The formation of Prince Michael of Kent Lodge was first formally proposed in the summer of 1983 by the Provincial Executive, at which time the then Provincial Grand Secretary W.Bro. Alfred Gan approached W. Bro Anthony Sheppardson to be the Organising Founder and first Secretary to the Lodge. This followed informal discussion between the two on the subject of a Provincial Grand Stewards' Lodge some four years previously.
From the outset it was determined that all members of the Lodge were to wear the Stewards' red regalia, that the Lodge's purpose was to be a Service Lodge to the Province of Middlesex, and that membership was to be restricted to Provincial Grand Stewards of the Province of Middlesex, present or past.
Of the 263 Brethren entitled under this restriction, 76 followed up letters of invitation sent with the assistance of Provincial Office and in particular W. Bro. Dr. Peter Rogers [above] in the Autumn of 1983, and were to become Founders of the Lodge. This was a very reasonable response considering that many of the Stewards were appointments of long standing and that, in those dim and distant days, the office was not considered of great significance.
The first time the Founders met each other was at a rehearsal at Cole Court, shortly before the Consecration. This was conducted by the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, W.Bro. Norman Todd. In the absence of the Master Designate, W.Bro. Dr Peter Rogers took his place for the rehearsal. It was thought that the former Deputy Provincial Grand Master probably knew what he had to do!
Finally on the 30th April 1984, some 250 brethren assembled in Number 10 Lodge Room (the Egyptian Temple) [above] at Freemasons' Hall for the Consecration of The Prince Michael of Kent Lodge as the Provincial Grand Stewards' Lodge for the Province of Middlesex. It is the only Lodge in the Province of which the Provincial Grand Master, HRH Prince Michael of Kent, was the Consecrating Officer. The R.W. Provincial Grand Master entered in procession, took the Chair and appointed his officers. He then invited the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, R.W. Bro. His Honour Judge Alan Trapnell, PJGW, to occupy the Chair and Consecrate the Lodge.
The Assisting Officers were a foretaste of the importance that the Lodge was to achieve in the Province. The Consecrating Senior Warden was the Prov.G.M. for West Lancs., R.W.Bro. Alan F. Ferris; the Junior Warden, the ProvGM for Surrey, R.W. Bro. The Rt.Hon. The Earl of Shannon and the Consecrating Inner Guard was the Grand Director of Ceremonies, W.Bro. Phillip Mann. The Warrant of the new Lodge was read by the President of the Board of General Purposes, R.W. Bro. Jeremy Pemberton, PJGW. The Master was installed by the senior Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W.Bro. Vernon G. Barry, DFC, PSGD. The Address to the Master was given by R.W.Bro. His Honour Judge Alan Trapnell. R.W. Bro, Sir Lionel Brett, PDistGM, Nigeria, gave the address to the Brethren after the distinctive manner of Apollo University Lodge No 357, Oxford. Our Pro Provincial Grand Master, R.W.Bro. Gordon Bourne, who was then an Assistant Provincial Grand Master, gave the address to the Wardens.
Following the example of some other Provincial Grand Stewards' Lodges all the officers were invested, not with blue but with red collars, 4 inches wide. It later transpired that wearing red collars of this width was the privilege of the Grand Stewards' Lodge who protested to the Grand Secretary and, after much argument, the red collars eventually had to replaced with the blue collars our officers wear today. However, all was not wasted, as the red collars were presented to the Chapter when it was formed and, suitably modified, are now worn by its officers.
The 13 new Provincial Grand Stewards, whose proposals for joining were read at the Consecration meeting, included the one time Treasurer, Norman Christie (now a past master of the Lodge); His Honour Judge Peter Copley (also a past master)who later became an APGM; Allan Beaver (past master,1996/97) the ProvincialHistorian; David Allan who was ProvJGW in 1992; Graham Redman, the AssistantGrand Secretary; The Rev. Alan Rogers, our Chaplain and Stanley Capon,Treasurer of the PMK Chapter (and Master elect for 1998/99).
An indication of the close relationship that exists between Stewards' Lodges was the presentation by R.W.Bro. Alan Ferris of a silver square and compasses for use with the Volume of the Sacred Law, on behalf of Quingenti Lodge No 8165, the Provincial Grand Stewards' Lodge of his Province of West Lancashire.
Presentations to the Lodge in its early years included a red Lodge Pedestal Bible by the Founding Master and a Pedestal Fall, embroidered with the Lodge badge, by W.Bro. Alfred Atkins-Liddiard. The Pro Provincial Grand Master presented the Master's Gavel and W.Bro, Dr Ernest Roberts the two Wardens' Gavels. The Lodge Bible is also used at all meetings of Prince Michael of Kent Chapter, Provincial Grand Chapter and for the newly formed Mark Lodge.
Adapted from a paper written by: W. Bro. Anthony Sheppardson PGStB, ProvJGW Presented to the Lodge on 31st October 1995