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Hugh O'Neill

Bro Hugh was born in 1937 with a wartime and post-war upbringing and a parental ecclesiastic background, so studying communications engineering at Coventry was an obvious career choice!  A very early interest in musical performance in Winchester Cathedral choir led to taking post in symphony, light and theatrical pit orchestras alongside his passion for chamber music as a flautist.

After National Service and while specialising in the practical aspects of electronics he held senior managerial posts in several companies in the component manufacturing, analytical mass spectrometry, industrial process control and business computing fields.  Finally with his own companies in the latter until retirement.

Taking up Freemasonry in 1959 at the tender age of 22 in Tyrian Lodge No. 253 in Derbyshire, succeeding to that chair in 1972, followed by active Provincial Grand Steward in 1978.  His private avocations caused a move to Sussex on the south coast, becoming Master and then Secretary of Lodge of Union No. 38 and organising its bicentenary celebration at Goodwood House (the Dukes of Richmond family seat) in 2012.

The archives of that lodge and its antecedents stretching back to the mid eighteenth century along with his own inherited and enhancing library, fertilised his quest for masonic information.  A natural move was membership of the correspondence circle of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, later filling a local secretaryship vacancy in 2006.  The big surprise came two years later with an invitation to join the lodge itself, becoming JW and SW in 2019 and 2021.

Opportunities for solid research and discussions on matters of masonic moment with those of high repute became manifold and firmed up the ground for speaking engagements around the country, participating in masonic conferences, raising charity funds, regular contributions in The Square magazine and producing papers in AQC, which in turn brought about his appointment as a mentoring co-ordinator in Sussex and the mentor for the West Sussex Masters Lodge.

An abiding interest in music, placed together with computer experience and Freemasonry led initially to filling in electronically for absentee lodge organists from 2015; now a permanent fixture in several lodges and chapters.

Hugh is a member of seven Craft lodges (three honorary) and is or has been a member of nine orders beyond the Craft.  Having ‘chaired’ several times in the Craft, Holy Royal Arch, Rose Croix and Knights Templar, he holds sixty year and forty year membership certificates in the Craft and Holy Royal Arch respectively, finally being elected to the chair of Quatuor Coronati Lodge in 2022.

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