Celebrating 300 years

The Tercentenary celebrations reached their peak on 31 October, when more than 4,000 brethren attended an especial meeting of the Grand Lodge at London’s Royal Albert Hall

Those present will long remember this wonderful event. 

Proceedings began when Grand Lodge was opened and called off in a side room. Following the fanfare, the Grand Master took his place in the Queen’s Box to huge applause, accompanied by HRH Prince Michael of Kent. The visiting Grand Masters were then introduced, while their location and Grand Lodge seals were gradually added to a map of the world projected on two large screens.

As it was an especial meeting, there was no formal business, and entertainment was provided by actors Sir Derek Jacobi, Samantha Bond and Sanjeev Bhaskar, with screen projections exemplifying the principles, tenets and values of Freemasonry. The play gave insight into Freemasonry’s history over the last 300 years with reference to the famous men who have graced it with their presence. Those who organised this memorable performance deserve great thanks.

'The 4,000 brethren present at the Royal Albert Hall will long remember this wonderful event'

At the end of the evening, the Grand Master was processed onto the stage. The Deputy Grand Master read out a message of loyal greeting sent to Her Majesty The Queen, and the response received. Then, with the assistance of the Grand Chaplain, the replica of Sir John Soane’s Ark of the Masonic Covenant was dedicated. 

The Pro Grand Master congratulated the Grand Master on his 50th anniversary in that role and thanked him for his service. In response, the brethren rose and gave the Grand Master a prolonged standing ovation. He was clearly touched. The Grand Master was then processed out of Royal Albert Hall with his Grand Officers.

It was a remarkable occasion, and all who were involved in organising it are due our grateful thanks for such a fitting celebration of the Tercentenary of the first Grand Lodge in the world.

Published in UGLE

It’s been two years in the making, with the United Grand Lodge of England’s Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent, brought to life in a striking new bronze bust

Sculpted by Frances Segelman, it is life and a quarter size, with his eyes subtly picked out in blue. It was cast by Bronze Age in Limehouse.

Frances was first approached to sculpt HRH The Duke of Kent back in 2016 by then Grand Secretary Nigel Brown, to mark UGLE’s Tercentenary and his 50th anniversary as Grand Master. As a result, His Royal Highness sat for Frances on a number of occasions at both Kensington Palace and her studio in Wapping, London.

Frances Segelman has sculpted a wide variety of public figures including HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and HRH The Prince of Wales. Recent projects have included Boris Johnson, Joanna Lumley, Lord Julian Fellowes, Sir Derek Jacobi, Sir Steven Redgrave and Sergei Polunin.

The Grand Master’s sculpture can be seen on display in the Kent Room in Freemasons’ Hall.

Published in UGLE
Tuesday, 09 January 2018 10:55

New Year Honours 2018

A number of Freemasons have been honoured in HM The Queen’s New Year’s Honours List 2018

Sir Andrew Charles Parmley

Andrew Parmley was appointed a Knight Bachelor for his services to Music, Education and Civic Engagement.

Andrew served as Lord Mayor of the City of London in 2016/17 and is currently the principal of The Harrodian School in West London. He has been an elected Member of Common Council since 1992, and was elected Alderman of Vintry Ward in 2001.

To celebrate the United Grand Lodge of England’s Tercentenary celebrations 130 Grand Masters from all parts of the world attended a reception at Mansion House on 30th October 2017, where they were welcomed by Andrew in his role as the Lord Mayor of London at the time.

John Allan Hunter

John Hunter, lately chair of the Argentine-British Community Council, was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to the Anglo-Argentine community in Argentina in the Diplomatic Service and Overseas Honours list.

The Diplomatic Service and Overseas Honours List is in recognition of truly exceptional and outstanding service to Britain internationally and overseas.

John was Chairman of the Argentine-British Community Council from 2013 to 2016. The Argentine-British Community Council was founded in 1939 and its mission statement reads: ‘The object of the Argentine British Community Council is to promote the welfare of the Argentine British Community in Argentina.

