Be a Part of the Way Forward
A message from Assistant Provincial Grand Master Roger Waltham
The future of Freemasonry is, in large part, reliant upon the perception of it with ‘those who are not Masons’. Without there being a positive view of Freemasonry with the general public, it will become increasingly more difficult to attract new members to this wonderful fraternity.
In earlier times our fraternity was entirely open about itself and it was considered generally to be a privilege to be a Freemason; the mark of a good man and pillar of the community. Then, during the late 1930s and throughout the Second World War, we became an inward-facing organisation in an endeavour to protect members and their families in the face of an anticipated Nazi invasion. That secrecy then became a habit which, as new members were Initiated into that mind-set, became a widespread culture of secrecy throughout the organisation. That culture of secrecy became deeply embedded in everyone who became a Freemason in this country from the 1940s until very recently.
A huge amount of work has been done over the last fifteen years to encourage an improved public perception of the fraternity. We have become increasingly more open about what we do, where we do it, how we do it, and why we do it. That strategy has included open days at Masonic Halls, appearances at County Shows and other public events, and various additional public-facing initiatives, such as mobile display units and exhibition marquees. There has also been a massive increase in our engagement with the Press and Broadcast Media across the land.
Here in East Kent, we have embraced all of that activity with considerable energy, enthusiasm and commitment. In this Province we also have the huge benefit of a Masonic Museum, which is open daily to the public. We have been trailblazers in the use of modern communications channels such as our world-class Masonic website and social media, especially Facebook and Twitter. Our mobile display unit is out most weekends throughout the year, taking the message of Freemasonry to the communities around us.
It can often be seen in the busy High Streets around the Province and, along with the Exhibition Marquee, frequents summer fetes and other outdoor community events. By engaging with the communities around us, we are providing a very positive influence on people’s perceptions as they begin to understand our core values, such as integrity, respect, and care and concern for others.
Professional marketing, business development, or sales experience, are all very useful skill-sets to lend to the fraternity, as is a generally outgoing personality, friendliness, ease of speech and willingness to engage with members of the public. Equally helpful are wordsmithery skills, photography know-how, web development expertise and an understanding of the use of social media for organisations. All that and more is needed.
Be it as a face-to-face ambassador manning the mobile display unit, a copy-writer engaging with the local Press, a social media champion, a backroom boy maintaining and updating website articles, or any of the other aspects of our communications presence and activity, to be an active part of the communications team is to be an essential and key player in the future of this Province
If that appeals to you, I’d love to explore the possibility with you, so please drop me an email with your name and phone number and I’ll call you, personally, very soon.
Roger Waltham PSGD AsstProvGM
Head of Communications for the Masonic Province of East Kent