Order of Service to Masonry citation for Charles Grace

At the Quarterly meeting of UGLE the Pro Grand Master, Peter Lowndes awarded Charles Grace the Order of Service to Masonry.

Charles Grace OSM.

Charles Grace OSM.

The citation is the highest honour the Grand Master can confer on any member of the Craft. Instituted in 1945, it is in the personal gift of the Grand Master, and is an acknowledgment of exceptional services to the Craft.

The Order is limited to 12 holders, confers no precedence on them, but entitles them to place the letters OSM after their names, preceding the initials of any other Masonic rank they may hold.

The Order is a neck decoration in the form of a Garter blue ribbon from which hangs the jewel of the Order.

Charles was made a Mason in October, 1966, at the age of 27, in his old school lodge, Old Marlburian Lodge, No 3533, in London and became its WM in 1983. In the meantime he had joined, and in 1981 served in the chair of, St George’s Lodge of Harmony No 32 in Liverpool, where he was at the time working in shipping. He is a member and past master of three other lodges in London.

He was exalted into the Royal Arch in Jerusalem Chapter No 32 in 1978, and 10 years later joined Old Union Chapter No 46 in London, becoming its first principal in 1997. He is a member of two other London chapters.

Charles was appointed to the office of Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies in the Craft in 1997 and that of Grand Standard Bearer in the Royal Arch in 2000. With the evolving reorganisation of London Masonry he was promoted, as one of over 20 group chairmen under ‘London Management’, to Junior Grand Deacon in 2000. On the formation of the Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Chapter of London in October 2003, he became the Metropolitan Group Chairman for the Ripon Group, and following a further reorganisation of London he was appointed as one of the first batch of Assistant Metropolitan Grand Masters and Assistant Metropolitan Grand Superintendents in 2007 until his appointment as Deputy Metropolitan Grand Superintendent from 2009 to 2011. He currently holds the rank of Past Grand Sword Bearer in the Craft and Past Grand Scribe Nehemiah in the Royal Arch.

Bro Grace’s service to Freemasonry, however, has by no means been confined to London. He served from 1995 to 2003 as Deputy Chairman of the Public School Lodges’ Council and for a further year as its chairman. He has also been a member of the committee of general purposes of Grand Chapter since 2005, and in that capacity has been a strong contributor to the committee’s deliberations, including those in relation to the arrangements for the Royal Arch bicentenary, which took place in October 2013. Most notably, however, he has acted as the unpaid project manager for the refurbishment and extension of the Henry Willis Organ in the Grand Temple at Freemasons’ Hall, which has been in progress since the beginning of 2014 and is due to be finished later in the spring. Although the Organ cannot be heard in all its glory today, much – but not yet all – of its glistening pipework is already enhancing the visual impact of the Grand Temple.

The Pro Grand Master said: “It is gratifying to know that, at the age of seventy-five, he is active enough to continue to be able to give us the benefit of his counsel and experience for many years to come.”