‘With that end in mind it will assure the closest coordination and cooperation amongst its members, and the social, cultural and welfare entities of the Community. It will endeavour to assist and conduct all activities within the spirit of the Constitution and the Laws of the Argentine Republic, strengthening in this way the links between the Community and the country.’

John is currently Worshipful Master of The Pampa Lodge No. 2329 which meets in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and is also the Assistant District Grand Master of the District Grand Lodge of South America – Southern Division.

John Mervyn Cornish

John Cornish was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to the community in Stewkley, Buckinghamshire.

After moving to Stewkley in 1963 to a rented farm, John joined the Stewkley Village Hall committee in 1967 and 20 years later took on the role of Chairman. John has always considered the Hall to be his main hobby and during this time as Chairman, worked tirelessly raising money to ensure it stayed a viable community asset including two major refurbishments.

John is a member of Leighton Cross Lodge No. 6176 and in 2013, was named Past Provincial Grand Pursuivant for Bedfordshire.

PAUL ANTHONY WATSON

Paul Watson was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for voluntary services to veterans. He is the Vice Chairman of the Lee-on-Solent Branch of the Royal Naval Association.

Paul was initiated into Pendenis Lodge No. 7520 in Cornwall in 1985 whilst serving in the Royal Navy. Paul would later move to Bristol where he became a joining member of Jerusalem Lodge No. 686 in 1989, before going on to become a founding member of the Lodge of Seafarers No. 9589 in South Gloucester in 1995.

Paul eventually moved to Hampshire and joined Fareham Lodge No. 8582 in 2011, where he is currently the Lodge Caterer and Lodge Almoner. Paul was named Past Provincial Assistant Grand Standard Bearer for Hampshire and Isle of Wight in February 2018.

Professor Christopher Liu OBE

Professor Christopher Liu was appointed an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for services to Ophthalmology.

Christopher is a Senior Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at the Sussex Eye Hospital in Brighton and has worked there for more than 20 years.

He was the first surgeon in the UK to learn a pioneering technique that involved restoring sight through the reconstruction of a new eye using a small plastic lens and one of the patient’s own teeth. Christopher also founded the Sussex Eye Foundation, a registered charity with an aim to create a state-of-the-art eye facility for the South East of England.

Christopher is a Past Master of Royal Clarence Lodge No. 271 and last year, was named Provincial Senior Grand Deacon for Sussex.

Do you know other Freemasons who were honoured in the New Year Honours list? Please let us know by emailing: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Published in More News

HM The Queen and HRH Prince Philip’s Platinum Wedding Anniversary

At today's Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge, the Pro Grand Master, MW Bro Peter Lowndes, informed Grand Lodge and the Craft as a whole of the following exchange of letters that had taken place in connection with Her Majesty The Queen’s 70th Wedding Anniversary:

Your Majesty,

All Freemasons under the United Grand Lodge of England send loyal and heartfelt congratulations to Your Majesty and His Royal Highness on the occasion of your Platinum Wedding Anniversary.

[signed] EDWARD, Grand Master

Her Majesty graciously replied in the following terms:

Sir,

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh send their sincere thanks to you and all Freemasons under the United Grand Lodge of England for your kind message of congratulations on the occasion of their seventieth Wedding Anniversary.

Her Majesty and His Royal Highness much appreciated your thoughtfulness in writing as you did and, in return, send their warm good wishes to you all.

[signed] Edward Young
Private Secretary to The Queen

 

Published in UGLE

Dean Faulkner from the Isle of Sheppey Lodge, No. 6769, has been awarded the British Empire Medal as part of the Queen’s 2017 Birthday Honours list

Dean, chairman of Sheerness Freemasons, has been an active St John Ambulance member for more than 40 years, and is the bandmaster of the Sheppey St John Ambulance Band.

