My journey into free Masonry started about a year ago. Joining at such a young age (Twenty years old) has been an enlightening and nerve racking journey into the unknown. There are many reasons why we joined Free Masonry. Some like the sense of belonging; others like the application of our principles into the conduct of our lives. It is safe to say that there are many reasons why we become Free Masons.
However one of the most beautiful aspects of Free Masonry is the illustration of symbols. The saying, ‘a picture can speak a thousand words’, could not had rang so true in my trip to the Grand Lodge of England. The day was marked with an extremely early start considering how students do not normally wake up at 7am regularly. Nevertheless, traveling with lodge members from Mansfield and Nottingham was rather refreshing. Despite being the youngest and not knowing a single face, my brethren took little time to initiate conversation with me when we stopped off for a break. To hear from more experienced members describe their journey through Free Masonry was quite interesting as no one’s journey was the same. Discussion of the festival came up and admittedly this impressed me quite a bit. Not only do we aim to improve ourselves both morally and spiritually, but we also aim to improve the lives of others by working as a ‘band of brothers’. This was one of the reasons why I joined Free Masonry. The ability to neglect all backgrounds and to come together under one banner to work towards a common goal really attracted me to the organisation.
We finally arrived in London and we were whizzed to the Grand Lodge. Upon exiting the coach, a wonderful sand stoned monument stood in front of me. There are few buildings in Nottingham that can match the grandeur of the Grand Lodge, so understandably I was taken back. I assumed that I could not be amazed any further. Oh how wrong I was! A room full of ornaments showed the rich heritage and history that were passed down by those before us. However the main room of the lodge just took my breath away! Decorated in symbols, we were impressively guided through each symbol and its significance. For those that have not yet visited the lodge, I will recommend taking a few minutes to appreciate the mosaic ceiling consisting of approximately 7000 pieces. Not only is the feat impressive, but a minute of appreciation should be paid towards the workmanship of the individuals who constructed such a master piece.
Originally I was unsure what I will take from the trip. First, I knew there was quite a large spectrum of ages between me and my fellow brethren, and second, I knew no one on the bus. However this did not affect the enjoyment of the trip. I was welcomed with open arms. Not only that, but I learned a lot about Free Masonry. Each symbols and its meanings can be applied to our lives. Take for example the lodge’s carpet, it is black and white to remind us that life is constantly changing and at no point does life stay still. Even though we know these facts to be true we still require constant reminders in how best to live a moralistic and wise life.
Conclusively, there are a lot we can get out of Free Masonry, whether it is friendships or lessons for life. There is always something for everyone. I recommend attending events in other lodges as you are always warmly welcomed and it is always an enjoyable time when wine and alcohol starts flowing.
By Anthony Cheung
Duke of Portland Lodge