Back row, left to right: Henry Bentwood, Robin Quinn, Humza Yusuf, Kyriakos Iakovou, Aris Nefpaktits, Roderick Stewart, Tim Villanueva and Paul Rose.
Front row, Left to right: Avinash Narayanan, Atiq Khan, Brian Bonda, Albert Watkins, Andres Simion, Mo Afsa, Chris Armstrong, Jack Hartley, Leonardo Houman-Lai, Vimal Rajcoomar

Candidates in Italics

As a communications officer for the Province of East Lancashire – Manchester Area, I was asked to cover a 7-way initiation at Old Mancunians with Mount Sinai Lodge No 3140 on 26th November. I thought I’d go to see something in between bedlam, chaos and pandemonium. What I actually saw couldn’t have been further away from that.

This was more than just a 7-way initiation for the Lodge, it was also a multi-denominational initiation; 1 Buddhist, 1 Muslim, 2 Hindus and 3 Christians which, I understand, has not been done before in the Province of East Lancashire. I would be surprised if this has been done anywhere else either.

A table was placed in front of the pedestal containing 7 holy books, one for each of the candidates to take their obligation on.

The ceremony itself was conducted by WBro Mo Afsa ProvSGD, with him delivering perfect ritual throughout to the ‘Magnificent Seven’. As they were expertly taken around the Lodge room, with one candidate putting his hand on the shoulder of the one in front of him, the phrase of the blind(folded) leading the blind(folded) came to mind. It was an exceptional evening very much enjoyed by all the Brethren .

Old Mancunians with Mount Sinai Lodge has a tradition of multiple initiations as it is a Lodge affiliated with the University Scheme and hopefully this will be not be the last…I wonder if they could do 10 at once?