W. Bro Micheal John Fitz-Gerald

Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies Bedfordshire 

I was born in Lambeth Camberwell in 1958, having lived in Dulwich and Nunhead my Mother and I settled in Bedford. I have been married to Karen for nearly Forty years having met her at Senior school. We live in Kempston Bedford 

Judo Career

In my early years attended Goldington Road Junior school before moving to Goldington Senior school. Incidentally, Goldington Road school is where the great Heavyweight Boxer Joe Bugner was educated, Joe trained at Bedford Boys club. It was at this club in 1969 my interest in Martial Arts came joining the Bedford Judo Club training under Mr James. My rise in belt colours eluded me but enjoyed competitions in and around Bedfordshire. 

Karate Career 

At the age of 45 I decided it was time to get back into a Gi so in 2004 myself and wife Karen joined Tiska Karate Club in Bedford where Sensei Gursharan Sahota was the Chief Instructor, unknow to me at that time Gursharan was a member of the Shotokan Karate Lodge! Our club trained in Wootton just outside Kempston and our instructor who became a friend was Sensei Pedro Barker and occasionally his wife Mrs Barker both very good instructors. 

After a few years, our club instructor changed to Sensei Sembi. Karen and I progressed through the grading syllabus’s unfortunately an injury which now turned out to be the start of my Hip Osteoarthritis put a holt to my Karate career. I managed grading up to 1st Kyu, but it was impossible to carry on and had to hang up my Gi but enjoyed being part of Karen’s Dan journey 

We very much enjoyed the years of training and new friendships, for me Karate highlighted the similarity with freemasonry of traditions, discipline, and respect. Karen continued worked hard and gained her Shodan and then Nidan Blackbelts.     

Masonic Career 

I was initiated into the Russell Lodge No. 4413 on 1st February 2001 at the Keep Masonic centre Kempston Bedford, an old Victorian Military building. Was passed on 4th October 2001 and Raised on 4th April 2002. 

I was installed as Worshipful Master in my Mother Russell Lodge on 4th December 2008, W. Bro Barnett, Coppen, Green and Dinsdale attended on behalf of the Shotokan Karate Lodge. 

From 2009 – 2013 I was the Russell Lodge Almoner and was invited to resume this role again in 2019. From 2012 – 2016 became Russell Lodge Director of Ceremonies, Lodge of Instruction DC, and Preceptor from 2009 – 2015 after becoming the LOI Secretary until 2020. 

In 2007 I was invited to become a joining Member of the Shotokan Karate Lodge and became the Lodge Almoner in 2008 to the present day. I have attended MetGL Almoner workshops and lectures. I became the Lodge Assistant Director of Ceremonies in 2011 and stood in for the DC on many occasions. Acting as Lodge Secretary 2014 – 2016, lodge preceptor since 2016 and lodge Treasurer since 2015. 

My first Provincial promotion came in 2013 when I was appointed Acting Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies an unexpected role and one, I very much enjoyed. The position involved escorting the Provincial Grand Master, Deputy and Assistant to lodge meetings in Bedfordshire particularly Installation and special event meetings. This was a tenue for two years up to 2015.

In 2008 I was proposed by W. Bro John Green and Browning and duly Exalted into the fantastic Old Concord Chapter on 8th October 2008. Rising through the offices to be installed as MEZ in 2017. 

Another calling came when I was invited to join Stuart Lodge No. 434 of Mark Master Masons and was duly advanced April 2012, a ceremony that I remember with great fondness. Active in offices up to Senior Deacon but in 2017 the position of Treasurer became vacant so decided this was a role I could make a difference and was appointed in 2017. 

As a Mark Master Mason, I was invited to join Royal Ark Mariners and was elevated in 2014, at this time not in any rush to progress the ranks. 

A second Provincial Promotion came in 2018 when I was appointed another acting role as Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies of Bedfordshire and very active in supporting the Prov Grand Director of Ceremonies in all types of meetings. 

Again, a two-year tenue accompanying and escorting the Provincial Rulers around Bedfordshire attending Provincial Grand Lodge meetings, Master of ceremonies at special luncheons and events.  

And as Deputy I was privileged to be invited to attend with the PGM other Provincial Grand Lodge meetings around the country. 

I love my Freemasonry and everything we stand for, the friendships and companionship of a wonderful fraternal organisation.  

The Russell Lodge No 4413, Prov of Bedfordshire 

Initiated: 1st February 2001 

Passed: 4th October 2001 

Raised: 4th April 2002 

Worshipful Master:  2008 – 2009 

Almoner:  2009 – 2013 

Almoner: 2019 to present 

Assist Dir of Ceremonies: 2010 – 2012 

Director of Ceremonies:  2012 – 2016 

Lodge of Instruction Preceptor: 2009 – 2015 

Lodge of Instruction Secretary: 2015 – 2020 

Prov Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies Bedfordshire 2013 – 2015 

Prov Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies Bedfordshire 2018 – 2020 

The Shotokan Karate Lodge No 9752 MetGL 

Joining Member, The Shotokan Karate Lodge 8th December 2007 

Almoner: 2008 – Present 

MetGL Almoner Workshop programme 2009 

Assist Dir of Ceremonies: 2011 – Present 

Acting Secretary: 2014 – 2016 

Treasurer 2015 – Present 

Preceptor 2016 – Present 

Old Concord Chapter No 172 Met Grand Lodge 

Exalted:  8th October 2008 

MEZ: 2017 – 2020 

Stuart Lodge Mark Master Masons No 434, Prov of Bedfordshire 

Advanced: 19th April 2012 

Senior Deacon: 2015 

Treasurer: 2017 – Present 

Stuart Lodge Royal Ark Mariners No 434, Prov of Bedfordshire 

Elevated: 17th April 2014 

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