Grand Lodge of Massachusetts celebrates the formation of the first Grand Lodge

By Christopher Rooney |

The culmination of the United Grand Lodge of England’s Tercentenary was held at the Royal Albert Hall in London, on October 31st, 2017. The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts was delighted to attend this historic occasion, where over 3,900 Freemasons from Provinces, Districts and other Grand Lodges from around the world were present.

It’s been 300 years since four lodges met at the Goose and Gridiron Tavern in St Paul’s Churchyard (London) on St. John’s Day, June 24th, 1717, to establish the world’s first Grand Lodge. Throughout 2017, the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) is celebrating the Tercentenary of this date.

The Tercentenary celebrations at the Royal Albert Hall were the high point of a year-long program of varied events which have taken place throughout the Provinces and Districts. This gala event included addresses and processions, professional musicians and performers and a lavish theatrical extravaganza which showcased the history and heritage of Freemasonry.

Attendees included UGLE’s Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent, HRH Prince Michael of Kent, HRM Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and HE John A. Kufuor.

The event was also live-streamed to wider audiences at UGLE’s headquarters at Freemasons’ Hall in Covent Garden, London. Around 2,000 of those attending the Royal Albert Hall then proceeded to Battersea Evolution in Battersea Park for the Tercentenary Dinner.

Brigadier Willie Shackell, Grand Secretary of the United Grand Lodge of England, said:

“2017 is a year to look forward as well as back. Throughout these 300 years we have continued our strong traditions of friendship, openness and charity and our Tercentenary celebrations have been very much about highlighting the values of Freemasonry that we all hold dear.

“We were delighted to be in the company of so many Freemasons from around the world at this grand event to mark an historical moment celebrating 300 years of Freemasonry. I feel that our role and relevance in society today could not be stronger and we now look forward to our journey through the next 300 years.”

Our Grand Master, M.W. Paul F. Gleason, also had the distinguished honor of being invited to the Grand Temple at Freemasons’ Hall on October 30th, where, dressed in formal regalia, he was introduced to UGLE’s Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent.

There are around six million Freemasons worldwide and over 200,000 in the UK alone.