Last week I travelled to Launceston for work and as in the past I had arranged to visit a Lodge meeting .
On my travels , I was in transit awaiting in the Qantas club in Melbourne- Where I noticed a Gentleman dressed with a suit and two gold pins , The freemasons Square & compass and a musical staff.
My first thought- he was a member of a side order - Freemason Symphony Orchestra.
I eventually approached him and pointed to my pin- Square & Compass with Kangaroo ( I was incognito ), after a rigorous testing ( I believe we are in the same fraternity).
After some discussion, His name in Peter Stokes Lodge Sincerity WA and a Past Grand Master - Grand Lodge WA in Perth , and was in Melbourne for a meeting with other Grand lodge masters including our own Grand Master .
Again , he thought I was a Master or a grand master ? ( It must be my aurora ), I said no, I am just part of a Scottish Lodge !
I hope to see him again at the Grand Installation in July .
Now to the Lodge Visit in Launceston , St Andrews Lewis Last Thursday evening,
The secretary Wbro Rob Cleary collected me from my Cottage. The meeting Tyled at 7:30 pm.
The working was to be a 2nd degree, however the candidate Brother was a marine and his ship wasn't due back until the weekend, so the meeting became a 2nd Degree Emulation.
When I arrived, I was greeted by the brethren including two visitors from near Kingaroy, Father and Son - The son was to attend the Marine College in Launceston.
I was tested in a room near the Lodge room, by a member with a 65 year jewel - It was tough test and just scrapped through.
Normally visitors get access after the business section and the Lodge is opened, The Queenslander's were allowed in prior, so we sat through the business section-
Then a grand entrance of 5 Grand officers and past grand officers and then 5 other visitors and a third wave of visitors total visitors = 15-17 .
The average age of the members of this Lodge 68-90 years old. The youngest members were the organist around 45 years old and the Past Master 50 ish .
As Scotia the only Scottish Brother in the room , one of their members was signalling for me to drop the fidelity sign , during the ceremony ( I eventually ignored him and just did my own mother Lodge performance. Now picture this, there were over 40 people in the Lodge room, and only one Scotia member, doing something completely different to the other 40 ?
Because this email includes all members , I can't reveal the ritual , but all I can say, I have attended QC meetings, ACT meetings and South Australia meetings for the 2nd degree and even other Scottish Lodges for the 1st 2nd and 3rd .
The ritual and perambulation is totally and completely different - But the same and I highly recommending taking the opportunity to visit other Lodges anywhere.
It is difficult to explain, as per the true meaning of freemasonry, you are welcomed and are truly part of a Brotherly fraternity-
Launceston had over 22 lodges and now only 12 lodges, last Saturday they re consecrated a new lodge for the 4th time, now Launceston has 13 lodges.
Many of the members are from the old school, nearly 100% a members of each other lodges and are in more than one side degree ( red , cryptic and Royal arch and more ) - Absolutely no photos in the Lodge Room , which was ashame, the room was fantastic. I don't think they allow photos at the festive board
Festive board- ( No macduff ) No hand , heart pocket ) They touch their hand in three places???
In all, the visit was a fantastic experience- Since my attendance, two Brethren have contacted me, they hope to visit our Lodge in the near future.
The AGSW equivalent , invited me back to his Lodge a dinning Lodge Phoenix. four course meal.......
This the Scotia Travelling Roving report - stay tuned....