News

Grand Master's Address, June 2019

The Most Worshipful Grand Master, His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent, GCVO, gave the following address to 1,600 Brethren assembled at the Grand Lodge Investiture on Tuesday 11 June, 2019.

 

Brethren, There can be no more gratifying a sight than to see the Grand Temple full of Mark Master Masons from throughout the Constitution and I am delighted that so many of you have travelled great distances to be here today. 

During the last year I have enjoyed exceptional support from the Pro Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master and Assistant Grand Master all of whom have travelled extensively in England & Wales and overseas. In each case, their reappointment today is an acknowledgement of their commitment to our Order and I thank them for all that they are doing to develop Mark Masonry at home and abroad.

[Applause]

This afternoon I have been pleased to invest over two hundred Brethren with Grand Rank and to each of our worthy recipients, I offer my warmest congratulations.

The award of a Grand Honour is not something that is given without consideration. It is a positive reflection of, and reward for, the work that each of today’s recipients has carried out and I have no doubt that their preferment will stimulate them still further to promote the Order at every opportunity.

Brethren, I have been most encouraged to note the continuing growth of new Lodges as detailed in the reports of the General Board this year. In all, I have approved Warrants for eighteen Mark and six Royal Ark Mariner Lodges with over a third of these being established overseas.

In my address to Grand Lodge last June, I commented on the progress being made in Romania and I am delighted that our Order continues to flourish there with five Mark Lodges now in existence. The Grand Secretary tells me that plans are in place to consecrate further Lodges during the coming year and there is already keen interest from several Craft Constitutions in the Balkans to become part of our worldwide family.

Fostering good relations with other Mark Constitutions around the world is the bedrock upon which our worldwide Mark family is built. I am delighted, therefore, to announce that in September next year we will be hosting the inaugural Mark Keystone Conference here in London.

This will bring together representatives from our daughter and sister Constitutions to discuss how we approach the challenges and leverage the opportunities facing our Order now and in the future. It is hoped that following next year’s launch, the Conference will be hosted by other Constitutions on a 3 or 4 yearly rotation.

Brethren, as Freemasons, charity is at the heart of our craft and I never cease to be impressed by the generosity displayed by Mark Master Masons in support of the Mark Benevolent Fund.

It’s almost two years since I handed over the keys to the first of a fleet of new vehicles purchased for St John Ambulance through a £3.3 million Worthy Causes Grant. This project not only underlined the Mark Benevolent Fund’s commitment to supporting initiatives with a wider community impact but renewed a partnership with St John Ambulance going back almost twenty years. This project is all but complete and I am delighted that all 52 vehicles are now in operation helping to save lives at events throughout England, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

The Trustees of the Mark Benevolent Fund are now turning their attention to identifying our next major grant project. This is no easy task Brethren as there are so many projects and initiatives that are worthy of the Fund’s support. However, opportunities to support national programmes in the dementia care, loneliness and prostate cancer sectors are among those being considered with a decision likely by the end of this year.

The activities of the Mark Benevolent Fund are largely funded through the donations made to the Annual Festival which, this year, will be hosted by the Province of Sussex under the Presidency of Right Worshipful Brother Martin Wilson.

The Festival will be held in Brighton on Saturday, 6 July and I am told that the theme of ‘Sussex by the sea’ will conclude several years’ of very active fundraising by the Brethren of the Province. I wish Right Worshipful Brother Wilson, and all involved with the Festival, a very happy and successful occasion.

Brethren, I spoke last June of the increasing occurrence of Provinces, Districts and Lodges, at home and abroad, achieving significant anniversaries – and that continues to be the case.

Later this year, on 28 September, Phoenix Lodge of Mark Masters No.2, Province of Hampshire and Isle of Wight, will celebrate the first recorded working of the Mark degree under the Warrant of the Chapter of Friendship No. 3. This will be a unique occasion in the history of our Order and I wish all the Brethren involved a very successful meeting.

Brethren, when he was appointed to office in 2017, our Grand Secretary committed to improving communication across all the Orders administered from Mark Masons’ Hall through increased openness and transparency.

I am encouraged to note that through a series of leadership conferences and visits to Provinces, Districts and individual Lodges at home and abroad, more information about our current and future strategy is now reaching the membership.

I very much hope that this more proactive approach is helpful and makes you feel more engaged about the progress of the Order and the strategy we have adopted to meet our chosen objectives.

