W.Bro. Coles has been the organist of Khyber Lodge for some 15 years. Recently he was honoured by his Province in being made an active Provincial Grand Officer as PrGOrg. It is as an Organist that we shall always remember W.Bro. Coles; his unfailing use of humour within his music; accompanying the Officers to be invested with wry musical medleys. This did not detract from his renditions of the great themes from Elgar, Bach, Beethoven and others for Lodge processions. Music is an important facet in freemasonry and W.Bro. Coles provided us all with the exquisite pleasure of hearing a true master of the organ enlivening and enhancing our ceremony and adding beyond measure to the joy of the event. He was indeed a musician of great excellence, unrivalled in his ability to improvise, providing a seamless musical interlude that added greatly to our enjoyment. Through music we are all enabled to touch the divine and through W.Bro. Coles’ playing our lives were touched with that greatness.
However, W.Bro. Coles displayed the true nobility of his Masonry when faced with a challenge none of us would wish to encounter. At about 8:58am on the 7th July 2005 Worshipful Brother Coles was travelling on the southbound Piccadilly line between King's Cross and Russell Square. It is not necessary to do other than state that he was sitting in the carriage adjacent to the one in which a perverted religious zealot blew himself and many others to pieces. It is typical of Worshipful Brother Coles' humility that, in a telephone call giving notice of his attendance at this meeting. this information was merely dropped into the conversation. We have all watched those harrowing scenes and to dwell on them further impinges upon the dignity of those who have died and been injured. Worshipful Brother Coles sustained shrapnel wounds to his lower body as a result of the blast. He observed, through the darkness and distress, a young girl sitting opposite who was more badly injured than himself. As we would expect of a Brother he gave no thought for himself but garnered up that frightened child and assisted her through the carnage of the adjacent carriage and into the tunnel. After a walk of nearly a mile he deposited her in safety and then obtained treatment for himself.
It is within the ranks of such ordinary people placed in such extraordinary and terrible circumstances, taking no thought for themselves, to give care and concern to others, that we find our heroes. Worshipful Master I know that all the brethren honoured Worshipful Brother Coles as he exemplified the true character of freemasonry in general as well as his own actions in particular.
It was with great sadness that the Brethren of Khyber Lodge stood to mark the passing of departed merit to the Grand Lodge above.