Consecration of African Diaspora Lodge

Screenshot 2023-09-22 150336

In The Beginning

The origins of the founding group can be traced back to brethren with a shared special interest in African culture, Diaspora and Freemasonry who began to meet subconsciously or intuitively. As the group grew so did the geodemography of its members and Diaspora diversity which spanned four of the five regions of the African continent.

With a shared purpose and strong communal bond the group submitted a letter to the Provincial Grand Lodge of Middlesex for consideration and in January 2022 received an invitation from VW Bro Barry Cramer PGSwdB, PDepProvGM who offered support and a range of ideas to help the group during lodge formation. The purpose of the lodge would be to promote African culture, build strong communal bonds in the Diaspora and support charitable causes of the province and English districts in Africa.

Pearl of Africa No 9052 which has strong ties with East Africa and was Consecrated by Middlesex Province in 1982 agreed to be the sponsor lodge, whilst W. Bro Anthony Ijeh was nominated as Primus Master. The scene was set, and 30 brethren domiciled across North America, Europe, Africa and the United Kingdom joined together to form the lodge.

Umoja Kwa Huduma - Unity For Service Umoja Kwa Huduma – Unity For Service

The Consecration

On Thursday 14th September 2023 one hundred and twenty brethren assembled at Cole Court Masonic Centre, Twickenham to celebrate the Consecration of this new Lodge in the Province of Middlesex.

From the gleaming vessels of Consecration laid out in the centre of the Lodge, along with the covered Lodge board, and the abundance of dress Regalia arrayed around the packed Temple, the scene was set for a splendid ceremonial.

The Provincial Consecrating Team under the experienced direction of the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, W. Bro Mark Millard PGStdB, and led by the Pro Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Peter Baker, were waiting without, while the excitement and anticipation within rose by the minute inside the Temple.

The meeting was called to order by the Director of Ceremonies, and the RW Bro Peter Baker, Pro Provincial Grand Master and his Consecrating Team processed into the Temple to the warm applause of the Brethren.

A Lodge was opened in the three degrees, followed by the opening hymn. It was something special with so many masonic voices raised in unison, and an uplifting start to the ceremony. RW Bro Peter Baker then read out the legalities followed by the Provincial Grand DC requesting that the Consecrating Petitioners be allowed to gather on the floor of the Lodge facing East. The Warrant of the Lodge was then carried to the Pro Prov Grand Master, who examined it closely and with great reverence. It was declared in order and conveyed to the Provincial Grand Secretary, who read it to the gathered Brethren. The Petitioners then signified, with the Sign of Fidelity, their assent to the naming of the founding WM and his Wardens to preside over them in their new lodge. All resumed their seats, and the Provincial Assistant Grand Chaplain then gave a moving and sincere oration, setting out the reasons for the utensils arrayed in the lodge, what was contained within them (corn, wine, oil and salt) and how and why they would be used in the ceremony to follow.

The Founding members were admonished to adhere to their Swahili Lodge motto; Swahili words being the most predominant language in Africa and to devote their future to the good of their fellows and the good of all mankind – UMOJA KWA HUDUMA – UNITY FOR SERVICE.

How Good It Is.

Following the singing of Psalm 133, How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity, the Consecrating Chaplain gave the Dedication Prayer, after which the Pro Provincial Grand Master invoked the Blessing of Heaven. The Consecrating Chaplain then read 2 Chronicles 2:1-16. The Lodge Board was then ceremoniously and solemnly unveiled by the Provincial DC and ADC.

This was followed by the Consecrating Elements (the corn, wine and oil) being paraded around the Lodge, with the corn (the symbol of Plenty and Abundance) being scattered upon the Lodge board by RW Bro Peter Baker. There followed the pouring of the wine (the symbol of Joy and Cheerfulness), and the oil (the symbol of Peace and Unanimity).

The Petitioners were assembled around the Lodge board, and the Consecrating Officer sprinkled salt (the symbol of Friendship and Fidelity) upon it. Each of the above segments was accompanied by heartfelt singing of When once of old in Israel, upon the completion of which the Lodge was dedicated.

The Thurible containing the incense was then brought into the lodge, and the lodge board, the Dedicating Officer, his Wardens and all the Brethren were blessed with its sweet scent by the Assistant Grand Dedicating Chaplain (Mike Karn), which was followed by the Dedication Prayer.

The Petitioners and the Worshipful Master designate together with his Wardens  were then formed in the West

The Lodge was Constituted in the name of UGLE and the Grand Master by the Pro Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Peter Baker and authorised to Initiate, Pass and Raise Masons, according to ancient custom. All then sang very harmoniously and with great reverence and feeling God be in my head, and in my understanding.

Patriarchal Benediction

Following the Patriarchal Benediction, the Ceremony of Consecration was complete and the Pro Provincial Grand Master called off the meeting for a short break before the inaugural Installation meeting of the Lodge commenced. Essentially this was RW Bro Peter Baker’s “swan song” and he finished his tenure as Pro Prov Grand Master with this great moment in the modern history of the Province.

During the inaugural meeting of the newly consecrated Lodge, W Bro Dr. Anthony Ijeh, PDistGOrg (Nigeria) was installed into the Chair of King Solomon, according to ancient custom as the very first Master to preside over the African Diaspora Lodge No. 10046. W Bro Joseph Chuma Inoma, PDistDepGOrg (Nigeria) was installed as the first Senior Warden with W Bro Dr. Ochuko Franklin Enmore was installed as the first Junior Warden. The WM then installed the rest of his inaugural officers.

16 names of Joining Members and 6 Initiates were read out. By virtue of this Consecration Middlesex membership would increase by 16 on the day. Only one of the Petitioners (the Chaplain) was an existing Middlesex Mason. Numbers will increase again when the Joiners are admitted which will swell again with the Initiates. By the 23rd September, the next meeting, there will be a total of 40 or so new Middlesex Masons joining the Province via this Lodge.

The Lodge was closed in harmony and the members, and the many guests retired to a sumptuous Festive Board, with more than 100 dining in a packed dining room rounding off what had been a memorable and moving afternoon.

Link to the photo gallery of the festive board.

Flickr Photo Album

Link to Summons

Brethren of African Diaspora Lodge No 10046 Brethren of African Diaspora Lodge No 10046 The Provincial Consecrating Team The Provincial Consecrating Team

A grateful thanks W. Bro Frank O’Keefe PPrSGD who attended the Consecration on behalf of the Media Team and provided an overview of the proceedings.

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