He went on: "Perhaps His Royal Highness's most significant role in relation to the Royal College of Surgeons of England is as Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Freemasons of England.
"The College has a long and special relationship with Freemasonry in England with the advancement of surgery, owing much to the generosity and constant support of Freemasons, who have contributed money and time to the College over many years.
"His Royal Highness's predecessor as Grand Master, Lord Scarbrough, launched a charitable appeal in February 1966 to mark the 250th anniversary of the founding of the Grand Lodge of Freemasons.
"He proposed that every English Freemason should give £1 towards `the betterment of human health and `happiness."
The purpose of the appeal was to establish a charitable fund with the income being made available to the College for research. The appeal was enthusiastically embraced by Freemasons, and resulted in the establishment of the 250th Anniversary Fund for "research into the science of surgery".
Grants from the fund have resulted in over £2 million being invested in surgical research, with the dual aims of providing real results for patients, and enhancing the knowledge base of young surgeons during their training.
Mr Rosin said: "It is interesting to note that the first successful heart transplant took place in the year that the Fund was established. Since then organ and limb transplantation, and advances in joint replacements and the use of robotics and lasers, have followed.
"This year, the 250th Anniversary Fund is supporting three research Fellowships. Each surgical Fellow is carrying out highly rated research which will have real benefits for patients.
"The 250th Anniversary Fund has also supported our renowned library, which is vital in the training of surgeons by supporting the modern day requirements of Fellows and staff."
It helps doctors and dentists participating in College-based courses and undertaking College examinations, and those with a professional interest requiring materials for independent study. The Library also provides - in perpetuity - an historical perspective of surgery for future generations.
Mr Rosin said that today's surgeon does things barely dreamt of by his and her predecessors. The achievements of tomorrow's surgeons will depend as much on the resources available for research, as the talent and skills that the College endeavours to encourage.
He added: "In his role as Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Freemasons of England, His Royal Highness has worked to demystify the image of Freemasonry, and to highlight its valuable contribution to charities and those in need throughout the country.
"It is to mark His Royal Highness's significant role in one of our principal funding partners, the United Grand Lodge of Freemasons of England, and in supporting many health related charities and organisations, that we feel he has a rightful and natural place as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England.
"I am very privileged and honoured to present His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent for admission to the Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons, the highest accolade the College can bestow upon an individual.
"In so doing, His Royal Highness is joining an eminent list of Honorary Fellows from medicine, science and other walks of life. We are pleased that His Royal Highness is joining other members of the Royal Family- past and present - who have also been honoured by the College in this way."
In reply, the Duke thanked the College for the honour, which he accepted on behalf of all Freemasons. He was proud to be the current fifth member of the Royal Family - the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and the Princess Royal being the others - to become an Honorary member of the College.
Sadly, the College lost two of its Royal Honorary members last year following the deaths of the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret.
Patron: HRH The Duke of Kent KG
Chairman: Gavin Purser
President, Board of General Purposes: Earl Cadogan
Anthony West, Anthony Wilson, Harvey White FRCS, Jonathan Spence, David Rosin FRCS
Secretary: Barry O'Meara
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