United Grand Lodge Provincial Grand Lodge Sandbeck Lodge No. 7275
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Brother Joseph Brian Walker. r.i.p.
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A short obituary for our friend and Brother Joseph Brian Walker who Died on the 9th May 2022, after a short illness, Age 75. Joseph Brian Walker was born in Rotherham and brought up in the Whiston area of the town. He had a happy childhood and on leaving school he commenced an apprenticeship as a joiner at a local building company. By the time he had completed his apprenticeship he had met Margret, the lady he would marry and they eventually settled at their house in Shepcote Road, Rotherham. By this time Joe had joined the South Yorkshire based building company “Frank Haslam Milan” of Doncaster who even at that time were quite a large company that specialised in house building projects throughout the Yorkshire region. Joe’s dedicated work commitment was soon recognised at Haslam’s and he was rapidly moved up the management ranks to the post of Senior Site Manager, a position he would hold until he took early retirement. Joe has always insisted on a high level of commitment from his work force and he built quality homes, I know this to be correct because coincidentally, I have a friend who lives in one of the houses Joe built. Joe and Margret were blessed with a son Mark who rather than following his dad down the joinery and house building route, instead trained in industrial plumbing and heating, skills that would eventually complement Joe’s charity work. The Walker family have always followed a relatively modest but comfortable life style as Joe always believed that complete satisfaction in life comes from helping others and this he did at every possible opportunity. By the time Joe had joined Sandbeck Lodge in October 2006 his voluntary work with the Charity: People in Need: had resulted in him periodically working away from home in Romania where he has completed many projects like refurbishing a village hospital and re-roofing a children’s home, then he went on to help special need schools by providing 5 touch sensory rooms in different parts of Romania and generally helping the rural community in the Vaslui County. This work in Romania continues to this day and at the time of his death he was preparing to journey back out there to complete yet another voluntary aid project. Back in this country Joe had become involved with the Crook Stone Adventure Trust, an organisation that provides an opportunity for young people who would not normally be able to experience the great outdoors and learn about the special skills required to live with the natural environment. Working with his friends and other volunteers Joe spent most weekends for almost five years rebuilding a 400-year-old barn high on Kinder Scout turning it into a facility that can cater for 23 people at a time. As a result of his work thousands of underprivileged people have enjoyed the benefit of a stay at Crook Stone Barn. Also, nearer home, Joe would assist many other local charitable organisations, Round Table and the Rotarians to name but two. It was a common sight every December to see Joe driving a land Rover towing the Father Christmas Slay and collecting money for local charities and worthy causes. Following the sad loss of Wo.Bro. Harry Elis in December 2013, the Rotherham Masonic management committee asked Joe if he would advise and assist in the upkeep and maintenance of the Wellgate building. Joe being Joe agreed straight away and was soon putting more hours in at Wellgate than anyone could have ever imagined. Along with other Masonic volunteers he tried his best to combat roof leakages, falling masonry, rotted and dangerous window frames, then of course a major gas leak. continued ……….