The junior brethren of the lodge always try to put on a demonstration of the first-degree ceremony for our April meeting. And so it was this month. It’s a great opportunity for them to move up a position and learn the ritual associated with that post. They even get brand new members involved in reciting some of the shorter passages that are easier to learn.
The Assistant DC Mark Barlow held the reigns for several weeks of practice and put the guys through their paces. Every office in the lodge was filled by a junior member apart from the WM chair, which W.Bro Keith Bateman, the past master of Pendle Lodge filled for the evening and the SD role which was filled by another past master W.Bro Jack Thompson.
The demonstration commenced with the opening of the Lodge and the usual minutes and communications, then straight into the initiation ceremony itself, you could tell there were some nervous masons on the floor as ceremonial commenced, but after a good start everyone settled down and got on with the ceremony. The stand-in candidate was WBro Walter Coupe, who is grand in stature and not easy to bully around the lodge, however Bro. Jim Duerden managed admirably and poor Walter got away with nothing.
The big surprise of the night was the performance by our newest and by far youngest member, that being Josh Ashworth. Josh was asked to recite the “skin of a lamb” which is a brief explanation of the entered apprentice apron to the new candidate. He delivered that really well with feeling and accuracy. What surprised everyone next was when the explanation in the North East corner was to be given, Josh Ashworth rose again and also delivered this part of the ritual with the same feeling and accuracy as previous. You could have heard a pin drop. He certainly earned his stripes that night.
The rest of the officers performed exceedingly well, with Bro. Kevin Pickering delivering a prompt free and perfect charge in the First Degree and Bro. Ian Duxbury the explanation of the working tools in the degree. It was a remarkable evening of Masonry delivered by those junior members who were all out of their comfort zones and performing in some instance for the very first time on the floor of the Lodge. It was impressive, very Impressive indeed.