Birmingham New Street saw the arrival of smartly dressed men with a very modern tie on the morning of Saturday 25th February, the Five of Nine Club's rendezvous point for the trip to London!
Once the coach arrived we were soon on board and London bound, there was a real buzz in the coach and everyone was discussing what we were to expect from the home of English Freemasonry, having past Five of Nine Club President WBro Phil Hall supporting us gave us an opportunity to hear stories of the workings of Grand Lodge that only someone like him could provide.
Arriving at Great Queen Street we headed... straight to the bar! A few beers and a light lunch in what is undoubtedly one of the most famous bars to find Masons in ‘The Pillars’ was well needed before we made our way over to Freemasons Hall.
Once inside this incredible building the club's members were amazed at what they saw, this Art Deco wonder built as a memorial of peace, funded purely by donations off Masonic Lodges from across the Constitution. We made for the Library and Museum where our tour was set to start and what a tour it was, taking in the Provincial Grand Masters Robing room, the incredible processional corridor and the entrance through the proofing gates into what must be the grandest Masonic Temple in the world; entering through two huge bronze doors walking down towards the black and white carpet, the look on the faces of our members was priceless as they tried to take in the immenseness of this room.
We were given an in depth explanation of the room and its symbolism and even treated to a performance on the organ which had been recently refurbished.
After the tour finished we stayed on in the Grand temple where WBro Phil shared some of his experiences of his time as a Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies and we all took it in turn to sit in the Grand Masters Chair, it’s good to have aspirations you know!
We then headed to the Tercentenary exhibition where we were fortunate enough to be given a personal explanation of many of the items on show by the exhibition’s curator, this led to him commenting on our club tie and we still can't believe it but we managed to get our club tie on display in one of the cabinets on; Freemasonry in its current form and moving into the future! Some serious browny points scored for WBro Phil Hall and our Chairman Dan Thomas.
We took ten minutes to relax in the drawing room on the sofas below paintings of famous Freemasons including none other than American President Bro George Washington before heading off to room four to join up with our sister club The Connaught Club for young Freemasons in London at their Lodge Burgoyne. We were treated to a fantastic ceremony of passing and were astounded at the number of young men coming together purely to enjoy the Craft, an incredible explanation of the extended second degree tracing board just put the icing on the cake of wonderful meeting.
After the meeting we made our way through Covent Garden to the Radisson Edwardian where dined with Burgoyne Lodge, and what a feast it was, washed down with a few glasses of grape juice. We were made extremely welcome by the brethren and able to share our experiences of New and Young Masons clubs, learning off each other at what works best and what the future holds. It is an exciting time for our club and we know that with the support of our Senior Executive, the Province and Grand Lodge we will move forward stronger together.
The coach journey home was quite a peaceful one, were not sure what was in the grape juice but it certainly did the trick! We arrived back into Birmingham at about 1am full of knowledge and experience, for many there was more than one items ticked off their bucket list!
It was a great day with great people building and strengthening relationships, all with a shared interest, our love of Freemasonry. Please keep an eye on our social media and the website for some really great news of upcoming events and activities.
By D. Thomas