I was trying to explain to our new candidate Ian Duxbury, that the ritual he experienced on the night wasn’t just for him. I made the same assumption 20 years ago, but it was only after being a Freemason for several years and being involved in the ritual work on the floor that you begin to realise the reality of what is going on.
I went on to explain that although he was the centre of the initation ceremony, and indeed the very reason we could in fact perform it, the fact remained that each and every officer on the night was delivering their part of the ceremony for probably the first time in their masonic career and demonstrating to themselves and their fellow masons they are worthy and qualified to be in that respective office, and capable of making the next step in their progress to the Worshipful Masters chair.
Ian, being the man he is, very capable with the written word, and also the not so commonly used phrase, acquitted himself well during his initiation ceremony, and although he has to repeat a lot of prompted dialogue, it was clear and audible in the lodge for all to hear. In fact the J.D. commented on how easy his job had been on the night and had he done this sort of thing before. Kevin should be proud of his performance as J.D., it was razor-sharp all round, plus he avoided the usual pitfalls that arise during the ceremony. It was a pleasure to witness the entire proceedings. As we will be losing Kevin to a far warmer climate shortly, if J.D. is as far as he ever advances in Freemasonry, he can be very proud of his work on the night and take the knowledge that, he was J.D. in Pendle Lodge, and he conducted a candidate for his initiation ceremony, wherever he goes.
Initiation ceremonies, due to their very nature of welcoming a new brother into the craft, always attract more than the usual number of visitors, but on this evening the J.W. reported that 22 visitors were in attendance which made a huge difference to the atmosphere in the lodge room and also added to the importance of the occasion. I am of the opinion that visitors also bring with them a certain pressure for the officers to ensure their ritual is delivered well, or is that just the D.C. in me coming out. Borough and Ashlar Lodge turned up with their latest candidate of less than a weeks experience; Bro Dan Bradshaw, along with 13 other brethren from the lodge. The furthest travelled visitors must have been Dave Turvey and Dave Large from North Wales, who made the journey across the border to see a fellow motorcyclist initiated into Freemasonry.
The social board after the ceremony was a very joyous affair with a huge portion of food ably distributed by stewards and press ganged members of Pendle.
It was a splendid evening and reminiscent of the initiation ceremonies of days gone by.