“Ashford Open Day Success”
A great Day
New Members for Ashford
Open Day report by Kevin Stones
It really could not have been a more dreadful Saturday November day, cold, rain and wind.
But we Band of ‘Ashford Open Day Brothers’ were up early and all converging on The Masonic Hall, North Street, Ashford for an 8am set up for our Family Open Day. Some of us from further afield, one dealing with a puncture en route but he made it!
There was a lot to do, each Lodge responsible for its own ‘pitch’ with its various exhibits. You can imagine the fevered rush to set up the banners in the Temple, the putting out of the brochures and literature. Setting up the informative UGLE video loop by WBro John and Mrs West.
Each of the eight Ashford Lodges dressing their display tables with their own unique regalia, antique gavels, working tools, unique tracing boards, historic jewels, on the street the distribution of flyers by WBro Nigel Mann, East Kent Light Blues Brothers, Masonic Fishing Club and TLC Teddy’s raising £100 by the ever-ebullient WBro Miki Travis.
Everyone producing an awesome display of masonic involvement in the community and of course memorabilia over the years, it really was a superb effort. So just before 10am I opened our doors to our prospective guests.
Visiting the Lodge
Slowly our visitors joined us and were gently ‘chaperoned’ around the tabled displays, lots of questions were posed and answered. A quick coffee or tea and biscuit was grabbed, sponsored by Bro Phillip Hartley-Barkas. Lodge of Loyalty.
11 o’clock the Mayor of Ashford Cllr Larry Krause and his escort Lady Mayoress Sue arrived, umbrellaed through the driving rain into the warmth of the Masonic Hall, firstly halting for a chat with the Guide Dogs team members, who explained ‘our’ generous recent donations really make a difference.
Then up stairs to the table displays of the Lodges of Ashford memorabilia, which the Mayor found incredibly interesting, comfortably stopping at length at each lodge table, particularly at the Order of Lady Freemasons exhibit and TLC Teddy Bears.
Mr Mayor was now escorted down into the Temple, stopping for seat at the Film Show, then on for a private tour of the various officers’ chairs and explanation of the chequered flooring, tracing boards and a run through of the various offices responsibilities in the lodge which generated some interesting questions from Mr Mayor and his escort.
All this time our other ‘guests’ were arriving and treated to the same courtesies which, by day’s end, I’m so delighted to announce it seems to have promulgated some very serious enquiries from 4-5 younger gentlemen into joining the organisation and some 3-4 ladies to further enquire regarding joining the The Order of Women Freemasons.
I’m so happy to applaud the ‘Open Day Team’ who worked so very hard, pulling together, in the same direction and producing a highly successful day for the Province. As was to be expected there were no great numbers of guests on a wet and windy day, on a quiet back street but “hey” quality counts not quantity isn’t that what we brethren say?
It was pointed out by one of the members, who else could of mustered together a large number of brethren from the eight Ashford Lodges in one room, all of whom put their all into producing a ‘jolly good show’, we were unified and thoroughly enjoyed the day, a positive result all round I think! Thanks Brethren All.
Too numerous to mention but you know who you are.
The Teams grateful thanks must go to WBro Nigel Mann and W. Bro Richard Wingett (for sponsoring our ‘flyers’) both for their help and wise counsel on all matters ‘Open Day’
Signed WBro. Kevin D. Stones Open Day Organiser.