There have been many landmarks in the short history of the Metropolitan Grand Lodge of London since its inauguration on the 1st of October 2003 by the Most Worshipful Grand Master His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent at the Royal Albert Hall, in the presence of five thousand Brethren. One of these occurred on Tuesday 11th October 2005, when the RW Metropolitan Grand Master Lord Millett PC, assisted by the Deputy Metropolitan Grand Master RW Brother Russell Race, Officers of the Metropolitan Grand Lodge and some notable senior Brethren in the Craft, consecrated the Metropolitan Grand Stewards’ Lodge No. 9812.
The consecration took place in the Grand Temple in Freemasons Hall, London, in the presence of the Past Metropolitan Grand Master, RW Bro. Rex Thorne, OBE.
Many other distinguished brethren witnessed this historical and unique event including RW Bro. Robert Tile, Past Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Suffolk and the incumbent Worshipful Master of the Grand Stewards’ Lodge, RW Bro. Brian Bellinger, Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, , RW Bro. Douglas Burford, PJGW, the Grand Secretary VW Bro. Robert Morrow, the Assistant Grand Secretary V.W Bro. Graham Redman, all ten London Group Chairmen, four Deputy Provincial Grand Masters, Eleven Assistant Provincial Grand Masters and Past Assistant Provincial Grand Masters and a further ninety three Grand Officers and four hundred other brethren.
The Lodge had forty founder members, and has two main purposes which are: – To work with and for the Metropolitan Grand Master and the Metropolitan Grand Lodge of London, and: – To increase the Masonic education and broaden the Masonic experience of its members and of the Craft in general.
The Metropolitan Grand Stewards’ Lodge was sponsored by the Grand Stewards’ Lodge, a singular and exclusive honour; it being only the fourth Lodge to be sponsored by the Grand Stewards’ Lodge in its long and illustrious history, spanning nearly three centuries. Indeed, the last Lodge to have the Grand Stewards’ Lodge as its Sponsoring Lodge was the Old Malvernians Lodge, number 4363 which was consecrated in 1921.
The ancient Ceremony of Consecration of a Lodge was carried out with much dignity by the RW Metropolitan Grand Master in a ceremony orchestrated by the Metropolitan Grand Director of Ceremonies, VW Bro. Guy Elgood, PGSwdB, who was ably assisted by three Metropolitan Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies. The Deputy Metropolitan Grand Chaplain, W. Bro. The Rev. Elkan Levy, PAGReg, received much acclaim for his eloquent and poignant Oration.
The Primus Master of the Lodge, W. Bro. Christopher Burgess, LGR was installed into the Chair of King Solomon of this ‘Red Apron’ Lodge by the Deputy Metropolitan Grand Master, RW Bro. Russell Race, PJGW.
W.Bro Burgess appointed his Officers, following which the Address to the Worshipful Master was given by RW Bro. Robert Tile.
The Address to the Wardens was given by the Worshipful Master of the oldest Provincial Grand Stewards’ Lodge, the Kent Provincial Grand Stewards’ Lodge No. 5866, W.Bro. Graham Smith, PSGD, GStwd, APGM (East Kent) who also presented the new Lodge with a magnificent pair of Wardens’ Columns on behalf of the Kent Provincial Grand Stewards’ Lodge.
Finally, the Address to the Brethren was given by the then Chairman of the Ripon Group of London Lodges and Chapters, of which the Metropolitan Grand Stewards’ Lodge became a member, VW Bro. Charles Grace, PGSuptWks, who presented the lodge with a beautifully embroidered tablecloth for the Secretary’s and Treasurer’s table.
We are also so thankful The Primus Past Metropolitan Grand Master, RW Bro. Rex Thorne donated the lodge’s wonderful ashlars.
The Ceremony in the Temple concluded with the Worshipful Master and the members of the Lodge showing their delight in welcoming the RW Metropolitan Grand Master, his Consecrating Team together with RW Bro. Rex Thorne, and the brethren who gave the Addresses as Honorary Members of the Lodge.
The Brethren then retired to the Connaught Rooms where one hundred and twenty four Grand Officers and two hundred and fifty three Brethren dined together on this, a most memorable day for London Freemasonry and for those witnessing the birth of a new Grand Stewards’ Lodge.