ISSUE 14, July 2005

The King and the Craft
Quarterly Communication: Speech of the Grand Master and Speech of the Pro Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes Supreme Grand Chapter: Speech of the Pro First Grand Principle and Report of the Committee of General Purposes Grand Lodge dues: Message from the President of the Board of General Purposes
    Masonic Housing: Major changes Finance: Choosing an investment manager Travel: Tantalising Tunisia Goose and Gridiron: Historic Masonic unveiling Extravaganza: Hollywood comes to Grand Lodge Masonic Events: Day of Fun and Medical, University and Legal Lodges' Festival Education: Sheffield Masonic Library and Forthcoming events and The Entered Apprentice Specialist Lodges: Revving up to success and where eagles dare International: The horror of Phuket and Grand Charity team visit disaster area Library and Museum: Fraternal societies Masonic Charities: NMSF and RMBI and RMTGB and Grand Charity
Obituaries, Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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      Having been active in the Mark degree, as Senior Grand Warden in 1929 and Provincial Grand Master for the Middlesex Mark Province since 1931, he accepted the rank of Past Grand Master in the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons in 1937.
    In the Ancient and Accepted Rite he had become an Honorary Member of the Supreme Council when they conferred on him the 33rd Degree in 1932. Surprisingly, in the Royal Arch, although he had been through the three Chairs of his Chapter, he did not take high office, being content to remain a Past Principal.
    By time honoured tradition, King George’s appearance in Grand Lodge in 1937 should have been his last formal contact with Freemasonry. Despite himself being a traditionalist, he broke the convention, and on three great occasions appeared as King and Past Grand Master in Grand Lodge.
    In 1939 the Duke of Connaught, who had ruled as Grand Master for 38 years, retired. Grand Lodge elected the King’s brother, HRH The Duke of Kent (father of our present Grand Master) to succeed him.
    On 19 July 1939 the, at that time, largest ever gathering of Freemasons in England took place when 12,003 brethren met at Olympia in Kensington for an Especial Grand Lodge at which the King took the Chair and installed his brother as Grand Master. In welcoming the new Grand Master the King said:

“This great and representative gathering of recognised Freemasons, who have come from all quarters of the Globe to greet you on his occasion, will indicate the support you may expect in the future. You know that you have my good wishes, and as a Brother Mason, I shall always follow with great interest your rulership of the Craft and the progress of our Order”.

The high hopes of that great meeting were to be short-lived as the new Grand Master was to die tragically in an air accident whilst on war duties with the Royal Air Force in 1942. The installation of his successor, the Earl of Harewood, was to be a more muted affair. On 1 June 1943, just over 1,600 brethren assembled at Freemasons’ Hall in London.

Upper left:
Masonic correspondence from the King

Middle left
The Queen Mother is greeted by the Grand Master, Lord Scarbrough, on her visit to Freemasons’ Hall in October 1952, shortly after the King’s death

Lower left:
The jewel worn by the King as Provincial Grand Master for Middlesex

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