Bard of Avon Lodge, No. 778 – Installation Report

Report of the Regular (Installation) Meeting held on Monday 19th July 2021

L-R RW Peter Baker Pro ProvGM, HRH Prince Michael of Kent GCVO, Provincial Grand Master and MW Peter Geoffrey Lowndes Pro Grand Master.

Bard of Avon Lodge was consecrated on 28th January 1859 at Stratford-upon-Avon in the Province of Warwickshire as Lodge No. 1080, having been sponsored by Shakespeare Lodge No. 284.

It was re-numbered as Lodge No. 778 in 1863.

It subsequently fell into decline and certain prominent Middlesex Freemasons joined the Lodge and approval was given by the Most Worshipful The Grand Master for it to remove to the Province of Middlesex to become a summer lodge, meeting at the Angel & Crown Hotel at Staines-upon-Thames on 8th June 1872.

HRH Prince Michael of Kent, GCVO, became a joining member on 19th June 1981 to qualify him to become Provincial Grand Master for Middlesex, to which office he was appointed on 31st July 1982.

He was subsequently installed in office by his older brother, the Most Worshipful, The Grand Master HRH The Duke of Kent, KG, on 29th November 1982.

By custom, invitations to attend meetings and join the Lodge are extended only by, or on behalf of, the RW Provincial Grand Master.

Currently the Lodge has some 52 subscribing members, comprising present and past Rulers of the Craft, Provincial Grand Masters of Provinces with close ties to Middlesex, and Senior Members of the Middlesex Craft Executive, who are the Lodge’s ‘Permanent’ Officers.

On 16th July 1990, the RW Provincial Grand Master honoured the Lodge by being installed as its ‘Permanent’ Master for the first time, which office he held for the following six years.

His installation took place by dispensation at Mark Masons’ Hall, London when he was installed in office by RW Brother the Hon Edward Latham Ballieu, Past Deputy Grand Master.

As a ‘Prince of the Blood Royal’, the RW Provincial Grand Master appointed RW Brother Geoffrey Redman-Brown, Provincial Grand Master for Oxfordshire, as Deputy Master in accordance with Rule 110, Book of Constitutions.

L-R RW Peter Baker ProProvGM, RW David Francis Macey PProvGM (Warwickshire), HRH Prince Michael of Kent GCVO, Provincial Grand Master and MW Peter Geoffrey Lowndes Pro Grand Master

During the spring of 2021, the RW Provincial Grand Master graciously consented to honour the Lodge by agreeing to be installed as its ‘Permanent’ Master once again.

He was subsequently elected to office by acclamation at the regular meeting held on 17th May 2021 and was installed in office on Monday 19th July 2021 by the MW Pro Grand Master, Peter Geoffrey Lowndes, who is a subscribing member of the Lodge.

Once again, his installation took place by dispensation at Mark Masons’ Hall, London, witnessed by some thirty-eight senior Brethren.

The RW Provincial Grand Master appointed RW Brother David Francis Macey, Past Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshire, as his Deputy Master, thus maintaining the historic connection with the Province of Warwickshire.

RW Bro Macey was installed in office by the Pro Provincial Grand Master, RW Brother Peter Baker, on behalf of the RW Provincial Grand Master.

The meeting was followed by a reception and dinner, generously hosted by the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons, W. Bro. Ryan Williams JGD, in recognition of the fact that our RW Provincial Grand Master is also the Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Mark and Royal Ark Mariner Degrees.

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