Friday the 29th of September saw the South East area’s first ever ‘Newly-Made Masons’ evening held in a private room at the Still & West public house in Old Portsmouth. The event was organised and hosted by Ben Paterson and supported by Luc Semmens, Greg Moseley and Simon Sandham – from the area Events team. The purpose of the evening was to give new masons in the area an opportunity to meet other new brothers and learn more about the craft in an informal setting.
Ten new masons attended, for a total of 14 at the event. They consisted of entered apprentices, fellow crafts and a couple of new master masons – all while enjoying a nice meal in a relaxed setting. After we all introduced ourselves and got to know one another, the brethren were given a full explanation of the masonic structure within their lodge, the province and the country. They were also shown the different aprons we use and what they represent. The majority of the evening was then spent in friendly Q&A in a ‘safe’ environment, giving the brothers a chance to explore the craft and ask questions they might be hesitant to ask in their own lodges around experienced masons.
Everyone was candid and fully engaged in the evening. It was great to see the realisation in the brethren that they were all experiencing the same thing and had similar questions. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive for the evening; more meetings have been requested and visits are being planned to each other’s lodges. The group will certainly look to get together again and has even suggested we hold a similar event once a year to bring along their friends who may be interested in joining the craft. The dine-a-friend evenings are certainly a great initiative but the informal setting of this evening could also prove to be a valuable tool in bringing in excellent men into freemasonry.