Visit at Hicks Beach Lodge 2407. Province of Gloucestershire, England
By Bro. John Densem on Tuesday 18 December 2018
An esteemed Bro. Alec Ingram, a resident near Gloucester, graciously invited me to attend Lodge with him during my recent Christmastide visit to England. What an experience! To start with, not just an Invitation, but a printed Summons! Dress code of dark suit and white gloves. And what became a talisman, the guest tie marking me as a special visitor, but not with any magical
powers. A warm welcome ensued.
Hicks Beach…no, not a sandy beach, but a Lodge named after a distinguished Brother. Heavy, joyous attendance by some 50+ Brothers, flowing libations preceding Lodge business, but all conducted in a manner most respectful and ceremonious. The Stated Meeting was followed by a noisy and delicious Festive Board, with many toasts by the Director of Ceremonies (an official Lodge Officer) and jovial repartee, punctuated by many rounds of Masonic salutations, more elaborate than our battery of ‘Three Times Three’.
Our Brethren mean business when it comes to Candidates! A ballot, and then immediately proceed to initiation! Very interesting, indeed, that this Lodge’s room has no altar at its center. All initiation takes place at the foot of the Master in the East, with very limited perambulations compared to our Degree work. Similar ritual, although I was surprised by the variations in the First Degree Charge, which seemed to go on and on, after where ours finishes.
The Festive Board included Pulled pork croquettes, Chicken, bacon and Leek Pie, Crème Brulee, cheese and biscuits, and much more refreshment, during the Board and, later, at the Bar! In your travels, do try to attend a Lodge event! It is eminently rewarding! And thanks, again, Bro. Ingram!
Bro. John Densem