Proud Father Initiates Son into Freemasonryand the Rochester Castle Lodge no 9260
I was very privileged to be allowed to initiate my youngest son into our Lodge, Rochester Castle 9260 on wed 6th February this year. I had the same honour with his elder brother Jake a couple of years before and was looking forward to it very much. Well apart from wanting to do well with the ritual and recognising how much of a challenge I find that!
I was able to celebrate after the ceremony with members of this lodge, masons who had travelled from other lodges both here in Medway, Essex and London. Several of our friends had also travelled some distance to attend the meeting, which I think James recognised as being important.
Freemasonry has enabled me to meet people from all walks of life, who would have thought I would enjoy going clay pigeon shooting most weekends, with the East Kent Clay Pigeon Shooting Club?
That is part of what I wanted to introduce James to, the variety and opportunity of a worldwide fellowship that is masonry. The potential to spread your wings and enjoy freemasonry is vast, or if you prefer just stay within your own lodge and stick to craft masonry if that’s what you feel happiest with. No one forces anyone to join anything or go anywhere, but I think its important to let people know what’s possible and available! As long as we get the appropriate clearances, we can visit lodges throughout the world and in my experience, they are very pleased to see someone who has taken that trouble to do so.
I had messages of good will from a good friend of mine whose lodge I have visited several times on the Eastern Cape of South Africa!
I am sure James will find the whole experience occasionally bewildering and odd and on the face of it that’s not surprising, the language and rituals are by their nature arcane and whilst off putting at first, if one takes the time to study and unravel them then that is when the secrets of Freemasonry are revealed.
I hope he finds them the way I have, how long that takes, what they are for him, is between him and Freemasonry.
Here is James take on the evening:-
On the 6th February 2019 I was honoured to be initiated as an Entered Apprentice Mason in the Rochester Castle Lodge. I attended alongside my Dad, Ian, and Brother, Jake. However, by the end of the ceremony I left the lodge with more brothers than it would be practical to specify. It was this very same sense of fraternity that fuelled my enthusiasm to become a Mason. To be a part of a unique group of friends; brothers; comrades; to learn and contribute in quite a distinctively special way.
Despite not quite knowing not what was going on, both ceremonially due to my lack of experience, and visually due to the masonic blindfold, I felt well looked after throughout my initiation. It was bizarre and nerve-racking, but also exciting. There was a strong atmosphere in the room which I’m looking forward to experiencing again and again in Masonry, for years to come.
Afterwards we enjoyed dinner and a couple of drinks (a festive board I gather) which was certainly quite festive. It was good to see a few faces I knew, who had taken the trouble to travel down to Rochester to see my installation and it was nice to meet some new people as well. I can see how much Dad and Jake get out of freemasonry and I am sure we will all be having a few good experiences together in the years to come.