Becoming a Provincial Grand Steward
Becoming a Provincial Grand Steward is the appointment to which many Masons aspire. There are only 10 places available each year, which means the opportunity to meet that aspiration is limited. Potential Stewards are generally identified within the first three to four years after leaving the Chair. They are selected from recommendations made by the Provincial Executive Teams and the Provincial Grand Master’s Representatives. A short-list is prepared and presented to the Provincial Grand Master for final selection.
The selection criteria considers the individual’s Masonic track record in terms of rituals performed in the Lodge, support for the Lodge and responsibilities undertaken in the Lodge, the degree of interest shown towards the Province and finally, any initiatives introduced in relation to the Community. Stewards have to be able to demonstrate enthusiasm, motivation and conscientiousness. The status of Steward within both the Craft and the Royal Arch is a mark of distinction.Once a Steward, always a Steward – the implication being, that no matter how exalted a Brother eventually becomes, he is always entitled – and encouraged – to wear the red apron in the Stewards’ Lodge and when on duty as a Steward.
However, with preferment comes responsibility. The appointment to Provincial Grand Steward creates demands on time and the commitment is summarised as follows:
- Attend Provincial Grand Lodge in May to receive the appointment
- Commit to escorting the PGM, DPGM or APGMs on about four visits during the active year in office from June until May the following year.
- Commit to organising a Provincial summer event. This will involve regular meetings with the current Board of Provincial Stewards, probably one evening a month from September until June the following year.
- Assist at Provincial Grand Lodge in the following May by escorting those Brethren receiving appointments or promotions in the carousel and annually thereafter, assisting with the smooth running of Provincial Grand Lodge by manning cloakrooms/signing in, ushering, etc.
- Assisting at other Provincial events during the year such as the Provincial Church Service.
- Stewards are strongly encouraged to join the Stewards’ Lodge during their year in office and maintain that membership for the foreseeable future.
- Supporting the Lodge (and the Province) as required. The Stewards’ Lodge meets three times a year – the second Saturday in June (Installation) and the fourth Saturday in October and February.
- Take part in a “live” degree at one of the Stewards’ Lodge meetings. The committment will be to attend six or so rehearsals prior to the meeting and on the day, take over the Lodge as a team and perform a second degree.
If you are invited to become a Steward, please consider carefully whether you can fulfil this commitment. If it is not viable for you at that time, perhaps for business, family or health reasons, consider carefully whether or not you accept the appointment. Your future promotions will not be affected by your decision.
Brethren selected for potential appointment to Steward will be interviewed so that we can be assured that individuals are motivated and enthusiastic and there can be no misunderstanding about the commitment required.
Mark Eyles-Thomas DPGM