Monday February 20th saw a packed Mill House Masonic Hall in Clayton-le-Moors with over 50 Brethren to support the first in a series of White Table events to be held around the District over the coming months. These form part of the East Ribble District Tercentenary celebration events and the plan is to hold one event in each of the Masonic Rooms and the first fell to St Aidan No. 6339 to act as hosts. The initiative is run by the Lodge Membership Officers under the guidance of WBro Dave McGurty PProvGSwdB, with the aim of the event is to give non-masons an opportunity to experience an evening of Freemasonry with a full schedule of events including a meet and greet at the beginning of the evening, a visit into the working Lodge followed by a full Masonic Festive Board. Lodges meeting at Mill House were encouraged to invite as many guests as they could, and on the evening six non-masons were welcomed to the Lodge.
Whilst the Lodge was opened in the usual manner the guests were shown what happens before a meeting, and included an explanation of the Tyler’s book and dressing for the meeting.
The Lodge was called off and the guests escorted in and seated in the NW corner. WBro David Lightbown PAGDC District Chairman, introduced the evening and the principal guest WBro John Farrington PSGD APGM. WBro Lightbown continued to explain a little about the structure of Freemasonry and alluded to the Tercentenary and its significance for Freemasonry nationwide.
Following his welcome, he introduced WBro Steve Crowther PProvSGD from DeLacy Lodge No. 4591 who gave a short presentation highlighting some of the traditional history of Freemasonry and what the various roles of the officers were. He concluded by referencing the variety of regalia from Entered Apprentice to Grand Lodge Officer. His presentation attempted to relate the ancient nature of Freemasonry with a modern twist to make it relevant to a non-masonic audience.
A question and answer session then followed before the guests were escorted from the Lodge so the remainder of the business could be concluded. This included the presentation of a Grand Lodge Certificate to Bro Michael Gosling by WBro Farrington.
A full festive board was held following the meeting, where the guests could complete the full experience before departing with their hosts. A wonderful evening of Freemasonry with a full itinerary of activities which it is hoped left the guests inspired and wanting more.
The next White Table event will be held at Darwen Masonic Hall on the 3rd April.