Lockdown Catch-up

Hope you’re staying safe during the latest Lockdown. This is a quick review blog to let you know what the Lodge has been up to over the past 6 months.

I haven’t written a blog post for some months – for obvious reasons.

So today I thought I would give you a quick summary of the sorts of things that have been happening over the past six months or so.

Oak Tree Lodge Activity

Firstly, we are grateful that, so far, all our Brethren have remained safe and well during the pandemic. Several have had positive Covid tests but no severe effects. We are all very thankful for this.

We have held several get-togethers over ‘Zoom’ during the past months and those that were able and interested have joined in. It was certainly a fillip to chat and laugh with our Brethren again.

One Lodge meeting was held in September, under the “Rule of 6” guidance that was in operation at the time. At this meeting, most of the formalities for moving from Bisley to Farnham were raised, debated, and agreed upon. So the mechanics of the move are nearly complete – thanks to Bro Secretary for his tireless efforts with this.

If you’ve missed the saga of relocation you can read about it in a previous blog post.

An updated Lodge Profile has been produced, for submission to Province. This is a simple one-page summary of the Lodge, members, interests, etc. The Provincial team uses this when looking to allocate new members to Lodges. The Profile included information from the Lodge Survey we conducted last Summer.

Masonic Lockdown Learning

On a personal note, the Lockdown and suspension of normal activities led me to look elsewhere for Masonic knowledge and learning. While on Facebook, I came across a series of zoom presentations put together by Wilberforce Lodge 2134, Beverley, Yorkshire.

I have been involved with them since then, and listened to more than a dozen events on such topics as;

  • History of Freemasonry in 3 parts
  • First Degree Ceremony
  • Tracing Boards
  • Aprons and Gloves
  • William Hogarth’s Night
  • Pinocchio and Freemasonry
  • Freemasonry and the Wizard of Oz
  • And many more.

The attendance at these has grown from 20 or 30 initially to nearly 100 Brethren at the most recent events. With people tuning in from more than a dozen countries around the world and including a large contingent of Women Freemasons from the HFAF.

Last autumn the WM at Wilberforce Lodge initiated a Saturday morning Learning Circle and I have become an active member of that as well. The format here involves two or three of the members each week undertaking research and giving a short presentation on their findings.

For my part I have presented on six topics;

  • The Deacons’ Jewel
  • Columns
  • Son of Hapu
  • The Skirret
  • Fidelity
  • William Hogarth

The sessions are great fun and very informative – whether you are a presenter or a listener.

The ethos of this group has now spilled into a Facebook Group The Masonic Circle 2021 which is open for any Mason to join. Just search for us on Facebook or message me and I’ll send you an invite.

I’ve also been taking part in Learning sessions with the Manchester Level Club which has been enormous fun. The format here involves the attendees reading out parts from the slideshow, so it is really interactive and immersive, and quite unique (at least in my experience).

Get in touch if you’d like to find out more about Learning Circles and how you can set up one of your own.

With Lockdown restrictions being eased here in the UK, we are hopeful of getting back to meetings soon. Although our next scheduled meeting for mid-April won’t take place, we will almost certainly hold an emergency meeting in May or June to finalise the move and changes to our constitution. This will enable us to start afresh again in September.

Whatever you are up to, I hope you are keeping well and staying positive that this is nearly over.

Best wishes.

S&F – Paul C.

 

 

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