E Comp Robert Ernest Biggs PGSwdB
Deputy Grand Superintendent 2008 to 2013
1944 – 2020
When I received the appointment as Grand Superintendent in late 2007 my first task was to select those Companions who were to assist me in the task. The 3rd Provincial Grand Principal had already been selected by E Comp Denis Calderley, E Comp Barry Woodside but I need to find a 2nd Provincial Grand Principal and there was never any doubt in my mind that the appointment should go to E Comp Bob Biggs. I had known Bob through his Craft Lodge, Severn, and Eldon Chapter and he had already served Provincial Grand Chapter of Somerset as 3rd Provincial Grand Principal in 2005. He was also the first Provincial Charity Steward appointed by Provincial Grand Chapter of Somerset holding the Office from 2005 until 2007.
A few weeks later during a conversation with the them Pro First Grand Principal the Marquis of Northampton he suggested to me that I should consider appointing a Deputy Grand Superintendent and again there was no doubt that this appointment should go to Bob Biggs with E Comp Keith Fisher being 2nd Provincial Principal. Bob accepted the challenge as always did, no excitement, just the attitude lets get on with the job and what a success he made of the appointment. Bob never made a big deal out of the things he did. Bob and I spent many hours together and travelled many hundreds of miles on Royal Arch Visits, we always had a pleasant journey with plenty to talk about.
During the five years that we worked together, we worked as a team with Bob always being the one who had his hand on the tiller, steading the ship. I cannot recall any time that we fell out and he worked tirelessly for Provincial Grand Chapter during those years. He was First Principal of Somerset First Principals Chapter in 2011 and of Calderley Chapter of Union in 2016. He took a leading part in the foundation of Quantock Chapter at Watchet and of Calderley Chapter and was also Chairman of the 2015 250th Celebration Committee.
Bob was very proud of what he had achieved both work and within Freemasonry but above all Bob Biggs was a family man, he was proud of Christine and how they worked as partners, he was so proud of his children Emma and Graham and of course his Grandchildren, he always managed to take the conversation to his Grandchildren. A visit to Bob’s home always meant that you had to have a tour of his beautiful garden and I have never seen such a tidy garden with all the vegetables in straight rows with nothing out of place.
It was such a shame that when Bob retired from active Office, his health started to fail and he and Christine could not do all the things that they had planned. Christine had already recovered from a serious illness through which Bob was her support and now it was Christine’s task to support Bob which she did so well. Just when they moved to a new home in Keynsham tragedy struck again when Christine sadly passed away.
The last two years without Christine have been difficult for Bob but during visits to him or during telephone conversations he never complained about things, but it was obvious that he was finding life difficult. He did find great support in his family and always steered the conversation around to speaking about them.
It was a great shame that Bob Biggs passed to the Grand Chapter Above when the Country was in lockdown and he could not be given the Funeral and Thanksgiving Service that he so richly deserved.
We have lost a wonderful Companions and Friend, he lived respected and has died regretted, may he rest in peace and rise in glory.
D John Bennett