Monday 2nd October 2023 will be a memorable date for Middlesex Masons as they welcomed RW Bro / E Comp David Ian Allan in his new roles as both Pro Provincial Grand Master for, and Grand Superintendent in and over the Province of Middlesex.
The proceedings of the day were split into two sections with the Royal Arch Installation taking place in the morning with a break for lunch in the Grand Connaught Rooms before the Craft Installation in the afternoon.
The Royal Arch
First were the processions of Provincial Grand Officers and guests from neighbouring Masonic Provinces before the entrance of the Pro First Grand Principal, ME Comp Jonathan Spence DL, who opened Provincial Grand Chapter and stated the object of the proceedings. E Comp David Allan was then introduced by name and credit to his Masonic credentials, especially the term of office he had served as an APGM in the Province from 2010 to 2018. The Grand Director of Ceremonies was then asked to form a deputation to escort the Grand Superintendent designate into the Temple. This consisted of Principals from the following Chapters in the Province; Chapter of Iris No 255, Royal Union Chapter No 382, Strawberry Hill Chapter No 946, Royal Middlesex Chapter No 1194, Bushey Park Chapter No 2381, Jersey Chapter No 2163, Era Chapter No 1423, Sir Francis Burdett No 1503, and Richmond Chapter No 2032.
Following the entrance of the Grand Superintendent Designate into the Grand Temple the Patent of Appointment was read and E Comp David Allan was asked if he could conscientiously undertake the duties of the office which was affirmed. He was then obligated, invested, and placed into the Chair. The newly Installed Grand Superintendent for Middlesex then appointed the 2nd and 3rd Provincial Grand Principals, E Comps Peter de Wolfe, and Howard Hughes respectively, who were then duly obligated and invested. Next followed the appointment of the Deputy Grand Superintendent, E Comp John Eynon, who was then proclaimed by the Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies. As Middlesex had only recently held its Annual General Convocation where the active officers of the year had been appointed and invested, E Comp David Allan was pleased to confirm their re-appointment, which was well received by the Companions present. The Provincial bylaws were then presented to the newly Installed Grand Superintendent.
Address And Welcome
E Companion David Allan gave an Address to the assembled Companions and thanked the Pro First Grand Principal and the Middlesex team for the way in which the arrangements had been made for the Investiture. He also welcomed the guests from Supreme Grand Chapter, as well as those personal and invited guests from neighbouring Provinces as well as from the other Masonic Orders in Middlesex.
In conclusion he mentioned the Annual Thanksgiving Service which would be held at Guildford Cathedral on the 5th November. He also advised that he would give priority to matters by way of encouraging members of the Craft to take the next Step in Freemasonry by joining the Royal Arch, that the Annual Convocation of the Royal Arch would now be restored to its previous June date for subsequent meetings. Following the address, the Provincial Grand Scribe Ezra stated that all apologies for non-attendance had been recorded. Provincial Grand Chapter was then closed in due form by the Grand Superintendent.
The after proceedings were held at the Great Connaught rooms were luncheon was held and the Pro Provincial Grand Master designate together with the Pro Grand Master joined members of the Province together with all guests.
The next important stage in the day’s proceedings was to Install the Pro Provincial Grand Master designate.
The Deputy Provincial Grand Master W Bro Jim Mitchell PSGD and Officers of Provincial Grand Lodge of Middlesex, entered the Grand Temple in procession. Provincial Grand Lodge was opened in ample form and the Deputy Provincial Grand Master was saluted. The Dispensation was read allowing the meeting to be held at Freemasons’ Hall, London.
There followed the reception of the MW Pro Grand Master, Jonathan Spence DL, who entered in procession with a retinue of Officers of Grand Lodge and assumed his position on the throne. The Pro Grand Master then appointed RW Bro James Hilditch (Provincial Grand Master of Oxford) as Senior Warden and RW Mark Estaugh (Provincial Grand Master of West Kent) as Junior Warden and our own W Bro Bill Dolman as Chaplain. The MW Pro Grand Master was then saluted with 11.
