On Wednesday the 5th July 2023, the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, John Paul Thompson informed a packed room at Durham Masonic Hall that the Prestonian lecture is the only lecture given under the authority of UGLE. William Preston (1742-1818), was regarded as the foremost masonic educator of his time, and he left a legacy of £300 to provide an annual lectureship. With the absence of some years the Prestonian lecture has been held since 1820, with lectures now submitting a masonic subject of his own selection. John said he was immensely grateful that Durham should host the 2023 Prestonian lecture and went on to introduce MW Bro Akram Elias who has flown in specially from Washington DC to present the lecture tonight.
Akram’s masonic journey began June 18th 1996 when he was initiated into the society of Freemasonry at Potomac Lodge No.5, under the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the District of Columbia in Washington. He has been Master of several lodges culminating in him being installed as The Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Washington DC on December 8th 2007. John informed the room that tonight’s Lecture was entitled ‘The 1723 Constitutions, The Indispensable Trowel, Cementing America’s foundations’
Akram informed his audience that, unfortunately due to time restraints of the evening, he would not be actually delivering the full Lecture. He did however, go on to captivate the brethren present with his introduction to The 1723 Constitutions and The Great Experiment. In conclusion, he informed the room that Freemasonry is as relevant today and more needed than ever in the United States and in every free, open, and democratic society on the face of the earth.
Akram stated that the full lecture is available in a booklet form for sale this evening, with which the brethren can purchase a signed copy. He informed those present that profits from the sales of this English Edition would be donated to The Masonic Charitable Foundation.
Over 100 brethren retired to the festive board where ample provisions had been made and great thanks were paid to VW Bro Akram for his very interesting introduction to the lecture.