The secrets of the order having been locked up in the safe depository with the magic tap of the hand. The lodge was closed and the Master and his Wardens and guests retired from the lodge room.
We filed back across the balcony to the changing rooms, to remove our aprons and get down to the Bar before the queue was to big. I wondered about balcony reading the Lodge boards that say who was Master and when.
I then decided to wander to the car and dumped my Suitcase in it rather than having to remember it later. I went back into the hall, spotted the chap from the Beeb and went to get a drink, as ever the queue was long so I chatted and stared at the ceiling. It to had hidden meaning the patterns formed face of old croons or wise women, cherubs and other shapes. Dr L tapped me on the shoulder and said great to see you did you enjoy yourself, one sec let me find my other guests. (reader thank you for your patience it is almost 2months since I was there, so conversions are at my poetic license) .
They happened to be at the bar, so first drink was on one of these very kind gentlemen. In short I met at the bar the owner/edit of the masonic magazine the Square, two other gentlemen who I apologise I can’t remember their names but were very interesting to talk too. One had family in Chester and wanted to visit a lodge in Chester, I suggested mine and he took my details.
I was also introduced to Dr L’s son, and thus the conversation decided into a very geeky chat about computers, systems migration to new ones and the wonderful world of Redshift. Then there was a loud shout and the DC was in the bar calling us into the Festive board, finding a place on the SW’s table I was sat with Dr L and his guests, his son was at the other end of the top table. The Beeb guy was on my right, the food was delightful, as I said we were in West Yorkshire so there are no prizes for guess what the meal was.
The conversation and the company were great, as ever the topics going on were from the sublime to the ridiculous, our good friend Wayne came up in conversation and I was asked why had he not come. I said it was because he had recently joined am new craft lodge and was doing some work on the floor. Also that he was not allowed to leave North Wales unless he could be home before the sun came up!!! (not true) I said I would encourage him to come next time. I also chatted to the SD opposite as he was long serving mason and as such had a large section of pins down his left lapel. so for test of my knowledge I rattled of a list of Masonic orders each pin represented. I got most right apart from the order of the secret monitor. This order, I was informed is the best one for caring for companionship as it is setup to look after brothers. I the sounded very interesting but as ever I have a lot to do this year in my masonic life/career. Incidentally I don’t like that term “career ” as I don’t do it to get paid, more for the enjoyment and the learning and the interesting people you meet.
Anyways this conversation progressed into what I was in and the ones I enjoyed and most people that are in RAM also think the steps is one of the most beautiful pieces there is. Talking with Dr L about what else we enjoyed in life apart from freemasonry and Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, I said I had been trying to write a book and had started one or two but I had not finished them, I am not sure if they were any good, at this point he lent in and said “brother keep this to yourself but….”
So I learnt an interesting fact about Dr Lomas that is only known to few people. That set me of on a stronger resolve to complete a story!
At about this time the final course had been cleared by the waiters and waitresses, the doors were closed, the noise of the room was load, KNOCK,KNOCK……..KNOCK. The DC is now stood behind the Worshipful Master. It was time for the toasts. Like most lodges I have visited this followed the usual pattern. When it got to the Visitors speech , the WM stood up and said, in our lodge we do not tap any one on the shoulder to respond on behalf of the Visitors. Here if you want to stand and say something feel free.
And with that he sat down. My internal monologue said,” Bonus!! Hurrah and Huzzah I may be able to keep my record for not having to speak”, at which point a Breaded Brother stands and says some words. As I listen to his wise words a voice in my left goes. I think you should stand and say something . So I stood and spoke, and sat and the evening progressed. Like most lodges I have visited this year they all aim for a n10pm close and the Tyler’s toast is very different to what my own lodges does. So it was great to see, as I had an hour’s drive home to do and the fact my brother was up and not doubt annoying me good lady wife. I attempted to leave at 10:05pm, at 10:45pm I managed to leave, to busy saying good by and chatting to old and new friends.
One would have to say, if you ever get and invite or ever want to invite yourself contact the sectary of the Lodge and you well be well received and mad e very welcome. I think so far this year it has been one of my favourite.