THE MEN AT THE TOP – W Bro Robert Lakic – MetGInsp PJGD
W Bro Simon Bennett LGR MetAGSwdB interviews
W Bro Robert Lakic grew up in Shepherd s Bush, London after his parents arrived in the United Kingdom after the Second World War.
Both of Robert s parents are Serbian but originated from an area that is now part of Croatia. His father was seriously wounded fighting both the fascists and the communists in two battles during the Second World War. In the first, he was shot through the mouth, losing teeth, and in the second was in a shell hole with nine others when a shell landed killing the other eight. Robert’s father lost an eye in that engagement but continued fighting. He then suffered under the systematic persecution of Serbs during the War.
At the end of the war, Robert’s Father fled Yugoslavia as a political refugee and via several displacement camps, his father eventually arrived in the United Kingdom in exile settling down in Shepard’s Bush.
Growing up in Shepherd s Bush was an enjoyable time, and the area still holds a draw for Robert. With one younger sister, now living in New Zealand, Robert attended the local primary and secondary schools. On leaving school, he studied at the local technical college for a career in the building trade. However, with a trait that is still evident today; Robert was a perfectionist and slow working with tools so made a move into surveying. With a decline in the building industry, Robert needed to change careers and moved into sales where he has been ever since.
Robert set up the sales and marketing company Logikally Limited, supplying and maintaining office equipment. The maintenance is the key element; he is proud to say that his team of engineers ensures all of the company s equipment is in top form. Alongside being a Director for Logikally, Robert continues his initial interest in building and, buying his first property in Shepherd’s Bush aged 19, has continued accumulating properties for fun and as part of this tries to be a good landlord.
ROBERT LAKIC MASONIC CV
1991 – Initiation into Canonbury Lodge No 657
1996 – Installed as WM Canonbury Lodge No 657
2003 – Installed as WM United Service Lodge No 1361
1993 – Exalted into Faith and Walthamstow Chapter No 141
2000 – Installed as MEZ Faith and Walthamstow Chapter No 141
2004 – LGR
2014 – MetAGDC
2016 – SLGR
2020 – PJGD, MetGInsp
2016 – MetDepGDC 2019 – GStdB
Sport has always been part of Robert’s life, and he represented his school at rugby playing on the wing and in five years can boast that the team only lost two games and drew one, winning every other game over that period. He was also a member of the school boxing club, and although he didn’t fight, he enjoyed attending the regular sparring sessions. Sports were a large part of his school life, laying the foundation of sportsmanship for many of its pupils. Dennis Wise and Les Ferdinand were in his year at school and were in the same class for a couple of subjects.
Another formative part of Robert’s youth was his enjoyable time in the Army Cadet Force. A member of 204 White City Detachment ACF (Parachute Regiment), he rose to hold the rank of Corporal spotting that if you worked hard and showed leadership, rewards would follow. The ACF also taught Robert to understand that self-evaluation is a valuable process.
Today, Robert enjoys distance running for exercise, along with golf and tennis. Over the past three years, Robert has been practising Taekwon-do and has attained 6th Kup, the green belt, with a blue tag . A lifelong West Ham supporter, Robert enjoys attending matches with his sons, twins Thomas and James aged 121/2 and Max aged 10, whenever he can. He also attends Queen’s Park Rangers for entertainment.
Knowing about Freemasonry since childhood, Robert was intrigued. Having enjoyed the camaraderie of sports and the discipline of the ACF, he was looking for another avenue to explore along these lines and to discover something more about himself. As was the same for many people at that time, he believed joining Freemasonry was by invitation only.
Introduced to Rotary, Robert was chatting to another member during a walk from a meeting, when someone said to Robert’s former business partner, “Are you going to Lodge?”. Robert now had a person to ask about Freemasonry and propose him. Since that time he has enjoyed every minute. Asked what he feels has been Freemasonry’s most significant influence on him, Robert says teaching humility and consideration, this has made a substantial impact on him.
A first-generation Freemason (his Father was asked but never joined), Robert remembers chatting about the Craft with his Father who asked why he wanted to join. Robert said that he wanted to be part of a group. Initiated into Canonbury Lodge No. 657 in January 1991, Robert became Worshipful Master in 1996.
Happy to be in this Lodge it was during a trip to New York that he spotted the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New York on West 23rd Street, a Flatiron fixture since 1873. On visiting the hall, he bumped into an Englishman and they agreed to visit each other’s Lodges. The other Mason’s Lodge was United Service No. 1361, he joined and, going through the Chair in 2003, is still an active member.
A huge fan of the Royal Arch, Robert was exalted into Faith Chapter No. 141 in 1993, becoming MEZ in 2000. As a Craft VO, one of his Lodges was Walthamstow Lodge No 2742, and he noticed that not many members were in the Royal Arch. So, Robert encouraged them to join Faith Chapter, and such was the popularity amongst members of the Lodge that they changed the name to Faith and Walthamstow Chapter.
Having been an Active Metropolitan Grand Officer in both the Craft (MetAGDC) and Royal Arch (MetDepGDC), as well as a VO in RA and an SVO in Craft, Robert enthuses about some of the great people he has met through Freemasonry. The highlight of his Masonic journey to date was the time as a MetDepGDC; he was primarily on the Royal Arch side. He sees this as second only to becoming a father. Asked about the future, Robert says he loves sharing and listening to ideas and is looking forward to doing this as an Inspector, particularly in the Royal Arch.
W Bro Robert Lakic – 5 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW:
1. Became a smoker aged 11, when he started secondary school, only giving up at the age of 25.
2. Fluent in Serbo-Croatian.
3. He has broken his arm five times and nose twice.
4. He was invited as a guest to attend a function at the French Ambassador’s house.
5. Group Recorder for VW Bro Graham Redman DepGSec’s Rose Croix Inspectorate.
The most memorable moment in Robert s time as a MetDepGDC was the time of the Anglo Foreign Lodges Association meeting hosted by the Italians. The Association was formed circa 1910 by W Bro Frederick C Van Duzer PAGDC of America Lodge No 3368 and other distinguished Masons, from the Lodges of La France, Pilger and Deutsche Lodges to promote Freemasonry, Brotherly Love and Harmony amongst different nationalitiesandcultures. Thisoccasion was the most important meeting Robert had attended in the Grand Temple (with over 300 present), and he was responsible. He was just starting the rehearsal when the fire alarm went off! He had to stop the rehearsal, get everyone out and back in again after the all-clear. They returned to the Temple with 20 minutes to spare before the meeting opened.
In his spare time away from the Craft and Royal Arch, Robert is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Glovers, having been proposed by W Bro Roger de Courcey PJGD, the current Master and a fellow Mason. Robert is also a member of ten other orders which he joined and enjoys because of the people. He holds Grand Rank in the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons as well as the Royal Ark Mariners, plus he is the District Grand Sword Bearer for London District, Royal and Select Masters. Unfortunately, Robert was to receive his 31st Degree on the day that the Masonic suspension was announced, he is looking forward to receiving this honour.
It is said that the Order of Mark Master Masons is the friendly Order, but in Robert s opinion, Masonry is generally friendly. This became apparent when for the Canonbury Lodge 25th Anniversary , he invited a number of friends from the other orders, but it transpired they were all Mark Masons and knew each other.
Will Freemasonry continue in the Lakic family? Robert hopes that his sons will join the Craft. They saw Robert in the Lord Mayor s Show in his regalia which impressed them and prompted questions about Freemasonry. The subject regularly comes up when they are enjoying joint activities, generally sporting, and though he would like them to join, it will only be if they want to.