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Famous Freemason - Alec Rose

Alec Rose was a nursery owner and fruit merchant in England who, after serving in the Royal Navy during World War II, developed a passion for amateur single-handed sailing. He took part in the second single-handed Atlantic race in 1964 and circumnavigated the globe single-handedly in 1967–68, for which he was knighted. His boat Lively Lady is still seaworthy and is used for sail training by a charity.

Rose was born in Canterbury. During World War II he served in the Royal Navy as a diesel mechanic on a convoy escort, HMS Leith.

After the war, Rose learned to sail in a former ship's lifeboat before buying the 36-foot cutter Lively Lady second-hand. Lively Lady was built of paduak by S. J. P. Cambridge, the previous owner, in Calcutta, with the help of two Indian cabinetmakers. Cambridge had studied boat design during the war, and Lively Lady was basic, but sturdy and stable. In 2015, the charity "Around and Around" undertook a 25-year management of the yacht and restored and extensively refitted her in time to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Rose's circumnavigation.

Rose converted Lively Lady to a yawl by adding a mizzenmast and in 1964 participated in the second single-handed transatlantic race, finishing in fourth place.[4] Not having any means of communication on board, he did not know of his success until after he crossed the finish line. The race started at Plymouth, where Rose was photographed on board by Eileen Ramsay, the chronicler of sailing in post-war Britain.

When Rose heard that Francis Chichester intended to sail single-handedly around the world, he was keen to compete. He attempted to start his journey at approximately the same time as Chichester (sailing Gypsy Moth IV) in 1966, but mechanical failures and a collision off Ushant meant he had to postpone the event until the following year.

The voyage began on 16 July 1967. While he was away Rose's wife Dorothy ran their fruit and vegetable stall, displaying a map charting his progress. On 17 December, after 155 days and 14,500 miles, he arrived in Melbourne where he met his son who lived there. Among the people who came to watch Rose's arrival was Prime Minister Harold Holt, who disappeared later the same day after going for a swim. Rose stopped once more, an unplanned call into Bluff Harbour, New Zealand, to repair a damaged mast.

The voyage was closely followed by the British and international press and Rose's landfall at 12.33pm in Southsea, Portsmouth, on 4 July 1968, 354 days after he set off, was met by cheering crowds of hundreds of thousands. It was 10 days before his 60th birthday.On 10 July 1968, he was made a Knight Bachelor. He was made a Freeman of the City of Portsmouth in the same year, was guest of honour at the Anglo-American Sporting Club gala evening at the London Hilton, and fêted with Lively Lady outside the Daily Mirror Building at Holborn Circus. He opened the Bamboo House Chinese restaurant in Southsea in 1968. He was granted the Freedom of the City of London in 1969.

Rose's voyages are detailed in his book My Lively Lady. He wrote a children's version, Around the world with Lively Lady and another book My favourite tales of the sea

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