Frank Barker - 1944-2018
Albert Victor Chapter No.117
Francis Andrew Richard Barker, known to all as Frank, and who passed to the grand lodge above 13th December was born 16th February 1944, in Devon.
The son a serving RAF officer, he was educated at numerous schools but always knew his calling and after catering college he joined the Joe Lyons Group as what, today, would be called a graduate trainee. His whole working life was spent in the industry, and anyone who spent time with him will recall his endless stories of amusing incidents as he managed pubs, hotels and even a pier development. Being told to bend at the knees in a group photograph with John Wayne because no one was to be shown as taller than the star was a typical example.
He was initiated into the Reading Old Boys Lodge No. 3545. in April 2010, became WM in 2015, Treasurer in 2016 and, needless to say, Dining Secretary.
He was exalted into Sandhurst Chapter, Advanced into Friendship and Care Mark and, of course, perfected into this Chapter. He joined the Berkshire Country Sports Lodge, to further his love of shooting but I suspect that more food was eaten and beer drunk that they ever caught or shot.
Besides family, his outside activities were varied. Frank set records at county level as a swimmer and water polo captain, crewed on a RNLI life boat, was a chair of PTA and a school governor, rallied and hill claimed in pre war sports cars, was a more than passable shot at either clays or pheasants, was a delivery driver for the guide dogs for the blind, managed polling stations at election time and was a part time volunteer lock keeper on the Thames. His enthusiasm for sport never waned and he was often found at Twickenham.
However, Frank will be best remembered by most of us as the Operations Manager at Sindlesham Court, where his managerial and catering skills made a huge contribution to the success of the centre over the last seven years. His most memorable occasions including the investiture of two Provincial Grand Masters and the magnificent Tercentenary Banquet. His contribution to Berkshire Freemasonry was recognised by his being appointed to Past Provincial Grand Steward, conferring the right to wear a red apron of which he was immensely proud.
Frank was a big man in every way, in Stature, in Character and in Heart. A true friend, Companion, Prince and Brother who will be sadly missed.
Princes, would you please be upstanding in silent memory of departed merit.
Colin E Smith, 28 February 2019.