Brethren from across the Province joined the Provincial Grand Master in London today, at the Annual Investiture meeting – the highlight of the UGLE Masonic Calendar.
Many of the brethren travelled down together by train, and that is where much of the fun and brotherhood of the day starts. On arriving at the hotel most ate and relaxed together whilst others enjoyed lunch at Middle Temple (Inns of Court) with colleagues from the Province of West Lancashire.
In the afternoon all made their way to Freemasons Hall in Great Queen Street. Some 2000 assembled in the Grand Temple to enjoy supporting their friends and colleagues appointed or promoted in Grand Lodge.
East Lancashire brethren rewarded today included:
AGChap Rev’d Canon Richard Hawkins
DepGOrg Christopher P Stokes
PAGReg John AC Porter
PAGDC Terry Kakoullis
PAGReg Peter Rhodes
AGDC Dr Simon K Archer
PSGD John A Griffin
PJGD Brian F Sigsworth
DepPresMCF James H Newman, OBE
The meeting was presided over by none other than the MW The Grand Master who, following the Investiture, delivered inspiring words:
ADDRESS BY THE MW THE GRAND MASTER HRH THE DUKE OF KENT, KG
Brethren, this meeting is always a very happy occasion and I do congratulate all those whom I have invested today. It is both a reward for past endeavours but also a clear indicator that we expect more from you in the future. An award of Grand Rank signifies UGLE’s pride in you and recognises your efforts on our behalf. It denotes a senior, and in most cases, a public position within our brotherhood, and I would hope that you all feel willing to communicate the pride you now feel to those you meet, to those who might not understand us, and to those who know little of us.
Your Rulers, I know, have been very busy already this year promoting Freemasonry across the world and installing new Provincial and District Grand Masters. I welcome those recently appointed and am greatly heartened by this youthful enthusiasm, for this brethren is where our future lies. I welcome our new Grand Secretary – David Staples whilst at the same time bidding farewell to Willie Shackell who has served in a number of senior appointments for the last 11 years. We wish him well in retirement.
Many of those I have invested today will go on to be leaders in the Craft and I believe it is a very exciting time for Freemasonry in general. For 300 years men from all different backgrounds, faiths, ages and races have met as equals to make themselves ‘better men’. Such sentiments have never been more relevant, or more needed, than they are today. Be sure that we do not hide that light as we look forward to our next 300 years.
Brethren, events like this do not just happen and I would like, on your behalf, to congratulate the Grand Director of Ceremonies and his team for once again arranging such an impressive ceremony and the Grand Secretary and his team for ensuring all the other arrangements have gone so smoothly.
Enjoy the rest of our celebrations.
Those lucky enough to get a ticket joined the Provincial Grand Master at the Grand Banquet organised by the Grand Stewards of the Year, this time held in the Great Hall at the Guildhall. Others grouped together and dined in some of the splendid restaurants around Soho and Bloomsbury.
Everyone reconvened to socialise in the bar area of the hotel before retiring in readiness for the Supreme Grand Chapter meeting the following day.
Report by Chad Northcott