September 8, 2022
To: RW Dr. David R. Staples, Grand Secretary
The United Grand Lodge of England
Dear RW Dr. David R. Staples,
It is with bowed heads and saddened hearts that we pause at this moment to mourn and offer our personal tribute of respect and approbation to the memory of your dear departed Sovereign, Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
We cannot find the words to remove the hurt and sorrow that fill the hearts of the Royal Family and the British People as well as the overwhelming grief that encompasses the United Grand Lodge of England and the Craft, but only to urge that all who were touched by Her Majesty to turn to God through prayer for inner strength and comfort. For solace remember the words of the Great Light which says “surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
The beloved Sovereign and Defender of the Faith, HRM Queen Elizabeth II has been the moral compass of good stewardship for the United Kingdom and the Anglican Church, for nearly three-quarters of a Century. In her own immortal words, “…I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service…” The Queen has certainly exemplified and defined the term “service” during her magnificent reign.
Few women of greatness have achieved the collective respect and admiration of the whole world as has HRM Queen Elizabeth II. Such highly regarded women like Eleanor Roosevelt, Mother Teresa and Florence Nightingale come to mind. Yet, their names pale in comparison to that of HRM Queen Elizabeth II’s compassion, astuteness and steadiness of hand. Commenting about her meeting with the Queen in 1957, Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of the late Brother and former President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “I have the greatest respect for this young woman, who must combine the responsibilities of a Queen with the requirements and emotional stresses of a young mother. I think, too, the British people are fortunate in having the Royal Family to hold them together. Everywhere you go, you see that the Queen, Prince Philip, the Queen Mother, and Princess Margaret are loved as well as deeply respected.”
We, the Brethren from New York, were blessed with three official visits by HRM Queen Elizabeth II. She was received in 1957 with much fanfare and a ticker-tape parade down Fifth Avenue in New York City. During our Nation’s Bicentennial Celebration in 1976, we were once again graced with her regal presence and self-assurance. HRM Queen Elizabeth II’s last visit to the City of New York was in 2010, when she attended the United Nations and visited our hallowed Ground Zero at the site of the former Towers of the World Trade Center.
Our fraternity and the people of this Nation as a whole are much richer for having had the pleasure of knowing your beloved Queen. On behalf of the Grand Master, Most Worshipful Richard J. Kessler, the Grand Lodge of New York, and all of our Officers and Members, our fraternal spirit is there at the side of your Grand Lodge with special prayers and support during this sad time of grief. If there is anything that we can do, please do not hesitate to let us know.
May God bless and keep you this day and forevermore.
With kindest fraternal regards, I am sincerely,
RW Richard T. Schulz
Grand Secretary, Grand Lodge of Free & Accepted Masons of the State of New York