W Bro Robert Corp-Reader OBE PDepGSwdBremembers his great chum.
We are gathered here today to say goodbye to one of life’s real gentlemen, Rex Francis Thorne.
We are a small congregation today due to the pandemic. Rex’s wife Sophie,
her daughter and husband Natalie and Phil, grandchildren Sandy and Shane.
The service is being streamed on the internet so that relatives in New Zealand, friends,
work colleagues, Freemasons from the UK and Monaco along with the congregation of
St. Michaels Church, Villefrance-Sur-Mer can all join us.
Rex was greatly admired and respected in the world of electronics and communications and was
recognised by being appointed an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.
He met his lovely wife Sophie at a diner at the House of Commons where he was
a regular diner. Whilst they were living in Dorset, they founded the Wessex Branch of the
IWFS-the “International Wine and Food Society”.
He loved a good meal, I remember we were dining somewhere or other and he said
“Bob, that was a jolly good wine, let’s have some more” I said “Do you think we should?
I don’t want you getting in trouble at home”. Rex replied with the usual glint in the eye,
“Oh that’s alright, I’ll just tell Sophie you insisted.”
They both loved France and spent time in Nice on the French Riviera whenever they could.
Sophie had lived there long before meeting Rex and once they got together Rex was quickly
on the Church Council for St. Michael’s church and provided strength and leadership
in improving matters in the church considerably.
After Rex provided extensive guidance, professionalism and leadership during the evolution
from London Management to Metropolitan Grand Lodge, he was asked to represent the
United Grand Lodge of England in the formation of a Grand Lodge in Monaco.
Once the Grand Lodge Nationale Reguliere de la Principaute de Monaco was consecrated,
it honoured him by appointing him Assistant Grand Master.
So, we come to say goodbye to dear Rex, a loving, caring husband,
stepfather, brother and uncle.
The epitome of a true English Gentleman who was always
impeccably dressed, courteous and understanding.
He had a perpetual smile on his face and who can forget the twinkle in his eye!
How fortunate we all are, to have been able to share a part of his great and wonderful life.
Rex was a great man with great humility. He had many friends from all walks of life
who both loved and respected him, and I am so grateful that I was able to be one of them.
Now he joins the Great Architect of the Universe where I am sure he will meet many old friends.
We will all be there one day, together again.
However, when it comes to my turn, please Rex, may I leave you to choose the wine?
Goodbye dear friend.
This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 41 July 2020 edition.
Arena Magazine is the official magazine of the London Freemasons - Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London.
Read more articles in the Arena Issue 41.