Former Ghana High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, James Emmanuel Kwegyir Aggrey-Orleans has died at age 81.

He died on Monday, November 19, 2018, a statement from the Foreign Affairs Ministry has said.

Mr Aggrey-Orleans was Ghana’s envoy to the United Kingdom from October 1997 to March 2001.

He was Acting Clerk to Parliament, from 1979 to 1981, and Head of the Parliamentary Service.

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He also served as Chief of Protocol at the Foreign Affairs Ministry from 1975 to 1979, and as Assistant Director of the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO).

The Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister, Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has since visited the bereaved family and signed a book of condolence which has been opened in honour of the late Aggrey-Orleans.

Mr Aggrey-Orleans was born in October 1937 at Sekondi-Takoradi.

He attended Mfantsipim Senior High School, and then the University College of Ghana. He earned a degree from the University of London in French language and literature.

He also studied French at the University of Bordeaux, and followed up with a four-year post-graduate course of research in politics and diplomacy.

In 1963, he graduated in public administration.

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He was part of the group of Freemasons who stormed K.B Asante’s funeral and later the funeral of V.C.R.A.C Crabbe in Accra.

In both cases, the Freemasons who wore masonry apparels filed past the coffin and surrounded it for their ritual Masonic Funeral rites.’s research revealed that a Masonic Funeral rite is afforded to all Master Masons in good standing within their respective lodge.

It is a ceremony where a Master Mason may have the Masonic funeral rites performed by his lodge for the pleasure of those who have known him and his works.

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It was further revealed that a Masonic funeral is done at the request of a Master Mason himself before his death or his family and the service may be held in a chapel, home, synagogue or Lodge room with committal at graveside.

Some prominent personalities and Masonic Leaders in Ghana, include His Royal Majesty, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene, who is a Grand Patron of the Grand Lodge of Ghana; and Former President John Agyekum Kufuor, a Freemason and Senior Grand Warden of the United Grand Lodge of England.

They have both spoken and encouraged people to have an open mind about Freemasonry.