On 23rd April 2020 W. Bro. Mike Baker passed to higher service.
Mike was very well known in the Province having been Advanced into Orpington Mark Lodge No. 1089 in 2003 and appointed to PAGDC in 2019, after having served for two consecutive years as Provincial Grand Inspector of Works. He was Elevated into Orpington R.A.M. Lodge No. 1089 in 2010 and appointed to PRAMGR in 2019.
He was also a member of Kent Mark Stewards’ Lodge No. 1691, a driving force in the reinvigoration of Greenwich Mark and R.A.M. Lodges No. 332 and an honorary member of Fore Cantia Mark Lodge No. 2002.
However, Mike was equally well known all around the masonic world, having formerly been Director of Communications at UGLE and latterly Communications Consultant at Mark Masons’ Hall, successfully working with the team at 86 St James’s to promote the higher degrees and progressive Orders of Freemasonry.
In these times of Covid-19 and the Government’s social distancing guidelines, the Mark Province of Kent arranged, with sincere thanks to Mrs. Tina Baker and Mikeâs family, access to the streaming of his funeral service on Monday 18th May which was then followed by a virtual memorial service on Zoom.
After the conclusion of the service at Beckenham Crematorium. R.W. Bro. Archie Torrance PGM formally welcomed brethren, friends and families from far and wide to the memorial service commenting that it had been a privilege to participate, albeit from a distance.
Mike’s heartfelt Masonic Eulogy was given by W. Bro. Perri Ahmet PGJD APGM, who had arranged the memorial service. Perri explained that Mike’s brothers in the west country were both Freemasons and through a casual conversation with a work colleague on the subject, it transpired that he was also a Freemason and as a result Mike was Initiated into Kynaston Studd Lodge in London in 2001. It would be tempting to say “and the rest is history” but knowing of Mike’s views on cliche’s, perhaps not!
Personal tributes were then delivered by W. Bro. Daniel M. Heath PGSD Assistant Grand Secretary, R.W. Bro. Michael C. Hadjiconstantas District Grand Master of the Craft and Royal Arch District of Cyprus and E. Comp. Christopher J. Clark Deputy Metropolitan Grand Superintendent of London (HRA). The constant themes that ran through all three tributes were how committed and passionate Mike was about anything that he turned his hand to, the difference that he made to all aspects of Masonic communication, the impact he had across all Orders that he was associated with and of course his wonderful sense of humour.
A Toast to Absent Brethren was given by R.W. Bro. Archie Torrance, this was followed by an opportunity to ‘raise a glass’ in Mikeâs memory and time for quiet reflection. After The Last Post, a valedictory prayer was given by W. Bro. Graham Higgs PGSD ProvDepGChap.
The event was attended by more than 140 participants from the four quarters of the globe including Sri Lanka, Cyprus, Hong Kong, Kenya, Argentina, Austria, Malaysia, Singapore, The Caribbean, The Channel Islands and brethren from all over the UK. The fact that the whole event was organised on and hosted across myriad social media channels is surely a wonderful and fitting testament to Mike’s legacy.
R.W. Bro. Archie Torrance concluded by saying: “It was a privilege today to host a virtual Memorial Service for our dear friend, Mike Baker, which included a live stream of his funeral service from Beckenham Crematorium. He truly did live respected and died regretted.”