We have always enjoyed great support from our daughter and sister Constitutions at this meeting and this year is no exception.  I should like to welcome them all by name and would ask that you refrain from spontaneous applause until I have come to the end of what is quite an extensive list:

 

From the United Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of Victoria, Australia

Most Worshipful Brother Raymond Peter Julier, Grand Master

 

From the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of Finland

Most Worshipful Brother Antti Talvitie, Grand Master

Right Worshipful Brother Ville Alanen, Deputy Grand Master

Right Worshipful Brother Kaj Holger Lindstrom, Past Deputy Grand Master

Right Worshipful Brother Timo Antero Majanen, Assistant Grand Master

Right Worshipful Brother Kimmo Pekka Hellgren, Grand Secretary

 

From the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of Greece

Most Worshipful Brother Anastasios Albanis, Grand Master

Right Worshipful Brother Dimitrios Kontesis, Deputy Grand Master

 

From the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of Switzerland

Worshipful Brother Bernard Wakim, Grand Almoner

 

From the Grande Loge De Marque De France Réunie

Most Worshipful Brother Gilbert Gasquet, Grand Master

Right Worshipful Brother Dominique Paquet, Deputy Grand Master

Right Worshipful Brother Jean-Louis Lesur, Grand Secretary

Right Worshipful Brother Jean-Luc Porquet, Grand Director of Ceremonies

Right Worshipful Brother Thierry Seillier, Grand Master, Province of Flanders

Right Worshipful Brother Christopher Robert Stanley Neill, Grand Tyler

 

From the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of Estonia

Most Worshipful Brother Toomas Tonise, Grand Master

Most Worshipful Brother Anti Oidsalu, Past Grand Master

 

From the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of South East Asia

Right Worshipful Brother Boo Khean Khoo, Past Grand Senior Warden

 

From the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of Guinee

Most Worshipful Brother Amadou Oury Diallo, Grand Master

 

From the Grande Loge Des Maîtres Maçons De Marque Du Bénin

Most Worshipful Brother Chakirou Tidjani, Grand Master

Most Worshipful Brother Dominique Doyen, Honorary Grand Master

 

And from the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of Gabon

Most Worshipful Brother Alex Bernard Bongo Ondimba, Grand Master

 

Now from our own Constitution, and with their various deputations, we welcome:

 

From South Africa, Eastern Division

Right Worshipful Brother Gordon Edwin Goff, Past District Grand Master

 

From Jamaica & The Cayman Islands

Worshipful Brother Owen Winston Roxbourgh Francis - recipient

 

From New Zealand

Right Worshipful Brother Jeremy Eggleton, District Grand Master

Right Worshipful Brother Ian Dingwall, Past District Grand Master

And Worshipful Brother Anthony Bruce Mansfield - recipient

 

From The Transvaal

Worshipful Brother Guy Charlesworth - recipient

And Worshipful Brother Timothy John Smith - recipient

 

From The River Plate

Worshipful Brother Carlos Antonio Thompson – recipient

 

From Singapore

Right Worshipful Brother Justice Rubin, District Grand Master

Worshipful Brother Ronald Ng, Deputy District Grand Master

And 3 other Brethren

 

From Hong Kong

Right Worshipful Brother Herbert Tsoi, District Grand Master

Very Worshipful Brother David Fok

And 3 other Brethren

 

From The Netherlands

Right Worshipful Brother Cornelis Van Putten, District Grand Master

Worshipful Brother Peter Kirpensteijn – Deputy District Grand Master

Worshipful Brother Jan Cornelis Kant - recipient

Worshipful Brother Ekke Plasschaert – recipient

And 11 other Brethren

 

From Germany

Right Worshipful Brother Michael Cooper, District Grand Master

Very Worshipful Brother John MacKinnon – recipient

Very Worshipful Brother Mark Walton

Worshipful Brother John McDougall, District Grand Secretary

Worshipful Brother Stephen Barr - recipient

And 18 other Brethren

 

From Belgium

Right Worshipful Brother Jean Verbist, District Grand Master

Worshipful Brother Daniel Shields, Deputy District Grand Master

Very Worshipful Brother Francis Clarembeaux

And 3 other Brethren

 

From Spain

Right Worshipful Brother Barrie Mansell, District Grand Master

Worshipful Brother Terrence Porter, Assistant District Grand Master

W.Bro. Ian Michael Crawford - recipient

W.Bro. Michael Robert Brown - recipient

And 12 other Brethren

 

