Recently three members of Old Mancunians with Mount Sinai Lodge (one of the Province’s University Scheme Lodges) visited Invictus Lodge, No. 15, in the National Lodge of Romania, on the occasion of the Installation of Brother Rezwan Iqbal who was initiated into Old Mancunians Lodge in 2009. Invictus Lodge is English speaking Lodge in Bucharest which works the Scottish Rite but for the Installation the Ceremony is worked in Romanian.
The Installation itself was worked by the Assistant Grand Master of the National Lodge of Romania, RWBro Alexandru Lupu, who apologised to us for working the Ceremony in Romanian but he thought that we would find the ceremony similar to our own and would find no difficulty in following it. In fact the best way of describing the proceedings is that that they were at the same time very similar and entirely different to our own workings which made for a fascination evening. The Assistant Grand Master was right when he said we would follow the ceremony although it would appear that they have far more Ancient Charges and Regulations in Romania than we do in UGLE. The Assistant Grand Master explained that Romanian uses far more words than we do!
There were certainly parts of the ceremony that I could see us adopting although other parts that I do not think would go down so well with the more reserved nature of the English.
One major difference was that whist there were no ‘addresses’ to the Master Wardens and Brethren, anyone present was invited by the Master to speak in the Lodge Room and several did. This made it possible to have a very informal and relaxed Social Board where everyone had the opportunity to mingle.
The meeting took place in a Royal Palace which added to the splendour of the evening.
So far as the University Scheme itself is concerned, in addition to the Worshipful Master and our own WBro Mohamad Afsa, there were four other brethren present who had been initiated in Scheme Lodges, two in the University of Lancaster Lodge, one in the University of Sheffield and one in the University of London.
It was as a memorable occasion and a great reflection on the aims of the Scheme.