Ted Longcroft, a resident at Westbourne House in Bournemouth, shares his story about being a Freemason for over 60 years, and the time and dedication he spent to become a Master.

The Freemasons are one of the oldest secular social and charitable organisations in the world, founded on the values of integrity, friendship, respect and charity. Members come together under these values and the organisation helps to support people make valuable and positive contributions to society.

To celebrate Ted’s long standing membership as a Freemason, he was surprised by a visit from one of the Grand Masters from the London Lodge with a certificate. Ted’s lodge, the Priory Lodge, has raised a lot of money for several chosen charities over the years, with Ted working for many charities and organisations over the years, helping to raise much needed funds.

Ted joined the Freemasons, as his father was an ‘ordinary’ Mason, and was sponsored by his boss at the time, where he was working at a Builder’s Merchant as a Foreman.

After a few years of joining, Ted became a Master of his Lodge. In order to become a Master, you have to memorise a number of ceremonies, and read and memorise particular presentations, which he learned from a Freemason’s book. Each time a ceremony came around, Ted had to learn the ritual by rote, which then elevated his position within the Lodge each time. It takes many years of preparation before being ready to appear in front of Freemason peers and recite purely by memory. It look 13 years, with Ted memorising parts when he was driving to and from his Lodge!

“There are many preconceived ideas of what the Freemasons are. However, I have enjoyed every moment of being a member and Master. Being a Freemason has taught me many lifelong skills and I recommend anyone interested in joining to find out more.”


One of the main skills Ted gained as a Freemason was the opportunity to become a very good public speaker. In his role as a Factory Manager, he recalls being complemented by a senior manager who said listening to Ted, was one of the best speeches he had heard.  By speaking at Masonic meetings and his promotion to a Master, Ted felt as though these experiences gave him the confidence to speak with anyone.

Westbourne House’s staff and residents were delighted to be a part of the surprise 60th anniversary presentation and celebrations, which was attended by a man who had recently joined the Freemasons, who was delighted to meet a longstanding member of the Lodge.

Living at Abbeyfield

Ted originally knew about Abbeyfield as his mother had lived at an Abbeyfield House in Kings Langley, after his father passed away. It was a friend who recommended the move to an Abbeyfield for his mother.

After looking around a couple of Abbeyfield Houses, Ted moved into Westbourne House in 2014 and said ‘What’s not to like’! Ted says that loves that he feels safe, is well catered for and doesn’t have to worry about living on his own. He enjoys the freedom to come and go as he pleases, the option to join in activities when he wants, as well as being part of the Abbeyfield Wessex community.

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