Nailsea Masonic Hall was the venue for the latest Initiates’ Evening to be hosted by the Provincial Membership Team, held on Friday 27th October.
The purpose of these informal yet structured evenings is to enable new Masons, and their partners, to engage directly with members of the wider Membership Team, outside of their usual Lodge settings. An early appreciation of the structure of Freemasonry and its core principles is crucial for the steady development of our new members, thus enabling them to really enjoy their membership through a well-informed and regular schedule of mentoring.
It is just as important that our partners and close family members also have a sound understanding of our institution, so that our undoubted reliance on their wholehearted support will be strengthened through their knowledge of it. It was very pleasing to see that almost all of the new members at the meeting were accompanied by their partners. Forty nine in total, including partners, as well as three Candidates yet to be Initiated.
Our ability to enhance greater public awareness and appreciation of our positive influence as a force for good in our communities is undoubtedly helped by ensuring that our members have a good practical understanding of our work, which they are then confidently able to convey to others. The meeting was opened by Provincial Mentor, Dave Flack, who then handed over to APGM, Tony Guthrie, who gave a warm welcome to all and introduced the additional Provincial Officers who had attended to lend their support to the occasion.
APGM, Richard Winter, then spoke about the importance of community engagement and the positive ways that we can project ourselves within our communities.
This was then backed-up by Assistant Provincial Charity Steward, Steve Collings, giving an overview of our current effectiveness in providing charitable support, through financial and practical service, both locally and nationally. The history and role of the Almoners was then explained by Provincial Almoner, Adrian Robson, who also outlined the Masonic support available to members and their dependants.
The importance of gaining a strengthening membership, supported by effective mentoring within Lodges, was outlined by Provincial Membership Officer, Barrie Palmer, Dave Flack and Tony Guthrie. Somerset’s Adair Club Chairman, Mike Norton also explained the benefits available to newer Brethren through proactive engagement with the successful club.
A fine buffet, prepared by Nailsea Masonic Hall’s catering team, was then enjoyed by all, after which, a very lively and searching open-floor Q&A session was fielded by the Membership Team, with most of the questions being asked by the wives and partners.
Tony Guthrie then thanked the participants and closed the meeting, after which, many conversations and debates continued in the same positive and friendly atmosphere that had prevailed throughout.
Further such meetings are planned for 2024 and will be notified once the dates and locations have been confirmed. If you were unable to make this meeting, or the one previously held at Bridgwater in September, please make every effort to attend with your partner next year if you can. Judging by the feedback already received, you won’t be disappointed!