Metropolitan Grand Lodge London Grand Rank Investiture

  1. Metropolitan Grand Lodge London Grand Rank Investiture

  2. W Bro Trevor Koschalka reports

  3. Photographs by W Bro Sam Bassan


  5. 2023’s London Grand Rank Investiture took place on 1st November. The beautiful GrandTemple contrasted starkly with the wet and windy autumnal day that the Brethren andtheir families and friends had experienced on their way to Freemasons’Hall.


  7. After a briefing from the Metropolitan Grand Director of Ceremonies, with the now familiarwarning of dire consequences to anyone whose mobile telephone should be heard duringthe ceremony, the assembly waited in anticipation.At precisely 2pm, the Brethren were called to order, as the Metropolitan Grand Master, SirMichael Snyder, processed into the Temple, accompanied by an escort of MetropolitanGrand Officers. After welcoming everyone to the Investiture, particularly the family andfriends of those receiving honours, Bro Michael invested each; taking time to have a fewwords with each investee.In a change in format, the Investiture was in two halves. During the break in proceedings, adelegation of the Mark Provincial Grand Lodge of London was received into theTemple, ledby RW Bro Thomas Quinn, Provincial Grand Master.Sir Michael said that it was a great pleasure to see them all in their Mark regalia and it waswonderful that London Mark Master Masons have gone to the extraordinary length ofraising £50,000 towards Metropolitan Grand Lodge’s‘Up Against Time’Appeal for theLondon’s Air Ambulance. He noted that this most generous donation demonstrates that weall share a deep rooted commitment to ensure, through Masons’generosity, that all thosewho live in, work in and visit London, can be helped by air ambulance helicopters or fastresponse cars in a matter of minutes.We then heard from W Bro Stratton Richey, the Chairman of the London Freemasons’Charity, who in an informative speech, outlined LFC’s work tothe gathering. Whilst the mainfocus was, of course, the appeal for the London’s Air Ambulance, the charity is still receivingrequests from other charitable organisations. During this financial year, £170,000 has beenpaid out and a further £150,000 committed. Bro Stratton highlighted some of the other worktaking place. For example, the London Rugby Lodge, No 857, has since June 2022 raised£55,000 to support junior and youth rugby in deprived areas of London. The Lodge hasformed a relationship with Southwark Tigers Rugby Club. They have very few facilities andare situated in the middle of a council estate in south London, but are attracting 150-200young people every Sunday who would otherwise not be involved in sport.There were many other examples offundraising activities under the auspices ofMetropolitan Grand Lodge. Bro Stratton reminded those present that he had previouslyannounced up to £150,000 of matched funding available to Lodges and Chapters, but that sofar only £2,450 has been taken up.The closing date for this initiative is 31st December andfull details are available on Rosetta; Bro Stratton urged Charity Stewards to take advantageof this scheme.After the second half of the investiture, Sir Michael addressed all those present. He said thatthe primary purpose of the occasion was to acknowledge the continued commitment of theinvestees to Freemasonry in London; and that they can be rightly proud of the efforts theyhave made in supporting their Lodges, Metropolitan Grand Lodge and thewider community.

  8. He noted that the award of London Grand Rank is not taken lightly, saying“I can assure youthat London Grand Rank and London Rank do not just‘come up with the rations’.Allnominees have to be nominated and supported by their Lodges, aswell as by those of uswho have responsibilities in leading Metropolitan Grand Lodge, from Visiting Officers to myDeputies. Recipients have to have shown that not only do they actively support their Lodgeand local community, but also that I trust that they will continue to do so with increasedenthusiasm and drive in the future.”He then added his personal congratulations to eachinvestee.The Metropolitan Grand Master went on to pay tribute to all those who support him: histhree Deputies, the AssistantMetropolitan Grand Masters and the Inspectors who do muchof the day-to-day work in ensuring the smooth running of Metropolitan Grand Lodge. Healso thanked all those who volunteer in various capacities, from almoners, charity stewards,mentors and membership officers, as well as the communications team, summons checkingteam, exhibitions team and so many more.Sir Michael then returned to the theme of the fundraising for London’s Air Ambulance. Hereminded the audience that we have made a commitment to raise £3 million to ensure thatthey have their two new state-of-the-art Airbus helicopters built, equipped and flying; andthe crews fully trained, by October 2024. £15 million is needed to achieve this goal and weare, once again, LAA’s biggest donor.SirMichael noted that LAA openly refer to us as their‘Cornerstone Donor’,the one groupthat they can rely on to go the extra mile. So far, £1 million has been raised-which is ontarget-but we need to up the pace and to encourage Lodges and Chapters to access theirRelief Chests and charity accounts and to consider staging fundraising events. Sir Michaelmentioned Bro Matthew Wood, who is running the London Marathon to raise funds, whichis already impressive, but is doing so in a helicopter costume! He intends to set a Guinnessworld record for the fastest time in a 3D aircraft. Says Sir Michael,“I applaud him and allthose who are doing something special to raise these funds which LAA so desperately needs.I know that if we all play our part that this appeal will be an enormous success.”The Metropolitan Grand Master reiterated that Freemasonry is based on four strongfoundations: Integrity, Friendship, Respect and Service. We know that Masons areexceptional charity donors, he noted, but that as well asmoney, we can give time andservice to our communities. During COVID we were all very active in our local areas and ithelped to show Freemasonry as a positive influence, right across the UK. Sir Michael saidthat he would like to encourage this to continue.“The more good we can do”,he said,“themore we will also show what a progressive, caring and forward-thinking organisation we are,one that many will want to join.”The Metropolitan Grand Master then thanked all those who had organised the Investiture,particularly the new Honours Team who have picked up the mantle from Linda Mesher whohas retired after many years’service. The speech was greeted with rousing applause and,after the singing of the National Anthem, the Metropolitan Grand Master retired inprocession. The Investiture was followed by a packed and convivial drinks reception in theGrand Connaught Rooms.


This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 53 December 2023 edition.
Arena Magazine is the official magazine of the London Freemasons – Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London.

Read more articles in the Arena Issue 53 here.