HRH Prince Michael of Kent leads
the singing with (l to r) Lord
Northampton, HRH The Duke
of Kent and Gavin Purser, Deputy
Grand Master of the Mark, with the
choir of the Royal Masonic School
for Girls behind them.
History was made at the Royal Albert
Hall on 26 October when the Grand
Master, HRH The Duke of Kent, and the
Pro Grand Master, Lord Northampton,
in their Craft capacities and regalia officially
attended the celebrations of another
The occasion was the 150th anniversary
of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master
Masons, of which HRH Prince Michael
of Kent is Grand Master. Over 5,000
attended the ceremony at the Royal
Albert Hall, but such was the call for
tickets that over 600 others met in the
Grand Temple at Freemasonsí Hall to
watch the proceedings on giant television
screens directly linked to the Albert Hall.
In addition to many Mark Masons,
the ceremony was attended by non-Masons
and ladies, including the Mark Grand
Masterís wife, HRH Princess Michael of
Kent, and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.
The latter was present as President
of the National Osteoporosis Society,
to which Mark Grand Lodge, as a tangible
celebration of its anniversary, gave a cheque
for £3 million. This is to fund a major
project to provide mobile diagnostic and
treatment facilities to cover areas where
reasonable access to hospitals is lacking.
The ceremony also included a power
point presentation on the history of the
Mark Degree by Brother James Daniel
(Past Grand Secretary of the Craft),
the dedication of special banners for the
five Lodges which had formed Mark
Grand Lodge in June 1856, and a musical
interlude provided by the choir of the
Royal Masonic School for Girls and two
gifted instrumentalists from the school.
The ceremony at the Royal Albert
Hall was the culmination of a week
of celebratory events including a special
exhibition mounted at the Library and
Museum of Freemasonsí Hall, a dinner
at the Guildhall, and a reception for
overseas visitors at the Drapersí Hall.
A collection of papers was published
on various aspects of the Mark by leading
Masonic historians under the title
Marking Well, edited by Professor Andrew
Prescott, of the Centre for Research into
Freemasonry at Sheffield University.
Left and Below
A solemn moment in the Royal
Albert Hall ceremony and a display
of the £3m cheque presented to
the National Osteoporosis Society.