We asked all the members of the Lodge what Freemasonry means to them. This is David’s response:-
Why did you become a Freemason – what attracted you?
My father-in-law was a Freemason and he would tell me little bits about the Lodge and how much he enjoyed going to the meetings. He invited me to a Ladies’ Festival and I met some of the members there and started chatting to them about what it was they did and after a while getting to know a few people I asked how I might join.
What makes my Lodge and Freemasonry special?
So many things go towards making it special. You get involved in your Lodge and its life first and then after a while you become aware that there is more to it than a few meetings a year. It is larger, more diverse and the more you get involved the more different avenues open up. My Lodge members are a constant in my life. They are in some way friends but perhaps different from your normal friends and acquaintances. Because we all have a common interest we ‘gel’ in a completely different way and I look forward to meeting them in a friendly welcoming environment somehow free from the normal worries and pressures of life.
What do I most enjoy about Freemasonry?
The people I think. You meet so many different people from all walks of life. As you have a common interest, the ice is broken in some ways and it is easy to start up conversations, meet new people and strike up lasting friendships with some great people who are just like you in thought and attitude.
What does it have that, maybe, other activities/hobbies/clubs do not – what makes it unique?
I often wonder what is different about it and having been involved in Rotaract (young Rotarians) and spoken to those in Round Table, Lions and so on I think it is a couple of things.
Yes, we encourage charitable giving both of our time and money but our meetings have something different because we also have a learning and sharing element inside the Lodge. We learn ceremonies, take part within them and listen and learn from those. I don’t know anything like it in terms of how it allows members to take as big or small a part as they wish in its life and activities.
You probably didn’t know this about Freemasonry and Petts Wood Lodge?
The Lodge was started by many members of the Press / Printers. Back in those days trains ran through the night to Blackfriars but because they could meet on a Saturday and the railway station was nearby (Bromley South). The members could work their Saturday morning shift and come straight to the meeting. Often the Agenda (we call it a Summons) would have the train timetable published so the members had no excuse to be late!
What are the top three reasons for joining – why you should join?
1. My top reasons for joining would be that you get to meet a lot of people who share your own values and because of that, I find I get on with so many of them. We all have different backgrounds, abilities and yet through Freemasonry I’ve met some of the most amazing people and have a wider circle of friends.
2. Ever wondered if there was something interesting out there, unusual, something that has stood the test of time, challenges you to think differently? Freemasonry may be worth a look. It has a history, stories, companionship, challenges, and comfort, it is different things to different people and yet somehow steadying and traditional too.
3. Fun! Yes, fun even though it sounds like something fuddy-duddy, it is fun and I feel refreshed and uplifted after meeting with the members even if it is just a casual encounter with someone I’ve met or know. You should try it.
I would sum up Freemasonry in the following words?
Comradeship, fun, traditional, self-advancement, fun, charity, friendliness and did I mention fun?