With the band, Dean has organised parades throughout the country and beyond, most recently in Ypres, Belgium, as part of the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele. His wife, Claire, is a Serving Sister of The Order of St John, and also runs the cadet division.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016 10:15

Birthday greetings to HM The Queen

HM The Queen's ninetieth birthday

At today's Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge, the Deputy Grand Master, RW Bro Jonathan Spence,  informed Grand Lodge and the Craft as a whole of the following exchange of letters that had taken place in connection with Her Majesty's ninetieth birthday:

To Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,

On behalf of all members of the United Grand Lodge of England I send loyal greetings and congratulations on the occasion of Your Majesty's ninetieth Birthday.

[signed] EDWARD, Grand Master

United Grand Lodge of England

Her Majesty graciously replied:

To HRH The Duke of Kent, Grand Master

Please convey my warm thanks to the Members of the United Grand Lodge of England for their loyal greetings, sent on the occasion of my ninetieth birthday.

I much appreciate your thoughtfulness in writing as you did and, in return, I send my best wishes to you and all concerned.

ELIZABETH R

Published in UGLE

Right royal knees-up

The bunting was out as Freemasons' Hall, Leicester dressed to impress with the Union Flag flying high to celebrate the 90th birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in the style of a street party

The dining halls were packed as Freemasons, family and friends gathered to celebrate the Royal birthday with sandwiches, tea, cakes and songs from the 1920's through to modern day.

The Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro David Hagger kicked off the occasion, before handing over to the microphone to stars of the show, Phillip and Judy Dodd, and Marguerite Beatson, who raised the roof with expert renditions of classic hits from throughout the ages. Songs were selected from each of the decades, with titles such as Somewhere over the Rainbow, (There'll be Bluebirds over) The White cliffs of Dover, and Abba's Thank you for the Music.

The afternoon had something for everyone, for the many children that were present a table had been prepared just for them, with activities such as crown making and colouring, enough to keep them entertained whilst they waited for the cakes to be served! The fun was rounded off with flag waving and singing which had everyone up on their feet.

Health equipment in the community

The Province of Dorset has completed its programme of installing automated external defibrillators (AEDs) on the outside of masonic buildings across the county, as part of a series of presentations to the local community to commemorate Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Units have been fitted to 17 masonic halls and are available to any member of the public in an emergency. The funding came from Dorset Masonic Care (DMC) and The Freemasons’ Grand Charity, providing £32,500 and £5,000 respectively. 

The units are located in locked, vandal-proof metal cabinets, which can be opened by calling 999 to obtain the access code. The control centre is then able to record when and where a unit has been used. 

Wednesday, 15 January 2014 00:00

The Queen's New Year's Honours list 2014

A number of Freemasons have been honoured in HM The Queen's New Year's Honours list 2014

David Mark Spofforth, OBE

After graduating from Durham University and training in the City, Mark joined the family practice in Sussex where he has worked for 30 years, including two periods as Managing Partner.

He is the immediate Past President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants having served on Council for 18 years and chairing various committees, and served on the Takeover Panel. Mark spent 6 years making weekly broadcasts on local BBC Radio on financial matters, wrote a monthly column for Accountancy Age on practice management, and has lectured internationally on accountancy topics, including at the 2010 World Congress of Accountants.

His international experience includes a 6 year period on the International Accounting Education Standards Board, a standard setting body of IFAC, and visits to regulators and other professional bodies on every continent. He is now a Technical Advisor to the IFAC Board.

Away from professional life Mark has a partner, Veronica, and a son and a daughter. Mark’s daughter Gemma has recently retired as an elite swimmer, having competed in the Beijing and London Olympics; in August 2009 she became World Champion and continues to hold the World Record for the 100m backstroke event. His son, Peter works for a Corporate Finance company in the City.

Mark is currently Junior Warden of the Chartered Accountants Livery Company, and has also been Master of the Horners, another City Livery Company. He is a governor of Sion School in Worthing, and is Trustee of the Thalidomide Trust.

Peter Clive Crawford Pitt, MBE

Peter travelled the world accompanying widows of fallen soldiers on pilgrimages to military memorials close to where their husbands had been killed. He said the trips were a 'frightening experience' for the women but offered some form of comfort.

He was thrilled but surprised to have been honoured. 'I thought I was far too old for it,' he said.

