By WBro Robert
Have you ever considered what the purpose of the ‘Lodge of Transition Number 0’ is, where the Lodge membership comes from, and particularly how it manages it membership especially in relation to workings? How the Master and other Lodge Officers are appointed or renewed, given that its membership is literally ‘transitionary’? The Lodge initiates no candidates and general members can only stay members for a year if unaffiliated, unless over 75 years of age and a Freemason for over 40 years, or at the Grand Master’s pleasure.
The Victorian Masonic Guide on the Lodge of Transition;
The purpose of the Lodge is to provide membership facility embracing all Masonic privileges for those brethren who for a variety of reasons are experience difficulty in maintaining and/or attending a regular lodge.
Any Lodge member who has a good understanding of Lodge management would know that those becoming Worshipful Masters first gain experience by taking progressive office. This contributes to aspiring Master Masons obtaining the experience and knowledge of the Lodge workings through ‘progressive training’.
In the case of ‘Lodge Transition’, how can such a Lodge function at all, given that it the normal rules of succession cannot be applied to temporary officers whose membership may well be counted in terms of a period of months?
All these questions were answered, when I attended the Lodge of Transition’s Installation that occurred on the evening of the 1st Wednesday ( the 2nd day) of February 2011.
The first thing that struck me when I entered the lodge as a ‘visitor’ was the Warrant. Lodge Transition was consecrated by Most Worshipful Neville Smith in 1996 and allocated the unusual lodge number “0”. Given that our Past Grand Master Smith is also a member of my ‘Masters Group’, I thought the Lodge was ‘quite young’ in both years and concept. The other exciting element was its number of attendees, this having a full complement of office holders, visitors and members, which is always a thrill when visiting a Lodge. This excitement was tempered by me being puzzled by the paradox, whereby the Lodge appeared to be thoroughly well organised and competently managed; seemed to enjoy a particular ‘Spirit de Corps’ which would be expected of any functioning and well run Lodge, yet wasn’t this a Lodge made up of transitionary members which meets only once every year?
As per many Lodge Installations, the Lodge of Transition had invited the current 2010-11 Grand Lodge Ceremonial Team to undertake the Installation and the ceremony commenced under the competent leadership of the Grand Director VWBro Mark Eadon. Most readers would be familiar with the Installation ceremony with the residing Worshipful Master, generally being succeeded by his Senior Warden and the remaining chairs, being invested to replace the vacated offices. What was different in this particular instance was that the vacated office-holders tend not to progress to the next office level, but instead are replaced by a whole new team. How strange! So where does this new team come from? The answer is that office holders are replaced by the Grand Lodge Ceremonial Team that immediately preceded the current Grand Lodge Ceremonial Team who install their predecessors. Hence the ‘Installing Team’ was the Grand Lodge 2010-11 Team who were installing the 2009-10 Grand Lodge Team into the Chairs of the lodge. This is how the Lodge of Transition’s team is formed.
Freemasons would appreciate that the Constitution requires a Lodge to determine a Master Elect, Treasurer and Tyler by vote; and, to ensure that the successful Master Elect is obligated in the 2nd Degree, prior to Installation. This of course occurred, and the Obligation was indeed undertaken and witnessed in the 2nd Degree, prior to the Lodge being raised to the 3rd Degree for the commencement of the installation ceremony.
With the Grand Lodge being able to supply a full complement of office holders for the Lodge of Transition all Lodge officers were subsequently invested. The Lodge Secretary was filled by the then Grand Secretary, RWBro Barry Reaper; and the position of Lodge Treasurer, filled by Right Worshipful Henshaw. The Lodge Worshipful Master was Very Worshipful WBro N Rinkel PGDC.
Following a very successful installation, the officiating Installing Master Most Worshipful Vaughan Werner, then had the pleasant duty of awarding a very large number of long service award jewels to the many Transition members who were currently associated with the Lodge. The honour of awarding such, as well the pleasure and joy of receiving the same, was plainly exhibited to the delight of the assembled brethren.
At the successful conclusion of the Installation Ceremony and the awarding of the Jewels, the Lodge of Transition was then closed in the familiar manner known to all Freemasons, and the Brethren then enjoyed the traditional gathering in the South, where the newly installed Worshipful Master was toasted with very best wishes for the forthcoming year.
Potential visitors to the Lodge of Transition are well advised to contact the Lodge Secretary, The Grand Secretary, Phone Number 9411 0011 for further details, if contemplating a visit or attending the next Installation Ceremony of the Lodge of Transition Number 0.
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