Popular Freemason who starred alongside Hollywood actress remembered
PUBLISHED: 06:30 24 August 2020 | UPDATED: 13:20 24 August 2020
A popular member of the Freemasons, whose day job led to him featuring alongside a Hollywood actress, has been hailed for his contributions to the community.
Great-grandfather Lawrence Cannard died aged 80 at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on July 27 after lengthy illness.
Born in Southend on October 14 1939, his early years saw moves to India, where he went to school in the foothills of the Himalayas in Darjeeling and could see bears from the school playground, as well as Australia and Dubai, before joining a boarding school in Surrey.
He finished eighth in the British Championships in archery in 1956, the same year he joined the Metropolitan Police, becoming a PC aged 19, and married his first wife Janice three years later, having sons Graham in 1961 and Rick in 1964.
After joining the security industry upon leaving the police, Mr Cannard’s time working at a film studios saw him appear in a scene with actress Susan Hayward in the film ‘I Thank a Fool’.
After two years working with the Ford security team, he landed a role in the engineering department. A move to Germany followed, before returning to Essex, where he met his second wife Jill and her two children Andrew and Alison.
In 1978, his weimaraner Carla finished first in class at Crufts.
The family moved to Ditchingham in 1988 while he worked as a contracting engineer at Sizewell, before he retired in 1993.
An active member of the community, the grandfather-of-eight and great-grandfather-of-five was involved in several local groups, including the Freemasons, Rotary Club and Ellingham Parish Council.
Granddaughter Justine Frood said: “He was quite a well-known figure around here. Unfortunately his health deteriorated but he managed to keep up with everything.
“He was an active member of the Freemasons since 1983 and it became an integral part of his life.
“His many interests and hobbies led him into a range of involvement and contributions to the communities where he lived.
“With Jill, they lived happily in Bungay and Ellingham and, up to his passing, he was often approached and asked to be involved in various clubs and associations.
“Despite a succession of illnesses over the past few years, he carried on with a mixture of bravery and stubborness, keeping as busy as possible.
“If he could go for a drive, out for pint of real ale, or just sit in front of the TV, watching a western or anything to do with cars, he would be content.
“He had a good circle of friends who kept in touch with regular visits or phone calls.”
A funeral service will be held at Waveney Crematorium, in Beccles, on September 1 where the motor enthusiast will be given a convoy of Mazda MX-5s from the Norfolk Fives, where he was a member for more than 10 years.
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