A cold but sunny afternoon on the last day of October saw some five thousand Masons, from around the world (including China, the USA, India, Cuba Australia and many more), assemble at the Royal Albert Hall for the Tercentenary celebration of the English Freemasonry.
A wonderful cast of actors and performers, led by Derek Jacobi, presented an interactive show which followed the path of a young man considering joining Masonry in the 17th Century and then traced a timeline of similar men through the centuries to today. It explained the basis on which Masonry was founded, how the 'Antients' and 'Moderns' came together to form the United Grand Lodge of England, the incredible number of famous men who became Masons over the centuries and the support that Masonry provides through it's charitable work both at home and abroad.
The stage setting comprising a massive pair of compasses on a square paved floor provided a stunning back drop to the proceedings.
At the end of the event, the Duke of Kent accompanied by his Deputies took centre stage, adressed the guests and dedicated a new Arc (the old one having been destoyed in a fire over a century ago) into which were placed the bible, working tools and maul from the three of the remaining four lodges which came together to form United Grand Lodge of England in 1717. This Arc will be permanently rehoused in the Grand Temple at Freemasons Hall.
All in all a very well organised celebration which showed Masonry at it's best and will inspire future generations to continue the work begun all those years ago.