Mark Master Mason, Spy, Drug Dealer, Money Launderer?

Wednesday 17th April 2024 was a red-letter day in West Yorkshire Mark Masonry.  A number of distinguished Brethren joined Ainsty Lodge of Mark Master Masons No.1739 in celebrating the 60th Anniversary of V.W. Bro. George Robert (Bob) Fraser-Platt.  To celebrate Bobs special night no less than three P.Prov.G.M’s, one P.Prov. Dep.G.M. and two P.Prov.A.G.M.’s were present.  Hosting the ‘This is your life show’was the Provincial Grand Master R.W.Bro. J. Trevor Bolton who had the support of many acting Provincial Officers. Also present was W.Bro. Gerry Barker the Lord Mayor of Bradford together with many of Bobs friends from throughout the Province.

Once the Lodge was opened, Trevor and a colourful entourage of officers entered all under the guidance of W.Bro. Mark Holland Prov. G.D.C. The salutations were many and with the Brethren suitably warm and seated Trevor was offered the gavel by the W.M. W.Bro. Richard Brown which he declined as he had other work to do.  

Bob together with Trevor sat at the front of the lodge and talked about Bobs life and Masonic career.  For those who know Bob, the P.G.M. did well to get a few words in!  In summary Bob was born in Leeds and went to school there.  At an unspecified time,he joined the RAF (enlisted not National Service he was keen to point out) and became a wireless operator. On completion of his training, he did so well that ‘some well-dressed senior officers in suits’ (Spooks) told him he would be stationed at an unmentionable Country Manor where he would work for them listening to ‘interesting people’ – SPY!

After his time in the R.A.F. Bob worked as a representative for a pharmaceuticalscompany – DRUG DEALER! 

And then he opened a shop in the Merrion Centre, Leeds, initially specialising in rare coins – MONEY LAUNDERER!

Going on to opening a shop in Wetherby where he sold Regalia etc.

Bob’s main career (apart from Masonry) was as a Magician and Comedian, especially at the City Varieties in Leeds.  A number of funny and interesting tales were told about that.  

Bob met his wife Trudy at a Dance Hall in Leeds and following an initial rejection, found her favour and they married and have two daughters and three grandchildren.

On the Masonic front, Bob became a Mason in 1962 and a Mark Master Mason in 1964 (oddly enough 60 years ago). He is a Past Ruler in Holy Royal Arch and Red Cross and, a P.G.J.O. in the Mark.  He had delivered many interesting lectures in Lodges and told many jokes at Festive Boards over the years and could not resist cracking a few jokes to try to knock Trevor of his stride (will I get the sack if I say he succeeded?). It was noted that Bob’s 50th Anniversary presentation had been at another of his Mark Lodges’ – Knaresborough Castle Lodge of Mark Master Masons No.768.  Many interesting events were revealed and many, many laughs had during the discussion.k

W.Bro. Gary Parker Prov. G.Sec. then read out both the Grand Lodge Certificate and the Province of West Yorkshire Certificate which were then presented by Trevor to a rousing round of applause.

The Festive Board was excellent, with the formal toasts and taking of wine. R.W. Bro.Jim Steggles P.Prov.G.M. then added to the observations about Bob, saying that when he was first promoted to Provincial Grand Rank, he went to Bob’s shop in Wetherby where he was ‘fleeced’ (yes, the pun was intended) for the most expensive best regalia available. He then proposed a toast to V.W.Bro. George Robert Fraser-Platt followed by more enthusiastic applause. Bob’s response was a series of witty comments and jokes, too rapid-fire for me to capture, but had everyone ‘rolling in the aisles’ (you had to be there…).

The raffle raised £200 for the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust, and all went home knowing they had been lucky participants in a very special occasion indeed.

Many congratulations V.W.Bro. Robert George Fraser-Platt P.G.J.O., P.Prov.G.S.W. you have and continue to Mark Well.

With thanks to

W.Bro. Kevin Lloyd Prov.G.J.W.

Andrew Johnson

Communications Manager