50 not out…

Well, 52 actually… Our Past District Grand Master, W.Bro. Arnold Long, PAGDC, PPJGW, completed 50 years of Masonry in January 2020 but due to the Covid restrictions he was unable to be presented with his 50 Year Certificate until February 2022. The Provincial Grand Master of the Craft Province of Surrey, RW.Bro. Ian M Chandler, went along to Coulsdon Lodge of Perseverance No 5611 at Sutton on Tuesday 15th February to present W.Bro. Arnold with his Certificate. He asked Arnold to describe his early life and what led him into a career as a cricketer.

50 not out… Arnold was born in Cheam and has spent all his life in Surrey. He went to Wallington Grammar School leaving school with 7 ‘O’ levels and 3 ‘A’ levels and had places at Liverpool and Southampton Universities waiting to be accepted. During his last two years at school Arnold was involved in the Surrey Association of Boy's Clubs playing both Soccer and Cricket for them. They had an annual Cricket Match against Surrey Colts and it was after this game in 1958 that he was invited to play a couple of games for Surrey Colts. Thereafter he was approached to join the professional staff at the Oval on a trial basis until the end of the season the following year.

This he accepted much to the annoyance of a couple of teachers at school who felt he should further his education but, in hindsight, he is sure he made the right decision. Arnold played for Surrey CCC as wicketkeeper in the first team from 1962 until 1975. Over that period, they won the Benson and Hedges Cup in 1974, the County Championship in 1971 and in 1964 at Hove versus Sussex Arnold caught eleven batsmen in the two innings. This was then a world record but has been equalled twice since then.

Arnold was then invited to join Sussex in 1976 for the twilight of his cricketing career, and what 5 years it was. Tony Greig was Captain but in 1978 he was sacked by Sussex because of his involvement in the Packer affair and Arnold was asked to take over. They had a disappointing start to the season but eventually in September won the Gillette Cup, beating Somerset by 5 wickets.

After this, Arnold’s Freemasonry seemed to take off. He had joined Coulsdon Lodge of Perseverance No.5611 on 17thJanuary 1970 at the insistence of his godfather and uncle who were both Freemasons. Just prior to going in the chair in 1986 Arnold joined the Royal Arch, quickly followed by Mark, Royal Ark Mariner, Rose Croix and Knights Templar and, in the 1990's, many other Orders.

Over the years Arnold says he has been very lucky with the various ranks and jobs he has received in Freemasonry, but in particular some were very special and most enjoyable. Grand Rank in both Craft and Royal Arch; Assistant Provincial Grand Master in the Mark between 2004 and 2009; District Grand Master in the Royal and Select Masters between 2005 and 2013; Grand Visitor in the OSM in 2014, a wonderful job; Deputy Grand Marshall in the Red Cross of Constantine for two years; and finally, his current position the Provincial Grand Summus in the Order of the Scarlet Cord.

50 not out… The Provincial Grand Master had much personal pleasure in presenting W.Bro. Arnold with his Certificate congratulating him on behalf of everyone present on his achievement. There to share this special day with Arnold were many Heads of Orders and Brethren from most of the Masonic Orders in Surrey.

50 not out… After the Lodge was closed, we all retired to the bar for refreshments before moving into the dining room for a most convivial meal together.

Article and photographs by Chris Eley


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