The Installation of the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ireland M.W.Bro. Douglas Thomas Grey
It was with considerable pageantry that the Grand Lodge of Ireland in Dublin installed its 44th Grand Master, Most Worshipful Brother Douglas Thomas Grey.
Held at Freemasons’ Hall, the ceremony filled the spacious, and impressive, Grand Lodge Room to capacity. In attendance were Grand Masters from 21 sister constitutions, all with accompanying senior Brethren. The Assistant Grand Master, R.W.Bro. Rodney McCurley, temporarily took the Chair and formally received all of the visiting delegations, with Masonic courtesies being accorded to the many distinguished guests. Responding on their behalf, the Pro Grand Master of England, M.W.Bro. Peter Lowndes said that it was a happy occasion, at which the Masonic unity of the various Constitutions world-wide was confirmed.
For the presentation of the Grand Master designate to the assembled Brethren, a procession was formed, and the Chair was then taken by the Installing Officer, R.W.Bro. Michael Ward P.S.G.W. Escorted by W.Bro. Michael Troughton-Smith and W.Bro. Trevor Boate, the Grand Master elect entered. As is the custom, the Obligation was taken at the altar, and the newly made Grand Master conducted to his dais. He was installed in the Chair with dignity, and invested with his Chain of Office, by V.W.Bro. David Young, while with due ceremony, the Grand Master’s Banner was unfurled.
(The Grand Master’s heraldic banner is impressive; it features the three castles of Dublin, with a roundel above encircling the armorial achievement of County Leitrim; two silver streams represent the Liffey and Shannon rivers; while its background is St. Patrick’s blue.)
The Director of Ceremonies called upon all present to rise, and the new Grand Master was saluted in accordance with Antient Custom.
Following the Installation of the Deputy Grand Master, R.W.Bro. Rodney McCurley, and the Assistant Grand Master, R.W.Bro. Leslie Nixon, the Grand Master addressed the Brethren telling them that he was completely humbled by the honour conferred upon him, and that he intended to serve, to the absolute best of his ability, the Brethren who had so honoured him. He made special reference to his delight in seeing such a distinguished gathering from such a large contingent of Constitutions from right across the globe, in attendance, and wished them all a pleasant stay in Ireland, and a pleasurable evening ahead.
As well as the many Brethren from the towns and cities of Ireland, the Installation was graced by Grand Masters, Provincial Grand Masters and senior officers from all over the planet, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, England, Ghana, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, Japan, Natal, Romania, Scotland, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Turkey and Zambia to name but a few, being in attendance. And special mention must be made of our American Brethren, who sent large number of representatives from their varied Constitutions. Last, but not least, the New Zealand flag was flown with honour by the then Provincial Grand Master of the Irish Constitution in New Zealand, R.W.Bro. Roly Whyte.
At twilight the majority of the Grand Master’s guests proceeded to Mansion House which, since 1715, has been the official residence of the Lord Mayor of Dublin. The house has been visited by a plethora of famous personalities from King George IV (see Famous Freemasons A-L elsewhere on this site) to Pope John Paul II. This particular evening 330 Brethren, ladies and guests attended the reception and, punctuated by the sound of laughter, old friends were reunited and new friends made. The celebration banquet took place in the magnificent ‘Round Room’ where, prior to dinner, and accompanied by his wife Georgine, the Grand Master formally entered to great applause, and the evening gently relaxed into one of unceremonious merriment: a splendid event that re-affirmed fidelity to the fraternity.
Douglas Grey has been a Freemason for many years; he was Initiated into Leinster Lodge No. 141 in 1977, made swift progress through the usual offices within The Craft, became a member of Royal Arch, and was elected Deputy Grand Master of Ireland in 2006. Bro. Grey has a hard act to follow, he takes the reins from that stalwart of Irish Freemasonry, M.W.Bro. George Dunlop.