By Bro Ange K, MM
How many Brethren visit another Lodge other than their own ? For in that activity we meet our Brethren as equals, as persons of good conscience and as men dedicated to doing good by all that we swore to in each of our degrees.
Visiting other Lodges can take you to all points of the compass and to be greeted as if you were family by men who would otherwise be strangers to you.
One Freemason took his wife with him on a European holiday. Before departing on his trip he sought to locate a Lodge or two to visit whilst abroad. So imagine his delight, his surprise, and his faith in Freemasonry being strengthened (not that it needed it) when he arrived at Athens Airport.
They were greeted by a Brother who helped them get through the airport and then drove them to their hotel where the staff had already been politely advised that these travellers were “family”.
During their stay in Athens before heading off elsewhere they were taken to a number of venues, shown key sights but were never asked to pay for their hosts in any way.
Such is the special nature and the bonds between men that are deep rooted within Freemasonry.
I have visited Lodges both daylight and evening Lodges, week day and week end. North, East, West and South of my own mother Lodge. At times with twenty plus visitors – such is the known welcoming nature of some Lodges – down to visiting on my own, primarily because that wonderful Lodge met at a time in the day where most others were at work.
But in each and every case, men whom I had never met welcomed me with as much warmth as did friends whom I had known for many years. And that is in itself ‘something’ for newer Masons. You just never know whom you will meet when visiting a Lodge.
So I have caught up with my former Navy Chief Petty Officer, a man whom I always respected and regarded highly even when I was a recruit. And someone who has attained Grand Rank.
I have met old friends from years past, former teachers of my children, and a vast variety of men whom I have known for well over two decades.
I have spent time speaking with past MWGMs and felt so at ease in doing so because while such gentlemen may hold Grand Rank, they are most definitely not pretentious in any sense of the word.
And I have learned so much. Seeing the friendliness within other lodges, hearing lectures on a vast array of themes (not all of which are Masonic), observing how every Lodge operates the rituals of the Lodge and, in all, feeling the great positive aura that brethren create within a Lodge.
Of course, it is not always easy to visit other lodges, with family and work commitments. But please try this.
Visit Grand Lodge’s web site and its Lodge Directory. Type in the suburb and find a host of lodges meeting in that area. With their profiles and contact details. You will make new friends. A lodge is not that far away. A lodge where you coincidentally already know several Brethren. A lodge that invites you at a personal level.
Visiting reminds me of why I am a Mason and what it means to all good men and true. It maintains those thoughts and those commitments at the fore of our own thoughts, and isn’t that a good thing?
Go to Freemasons Victoria, and click; www.freemasonsvic.net.au/lodge-directory