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News > Obituaries > Michael John Green (Day Boy, 1956)

Michael John Green (Day Boy, 1956)

Michael Green died on 26 November 2023, aged 85.
26 Nov 2023

The following is a tribute given at Mike’s funeral by his long-standing friend, Clive Burton.

Michael Green, who was known to most of us as Mike, was an amazing man. A slightly gruff exterior hid a kind and generous nature. He was very adventurous and was always keen to discover new things. Recently he remarked that he was 85 and had had a good life. This summed him up in just a few words; never one to duck a challenge and always positive.

National Service

When Mike was called up for NS it was found that out of his intake of 364 men, only six of them had any ‘O’ levels. He discovered that many of them could not even read which was a revelation to this young public-school boy. Naturally he was selected to attend officers’ training but during the initial interview the officer asked him whether he was interested in the army. ‘Absolutely not at all,’ he replied and so he was not put onto the course. He was instead made driver for the Commanding Officer which he enjoyed immensely.

However, as a private soldier this proved a bit of a disadvantage when he met Caroline who happened to be the daughter of a General. He proposed three times to Caroline and she refused him three times. Finally, Mike said, ‘You will not get my pension if we are not married,’ and so she agreed to marry him. They had 32 very happy years together.

Early days

Mike was brought up in Cheltenham and started at Cheltenham College Junior School in 1946 as a Day Boy. His father Eric was a family solicitor who was well known in the town. Mike appeared to enjoy his time at the College and after finishing his schooling and completing his National Service he began his training as a Chartered Surveyor. He joined a firm of Surveyors called Leslie Furness and by the time he retired in 1995 he was the senior partner. One of his business activities was arbitration and as you might imagine he was particularly suited to this type of work as it involved listening to both sides (and he was a great listener) and making sound and sometimes difficult decisions that were not necessarily welcomed by all parties. His clients included some of the big high street retail names.

Other activities

One of Mike’s activities was golf which he was good at and had a handicap of only 16.

He was also a great traveller, always interested in going to new places. Only a few weeks ago he and Caroline enjoyed a holiday in Croatia and in the Spring they had been on a cruise from Cape Town to Madagascar. This was despite the fact that by this stage Mike was not able to walk unaided.

Some years ago he and Caroline travelled to South America: Peru and Bolivia. It was in Bolivia that Mike thought his end had come as alone he took what he thought was a taxi which proved to be anything but. He was driven to a remote spot where all his valuables were taken from him and he was left in the middle of nowhere. Ever the positive Mike, he felt pleased that he had been dumped as opposed to being disposed of.

There were parties too to celebrate big birthdays, brilliantly organised by Caroline, and sometimes a complete surprise for Mike. He had a tremendous capacity for friendship and as people have commented was a stimulating dinner companion.


In his mid-forties, Mike developed Lymphoma. He was treated with chemotherapy which is pretty unpleasant but he stood up to it and was declared to be in remission. He established a close relationship with his consultant Professor Cunningham and so when the cancer returned some five years later, he returned to the Professor and went through the same challenging treatment again. Mike was rather proud of the fact that he was the Professor’s longest living patient.


Freemasonry was a big part of Mike’s life. Having lived in Cheltenham and been to the College, it was quite natural that he should want to join his School Lodge. He was initiated in 1975 and progressed to becoming Master in 1983 as well as in 2000 and 2007. One of his fellow members was my father-in-law and OC, Seymour Robinson (Corinth House, 1920-23), whom some of you may remember. The two of them became good friends and Seymour introduced him to Shakespeare Lodge in 1983. Mike became Master of Shakespeare Lodge in 1991 at which time he became eligible to join Grand Stewards’ Lodge which may justifiably be described as the premier lodge of England & Wales. Mike was also a member of the Chartered Architects’ Lodge, the Public Schools’ Installed Masters’ Lodge, as well as being very senior in other orders in particular Rose Croix.

Grand Stewards’ Lodge

Grand Stewards’ Lodge is where Mike really came into his own. He had an extensive and lasting influence for over a quarter of a century that has provided the lodge with great consistency. He was appointed Assistant Secretary in 1995 which in those days consisted mainly of going round the lunch table and collecting the dining fee from each member. Not a job to be envied as he did not get much of a lunch himself. In 1999 he was appointed Secretary, which job he carried out extremely professionally and conscientiously for six years. In those days there were not the present easy means of communication and, with 400 members, each one had to be mailed a printed summons. Mike and Caroline would spend days stuffing envelopes and their local village post office had to be warned in advance that a large bag of mail was about to be loaded onto them.

In 2006 he was made Master of Grand Stewards’ Lodge, which he loved. He was in his element travelling round the country visiting the Provincial Grand Stewards’ lodges where he made lasting friends.


Mike has three sons, David, Jim and Chris and four grandchildren. Jim lives in Australia and is not able to be here today but was able to see his father a few days before he died. Mike’s grandchildren have written about how much they loved him; they enjoyed his sense of humour, the stories he would tell, appreciated that he was so non-judgmental and was a great listener.

I have heard many other glowing tributes to Mike in the last few days about how generous he was, what a privilege it was to know him, how adventurous he was and how he loved trying out new things.

We are all privileged to have known Mike and he will be greatly missed by so many of us.

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