Edward Keith Patnick was an enthusiastic Mason even before he was initiated into Hadassah Lodge No 4871 on 25 March 1970. It was one of the most auspicious days of his life as he left his wife Anne’s bedside to follow in his two elder brothers’ footsteps as Freemasons. Anne had just given birth earlier that day to their first-born son, an occasion of biblical as well as family significance.
From that day, Edward never looked back and quickly rose through the ranks to become Master of Hadassah in 1985 and DC in 1987. He was appointed to PPDepGSec in 1993, followed by a further promotion to PPJGW in 2000. A little-known fact is that he was also Master of the prestigious Manchester Lodge of Masonic Research in 2004. He was appointed to Grand Lodge as PAGDC in 2010 as a reward for his contribution to many aspects of Freemasonry in Yorkshire and across the country.
Edward continues to play a big part in Sheffield Freemasonry as this year’s President of the Sheffield Royal Arch Council in addition to being Vice President of the Sheffield Past Masters Association.
Disregarding convention is one of Edward’s hallmarks, and in 1972 he joined the Mark degree before joining the Royal Arch. He again made his ‘mark’ becoming Master of Vulcan Lodge in 1986, Provincial Treasurer in 1991 and PPSGW in 1996. For his charitable work at the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust, he was made a Grand Steward in 1998, acting SGD in 2002 and a Very Worshipful Brother as PGJO in 2010. His final accolade and probably his most memorable appointment was his tenure as Provincial Grand Chaplain from 2010 to 2019 and his many Orations during that period have been published and worth a read, as the knowledge and symbolism they portray are authoritative and thought-provoking.
Eventually, in 1981 he did join Welcome RA Chapter becoming First Principal in 1991 for two years. He was appointed as PPDepGSwdB in 1995 and promoted to PPGSN in 2001, having already been appointed to Supreme Grand Chapter in 1998 as PGStB. He was promoted to PAGSoj in 2007, so for late starter, he did not do too bad!
Edward is also very active in several other Orders and is a Grand Officer in all of them.
Edward is probably best known nationally and across the north for his all-embracing, amusing talk ‘The Junk Dealer’, which is about everything and nothing, masonic and just general knowledge. His unique delivery style of walking around the Lodge, Chapter, Conclave or Council meant that everyone had to pay attention, could not fall asleep for fear of being picked on and were genuinely entertained. Over the years these talks, alongside his biography ‘Confessions of a Junk Dealer’, have raised over £32,000 for Tommy’s the Baby Charity, in memory of Edward’s stillborn grandchild.
Outside of Freemasonry, Edward and Anne ran a very successful antique and general dealing business until he retired some years ago. He has been very active within the Sheffield Jewish community, holding many offices including that of President. He was also a commentator on sports and Chairman of the Sheffield Hospitals Radio, where he no doubt entertained the sick in the same lively fashion as he has Freemasons for so many years.
VW. Bro James H Newman OBE