Write Begins at 80 – A life of storytelling

On his 80th birthday in May, W Bro Peter Locke also celebrated 50 years in Freemasonry.

Over those years, Peter has been Master of three different Lodges, including the well-known Chelsea Lodge No 3098, where he is now Almoner, and his mother Lodge, Seven Stars Lodge No 5892, where he is currently Master for the fourth time.

Peter has also taken the Chair on several occasions in three different Chapters and a number of side degrees.

In his working life, Peter joined Rediffusion in 1965 as a television cameraman, working on iconic shows like “Take Your Pick”, “Double Your Money” and “Ready Steady Go”.

He finally retired aged 75 because, as he says, “much younger camera operators were moaning that some old bloke, who should have retired years ago, was taking all the work.”

But as a retiree, Peter was bored. Having spent many years telling other people’s stories, he decided to tell some of his own – and turned his hand to writing.

The result is a series of children’s supernatural adventure books featuring Mikkee the Martian, a friendly, shape-changing alien, who came to Earth for some research and relaxation, disguised as a young boy. Peter chose this genre because “nobody can criticise my research if it’s from my imagination.”

In two years, Peter wrote 10 books, seven of which have been self-published. Traditional publishers Pegasus have combined and re-published books one and two under the new title of “Mikkee the Martian, Book one”.He is now busy visiting schools and bookstores, where he is busy signing copies of his latest book; he also continues to devote time to the Craft. He says, “Octogenarian-plus Freemasons can offer a lifetime of knowledge and experience. They usually have much more time than others and are happy to volunteer their services whenever possible. We’re just waiting for the call.”