'I'm 80 now and thought when you get to my age you don't get these things.'

In church the organist congratulated Dr Pitt on his MBE saying, 'I have never heard of anyone getting the OBE and the MBE at the same time.'

'How come?' I said. 'Over Bloody Eighty and the MBE!'

Dr Robert David Taylor Sillett, MBE

'It has been a great honour for me to have been awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours. The citation is for services to the community and helping others.

'All my many friends in Freemasonry both Provincially, Nationally and Internationally have been very supportive of one aspect of my work since retirement in 2001. It was very clear to me at the time that there was a void in my life that needed filling. Raising money for Down Syndrome Education International has been one area and I thank all those Freemasons who have helped me raise a lot of money through my presentations in several degrees.

'Serving the needs of others was constantly in my mind during my professional career at Christ’s Hospital. My challenge on retirement was to continue this ambition in as many areas as possible. I shall continue to focus my mind on helping those in need bearing in mind those prophetic words of Abraham Lincoln ‘No man stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child’.'

Richard Brian Sutherland, MBE

Richard, honorary chairman of the board of trustees at Birtenshaw School, has been awarded an MBE for services to education and the community in Bolton.

He is a Past Master of Anchor and Hope Lodge No. 37 and Supera Moras Lodge No. 3326. He is also a Member of Antiquity Lodge No. 146.

The Birtenshaw school moved to its new multi-million pound site, in Bromley Cross, in September 2012 and Mr Sutherland was instrumental in bringing the building of the new school from dream to reality. At that time, after 21 years serving Birtenshaw as trustee and six years as chairman, he stepped down from the role and a plaque was unveiled to reveal the school hall would be known as Richard Sutherland Hall as a mark of his commitment.

Richard, who retired as Chief Executive of Bolton Health Authority in 1994, said 'I would like to thank everyone for the opportunity of working at Birtenshaw. The MBE belongs to Birtenshaw and the other charities who have put up with me for so many years.'

Maj (retired) David Malcolm Davies, BEM, TD*

David lives in Porthcawl and has been branch secretary of SSAFA Mid Glamorgan for 12 years, and a caseworker in the Bridgend division. He was previously a teacher and also worked in the accounts department of a law firm until retirement last year.

He has 5 very busy grandchildren and his hobbies include reading, gardening, walking and charity work.

Graham Phillip Ellis, BEM

Father-of-three Graham, of Puffers Green, Harlow, has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds after more than 30 years of fundraising for a number of different charities.

His first challenge was the London Marathon in 1981 and just last month he completed a 100 km trek in one of the toughest terrains in the world, the Sahara Desert. The chartered surveyor was in the desert when the letter informing him of the honour arrived at his home.

He said: 'I have been fundraising for so long that I thought I had missed out on something like this so I’m chuffed. I’m half expecting for there to be some mistake!

'It’s lovely and my family are very proud. The letter arrived while I was in the Sahara so I got home and saw the letter was there from the Cabinet Office. It has been more than 30 years of fundraising and I am pleased to be recognised. It’s really nice.'

Graham, who has five grandchildren, added: 'I have been well supported throughout the years; it has been great. The Sahara was fantastic, an amazing experience and very tough. It’s kind of hard to put into words really.'

The British Empire Medal was reintroduced in 2012 to reward sustained, local contribution and innovative, high-impact work.

Joseph John Gildea, BEM

Landlord Joseph has been awarded the British Empire Medal for his tireless charity work.

For over 10 years Joe has raised in excess of £107,000 in memory of his daughter Angela, who died from breast cancer when she was just 32 years old.

Since 2002 Joe and his regulars have been raising funds for the Countess of Chester Breast Care Unit, with regulars jumping out of planes, climbing mountains and even racing around Chester Racecourse dressed as turkeys in the annual Turkey Trot.

In September 2012 Joe's pub, nicknamed ‘the little pub with a big heart’, was voted the most charitable pub in the UK by trade paper The Morning Advertiser. He recently retired, but hopes to continue with charity work.

