Africa Comes To Middlesex

This report from W. Bro Patrick Oluwafemi Oroyemi, PDistGSec / PDistSE (Nigeria).

On Friday 26th of April 2024 African Diaspora Lodge No. 10046 had an exemplar multiple ceremony of initiation carried out by members of Prince Michael of Kent Lodge No. 9120.

“All brethren in the temple who had sat eagerly anticipating the arrival of the men in Crimson Aprons, looked up as the doors were opened and the Provincial Stewards marched in with flawless precision”.

With minutes to go, W. Bro Epeko Kumuteo (DC) formed a procession of officers, before calling the Brethren to order to receive W. Bro Dr Anthony Ijeh (WM) and RW Bro Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu SAN, OON, JP, FCArb (DistGM for and Grand Superintendent in and over Nigeria) who was escorted by W. Bro Chief Elie Rossek (DepGSupt), W.Bro Otunba Olusola Mogaji (ADistGM), W. Bro High Chief Felix Bob-Nabena (ADistGM), and W. Bro Las-Alli Shobande (ADistGM). The occasion was also graced by W. Bro Major Dr Ryan Jarret (DistGSwdB of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands), W. Bro Manjeet Sembhi (Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario), and W. Bro Neil Maitland-Walker (American Canadian Grand Lodge). The WM was delighted to receive W. Bro Manjeet Sembhi who had flown in from Canada to witness the first-degree ceremony and support his son.

African Diaspora Lodge No 10046 – Members and Overseas Visitors

After sequentially implementing the business of the lodge, the WM welcomed each new member and in a surprise response RW .Bro Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu thanked and addressed the WM. He described the conscientious effort and personal desire of the WM towards consecrating the lodge and promised that the District Grand Lodge of Nigeria would support African Diaspora. This sentiment of brotherly love set the tone for the rest of the day as a whole.

The moment everyone had been waiting for arrived. All brethren in the temple who had sat eagerly anticipating the arrival of the men in Crimson Aprons, looked up as the doors were opened and the Provincial Stewards marched in with flawless precision. The WM handed the gavel to W Bro Steve Heynes (PMK 9120) who was ably assisted by W. Bro Bill Stanton (PMK 9120) and W. Bro Martin Burt (PMK 9120). Following a skilful rendition midway through the initiation, W. Bro Steve Heynes handed the gavel to W. Bro Erle Beale (PMK 9120). An exemplary demonstration of masonic team work and individual skills was entertaining as it was educational. Brethren were not only treated to a well-executed first-degree ceremony but also to a passionate delivery of the Entered Apprentice Working Tools by Bro Taiwo Shodeinde (ADC). To culminate the excitement which had gripped the lodge, a rarely seen piece of ritual, “The Presentation of the Gloves”, was performed by Bro Tunde Williams (Georgian Lodge No. 6752) who received a rapturous applause.

The newly made brethren were then addressed by RW. Bro Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu, who gave a short explanation of District Grand Lodges in Africa and the role of a District Grand Master. W. Bro Paul Sully, APGM for African Diaspora sent gifts through W. Bro Perry Roper (VO) which were presented to the newly made brethren along with a Provincial Pack.

L-R: Bro ADC, Bro Moise, the WM, Bro Aaron and W. Bro Manjeet

The WM thanked all members of Prince Michael of Kent Lodge No 9120 who took part in the ceremony, made up of W. Bro Steve Heynes. W. Bro Erle Beale, W.Bro Rob Wearer, W. Bro Bill Stanton, W. Bro David Brewer, W. Bro Martin Burt, W. Bro Rutvig Patel, W.  Bro Nick Reay, W. Bro Rohit Patel, W. Bro Teji Sehmbi and Bro Kishan Patel. After which a rapturous round of applause followed.

The Worshipful Master with members of Prince Michael of Kent Lodge No 9120
L-R: Bro SD, WM and Bro Tunde Williams


The second part of the meeting began with the proclamation of the WM for the ensuing year by Bro Secretary, followed by the appointment and investiture of officers. As the gavel struck to signal the close of the meeting it was clear that the night had been a resounding success, leaving all those in attendance inspired and looking forward to the continued growth of African Diaspora Lodge No 10046.

WM with ADL 10046 Members

The evening transitioned into a joyous celebration at the festive board and in maintaining the tradition of the lodge, celebrants which included RW. Bro Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu, cut the birthday cake.

The toast to Brother Initiate was given by W. Bro Rohit Patel (PMK 9120) and W. Bro Ian Gordon (ADL 10046) gave the Tyler’s Toast at Festive Board.

There, amidst the clinking of glasses and the warm glow of camaraderie, we enjoyed a sumptuous dinner. The toast to our Brother initiate(s) was particularly moving as all members of African Diaspora Lodge, Guests and Overseas Visitors wished them well in their progress in freemasonry in the coming years.

It was a fitting conclusion to a night dedicated to Masonic progression, where the bonds of brotherhood were strengthened over a shared meal and cherished memories were created. A special thank you to W. Bro Brian Barton PGStB of Loyal Manor Lodge No. 6445 for the Nautical Cable Tow which was used in the ceremony and presented to the WM. It is necessary to say a big thank you to brethren who could not attend but sent their best wishes.

Brethren of African Diaspora Lodge are happy to be part of the Middlesex Family.

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