ME Grand Superintendent, Graham Peter Dearing
Graham tell us about your early life.
I was born in Southall, West London in 1960. I had one brother, who was also a very proud Freemason. I was very fortunate to be able to initiate him into the craft and then carry out his exaltation into the Royal Arch. We moved out to Hillingdon in 1968, where I went to school. I would love to say I was academic; however, that was not the case. I did have though a wonderful, exciting and fun childhood.
When growing up, what were your hobbies?
My real passions were Rugby, Theater and enjoying myself. I was Captain of the Schools 1st XV and went on to play senior Rugby until I realized that most people were a lot bigger than me and I got injured. I trained as an Actor enjoying a fantastic time in London in my late teens in numerous theatrical venues. Unfortunately neither, Rugby or the Theater could pay for my other passion of enjoying myself.
What career path did you go down?
Initially, I went into the Retail Jewelry business, ending up Managing a store at the tender age of twenty one in Kingston upon Thames for a well-known high St retailer. I then saw in the paper an advert to become a Car-Salesman which included a company car. That started my real career in the Automotive Industry, something I am still involved in now. Over the past forty years, I have run dealerships and small groups, worked for Manufacturers in various roles, and for the last fifteen years have been a self-employed consultant.
What got you interested in Freemasonry and why?
I was visiting my Uncle who I knew was Freemason, when he suddenly threw me a book and said have a look at that, you might be interested. So, I did, and I was. Coincidentally at the same time, I met through a friend Ex Comp Mike Clanfield who ended up being my Proposer into Freemasonry and Vale Lodge. So, if I ever do anything wrong companions in my capacity of Grand Superintendent, it is all his fault.
What have you learned from your time in Freemasonry?
I have learned so much, tolerance of others, the ability to listen more to others and talk less (I appreciate for those who know me that must be difficult to appreciate). I have also discovered that life is a journey. One which involves learning at every stage, from birth to our passing we all discover something new about ourselves and others every day. However, the main lesson I have learnt from being a Freemason is this. Being able to help others is a privilege that not everyone due to their circumstances can enjoy. The work I see done every day by Freemasons trying to make the world a better place, is something that continually reminds me how lucky I am to be able to share so much time with so many inspirational, compassionate and helpful Freemasons.
Why did you join the Holy Royal Arch and what has it given you?
I am a member of Vale Lodge based in Aylesbury. Traditionally members of Vale Lodge joined Hampden Chapter, many members of Hampden Chapter even today have come from Vale. I had been in the craft for about two and a half years when it was suggested to me that my next natural step would be to join a Chapter. I remember it caused some controversy in my Lodge that I was not going to join Hampden, I think and hope I have now been forgiven. Being exalted into the Holy Royal Arch whilst wonderful was not at first a natural fit; in short, I did not understand it. That is why I am so passionate today of the Sojourner Readings being used at all exaltations. These readings are not just for the benefit of the candidate. It needs to be used for all the service of all companions, to appreciate why the Holy Royal Arch is so important. Also to help explain the history of its origins and purpose of our wonderful order. In answer to what has it given me? The answer is simple. It has given me a better understanding of Masonry in general, a better understanding of myself and where I fit in along with an appreciation of my relationship with my God. If I needed to sum it up in one phrase, it has given me joy.
What would you consider your greatest achievements in and out of Freemasonry?
It would be straightforward to answer this by just saying, the offices I have held in Masonry. However, I feel my most remarkable achievements in Masonry would have to be meeting so many incredible people, all of which I would never have had the opportunity of meeting were in not for Masonry. Outside of Masonry, it would be family. My wife Karen and my son Mike, both of which not only support and encourage me in my masonic journey but share those values which we hold so dear. My family are, without a doubt, my most outstanding achievement in life.
If you could invite three people from history to dinner, who would they be and why?
They would have to be, Laurence Olivier, as I would like to ask him how did, he make acting look so easy. Victoria Wood, I will always claim she was the funniest, cleverest comedian ever and she would keep us all laughing. Finally, for my third guest, Robert Falcon Scott, better known as Scott of the Antarctic. He would be there to remind me that giving up on something is never an option, and whatever we do in life, we should never give up on our friends or our objectives.
Describe yourself in three words?
Trusting – Loving – Happy
If there was one phase which you felt described you, what would that be?
“You only live once, and if you do it right, once is enough” Mae West
Things you did not know about Graham Dearing?
I have an A level in Fashion Design, having spent three years studying Fashion in a class of thirteen girls and myself.
I once wrote a script that was used by Clive Anderson on a live show. My best joke being. “If you have enjoyed the show, my name is Clive Anderson if not my name is Rory Bremner”. The event was maybe twenty years ago so the joke might not travel too well in modern times.
Once a year, I like to appear in Pantomime with a Bucks Based theater group. To learn more about this, you will need to ask me about it and buy a ticket next time.