Be There – On the Square! Military Priority for Annual Meeting

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To signify the importance of signing the Armed Forces Covenant with Essex Freemasons, the MOD has confirmed it is sending a high-level delegation from 16 Air Assault Brigade to attend the Annual Meeting of the Essex Provincial Grand Lodge to sign the Covenant on behalf of the MOD.

Subject to military operational exigencies, one of the UK’s top soldiers, Colonel James (Jim) Loudoun OBE, will lead a military team to Freemasons’ Hall to sign alongside Paul Tarrant, the Provincial Grand Master of Essex, with the Pro Grand Master, Peter Geoffrey Lowndes, in attendance. Colonel Loudoun is the Deputy Commander of 16 Air Assault Brigade Combat Team, the Army’s Airborne Rapid Reaction Force, based in Colchester.

Commissioned in 1998 into the King’s Own Scottish Borderers, Colonel Loudoun has served in Cyprus, the Falkland Islands, Bosnia, Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2014 he transferred to the Parachute Regiment to Command 4 PARA. He was awarded an OBE in 2021 following 13 months in Afghanistan being responsible for the planning of the close-down of the NATO mission including the US graduated withdrawal.

Nick Franklin, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master explained that “Members of HM Armed Forces sacrifice some of their civilian freedoms and put themselves in harm’s way in the defence of our realm so it is important that they should receive our support and we have an obligation to ensure that they get fair treatment which is the primary purpose of this Covenant.”

One Brother who is a former Major in the Army Reserve said “To send such a senior serving Officer whilst on full alert for operational duty emphasises the significance the MOD is placing on the signing of the Armed Forces Covenant with the Province of Essex.”

By its actions, the MOD is sending a signal to the general public that it is proud to align with Freemasonry in Essex. To send back an equally strong endorsement and show Freemasonry’s support for HM Armed Forces to Colonel Loudoun and his team, we need as many Brethren from Essex as possible to be at Freemasons’ Hall on 24th March 2022.

There is another incentive which will make the travel to London on the day even more worthwhile. How often does an Essex Freemason get the opportunity to see the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies and his team perform under the watchful eye of the Pro Grand Master.

If you have not yet done so, book now to show your support. As they say in both organisations: “Be There – On the Square!

Tony Hales

Content Generator
Provincial Grand Lodge of Essex