The Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro David Macey has recently started a new initiative of a monthly visit to private lodges, which gives him a chance to see a more ‘normal’ meeting rather than the installations that make up much of his Masonic life as a busy presiding officer. Schola Warwicensis recently benefited from this in two ways – the lodge enjoyed a formal visit from the Province and their guest of honour provided the entertainment for the evening!
The summons didn’t give much away as it simply stated ‘an evening with the Provincial Grand Master’. The PGM didn’t disappoint as he effortlessly talked for around 45 minutes about some of his experiences of two great loves in his life – teaching and Freemasonry. He did start with a brief description of his early days. Born in the North East on the mouth of the Tyne, he developed a love of the outdoors. Scouting helped develop this further and he subsequently became a Queen’s Scout. After enjoying his education at a grammar school in the North East, he became a research chemist, a role that he found fascinating. Three of his friends decided to head down to Worcestershire to train to become teachers and he chose to join them. His parents were very supportive although his mother did suggest that he would have to sell his beloved Mini Cooper – which he did!
It was after his first time in front of a class of children when the PGM knew that teaching was for him and couldn’t believe that he would get paid for doing something he loved. His passion was science (“the only thing better than science is more science”) and, as a young teacher, he brought a new style of teaching which had a more practical approach. It was whilst at college that he met his wife, Sandra. They shared a love of biology (and the chemistry between them was good too!). Indeed, Sandra’s lab books were often ‘borrowed’ to ensure that the PGM's own books were kept up to scratch. In addition to teaching biology, he also taught maths and recounted an encounter with a former pupil, himself now a maths teacher, who still uses some of the PGM's (bad?) jokes. The PGM began to realise that he wanted to be a headmaster, to have an influence on an entire school, not just a classroom. He took a management degree and, at the tender age of 38, obtained his first headship and was to remain as such for 20 years until his retirement.
The PGM’s first experiences with Freemasonry were back home in the North East. His father was a Mason and would often be found sitting in the corner mumbling away with his little blue book. He couldn’t join up in Durham because of the distance involved but did express an interest with a colleague who was a member of Loyal Travellers Lodge 2733. He was initiated in 1978 and took 13 years to reach the chair. The October meeting was always special as it was the PGM's Masonic birthday and his father would come down to attend. One year, much to Sandra’s consternation, his parents duly arrived in October and stayed until the Installation meeting the following February! It was as a junior brother that the PGM learned patience as he gradually progressed though the offices, learning more and more ritual and developing great love for Freemasonry. His first Provincial appointment was as a Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies, a great job that enabled him to get round the Province and support lodges. His advice for all those fortunate to have a first appointment as an acting officer is to enjoy their year and make the most of it. Further acting offices followed culminating in him being asked to become an Assistant PGM. As such he took on the running of the 2012 Festival, a position he held until he became Warwickshire's 16th Provincial Grand Master.
The PGM said that he had had a blessed Masonic journey, that he was very lucky to have such a supportive wife as well as such supportive brethren. He closed by saying that there is only one thing better than Freemasonry………. More Freemasonry!