300 year celebration of the first Grand Lodge – The Grand Lodge of Virginia


The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of the Commonwealth of Virginia celebrate the formation of the first Grand Lodge.

The culmination of the United Grand Lodge of England’s Tercentenary was held at the Royal Albert Hall in London, on Tuesday 31st October 2017. The Grand Lodge of Virginia 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 on St John’s Day, 24th June 1717, to establish the world’s first Grand Lodge. In 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.”

Vernon Stuart Cook, Grand Master of Masons in Virginia, said: 

“Freemasonry has a heritage that every Freemason “where-so-ever dispersed” can and should be proud of. As Grand Master, I have had many opportunities to be able to say “I am proud to be a Mason” but none will eclipse the opportunity I was afforded to be a part of the celebration by the United Grand Lodge of England, as they marked 300 years of Freemasonry in England. Accompanied by our Grand Secretary, Most Worshipful Alan Wayne Adkins, we were proud to represent the Grand Lodge of Virginia and attend a number of impressive Masonic events. It was a most enjoyable visit and it reinforced my belief that Masonry truly is “A Force For Good.”

The Grand Master of Virginia, Most Worshipful Vernon Stuart Cook also had the distinguished honor of being invited to the Grand Temple at Freemasons’ Hall on 30th October where, dressed in their formal Regalia, they were introduced to UGLE’s Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent.

The Grand Lodge of Virginia was formally constituted on October 30, 1778, and is the oldest self-chartered Grand Lodge in the United States. There are over 33,000 Freemasons in Virginia, and over 200,000 in the UK, and around six million Freemasons worldwide.

For further information please contact:

Grand Lodge, A.F. & A.M., of Virginia
4115 Nine Mile Road
Richmond, Virginia 23223-4926
Phone: 804-222-3110
Website: www.grandlodgeofvirginia.org
Email: grandsecretary@grandlodgeofvirginia.org
Facebook: @GrandLodgeVirginia Twitter: @GrandLodgeofVA

About the United Grand Lodge of England

The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) is the governing body of Freemasonry in England, Wales, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands (plus a number of Districts and groups overseas), formed in 1717 and has a membership of over 200,000.

Freemasonry is one of the world’s largest non-religious, non-political, fraternal and charitable organizations, and its symbolic origin lies in stone masonry.

Visit http://www.ugle.org.uk for further information.
Twitter: @UGLE_GrandLodge Facebook: @UnitedGrandLodgeofEngland


Posted: October 31, 2017 


Categories: Archived