~Jon Sage, February 8, 2017
A question that is always interesting to me, and perhaps one in which the answer and reasons sometimes change over the course of one’s lifetime and career, is WHY did you do something? In terms of Freemasonry, we hear quite often… or perhaps are asked by others- “Why did you join”? Could you answer this question? And if so, would your present answer have the same answers or reasons which you might have given when entering a Lodge for that very first time?
For myself, I would say that the original reason(s) I joined were to broaden my social horizons (to meet new and like minded men in my community), to work on bettering and sharpening some of my spiritual aspects, and last but not least- that my great-great Uncle was a Freemason. Through the little that I knew about him, I wanted to at least be able to hold something tangible, and say that even though I had never met the man, that we had something in common… a family lineage which involved more than blood relation. Some may think it’s corny, but to this day, I visit my Uncle’s grave- dead since 1956, and the Square and Compass on his gravestone; his Dues Card in my office desk; and a picture of him on the wall; cause me to “know” something more about him- perhaps more than those did who knew him in life… This bond of ours, this indissoluble chain of affection, of Brotherhood– It Is A Real Thing!
Over the years, I have found that my original reasons for joining were probably the right reasons for joining. I accomplished all of the aforementioned things, along with many others. Through my Masonic travels, I have learned things that I never imagined that I would need or even want to know. However, I now understand that as we grow as individuals, so to must our realm of understanding expand. Over time, I have begun to perfect my own spiritual building. I feel as though I have made significant progress in my journey Eastward and upwards… even my Wife tells me that I have become a better person, in any number of ways. And yes- I have met many like minded (and some not-so-like-minded men) in mine, and other communities, States, and Countries.
I came across this article following in the Messenger just as I was preparing to jot down a few lines in my journal. As I read through it, I figured that what was shared within pretty much meshed with my thoughts over the last several hours, and thought to replace a journal entry with this blog entry. The article follows here, I would encourage any and all to read through it, and then possibly comment or at least contemplate why did YOU become a Mason, are you satisfied with your experience thus far, and are those original reasons agreeable with your current ones for retaining your membership… Give it a quick read, and have a great day!
“Altrincham leader lifts the veil of mystery over Freemasonry – and members reveal why they joined
In a bid to re-launch the image of Freemasonry, veteran accountant Stephen Blank is adopting a mode of openness and transparency to enable the organisation to survive in modern times.
Stephen is striving to show how the masons are still relevant as Britain’s most altruistic club, donating over £100 million to charity and community projects across England and Wales, making them one of the biggest charity donors in Britain.
“We can no longer carry on in the fashion common after the last world war when Freemasons kept their membership to themselves, and where they never spoke publicly about their activities or their giving to charity,” said Stephen, who holds the title of Provincial Grand Master of Cheshire Freemasonry.
And Stephen wanted to dispel the myth that masonry is just for retired, elderly men.
“Freemasonry offers younger men a way to meet people from all backgrounds, races and religions in a friendly social situation, and where discussion of politics and religion is forbidden,” he said.
“Its successful appeal to younger men is illustrated in more recent times with the launch of the Universities Scheme Lodge in Cheshire, which has proved itself especially attractive to students at the University of Chester, who are now joining Freemasonry in large numbers each year.”
Stephen’s challenge now is to revive Freemasonry and he is leading a concerted drive to raise greater awareness of how Freemasons support the community through a myriad of personal and charitable initiatives.
This includes donating more than £500,000 to community groups, deserving causes and charities across Altrincham, Sale and Cheshire to celebrate their 300th anniversary this coming year.
Donations range from giving thousands cuddly Teddy bears to comfort children in the accident and emergency unit at Wythenshawe and other hospitals, £500 towards the David Lewis epilepsy centre in Wilmslow, and £1,100 to Stockdales in Sale.
Freemason Michael O’Brien, a sales rep and member of De Sala masons lodge in Sale, told how becoming a mason had made a difference to his life.
“Since joining Freemasonry two years ago, I have enjoyed meeting lots of new friends of various ages and walks of life,” said Michael.
“The feeling that I can be a part of something that can make a difference is quite amazing. Just on our doorstep we have helped children’s homes, cancer care and local widows to name just a few.
“I believe that Freemasonry has helped shape me as a person and given me a better outlook on life.”
Phil Marshall, from Brooklands and head of a major bakery, is a member of Stamford masonic lodge.
“The attraction of masonry for me was the opportunity to meet like-minded people and develop my social network in the area in which I live,” he said.
“I found my local Lodge on the internet and they had a website which was easy to follow and led me through the joining process.
“Masonry has introduced a very different experience to my normal daily life, and offers the opportunity to give something back through supporting various charities. It offers opportunity to engage in social activities while exposing people to something completely different and new.”
For more information, visit cheshiremasons.co.uk.”