MW Bro Jonathan Spence addressed the Brethren and stated the object of the meeting which was to Install W Bro David Ian Allan to a unique position in English Freemasonry, that of Pro Provincial Grand Master, a post created in 1989 when Prince Michael of Kent became the Provincial Grand Master of Middlesex. W Bro David becomes the 7th Pro Provincial Grand Master. He also gave due recognition to the years as APGM that W Bro David had served in the Province and asked the members of the Province to give him due allegiance and support when he visits Lodges in Middlesex as if it were the Provincial Grand Master himself attending.
The Patent of Appointment was then examined by the Pro Grand Master and a deputation was formed by the Grand Director of Ceremonies, to escort the Pro Provincial Grand Master designate into Provincial Grand Lodge. This deputation was comprised of members of the following 7 Lodges: Royal Jubilee Lodge No 72, Lodge of Harmony No 255, Royal Union Lodge No 382, Crescent Lodge No 788, South Middlesex Lodge No 858, and Villiers Lodge No 1194. Touchingly, the official chain bearer was W Bro Nick Allan, the Son of W Bro David Allan. The deputation then re-entered.
The Patent of Appointment was read by the Grand Secretary after which the Pro Grand Master asked, if W Bro David Allan could conscientiously undertake the duties of the Office, which was answered in the affirmative.
After a prayer by the Acting Grand Chaplain the Pro Provincial Grand Master designate recited his Obligation after which he was invested by MW Bro Jonathan Spence on behalf of the Grand Master, the Duke of Kent, and the Provincial Grand Master of Middlesex, Prince Michael of Kent. The Provincial Senior and Junior Grand Wardens and Chaplain then resumed their respective stations. The MW Pro Grand Master was conducted to a Chair on the right of the newly Installed Pro Provincial Grand Master.
The Grand Director of Ceremonies proclaimed the RW Pro Provincial Grand Master who was then saluted with 7, and the bylaws of the Province were presented to him.
Address And Welcome
The newly installed Pro Provincial Grand Master then addressed the Brethren and said that it was an honour to have been Installed as Pro Provincial Grand Master for our great Province of MIddlesex and thanked the Installing team for the hard work and in particular the two Provincial Grand Masters who had acted as Wardens for the ceremony. RW Bro David, was delighted to welcome all the guests which included a visitor from Norh Carolina and acknowledged those from the United Grand Lodge of England who had participated in the proceedings including the MW Pro Grand Master, Jonathan Spence DL, RW Bro Kenneth David Williamson PAGM, the Grand Secretary RW Adrian Marsh and other Officers of Grand Lodge including the Grand Director of Ceremonies, and his Deputies as well as the Grand Tyler. He also acknowledged distinguished guests from other Provinces.
RW Bro David Allan then mentioned the Royal Arch Companions of Middlesex; E. Comp John Eynon, Deputy Grand Superintendent, the 2nd and 3rd Provincial Grand Principals namely Peter de Wolfe and Howard Hughes. He welcomed those who in attendance representing the progressive Orders of Freemasonry in Middlesex.
RW Bro David Allan continued by stating how mindful he was of the honour conferred upon him. He believed that together as Freemasons in the Province we could affect change. Not only would this be manifest in attracting new members but making our Freemasonry more social; there should be more socialising together as families which would be a pathway to establishing new friendships. He mentioned particularly the Consecration of the African Diaspora Lodge 10046 in September which would increase the membership of the Province. Other priorities would be an Initiates supper at the end of the Masonic year, where all those newly initiated into Middlesex Freemasonry might meet together, making the Provincial Executive more visible and also to make sure we become more widely known in the community by not just providing charity, but by giving Service. He reiterated the honour and privilege of his new position and that together we would make Middlesex the success it should and deserved to be.
The Provincial Grand Secretary then proceeded under AOB to give apologies from distinguished brethren who had been unable to attend but had sent kind and fraternal greetings and congratulations.
Provincial Grand Lodge was then closed in due form and the assembled Brethren retired from the Grand Temple to restore themselves to their personal comforts, with some then going home and others retiring to the local hostelries in and around Great Queen Street.
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