We've had a very busy year so far. January's First Degree was accompanied by another First Degree in February, a Second Degree in March, a double Second Degree in April and another double Second Degree in May. We're taking a break from ritual in June - you'll see why next month - and will be busy once more after our recess.
We started our year with yet another First Degree last night. We welcomed Bro Ian to the Lodge and to Freemasonry in general. He's pictured in the Lodge room with our WM, left, and SD, right, who were his Seconder and Proposer respectively, and have known him a combined total of over 70 years (yes, we hear you ask, why did they all wait so long!?)
As it was our Installation meeting last month, this was the first time the officers have performed their duties in their new offices. A few nerves on display but our longstanding reputation of great ritual continues.
As we head into our summer recess we decided to go out with a bang, performing the first double-initiation undertaken by the Lodge in over twenty years, and certainly the first ever undertaken by the current Officers of the Lodge. Given we only had one Lodge of Instruction to rehearse the double, all of those that took part can be immensely proud of the ritual on display, once again upholding the high standards we place upon ourselves.
We had another great meeting on Thursday, 10th March. For the third month running we performed a First Degree ceremony and welcomed a new member to our Lodge. Pictured with the Worshipful Master, we have Mick (February), Anth (March), Paul (the Worshipful Master), and Jon (January).
The enthusiasm shown by all three is really promising, and we look forward to many years of friendship to come.
We're fortunate to still have a number of potential candidates and we're now scratching our heads to create a plan to get them in; some have been waiting a while.
We have very much picked up where we left off pre-pandemic, and have been fortunate to welcome two new members to the Lodge via Initiations at our January and February meetings. We have a third Initiation to look forward to at our March meeting and we then switch our attention to Raising some of our current Fellow Craft members.
We still have quite the list of potential members that have been patiently waiting, and we thank them for that. A plan is in the making as to how we might get them in to the Lodge without asking them to wait too much longer.
We're back from recess and straight back to business. Another initiation: A Magnificent Seven. Every one of our meetings this year has been to introduce a new candidate to Freemasonry, and what a great bunch of guys they are, even if we do say so ourselves.
Anthony has been waiting in the wings for a little while, having first contacted us in October of last year. As they say, patience is a virtue, both for him and for us, and we were very glad to finally be able to count him as a brother.
Hit for six! We have now completed the first half of the year, and have been very fortunate in being able to initiate a new candidate at every one of our meetings.
Another candidate from our website, this one approaching us having had a conversation with a family member who is a Freemason down in Brighton. Suffice it to say, he came well recommended when due enquiries were made, and we were most pleased to welcome him to the Craft.
We are rather fortunate that we have had our fifth Initiate in as many months, but it does mean that I'm running out of things to say!
Another month, another meeting, another Initiation; four in a row!
This time around, the candidate was the father of one of our other recent initiates (October of last year). To my recollection, it is the first time the proposer has himself still been an Entered Apprentice, and one of those rare occasions whereby a son introduces the father, rather than the other way around. A number of changes to the Officers this month due to holidays and work commitments, including a stand-in Worshipful Master, but, I'm pleased to report we were still able to deliver a first-class ceremony.
Our latest regular meeting was held on 14th March. The ceremony was another initiation; three in a row.
On this occasion, the candidate was a relative of the Worshipful Master, so, as well as being the candidate's Father's cousin, he's also now his Brother! The candidate's actual brother, a member of a different lodge, was also in attendance to see him initiated. Once more, a great performance from all of the officers involved, with the candidate, again, conducted himself very well, too. Another great addition to the lodge, I'm sure.
On the evening of the 14th February, some of you may have been celebrating Valentine's Day. We were celebrating Palatine's Day!
The ceremony was another initiation. The third new recruit from our website, and, we hope, another worthy addition to Freemasonry in general, and Palatine in particular. A flawless performance from all of the officers involved, which drew well deserved praise from all of those in attendance to witness it. The candidate conducted himself very well, too, and had a really good night.
Once again, January bring us a fresh new year and the first meeting with our newly installed officers, and also once again, we started the year with an initiation. There's nothing like putting them immediately to the test!
Due to work, we had a stand-in Junior Deacon, but, thankfully, it was an old-hand that put in a fine performance, depite being one of our regular visitors rather than one of our own - his ritual is different! Our candidate also put in a very good show with an air of confidence about his responses. It certainly bodes well for his future journey with us.
We were fortunate to be performing another initiation this month, the fourth this year, and the first monthly back-to-back initiation in recent memory.
Our candidate was the second one fully recruited through our website, so we are finally reaping the rewards of a little hard work and effort keeping the site up to date. If you're reading this and you're not a Freemason, get in touch - it could be you!
The first meeting back for us after recess, and as usual for September, a lower than average turn-out, with a number of brethren still being in holiday mode.
Looking back over a lot of the articles I have written, I find that I am forever mentioning that we had a whole host of absentees. I think I'm going to stop doing so, as it is becoming clear that, what was once an irregularity, is fast becoming the norm. I cannot remember the last time the full complement of officers turned up, and if it wasn't for our regular visitors, we'd often struggle to get through. It was never the case when I joined, a mere 8 years ago.