks, watches, barometers and jewellery. He became a member of the British Horological Institute and was Chairman and President of the Nottingham branch.
Having had stores in Nottingham and Long Eaton, he eventually closed the business in 1986. Subsequently, he purchased an ocean going ketch in Southampton and, during the summer months, enjoyed sailing to the Med. He then bought a property in Tenerife, which must have made the winter months extremely tolerable.
E Comp Norman was Initiated into Dormer Lodge No. 7294 (Worcs.) on the 9th November 1959, becoming WM in 1969, and was a Founder member and Secretary of Fons Vitae Lodge No. 8744 (Derbys.); he was WM in 1991 and 2001. He was appointed PPrSGW (Derbys.) in 1995.
His Service connections resulted in an invitation to become a member of Lodge Glittering Star No. 322, Irish Constitution, which has a travelling Warrant and meets all over the country.
On the 25th October 1967, Norman was Exalted into Robin Hood Chapter No. 1493, becoming MEZ in 1979. In 1984 he was appointed acting PrGStB, promoted to PPrGSoj in 1989 and in 1995 to PPrGReg. In recognition of long and meritorious service he was elected to honorary membership of Robin Hood Chapter in 2009.
In 1988 he was a founder member of Harrington Chapter No. 5098 (Derbys.)
This brief precis hardly does justice to someone who has led such an interesting, honourable and distinguished life, but it gives a fleeting glimpse of a man who has achieved much and who is held in the very highest estimation by all who have had the privilege of meeting and knowing him.
The ScrE then read aloud the wording of the Certificate ...
Provincial Grand Chapter of Nottinghamshire
Norman James Shepherd
Exalted into Robin Hood Chapter No. 1493 on 25th October 1967
By Virtue of the important trust reposed in me by
The Most Excellent First Grand Principal
I, Richard V. Gutteridge
of the Province of Nottinghamshire do,
by virtue of this power delegated to me by the said Letters Patent,
grant you this Certificate
having completed Fifty Years of dedicated and faithful service to the Royal Arch
and in grateful recognition of your valuable contribution
to the Province of Nottinghamshire
Given under my hand and the Official Seal of the Provincial Grand Chapter aforesaid
this 24th Day of October 2018.
E Comp Norman James Shepherd, on behalf of the Most Excellent the Grand Superintendent, it gives me immense pleasure to present you with this Certificate to mark 50 distinguished years in the Royal Arch.
2nd Provincial Grand Principal
24th October 2018