It seems like a long time ago since I was initiated back in 2008, in Masonic terms that’s just a drop in the ocean when we look at how brethren remain active members for 50-60 years, I believe that really says something about our fraternity! I was very fortunate to join a progressive, open-minded and forward-thinking lodge, St Peter’s Lodge No 7334 which embraced a need for change with open arms.
From early on in my Masonic career I was encouraged to share ideas, voice opinions and get involved, be that in ceremonial work or in the running of the lodge, this really stood me in good stead, having held every ‘floor’ office within my lodge. I naturally progressed and became Worshipful Master in 2015, which was nothing short of a brilliant experience. The personal development I have made in the previous years in areas such as public speaking, organisation, planning and working with others had transformed me as a person and gave me huge confidence, that as Master of the lodge I really could achieve great things. With the support of my wife, Jenna, we embraced this opportunity to guide the members into trying new lodge activities and to push the boundaries on what we had previously achieved. The outcome? A tremendous year, a happy and active lodge full of ceremonies, increased member participation and managing to raise a staggering £11,000 for a local charity. Where else could I have accomplished all that?
As founding Chairman of the Five of Nine Club, I have had an incredible time leading a brilliant team of dedicated and committed brethren in the formation, launch and continued success of what is undoubtedly one of UGLE’s greatest New and Young Masons Clubs. While it was not an easy task, and there were many hurdles along the way, the end result makes me so immensely proud. This experience has also had a profound effect on me, it has changed my outlook on my professional ambitions and has spurred me on in the next stages of my career.
Another area I became involved in was the Provinces Education and Development committee of which I have been a member since 2015, creating and then promoting the ‘three-year plan’ initiative and more recently the ‘20/20 Vision’ seminars has again propelled me into an entirely new arena with another personal challenge which I relished. The feedback from both has been great and we are looking forward to working on the next significant initiative.
So what has Freemasonry done for me? Too much to put into a short blog that’s for sure! From incredible experiences and meeting great people, to the immense amount of personal development, it has been a whirlwind of personal enrichment and one that I will forever be grateful for. One piece of advice I would offer any brother is: in life the more you put in, the more you get out, and this is undoubtedly true of Freemasonry, where you get back in bucket loads whatever you are willing to give.
Enjoy your Freemasonry and be Proud of who you are and what we do.