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Most Worshipful Brother Geoffrey Robert Edwards, our new Grand Master, was born in England in early 1945. Shortly after the end of the Second World War he and his parents relocated to Salisbury in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Geoff’s father was a Freemason and Geoff describes his mother as “a very special person”. He has one sister, Margaret, and they and their families enjoy a very close relationship.
Geoff spent his childhood years living in various towns and cities as his father was transferred in his employment. He spent some time in East London, Durban, (back to) England and finally Cape Town, where he attended Sea Point Boy’s High School and matriculated there in 1963.
In 1965 Geoff embarked on an IT career starting as a computer programmer and has been in the IT industry ever since. He worked through the ranks with a major IT supplier and reached the position of Regional Manager in their Bureau Division.
In 1965 he married Val, who he describes as not only a wonderful wife but also his best friend. They have been blessed with four daughters, a son and seven grandchildren and are extremely proud of each of them.
During his corporate years Geoff was also required to move around and he and his family lived in Carletonville, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein and Johannesburg before finally returning to and settling in Cape Town.
Geoff has owned and operated a Cape Town based IT recruitment company for in excess of 25 years and he and Val currently reside in Wynberg.
He enjoys all sports but particularly soccer, rugby, cricket, golf and athletics. In his youth he participated in soccer, hockey, athletics and golf and, as time progressed, was awarded Provincial colours as a soccer administrator.
He is a family man and is happiest sharing Val’s company and that of family and friends. He is a keen “collector” and has accumulated sports figurines, golf markers, matchboxes, Masonic memorabilia and other items.
As far as Freemasonry is concerned, although Geoff knew that his father was an inactive member of the Order, he never spoke to him about it and sort of expected his father to raise the subject – which, in those days, was unlikely to happen.
In his early forties, Geoff raised his interest with a friend who was a Freemason - and his Masonic career was finally on its way. In November 1986 Geoff was initiated in Lodge de Goede Hoop and was thereafter duly passed and raised. He steadily moved up the ranks in his Lodge and was elected as its presiding master in 1994 – being further blessed by having his father excelling in his role as the Lodge Organist. After two consecutive years as the presiding Master, Geoff was duly invited into the Provincial Grand Lodge. During this time he also joined the Royal Arch Chapter de Goede Kaap and the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite Chapter de Goede Hoop.
His leadership abilities soon became apparent in the Provincial Grand Lodge structure and he was invited to join the Spring Ball committee, where he has now served for over 20 years. As he also enjoys writing articles and editing and compiling books and magazines it was a given that he took over the editorship of the Spring Ball magazine and he has been compiling and editing this very informative annual magazine ever since. Geoff was soon promoted to an Assistant Provincial Grand Master and then to the position of Deputy Provincial Grand Master. In 2002 Geoff was appointed as the Provincial Grand Master of the Southern Division. During 2006 he was appointed as an Assistant Grand Master and in 2008 as the Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of South Africa. He was duly elected as the Grand Master on 31 May 2014 and his installation date is 23 August 2014.
Geoff has also been through the Chair in both his Royal Arch and Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite Chapters and he currently occupies the Chair in the de Goede Hoop Consistory. He further holds a senior past rank in the Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter and is a thirty third degree Freemason. Notwithstanding the above, Geoff is a humble person and he recently stepped down as both the Preceptor and the Secretary of his mother Lodge and now occupies the position of Architect. He is an accomplished ritualist and also occupies the position of Preceptor in his Royal Arch Chapter and Chancellor in his AASR Chapter.
In addition to editing the Southern Division’s Spring Ball magazine, Geoff also spent some 5 years compiling and editing the Grand Lodge Yearbook. He is an honorary member of several lodges under the GLSA as well as that of the British Lodge, the senior Lodge under the UGLE in South Africa. For the past several years, he has further been the Chairman of the board of directors of Denid Investments, the registered company which owns the Masonic Homes in the Western Cape.
Geoff also compiled and implemented the “Masonic Book of Life” and the ritual “What is Freemasonry”. As this article is appearing in the Spring Ball magazine, it is appropriate to record that he was also the convener of the annual Masonic Spring Ball and the Chairman of its committee for several years. He further chaired the organising committee for the Grand Lodge Jubilee celebrations in 2011, and wrote and directed the Southern Division’s performances of the Grand Lodge’s Jubilee Celebration reading. He is a holder of the Southern Division’s Charity Jewel and their Secretary of the Year award and during 2012 he was awarded the prestigious Order of Service to Masonry (OSM).
By nature, Geoff tends to be a perfectionist and insists that every candidate for Freemasonry must enjoy a quality experience - including the workings performed for their initiation, passing and raising. He firmly believes in the tenets of Freemasonry and what it strives to promote and subscribes to the opinion that if all the peoples of the World lived by Masonic principles, most of the problems that we encounter would simply not exist. He believes that Freemasonry should be “fun” and questions why anybody would want to remain a member of the Order if they are not enjoying the experience.
I am sure that you will all join me in wishing our new Grand Master good health and a satisfying and fulfilling term of office. May he take us from strength to strength. RW Bro John Smith
Picture Captions MWBro. Geoff Edwards with his wife Val
Geoff and Val with their grandchildren.