A double ceremony isn’t that unusual these days, but it was a first for a Lodge that had been struggling to survive for some time, but was determined to do so.
The Lodge is Hegeston Lodge, No. 5220, the venue Harrow Masonic Centre, and the newly-made Brethren Bill Gough and Benhur Gabagat.
Bro Bill works for RATPDEV as a Fleet Engineer, was introduced by Richard Shillingford who was an Engineering Director at the time.
An Arsenal supporter, he is one of a number of Lodge members involved in Public Transport.
He has close links with several relatives and friends who are Freemasons, and was looking to join a Lodge that he had some commonality with members but also had a reputation for being friendly and had a good social aspect.
Bro Benhur is a manager in the Private Health sector, and was introduced by Diones Estillero Jnr who works in the National Health Service.
He is a member of the wider Philippine community in West London, and he joins four of his fellow countrymen in the Lodge.
There is a great sense of community within his social circle, and the aims of Freemasonry are very compatible with how he lives and conducts himself. He is keen on socialising and supporting charitable institutions.
Hegeston Lodge has had a steady flow of joiners, offset by members leaving, or joining the country list, and the Lodge uses many means of spreading the word (including social media) about the good that Freemasonry does and the satisfaction to be got from the camaraderie, social gatherings, and being amongst like-minded folk that Freemasonry offers.
It has become very clear that the influx of newer, younger members has been achieved by a mix of the traditional introduction and the newer social calendar that allows for a softer, less officious first meeting with Freemasonry.
The role existing members play in taking time to meet potential candidates cannot be underestimated, and this, added to the fact that everyone clearly enjoys each other’s company, creates an excellent advertisement for the Craft.
Hegeston Lodge has five more candidates waiting to be Initiated, with the prospect of further candidates to come from their regular social functions.
The Lodge proves the maxim that “The more you put into Freemasonry the more you will get out of it”, and looks set to go from strength to strength.
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