On Monday 5th October I attended Old Sunning Lodge 5987 (www.oldsunninglodge.org.uk) at Sindlesham Masonic Centre, near Reading in Berkshire. Old Sunning Lodge and my Lodge (Kennet Lodge 4414) are very close, and the Masters of each Lodge take the chair of Senior Warden at each other’s Installation.
I was also forewarned that Old Sunning Lodge close in full in the third degree, even at Installations. Fortunately I had a bit of a revision, and of course, being Senior Deacon means you have a last minute reminder from the Junior Deacon first.
What threw me off though was the Lodge opened in the First Degree, done the usual business (as well as welcome the Assistant Provincial Grand Master), then immediately opened in the Second, then the Third, then closed in each Degree back to the First again. As the ceremony of the Installation continued the Lodge could then be resumed in the required Degree.
It was an excellent ceremony with W.Bro Hodges installing W.Bro Coward to perfection. W.Bro Hodges explained after being presented his Past Master’s Jewel that he joined Old Sunning Lodge only a few years ago because after visiting the Lodge he was inspired by the enthusiasm of the younger members. In fact, Old Sunning Lodge was close to handing in their Warrant; now Old Sunning Lodge are going from strength to strength and have a calendar of Initiations booked in for the coming year!
It was also great to see the Deacons installed, as these two must take much credit for the Old Sunning Lodge’s new found strength. I had previous communicated with Mark (Senior Deacon) via twitter (www.twitter.com/berks_mason) and discovered he has set up his own Masonic blog: www.markthemason.uk so it was great to met him in person.
I was also introduced to James (Junior Deacon) who is also active on Twitter: www.twitter.com/masoninberks.
Being inspired by them, and their enthusiasm for Freemasonry I even interviewed them for my In The Chair podcast (www.masonicpodcast.com/10), which is one of the most downloaded episodes.