Saturday 10th February saw the Five Of Nine Club go visiting!
Freemasons Hall, Bristol is a truly stunning building and a real "hub" for Masonry in the area. The substantial exterior opens onto an impressive high ceiling reception area where we were greeted and made exceptionally welcome by numerous members of the Scoutcraft Lodge.
Along with the sumptuous surroundings, it was obvious the effort and dedication of the members of the Lodge, under the guidance of W Bro Phil Wills, the Worshipful Master. With 60 Brethren in attendance, it was a superb ceremony in splendid surroundings and all from a Lodge that was only consecrated a year ago! Truly exceptional.
If you have not witnessed Bristol Workings, it would be spoiling the spectacle to reveal too much. Needless to say, there were many differences and quirks, with nods to ancient workings and a fair few surprises for even experienced Masons, let alone the candidate!
We were honoured to be at the initiation of Brother Butters. He gave an excellent account of himself in a superbly directed and performed ritual. It was more extensive than our Warwickshire (Emulation) workings and with a greater emphasis on the Worshipful Master who conducted his team splendidly and performed some excellent work. It was wonderful to see such an obviously close-knit and dedicated Lodge welcoming their new Brethren, supported by a number of the Provincial team.
After the ceremony, we were treated to a tour of the hall and its many rooms by the Club Secretary of our Bristolian counterparts for New and Young Masons, the Dunkerleys. The respect and pride in their facilities were obvious by the fantastic commentary and history provided with a nod to the Brethren who personally assisted in the maintenance and restoration of the rooms and the furnishings.
Along with a truly splendid and plentiful lunch (I am certain there were some passengers napping on the way back!) and fantastic speeches we were also treated to a Bristolian "Yell". The Scoutcraft Lodge hold their heritage dear and the after meeting (festive board) is no exception.
It truly was a superb day, from the atmosphere and surroundings, the splendid Temple, presentation of ritual and the total fraternity of the Lodge, their visitors and guests.
Experiencing the Bristol workings was far more than a day out. It's a must-see and we're looking forward to a return visit on the Five of Nine Calendar.