Museum of Freemasonry - Masonic Library

I was sitting in the South after my lodge meeting earlier this week. I was talking with some of my brethren. In the course of our conversation it was revealed that two of them had recently been to the funeral of a long standing member of the lodge.

Apart from the usual remembrances, they were both amazed about the information that they had learned about the recently deceased brother. They had sat with him in lodge and in the South over forty years. They had had many conversations with him. But it turned out that they really did not know him at all. For nowhere else had they learned more about the Brother’s life outside of Masonry than they did when sitting at his funeral.

So, one of the brothers raised the suggestion that all brethren should be asked to give a brief talk about themselves. This would also include all the brethren from the longest serving brother to the newly initiated or affiliated brother. But especially upon being initiated or newly affiliated etc.

All brethren should be encouraged to give a brief biographical talk about themselves and their lives outside of Masonry. Not in the lodge room but in the more relaxed surroundings of the festive board in the South. The talk should be brief but should include some of their past history and activities outside of the lodge. What is their employment / profession, their leisure time interests and activities. Sporting, family and any other topics which make us who we are.

For instance. Apart from the details most brethren already know about me. Do they realise that I like to shot. That I am member of a number of community / volunteer organisations. I am a member of Pioneer Clubhouse, St John Ambulance and Coastguard. I am also a Cub / Scout Leader and a member of the Scout Heritage Fellowship. Apart from umpiring cricket I also enjoy tracing my family history, writing poetry and taking photographs.

As you can see. The talk does not have to be in much detail. But by sharing information about your life with others you will enjoy life and masonry that much better. You will also find other brethren who may have some of the same interests themselves. You don’t want to go to a Masonic funeral in twenty years only to find out that you really did not really know the brother at all.

So, don’t be afraid of not talking to the brother sitting next to you in lodge or in the South. Communicate, not only about masonry but your outside life as well. Because whilst freemasonry is at the heart of life, it is not all of your life.