Member Bios

Here are a few of our current members bios:

Larry Smith

Graduate from Royal Holloway, Uni of London, BSc(Hons) Computer Science & Chemistry

Freelance IT and Business Consultant (Datacentres), MD of YouTube editing company and owner of a luxury holiday let

I am a Mason as I enjoy the camaraderie, the opportunity to meet like minded people of all ages and backgrounds and I enjoy being part of something that is good and fun.

I am useless at remembering my lines in our meetings, but I am good at organising stuff and did not duck when asked to be Treasurer, so that what I do now in the lodge. I was the Worshipful Master in 2019.

Highlights are when we have new members joining in, blinded by the headlights of the unknown, but soon becoming keen on everything Masonry has to offer.

Larry Smith

Stan the man

Graduate from the University of Reading, BSc(Hons) Chemistry. I do some techy stuff as my job, but like to leave my job at the office when I do Masonic meetings.

I joined Grey Friars Lodge in 2001, at the suggestion of a friend who was already a member of the lodge. I am currently the Lodge secretary, so do most the admin stuff that all organisations have! I didn’t know much about freemasonry when I joined, but I had some curiosity about the organisation. One of the things that struck me was how friendly and approachable freemasons are. I really enjoy being a Mason and get great pleasure visiting lodges in other towns, cities and countries, and always I get the same friendly reception.

Stan the man

Zvi Solomons

Zvi Solomons is a rabbi and educator based in Reading. He has been a Mason for many years and is active in several lodges.

A graduate of the universities of Cambridge, Reading and London, he enjoys meeting new people. He collects single malt whisky, fountain pens and jokes about parrots. He also writes for local and Jewish newspapers and is involved in interfaith work.

Zvi Solomons

John Nixon

I am retired after a career in retail management and running my own business in commercial cleaning.

My first step in freemasonry was taken when I was initiated by my father into Athelstan Lodge 1333 in the Province of Warwickshire in February 1972 almost 50 years ago. Over those years I have enjoyed every minute of my Masonic journey and have been fortunate to have been given the opportunity to be Worshipful Master on four occasions, Provincial Charity Steward for six years, a Grand Officer and finally becoming an Assistant Provincial Grand Master of Berkshire, a great honour, from 2007-2011(photo with my Dad on that special and memorable day)

I have made many new friends, enjoyed the companionship, the camaraderie and have helped to raise funds for local and national charities together with our own Masonic Charitable Foundation by supporting those less fortunate than ourselves. You get out of freemasonry on what you are prepared to put into it.

Outside of freemasonry I enjoy gardening, travelling, my holiday home in Dorset, watching all sports from my armchair and good food, good wine and good company, that is what life is all about.

Happily married for 52 years, have two daughters and four grandchildren.

John Nixon

Jeremy Woolhouse

I have worked as a Quantity Surveyor for the last 56 years, and still have not retired. Work brought me from Sheffield to the home counties and London some 53 years ago. During that time I experienced periods working overseas in the West indies and Saudi Arabia.

My late father was a Freemason in a Sheffield Lodge which happened to be in the Masonic County of Derbyshire. After his death I came across his Masonic regalia and decided to put it to good use in Berkshire, to where I had moved. I was initiated into Grey Friars Lodge in January 1981. Being a Freemason has enabled me to meet lots of friends who I previously hadn’t known, in Berkshire, and elsewhere in England. It is a real treat to visit other Lodges.

Currently I am the Chaplain and the Almoner in Grey Friars Lodge.

Outside of Masonry my interests and enjoyment extend to golf, gardening, food and wine. I am very happily married to Christine and between us we have three daughters and a son, and six grand children.

Come and join us in Grey Friars Lodge for friendship, fun and a sanity programme.


Alexandre Diaz

Graduated from the University of Reading  (MEng Robotics) then University of Cambridge (MRes Ultra Precision Engineering). Currently finalising Ph.D in Engineering at the University of Cambridge

Employed as a Solutions Architect Engineer for Tharsus Ltd and am an industrial Ph.D tutor for the Bristol Robotics Laboratory (University of Bristol and The University of the West of England).

I joined Grey Friars Lodge when an undergraduate at University of Reading. I knew little to nothing about Freemasonry when I joined but was delighted at both the warm reception I received and at the friendship I have enjoyed from that moment onwards. Havong graduated, I moved to Cambridge to continue my studies at Uni of Cambridge (MRes, followed by a Ph.D. Too far to stay with Greyfriars so I joined Isaac Newton University Lodge (№ 859) and was once more welcomed into their community. In 2019, I moved again, this time to Northumberland, but once a Mason, its easy to carry your Masonry forward so I joined Lodge De Ogle (№ 636) in Morpeth.

I relish freemasonry for the brotherhood and camaraderie that forms the bedrock of the society, giving me access to an unparalleled support network which stands united worldwide. The fascinating symbolism and the principles of the ritual has strengthened my Christian faith, opening a brand-new dimension of appreciation of both ancient history and philosophy, which is a great inspiration for the reflections I write as a prayer leader at my local church. Freemansonry is a lifelong journey, which will help you and those around you to grow mentally and spiritually, whilst also fostering your involvement in the local community, through charity and volunteering. You can scale your commitment to match your busy schedule and family commitments, whilst it also provides a fantastic opportunity to travel up and down the country to visit other lodges and meet new people of all walks of life and faiths.

Alexandre J. Diaz , MEng, MIET


Joined Greytfriars as an Undergrad then Graduated 2012 with an MEng(Hons) Electronic Engineering and Cybernetics. PhD in Electronic Engineering from University of Reading in 2021.

I hadn’t known anything about Freemasonry before being introduced to it by my Uni house mate, but it’s been a terrific experience! I really enjoy the social aspect most of all, whether that is through members of my own Lodge, or visiting the multitude of other lodges here in the UK or internationally. I love being able to meet, chat, and learn from people who I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to cross paths with had I not joined.

It’s a great fraternal environment, very supportive and encouraging of personal development, and I would thoroughly recommend being part of it!

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Mike Simpson

Graduated from University of Reading, MEng(Hons) Electronic Engineering

Software developer and keen rock climber.

I joined Grey Friars in 2014, shortly after graduating. Masonry is a great way to meet a diverse group of people and make new friends. As a mason I enjoy the ritual we perform in our meetings and have found this has made me more confident in all areas of my life. Visiting/being visited by other lodges is another highlight as everyone I’ve met has been extremely welcoming and friendly.

I am additionally, occasionally Lodge photographer, anything out of focus must have been after the Festival Board

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Peter Kean

Copy to come…

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Brother Dalek

No information known, has not attended any meetings, but was seen in the car park, close to the steps that go up to the Lodge

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