Out with the Old, In with the New

A Report by W. Bro Frank O’Keeffe

The closure of the Staines Masonic Centre has meant several lodges having to find a new masonic home.

For the Bushey Park Lodge, No. 2381 especially, this prompted an “all hands on deck” reaction, as they responded to the need to move centres, at the same time preparing for a double-third degree.

Nothing so exceptional about that”, I can almost hear you older members cry, “seen it all before”.

However, what makes this particular series of events that bit more exceptional, is that they don’t have a single member who actually lives in the Province of Middlesex and as a result of the distances to travel, don’t have a regular LOI.

Everything had to be coordinated by phone and email to effect the move, and prepare for the double ceremony.

The move went smoothly, largely as a result of the excellent help and cooperation they received from Cole Court in the planning and administration.

Luckily, many of the items required to hold a meeting were already present at their new home, but their Warden’s columns, Tyler’s sword, Working Tools and other smaller items made the journey with them to Cole Court, to continue the links to their past history.

Double Dosage –

The double Ceremony was on behalf of the Caribbean Lodge, No. 4826, a lodge participating in the Universities scheme, who have more work than they can handle at this time.

This a real indication of how successful the scheme has become in attracting younger Initiates to the Craft.

Five members of Caribbean Lodge were present at the ceremony.

One of them, Bro. Amandeep Singh, delivered the explanation of the 3rd Degree’s working tools.

Incidentally – the quality of the work delivered by these young masons is exemplary and inspirational.

When you consider that they are generally only at University for 3 years and are still able to find time to learn the Ritual amongst all their other studies is quite remarkable.

The Ceremony of Raising was carried out by the WM of Bushey Park Lodge, WB Jeorge Asare-Djan, ably assisted by his IPM, W. Bro Andrew Pettinger, and their DC Anthony Muirhead.

Both Deacons were active throughout the whole of the ceremony too.

From the Ends of the Earth –

What was astonishing is the fact that the Lodge cannot hold a regular LOI due to the distances the active officers have to travel.

The furthest comes from Northumberland (round trip approaching 700 miles) with another travelling from Cheshire (round trip roughly 400 miles) and others from Inner London, Surrey, West Sussex and Kent.

It can be assumed there is a wealth of experience and masonic knowledge on the part of those members who participated.

The Lodge welcomed 17 visitors from Middlesex, Surrey, London, Berkshire, Hertfordshire, Derbyshire and Northumberland, who were treated to an excellent Ceremony of West End Working followed by a convivial and enjoyable Festive Board.

Bushey Park Lodge and the Caribbean Lodge are keen to maintain this working partnership and both look forward to many such meetings in the future.

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