Michael Ralph Stephens, DepGSupt, Designate
Mike Stephens lived his early childhood years in Ruislip, Middlesex before moving to Totteridge, High Wycombe at the age of 11 years. He attended Wellesbourne County Secondary School before moving to the Royal Grammar School High Wycombe. Mike was a member of the Church Lads Brigade in both Ruislip and Hazlemere, High Wycombe. His main teenage interests were sports, swimming, rugby and football. On leaving school Mike trained as a Medical Laboratory Scientist specializing in Clinical Biochemistry and working at Wycombe General Hospital, St Mary’s Hospital London and the National Heart Hospital London. Having achieved all he wanted to in this career, Mike transferred to General Healthcare Management where he worked for ten years. Mike then joined a commercial organization and worked on several Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contracts within healthcare and other public services where he worked for a further six years. The final nine years of Mike’s working life was spent as a Contract Manager on a PFI contract at Her Majesties Treasury in London.
Mike was first introduced to Freemasonry by his father-in-law who was an eminent Mason in the Province of Oxfordshire.
“We had many a conversation on the subject in his garden over a glass of red wine. I chose to join Freemasonry in Buckinghamshire as I didn’t know whether I could live up to his exacting standards (knowing little about what I could achieve with regard to ritual etc) and I wanted my social life where I lived and not in London where I worked”
What have you learned from your time in Freemasonry?
“I have learnt several things from my masonic career including the enjoyment of companionship and the value of friendships. But to me one of the most important aspects is how Freemasonry develops the confidence and character of its members”.
Why did you join the Holy Royal Arch and what has it given you?
“Having gone through the three Craft Degrees I needed to discover more so having discussed with my Masonic Mentors at the time, I joined the Royal Arch as I wanted further knowledge beyond the Third degree. The Royal Arch gave me completeness and opened my mind to the concept of eternal existence. In addition to the enjoyment of serving our Province as both Assistant Scribe E and Scribe E for the past ten years prior to my current appointment to Deputy Grand Superintendent”.
What would you consider your greatest achievements in and out of Freemasonry?
“My greatest achievement in life in general has got to be my family and the support they have always give to me in all that I have done throughout life in general.
I consider one of my greatest achievements in Freemasonry to be helping to develop individuals from quiet, shy individuals into confident men capable of delivering ritual and standing up to speak at festive boards. I also include myself as one who has grown and developed in confidence through Freemasonry”.
If you could invite three people from history to dinner who would they be and why?
“Sir Winston Churchill:- to ask what it was like leading the country through the terrors and hardships of the second world war. Alexander Fleming:- to find out his feelings upon discovering penicillin by mistake, also whether he realized the impact on peoples health of his discovery. Charles Dickens:- to ask whether he wrote from experiences that he lived through or whether he had a tremendous imagination to create his characters. Also what Broadstairs was like when he lived there”.
Describe yourself in three words?
“Trustworthy, supportive, reliable”.
If there was one phrase which you felt described you, what would that be?
“He always gave of his best in all that he did”.
Five things you didn’t know about Mike Stephens !
Swam breaststroke for Buckinghamshire Schools.
Wycombe Wanderers trust member and season ticket holder.
Commissioned the New Cardiac Wing of the Royal Brompton Hospital and met HM the Queen at its opening.
Spent all my school holidays with my grandparents in Broadstairs Kent.
Met Princess Alexandra on several occasions in her capacity as Patron of the National Heart Hospital.