THE man responsible for Essex’s roads, county councillor Rodney Bass, has been appointed as the most senior Freemason in the county.
As Provincial Grand Master, he now heads nearly 10,000 Freemasons who meet at 28 different centres across Essex.
As such, he is the 19th person to hold the office since Freemasonry first came to Essex in 1776.
Mr Bass has taken over from John Webb, who spent ten years in office and has now been given the masonic title of Right Worshipful Brother.
Mr Bass said the masons were not the secret organisation many thought them to be and he was keen to stress Freemasony’s role in the community, as a charitable organisation.
He added: “As a first priority, I want to concentrate our fundraising on the Scouting movement in Essex, by raising money for it to fund a major capital project in the county.
“Scouting is an important vocation, which is similar in many ways to Freemasonry.
“Both are renowned for developing confidence and leadership skills, as well as opportunities to undertake challenges which most people never get a chance to face in normal circumstances.”
His appointment comes two years ahead of 300th anniversary of modern Freemasonry.
The masons are said to contribute more than £1million a year to local causes.
Mr Bass said: “What I am most pleased about is that after 300 years, we are still a vibrant and relevant organisation, which has evolved with the times and continues to attract young men in increasing numbers, and I am delighted to be its head.”