VW Bro. Parkinson receiving his 50yr certificate in 2019 from the Provincial Grand Master
Nevil was born on 18th November 1938 in Allerton Bywater. He was the youngest of 7 children and the son of a miner. He attended Allerton Bywater Primary School and then Whitwood Mining and Technical College where, in 1959, he passed his City and Guilds in plumbing. He went on to teach plumbing at York College to students studying at night school.
Nevil met his wife Ann in Swillington, Leeds and they married in the parish church where Ann's dad was the vicar in April 1960. They had 3 children, Ruth in 1962, Simon in 1965 and Matthew in 1975 and now have 3 grandchildren, Connie, Eve and Ruby. Simon followed his father’s footsteps and became an Environmental Health Officer himself.
He started work at Tadcaster Rural District Council as a student and then went on to qualify in 1962 as a Public Health Inspector. On the 5th April 1968 Nevil was proposed as a Candidate for Freemasonry by W.Bro Stanley Oldfield and seconded by W.Bro Leonard Firth. This resulted in him being initiated into Calcaria Lodge No. 2677 on the 11th April 1969 and quickly progressing to become a Master Mason.
In 1974, under local government reorganisation, Nevil’s work moved him to Selby District Council and he became Chief Environmental Health & Housing Officer and then Director of Environmental Services. He was closely involved with the building of Europe's largest coal-fired power station at Drax, the establishment of 24 hour warden care service for elderly and vulnerable residents and the introduction of wheelie bins for refuse collection but the provision of two permanent caravan sites for travellers, providing them with a permanent home and piped sanitation for the first time in their lives, gave him the greatest satisfaction!
November 1974 saw Bro. Parkinson take his first office in Calcaria Lodge. Freemasonry had become an important part of Nevil’s life and in November 1980 he became Master of Calcaria Lodge, having a very successful year as a much loved and respected member of the Lodge. He was recognised in the Province in 1989, being appointed Past Provincial Junior Grand Deacon and subsequently Past Provincial Grand Sword Bearer. He went on to join Ainsty Royal Arch Chapter in February 1993, becoming First Principal in October 2000.
In November 1990 W.Bro Parkinson was appointed ‘Charity Representative’ of Calcaria Lodge, a role which he relished and performed with his usual quiet efficiency. In 1993 he became a member of the Charity Executive of the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding. Nevil retired in August 1995 after 37 years in local government giving him more time to devote to home, Freemasonry and his charity work. During this time he maintained a tremendous effort to enhance the work of the Charity Executive. This resulted in his progression to Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden in 1996 and elevation to Grand Lodge as Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies in 1998. Further promotion followed at the Installation ceremony of Calcaria Lodge in 1999 to Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden.
In 1999 he was appointed by the Grand President to a place on the Council of the Grand Charity and a member of the Petitions Committee. His election as Chairman of the Charity Committee saw high recognition in 2001 by appointment to the rank of Deputy Provincial Grand Master. A role which he continued with zeal until 12 January 2007 when the then PGM did take the gavel for the first part of the meeting and celebrated Nevil’s retirement in a ‘unique’ manner, which involved a hidden Pork Pie!
Unfortunately ill health caught up with Ann more recently and Nevil has dedicated his time to her care with Freemasonry being forced to take a bit more of a ‘back seat’. Both Nevil and Ann however, have continued to support and be involved in the Lodge social activities where they were received with love and affection. Sadly Ann died in 2019 after 59 years of marriage and Nevil departed, suddenly and unexpectedly, to the Grand Lodge Above on 2nd February 2021.
The brethren of Calcaria Lodge as well as Nevil’s family are all extremely proud of the contribution he made to Freemasonry and society in general. He lived respected and died regretted.