Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of Kent
48 Years of Pioneering Service to the NHS

How often have you looked at the Brother next to you and pondered about his story outside of Freemasonry? We have surely all found ourselves sat next to someone in the Temple or at a Festive Board and instantly struck up a conversation about the ritual, the building, how the Lodge is doing, family, sport and of course being British - the weather. But being British often precludes us from finding out more about the man sat alongside or opposite us.

48 Years Of Pioneering Service To The NHS

Image Courtesy of Alexa Kelly Photography

Many of us know the instantly recognisable smile of W. Bro. / W. Cdr. Ralph Craig, but how many of us know of his pioneering work in the field of mental health within our National Health Service?

Ralph joined the NHS on the 21st August 1971 as a trainee nurse, he did "retire" in 2004 but continues to work with them to the present day meaning that he has given an incredible 48 years of service to the NHS and is still going strong. His career began at Stone House Hospital in Dartford, a forerunner to the town's nearby Little Brook Hospital. Ralph had originally reported for duty at an Army recruitment office, but "His head was turned" by the nursing and he spent time on secure wards, in early crisis teams and A&E liaison, becoming one of the pioneers involved in developing front-line mental health services. You can read more about Ralph's wonderful story in the Winter 2019 edition of Connected, the magazine of the Kent & Medway NHS Partnership and Social Care Trust.

For those of you that don't yet know Ralph, his Mark Masons' Hall records take some reading! He was Advanced into St Peter's Mark Lodge in 1998 and Elevated into its anchored Royal Ark Mariner Lodge in 2000. Ralph is presently a member of 7 Mark Lodges, (3 of which he was a Founder), including Mark Grand Stewards. Similarly, he is a member of 5 R.A.M. Lodges (2 of which he was a Founder). As well as holding Grand Rank in both Mark and R.A.M. he is a Past Assistant District Grand Master for South & East Caribbean and, as you might expect, active in several other Masonic orders.

We guess that you'll have plenty to chat with about next time you meet, although be warned as he admits himself, he can "talk until the cows come home!"

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