Devotion’s 2016 Table Lodge Meeting
Lodge Devotion held its second table lodge on Saturday 19 March 2016 at Collingwood Masonic Centre. A Table Lodge is scripted and contains the “Ceremony of the Seven Toasts”. In between the scripted sessions there were quite a few entertaining speeches from the floor. Last year I wrote “Reflecting the flair of the night, the SW declares the lodge is “To erect temples to virtue and dig dungeons for vices.” A good table lodge should involve a lot of enthusiasm and gusto with a good measure of theatre. Scotch helps too!” All these elements were present at our last wonderful meeting.
Our 2015 Table lodge was an amazing night and I wondered if we would be able to recapture such an amazing evening, but indeed we did. We also beefed up the “theatre” with the Worshipful Master and Brothers Senior and Junior Warden donning period costume. It was amazing to see a tyler’s toast at about 10pm and not to see a single brother leave until long after it, I think the first brother went home an hour and a half after the tyler’s toast. That’s probably even rarer than wigs at lodge meetings! Three “amazings” in paragraph – all warranted.
Again this year we again dispensed with the usual raffle in favour of fining brethren. Our WM fined members and visitors alike without fear or favour. An amount ($1-$2) was occasionally nominated, but generally people just threw change of their own choosing into the metal container in the middle of the pavement – it got harder to do as the night wore on, and not just because we turned down the lights. Transgressions included “cannons” (glasses) misaligned, getting the movements in the toasts wrong, one poor visitor was fined for using big words, a member for swaying, the Tyler because his sword was not big enough. This was a lot of fun and brothers were loudly suggesting fines from their seats.
We often talk about “having fun in Freemasonry” but don’t see it enough... for some folk on Sunday morning – it became evident we had “too much fun”; if there is such a thing. To see so many brothers stay for so long after the table lodge closed, to see them laughing and smiling and talking always warms my heart – but a table lodge is a great way to spark that warmth and offer a rare Masonic experience.
Our WM also took the opportunity to quiz some of our newer brothers on questions about Masonic knowledge. Restricting the meeting to Freemasons only allowed this. In true Devotion style we married merriment with education and fellowship with wine and good food and even better company.
Special thanks to those who helped set and pack up and to Mark B for working on tweaking the words and format of our ceremony document.
(if I was ever tempted to put photographs of our members on this site, this is the article; our WM, SW and JW looked fantastic in their period costume of the 1700's)