The Portal Lectureship was established in 2018 as part of the Mark Benevolent Fund’s 150th anniversary celebrations. It bears the name of the Fund’s Founder and serves as a perpetual memorial of his contribution to the development of Mark Masonry in the second half of the nineteenth century.

The lectureship is awarded every two years to a Mark Master Mason chosen by the Trustees of the Mark Benevolent Fund. In 2018, the inaugural lecturer was the well-known Masonic historian R.W.Bro. James Wallace Daniel, P.G.S.W., who chose as the topic of his lecture as Rev. G.R. Portal – Founder of the Mark Benevolent Fund.

One of Only Two Portal Lecture Jewels in Existence

One of the few opportunities to experience the current lecture took place at Tovil on Saturday 24th June at Kent Installed Mark Master’s Lodge No.999, (KIMM), in the presence of around 80 members, guests and visitors.

The lecture entitled The First Royal Mark Mason was a fascinating, entertaining and enlightening account of the life and masonic career of Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, was superbly delivered by V.W.Bro. Dr Rod G. Taylor, P.G.J.O., Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master of West Yorkshire.

Prince Leopold, 7th April 1853 – 28th March 1884, was the eighth child and youngest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Leopold was later created Duke of Albany, Earl of Clarence, and Baron Arklow. He had haemophilia, which contributed to his death following a fall at the age of 30.

He was an active and distinguished Freemason, being initiated in the Apollo University Lodge, Oxford, whilst resident at Christ Church. He was proposed for membership by his brother, Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, who was at the time the Worshipful Master of the Lodge. He served as Master of the Lodge from 1876 to 1877, and was later the Provincial Grand Master for Oxfordshire, still holding that office at the time of his death. He had strong connections to Canon Portal throughout his time at Oxford and in Freemasonry.

In gratitude, the Lodge donated £250 in support of the current Mark Festival that is being held in 2023, by the Province of West Yorkshire, Dr. Rod Taylor’s own Province.

As a Past Master’s Lodge KIMM only meets twice a year, therefore among the initial tasks that befalls the incumbent Worshipful Master in his first, and only, full meeting is to oversee the election of his successor!

W.Bro. Martyn Summers, Deputy Provincial Grand Master and Master Elect being Congratulated by W.Bro. David Barden, Worshipful Master

As you can see from the above photograph, the ballot proved in favour of our Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Martyn Summers who will be Installed on Saturday 4th November.