The season finale took place on 29th June at Oaklands Hall in Hyde when Illustrious Brother Benjamin Addy 33rd Degree celebrated 60 years as a Rose Croix Mason in Staveleigh Chapter No. 518.
The celebrations were led by the Lieutenant Grand Commander; Most Illustrious Brother David Williamson 33rd Degree and attended by over 70 of Ben’s friends including 8 other Sovereign Grand Inspectors General, 5 District Recorders and the Cheshire Provincial Grand Masters of both the Craft and Mark Provinces as well as past leaders and leaders of several Masonic Orders of which Ben is a member.
Acheiving 60 years as a Freemason is quite an achievement but to celebrate 60 years in a progressive Order such as the Ancient & Accepted Rite is a rare occasion indeed. Having enjoyed a long and distinguished Masonic career in a number of Masonic Orders including the Mark Degree in which Ben served as Pro Grand Master it is unsurprising so many Masonic leaders, past and present, wanted to share in his celebrations on this occasion.
Now in his ninetieth year Ben enjoyed his day immensely. With his usual humility and self -effacement seemed a little nonplussed at all the fuss and attention especially when presented with a framed copy of his official Rose Croix photograph personally signed by the Lieutenant Grand Commander. Ben accepted with good grace and a warm and humerous reply to his toast proposed by the Inspector General for East Cheshire; Very Illustrious Brother Nigel Cooper 33rd Degree.
Most Illustrious Brother David Williamson gave a witty and highly affectionate account of Ben's life both Masonic and non-masonic in the Chapter Meeting which included many personal anecdotes from their respective time together as Assistant Grand Master in the Craft and Pro Grand Master in the Mark.
Very Illustrious Brother Nigel Copoer was able to add his own personal recollections of Ben over the years they have both been Cheshire Masons in proposing the toast to Ben at the dinner.
Ben left school at 15 and was apprenticed as a printer with his apprenticeship interrupted by National Service at 18 when Ben was called up to the 33rd Parachute Field Regiment (Royal Artillery) in which he served in Egypt.
In 1953 Ben became a Hollywood star when in the film “The Red Beret” starring Alan Ladd he played the third man jumping out of the second plane.
Unfortunately illness caused Ben to be invalided out of the army after only 12 months and when Hollywood did not come calling he resumed his studies and took over the printing firm of Clifford Whittaker at 21 becoming his own boss.
Ben was 18 when he met Evelyn and they were married in 1955 and had three children; two boys and a girl. Christopher, the eldest worked with Ben at Clifford Whittaker.
Ben was Perfected in Staveleigh Chapter on Tuesday 7th May 1963 becoming Most Wise Sovereign in November 1972 and receiving the 30th Degree in 1974, the 31st in 1989, the 32nd in 1994 and the 33rd in 2011. He was a founder of Glossop Chapter No. 760 (District of Derbyshire) in 1974 and Toft Chapter No. 897 in 1981, the latter now being the Past Sovereigns’ Chapter in the District of East Cheshire.