Theodore Henry White
Theodore Henry White
Theodore White Founder photoMost of his life he remained a school master but in later years, when he retired from his work, he still continued to take as boarders many young men and women of various nationalities, training them, especially in English for their future spheres in life, many of the men passing on to Oxford.
He was a graduate of both Oxford and Cambridge: a wonderful linguist: and had an intimate knowledge of the Greek, Latin and Hebrew.
He was twice married: his second wife survived him for many years; and he had three sons, two of whom still survive (1942).
Although a very busy man he found time for several hobbies the chief of which were long rambles in the country, gardening and archaeology.
For over fifty years he acted as Honorary Secretary of the Reading Centre of the Cambridge Local Examinations, and was both Honorary Secretary and President of the Reading Literary and Scientific Society.
Also an Honorary Secretary of the Oxford University Extension Lectures: the predecessor of the University Extension College, which in it's turn, developed into the present Reading University. He became a member of the Academic Board and President of the French Department, known as "Galla", and on account of his work and great interest in French and the "entente cordiale", he received the Legion of Honour from the French government at the hands of Monsieur Cambon, the French Ambassador at that time.
I all local affairs in Reading he took the keenest interest, being on the Free Library and Museums Committee, and also was for some time Chairman of the Athenaeum Club, of which he was a member for some 40 years.
As regards Masonry - he did not become a member of the Craft till late in life, when he was nearly 50 years of age, and the following details are taken from a Masonic Journal issued some considerable time before his death:-
"W.Bro. Theodore H. White was initiated in the Union Lodge, No 414, Reading, in 1891, and was installed as Master in 1901. In 1899 he became a Founder of the Aldermaston Lodge, No 2760, and was for some years Secretary, becoming Master in 1912. In 1913 he became a founder and later Master, of the Berkshire Masters' Lodge, No. 3684. In 1909 he was appointed assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies of England.
"As a Royal Arch Mason he was exalted in the Union Chapter, No. 414 i 1900: was installed as First Principle in 1911 and is now Grand Scribe E. In 1909 he was invested as Provincial Grand Scribe E of Berkshire, and in 1912 was appointed Past Grand Standard Bearer of England.
"In the Mark Master Masons' Degree he was advanced in Leopold Lodge, No. 235, reading, in 1894, and filled the office of secretary and treasurer. He is a Founder and Past Master of the Valentia Lodge, No 623 Wellington College, consecrated in 1910, and a Past Provincial Grand Registrar of Berkshire and Oxfordshire. In 1901 he was a Founder of the Leopold Lodge, No. 235, of the Royal Ark Mariners, and was initiated and installed Commander in 1902. In the Allied Masonic Degree he was for a time a member of the Veran council, No.18. He is Governor of the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution and the Royal Masonic Institute for Boys"
"W.Bro. White kept himself young at heart till the very last in all Masonic affairs, and at all times went out of his way to help initiates, giving them a fraternal handshake, with a few words of cordial welcome and encouragement.
And now - speaking in a more personal way, and as his eldest son - I can truthfully say that it does not fall to the lot of everyone to have such a father - one who was kind yet firm - but far more like the elder brother than a stern parent. His precepts and advice to me constantly recur to my mind, and make me feel he is still at my side giving me a helping hand as a Father and a Brother Mason.
In conclusion. I trust that this brief review of the life of W.Bro Theodore White may prove acceptable to the Lodge white bears his name, and whose crest is that of the White family. Long may this Lodge continue to flourish and add lustre to all that is best in Masonry.
(Signed) Albin White.
Member of the Victory lodge, No 3954 (Newbury)
Past Master Lodge of Union, No 414 (Reading)
Past Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies (Berkshire)