SLGR Investiture and MetGL Annual Meeting
On Wednesday 2nd March, the Grand Temple at Freemasons’ Hall was filled with hundreds of brethren and visitors for the annual SLGR investiture. This annual event was very well attended, including by friends and relatives of those who came to receive formal recognition of their exemplary masonic journey.
After a sumptuous lunch, the brethren assembled once again in the Grand Temple, this time for the annual convocation of Metropolitan Grand Lodge.
The event started with a spectacular procession of current London Worshipful Masters. After the Metropolitan Grand Master was received into the Grand Temple, those present witnessed a second procession, this time of London Lodges’ banners.
The MetGM called-on Metropolitan Grand Lodge and proceeded with the formal business of the Annual Meeting. Then followed the re-appointment, appointment and investiture of his officers for 2022-23. Among the many changes, the most notable are:
– RW Bro Michael Ward is stepping down from DepMetGM
- – Matthew Hampson is appointed DepMetGM.
- – Mark Horlock is appointed AsstMetGM
After extending a warm welcome to the many brethren that filled the Grand Temple, the Metropolitan Grand Master proceeded to address a few words to his retiring deputy, Michael Ward.
‘In excess of 16 years’ service in an active office must be some sort of record in the modern era, and Michael’s contribution has been nothing short of immense. Michael has been the architect of much-needed change, he is an innovator, a leader extraordinaire, and has been at the heart of a plethora of initiatives right across London Freemasonry.
There is absolutely no doubt that London Freemasonry owes him a huge debt of gratitude. We are sorry to be losing such a talent, but his ongoing work with Grand Lodge will still be very much to our benefit. Michael, we thank you most sincerely for all that you have done over many, many years.’
Words that unsurprisingly were followed by an uproar of applause from each and every brother present. Similarly, there was applause acknowledging the contribution that has been made by the retiring Inspectors.
The Metropolitan Grand Master then acknowledged once more the amazing work that so many Lodges and individual brothers have continuously undertaken throughout the pandemic to help others pull through such extraordinarily difficult times. But at the same time, he reminded us all to remain both vigilant and considerate.
‘I have also been greatly encouraged by the enthusiasm of so many Lodges in regard to the resumption of meetings, utilising the dispensations process to hold additional “Emergency” meetings and adjust dates and meeting places to suit members, all with the aim of clearing the significant backlog of work that has accumulated over the past year. However, we also need to acknowledge that, as the pandemic recedes, we are not yet out of the woods. We must ensure that our love of freemasonry does not contribute in any small way to a resurgence of the virus, while affording a compassionate view toward those who, for whatever reason, remain reluctant to return to Central London for the time being.‘
Finally, he noted the ameliorating public perception of all that we do, thanks to freemasons’ direct support during the pandemic, improving media coverage of events such as the Lord Mayor’s Show, and various direct contributions to the London Air Ambulance and London Fire Brigade. The next scheme from London Freemasons’ Charity is that they have set aside £150,000 of matched funding for charities that benefit London or Londoners. Lodges and Chapters will be able to apply for funding between £200 and £1000 to match their own contribution.
The concluding words from our Metropolitan Grand Master offer an inspiring message of pride and openness for who we are and what we do:
‘The future of freemasonry in London continues to shine brightly, but it needs each and every one of us to be an ambassador; to talk freely and openly, to explain why we are proud to be freemasons and promote the force for good that we are.’
Following the charitable collection, Metropolitan Grand Lodge was closed in due form, and the National Anthem was sung before the MetGM and MetGL officers retired.
This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 48 April 2022 edition.
Arena Magazine is the official magazine of the London Freemasons – Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London.
Read more articles in the Arena Issue 48 here.