Written by W.Bro. S.Christopher Apps, (H/A. 1942-46) P.Pr.S.G.W.
Wednesday, 15 October 2008

W.Bro, John Austin Stone P.Pr.A.G.D.C, P.M.4104 died on the 16th June, 2008, after a very short illness.

From the meeting on 12th September, 2008:

"Worshipful Master, Bro. Wardens and Brethren:

He was in Hampden House from 1951 to 55 and was a contemporary of our Master, W.Bro., Peter Best and W.Bro. Grahame Carr. I had the privilege of initiating him into the Lodge 45 years ago on 5th June, 1963 when Master of the Lodge for the first time. He was installed as Master of the Lodge in September 1971 by the late W.Bro. Sumner Cuttelle who was Master in our 50th year. During his year John imitiated the first Master in the College for many years, W.Bro. David Hollinshead. He also completed the ceremonies of Passing and Raising of our two brothers in the Lodge W,Bros. Howard and Hugh Sear. John was promoted in 1979 to the rank of P.Pr.A.G.D.C. in the Province.

He was by profession a hotelier and started his career under another OB, Bob Edgeley (H. 1935/39) as his Assistant Manager of Warnes Hotel in Worthing. He was next appointed to be Manager of the White Hart at Lewes where he gained an excellent reputation and is still remembered in the town with affection. He also enabled us to hold some memorable OBA parties there. To be an efficient hotel manager requires a person of much ability and many talents who can meet unexpected challenges at very short notice. This can best be exemplified with John by the following memorable incident. When John was Manager of the White Hart Hotel in Lewes Lord and Lady Rupert Nevill lived at Horsted Place just south of Uckfield, which is now a hotel There they regularily entertained Princess Margaret at weekends and they regularily brought her to the White Hart for lunch on Sundays. One Sunday just before they were due the kitchen porter took a dislike to the chef and stabbed him in the kitchen.

John was called and immediately summonsed the police and an ambulance. Whilst the police were arresting and taking away the porter the chef was being taken away by ambulance by the side entrance. At the same time that this was happening John was greeting HRH and the Nevills at the main entrance. Having settled them in with drinks in the lounge he then had to dash downstairs put on an apron and complete the cooking and carving of the roast beef for lunch.

He was subsequently Manager at other hotels, The Bull at Aylesbury, the Brent Bridge in North London, the Bull at Barton Mills outside Mildenhall, near the US Air Force Base at Lakenheath in Suffolk, before taking over his own licensed premises, “The Star” at Lidgate, a village between Newmarket and Bury St Edmunds. There he and Pat built up a thriving business not only from the locality but with owners and trainers from Newmarket. His popularity was reflected at the Service of Thanksgiving held in the Parish Church of St Mary at Lidgate on the 26th June, of which John was a Churchwarden, which was attended by almost two hundred including three members from this Lodge and several from the Etheldreda Lodge No. 2107 which he joined in Newmarket.

John was a very loyal and dedicated OB and member of this Lodge which he attended as often as he could. He will be long remembered for his endearing personality, his consideration for others, his zealous duty, charming contradictions and great kindness.

The world would be a better place with more John Stones.

Brethren, I ask you to stand for a few moments in his memory."

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