The Provincial Grand Stewards’ Lodge of Warwickshire was recently honoured to receive one of the three official renditions of the 2022 Prestonian Lecture by W Bro Dr John Hawkins PJGD. With the death of Queen Elizabeth II still very fresh in our minds, indeed the meeting started with a moment of silence to mark Her Majesty’s passing, it was apposite that his lecture was entitled ‘The Royal Family and Freemasonry’. A historian of renown, W Bro John’s talk proved to be fascinating and very well researched, proof that the honour of being the Prestonian Lecturer was well deserved.
Since the union of the two Grand Lodges in 1813, facilitated by the two Grand Masters being Royal Princes – the brothers the Dukes of Sussex and Kent – a member of the Royal Family has been Grand Master for over 150 of those 200+ years. W Bro John took us through that time, describing both the well-known and lesser-known Royals, as well as discussing other members of the Royal Family who, whilst not being Freemasons themselves, have supported our charities and recognised the Craft’s force for good.
As with all Prestonian Lecturers, W Bro John has produced an excellent book to accompany his talk with the proceeds going to the MCF and Gardner’s Trust for the Blind, the latter being close to his heart as he is the Chair of the Trustees and it was the subject of his doctorate in 2012. For those not fortunate to have been present, the book can also be purchased from the shop at Great Queen Street.
As is the tradition of Warwickshire, the alms collection also supported W Bro John’s chosen charities and the Master, W Bro Paul Harrison, was delighted to announce that, with a little help from the Provincial Charity Office, it amounted to the fantastic sum of £1000. Proof that those brethren present enjoyed a very special evening and received a job lot of daily advancements.
Thank you, W Bro John for coming and entertaining us so splendidly. Warwickshire wishes you well as you continue through your special year as the Prestonian Lecturer for 2022.
This article is written and the images are captured by W Bro Simon Grove.