On Thursday, 6th July, WBro Doug Smith & WBro Russell Perks attended St Paul`s Church Hall in Norden, Rochdale, to present a presentation about Freemasonry (Do you want to know a secret) to Norden`s Women Institute. Chris Wolstenholme, President of the Norden Women’s Institute, introduced WBro Smith and Perks to the 30 members in attendance, eagerly awaiting the presentation.
During the presentation, WBro Smith noted the comparisons that both the women’s institute and freemasonry have in common and was also dismayed by the myths circulated about freemasonry, i.e., misinformation and conspiracy abound. Is it a benign organisation or one bent on subverting government?
He explained that freemasonry is defined instead by a commitment to universal brotherhood and self-improvement, enabling you to develop social skills, a desire to support and bring happiness, and make lifelong friends. WBro Smith explained the charity work that Freemasons do for both Masonic and non-masonic charities and how Freemasons have donated to local and national charities and international relief funds for natural disasters worldwide. He also explained that charity work is not just by donating money, but also by the time that freemasons donate hours of volunteering work for community projects, i.e., Foodbanks and many more.
He broadly explained what happens in the Festive Board and the lodge room. Both are an essential part of any Masonic meeting; It allows the brethren to enjoy the social side of Freemasonry and the more formal ritual.
The presentation was brought to an end with a question-and-answer session, to which some excellent questions were raised by the members and answered. After the questions, it was time for a well-deserved cup of tea and biscuits and even time to show the members of the institute some masonic regalia. WBro Smith and Perks was given a round of applause by all the members who said they enjoyed the presentation, and afterwards, discussed arranging a tour of Rochdale Masonic buildings with a spot of lunch.