Mark Masons' Hall, 86 St. James’s Street, London

Visit to the Annual Meeting of the District Grand Lodge of MMM of Italy

Below is the report from W. Bro. Colin Miller of his visit to the Annual Meeting of the District Grand Lodge of MMM of Italy on the weekend of 20/21 October representing R. W. Bro. Tom Quinn.

The weekend was a busy one, starting not long after I arrived in Rome on Friday.

A meeting of the Grand Lodge of MMM of Romania was held at the hotel Mercure, Fiumicino on Friday afternoon. The purpose of the meeting was to consecrate a new Mark Lodge – Gheorghe Ionovici Lodge of MMM No. 2055. This was done in excellent fashion by R. W. Bro. Cristian Mihutoiu, District Grand Master, Romania and his Romanian team (fortunately the ceremony was in English!). The Primus Master was installed in the Chair, who then appointed and installed his officers.

I reported that I brought apologies and fraternal greetings to R. W. Bro. Mihutoiu from R. W. Bro. Tom Quinn along with his best wishes for the success of the new Lodge. R. W. Bro. Cristian told me he was particularly pleased because he knows our PGM from other meetings including Freemasons Without Borders.

All brethren present attended a dinner in a nearby restaurant on Friday evening!

On Saturday morning, at the hotel’s function suite, the Annual Meeting of the District Grand Lodge of Italy was opened, under the direction of R. W. Bro. Andrea Bonechi.

As the representative of R. W. Bro. Quinn I was announced as such and escorted to my seat in the East. This was done individually for each of the distinguished guests, many of whom were R. W. Brethren (chains of office abound). Given the seniority of R. W. Bro. Tom – and London Province – I found myself preceded by ‘Chains’ and with only three Brethren behind me! Quite disconcerting!!

During the meeting I was given the opportunity to present to the District Grand Lodge the future plans for Ethical Lodge No.458, in which I will be installed as WM next Friday. I explained that Ethical Lodge will hold the Installation meeting in London, then two other meetings somewhere in Italy – the first of which will be in Genova on 12 April 2024.

I explained that R. W. Bro. Andrea had made a ‘first’ by having the consecration of a Romanian Mark Lodge in Italy to further international relations in the Mark Degree, so was Ethical Lodge making history and furthering the internationality of the Mark with this innovative project of Ethical Lodge. I was privileged to be the first ‘Travelling’ WM!

On the risings I offered the apologies of R. W. Bro. Quinn along with his best wishes for a successful and enjoyable meeting.

On Saturday afternoon, after a Festive Board, I then attended two further meetings. These were the reponement of both Mark and R.A.M. lodges. Lodge Pica dell’Arca Mirandola No. 1896.

If I understood correctly this was the first Mark/R.A.M. lodge to be consecrated under the District Grand Lodge of Italy, which fell into darkness some years ago – so it was a significant event to repone these particular Lodges. (I could be wrong…)

R. W. Bro. Bonechi then informed the meeting that this lodge will be an “Installed Masters” Lodge. He followed this by telling the assembled audience – of Installed Masters – that the Lodge has not as yet got any members, so if any of us present wished to be joining members, to please stand. A very shrewd tactic you will agree, which resulted in more than 20 of us standing to join! The officers were then appointed and I found myself appointed Assistant Director of Ceremonies.

Saturday evening was a coach trip into central Rome to a restaurant for an excellent meal for members and partners returning to the hotel after 1am.

So it was a packed weekend of interesting meetings that were a joy to attend, and a privilege to attend as the representative of our PGM; along with amazing, as well as enjoyable meals in great company. (I will never understand how Italians can eat so many courses – many of which consist of pasta – and stay slim!).

My thanks to R. W. Bro. Tom for the opportunity to be his official representative.

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