From Bolivia

Right Worshipful Brother David Marchetti, District Grand Master

Worshipful Brother Edmond Bernard Tondu Elio

And Brother Luis Adolfo Salinas San Martin

 

From South And East Caribbean

Right Worshipful Brother Stephen Cobham, District Grand Master

Very Worshipful Brother Llewellyn Gill

And 2 other Brethren

 

From Ghana

Right Worshipful Brother Kofi Adimado, District Grand Master

And 11 other Brethren

From Italy

Worshipful Brother Marco Badiali

Worshipful Brother Alessandro Brocchi

Worshipful Brother Corrado Pasqui - recipient

Worshipful Brother Michael Cohen - recipient

And Brother Rodolfo De Nardo

 

From Nigeria

Right Worshipful Brother Babatunde Johnson, District Grand Master

Worshipful Brother Laurence Spencer Sams

And Worshipful Brother Emmanuel Bayo Ogunseye-Babajide

 

From Brazil

Worshipful Brother Jayme Barboza De Freitas Filho - recipient

 

From New Quarries Lodge No. 1903, Salzsburg

We welcome Worshipful Brother Roberto Ceccon

And Brother Nebojsa Nikoloic

 

And from our Lodges in Romania

We welcome, Worshipful Brother Cristian Mihutoiu and 19 other Brethren. 

 

Let us now welcome our distinguished visitors in our usual manner.

[Applause]

Brethren, as I approach the 40th anniversary of my Advancement into Mark Masonry, I have reflected on the many changes I have seen in the Order during that time.

I believe we are well placed to develop in the years ahead and in that spirit of optimism I feel sure that our heritage will continue to shape what we become – an enthusiastic Order with a clear purpose and a commitment to supporting our local communities and those in need.  

Brethren, today has, once again, been a special day.  I am sure that you are all looking forward to the refreshment that follows so I will simply close my remarks by placing on record my thanks to the Grand Secretary and his staff for the behind the scenes work that makes a day like this happen and to the Grand Director of Ceremonies and his team for the excellence of the ceremonial we have witnessed.

I wish you all a very happy and successful year in which to further the traditions of our beautiful Order and I hope that you all have a very pleasant evening. 

[Applause]

Centenary Celebration for Pentangle Lodge No. 682

The Medway town of Rochester in Kent played host to the Pro Grand Master on Thursday 23 July when he visited Pentangle Lodge No. 682, to join the Brethren in celebrating the Lodge’s Centenary. This was once familiar territory when he was at boarding school here and M.W.Bro. Raymond J. Smith was pleased to share some of his memories of time spent in the town (which was once a City) during his opening remarks.

W.Bro. Michael Foreman, P.Prov.G.Stwd., Lodge Secretary, delivered an interesting precis of the Lodge History which was followed by an equally enthralling Oration by W.Bro. Graham Higgs, P.G.S.D., the Deputy Provincial Grand Chaplain.

The Pro Grand Master was delighted to present the Lodge with its MBF Grand Patron Gold Collarette, while the Provincial Grand Master was also pleased to present the Lodge with the Festival Bronze Award.

After the meeting the Brethren gathered in the dining room to settle down to a five course feast which echoed that which the Founders had enjoyed at the Consecration.

 

 

Photo's:

Top: M.W.Bro. Raymond J. Smith, Pro Grand Master; W.Bro. Duncan Griffiths, P.Pr.G.Reg., Worshipful Master; R.W.Bro. Archibald I. Torrance, Provincial Grand Master.

Bottom: Brethren of the Lodge and Province

Powys Lodge of MMM, No. 685 Celebrates it's Centenary

 

Powys Lodge of Mark Master Masons, No. 685, in the Province of Northamptonshire & Huntingdonshire, met in Kettering to enjoy its Centenary Celebration Meeting on 21 May 2019. The night was a great success and will be a memorable event for all of their Members and Visitors alike.

We wish them the very best, and hope for another hundred years of success.

 

River Plate District celebrates the Consecration of Keystone Lodge, No. 2005

Brethren of the District of River Plate, Buenos Aires, celebrated the Consecration of Southern Keystone Lodge of Mark Master Masons, No. 2005 in Córdoba (over 500 miles away in Southern Spain)  on Saturday, 4 May. There are a number of Candidates already waiting to be Advanced into the new Lodge, and we wish them every success for their future.