London makes history
Few organisations can rival Freemasonry when it comes to pageantry and the big occasion, and so it proved on 1 October in the splendid surroundings of the Royal Albert Hall at the inauguration of the Metropolitan Grand Lodge of London and the Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London.
Just the previous month, the Royal Albert Hall had echoed to Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance march as the Last Night of the Proms came to an end, and it would have been fitting music to London Masonry's big occasion.
It was Masonic history in the making, and showed the Craft - and the Royal Arch - at its best. Now, at last, London has its own organisation and can operate as a Grand Lodge as the Provinces have done going back in to the mists of time.
Once again brethren have their attention drawn in the Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge on p43 for the need to ensure that only those qualified should attend Lodge meetings under the English Constitution.
Also, there is the standard warning about attendance at Lodges overseas under jurisdictions that may not be recognised by Grand Lodge. These are not idle warnings - they are deadly serious.
It is also important to emphasise that responsibility for ensuring that only qualified Brethren visit Lodges under the English Constitution is the responsibility of the Master - not the Lodge secretary.
Grand Lodge emphasises that the need to consult the Grand Secretary, preferably in writing, if a Brother is planning an overseas Masonic visit, should be published on a Lodge summons at least once a year.
It should also be mentioned orally in open Lodge whenever a Grand Lodge certificate is to be presented. Ignorance of this strict rule is no excuse.
This is all set out in Rule 125(b) of the Book of Constitutions. Perhaps it would be a good idea if Lodge secretaries drew the attention of the Master to this Rule, particularly as incoming Master's receive (or should receive) a copy of the Book of Constitutions at the Installation meeting.
It pays to read the small print.
The shop at Freemasons' Hall was inundated with the forms for the purchase of the Craft tie that appeared in the last issue of MQ. Thousands were sold in the first few days, overwhelming the staff.
Well done to all concerned. The application form is again in this issue on p41.
There still appears to be some confusion about when it can be worn. It should be emphasised that it is NOT restricted to meetings of the Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge.
As the Pro Grand Master pointed out in Grand Lodge on 11 June this year (MQ Issue No. 6, p36), and again at last month's meeting of Grand Lodge (p41), it can be worn on all Masonic and non-Masonic occasions. That ruling cannot be overruled locally.
Also, it is the 'Craft' tie, and not the 'Grand Lodge' tie, as some are mistakenly calling it.
Furthermore, it would be nonsense to offer a tie for sale to around 300,000 Freemasons, and then restrict its use to four meetings a year, all held in London, where there is room for a little over 2,000 Brethren.
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