Andrew Harold Osborne, BEM

'I am deeply honoured to be awarded this decoration.'

'I was appointed a trustee of the Faversham United Municipal Charities by the Faversham Borough Council in 1970 and subsequently a co-opted trustee by my fellow trustees. 

'In 1970 the Charity was in a sorry state with little and often misused funds, and trustees who had closed the almshouse chapel, demolished the spires and whose main aspiration seemed to be to demolish the remainder of the building or hand it over to the Council and close the charity.

'I am proud to have been a member of a revitalised board of trustees who under the guidance of Harry Woodman, their new clerk, succeeded in turning around the finances of the charity and saving the building and its endowments for the benefit of Faversham. In 1987, 16 new modern almshouses were added to the estate.

'Last year the final step in this transformation was achieved with the agreement of the Charity Commissions to a new trust scheme which swept away the previous outdated and obsolete trusts and amalgamating the 32 separate charities under one modern scheme called Faversham Municipal Charity 2010.

'This new scheme is still bedding down and I hope to remain a trustee to see this work completed. The next major task is to remodel the old building to provide all units with separate bedrooms, improve disabled access, thermal and sound insulation and generally bring the flats up to a high standard to last for the next 150 years.'

Other brethren to receive honours included Sir Roger Gifford (Knight Bachelor), Lt Col Victor Joseph Garth Matthews (OBE), Paul Victor Dedman (MBE) and David Malcolm Davies (BEM).

Published in More News
Wednesday, 12 June 2013 01:00

Pro Grand Master's address - June 2013

Quarterly Communication 
12 June 2013 
An address by the MW the Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes 

Brethren,

our June meeting always has a full agenda with the meeting of the Grand Charity and I am sure you would like me to thank the President of the Grand Charity and all whose hard work has made their work so effective over so many years. What is not required now is a long address from the chair and I will be brief.

Brethren, you will recollect that last year, in recognition of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, we sent a loyal message to Her Majesty on the occasion of the sixtieth Anniversary of her accession to the Throne.

Last Tuesday a service was held in Westminster Abbey to celebrate the sixtieth year since her Coronation. Her actual Coronation was on the second of June 1953 and the ceremony was conducted by Dr Geoffrey Fisher, Archbishop of Canterbury. Interestingly, Archbishop Fisher was a committed Freemason serving as Grand Chaplain in 1937 whilst being Bishop of Chester. He was re-appointed Grand Chaplain in 1939 just at the time he was made Bishop of London.

At the Quarterly Communication the day after the Coronation, on the third of June 1953, the Earl of Scarbrough, Grand Master, gave a loyal address to Her Majesty on the occasion of her Coronation and I quote, “Brethren, we meet in Grand Lodge this afternoon on the day following the Coronation of our Gracious Queen. This is an event which stirs the hearts of us all – in these Islands, in every part of the Commonwealth and, indeed, throughout the world. We Freemasons, remembering in particular the many greatly-prized links which we have had, and those which we still have, with the Royal House, have our hearts full of loyalty and prayer towards Her Majesty”.

Brethren, we often joke that nothing in Freemasonry ever changes or that, if it does, it takes a good many years to do so. In this case I know that it is true and that as we celebrate the Coronation – sixty years later – those sentiments expressed by Lord Scarbrough are as true today as they were then. Long may that be the case.

We celebrate another royal sixtieth anniversary this year, that of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh’s sixty years as a subscribing member of the Craft. The Grand Master sent him a message of congratulations to mark the occasion and, in reply, Prince Philip asked for his thanks and best wishes to be expressed to all members.

Brethren I have to announce that the MW The Grand Master has appointed VWBro Sir David Wootton Past Grand Sword Bearer and, of course last year’s Lord Mayor, to succeed RWBro David Williamson as Assistant Grand Master with effect from 12 March 2014. On that day either the MW The Grand Master or I will have the pleasure of investing him.  I must add that Bro Williamson will be continuing as Third Grand Principal in Supreme Grand Chapter.

Published in Speeches
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