29 Sept 2020
What an excellent perforrmance tonight by Bisley Lodge at their Lodge of Instruction Festival- simply stunning. The attendance was impressive, with notable figures like the Provincial Grand Master, Deputy PGM, and several other Grand Officers gracing the event… but the stars of the show were the Entered Apprentices in their dazzling white aprons.
In a unique twist, all the principal roles- Worshipful Master, Senior Warden, Junior Warden, Deacons, and Inner Guard- were filled by Entered Apprentices, who took us through a complete First Degree performance. This wasn’t your typical floorwork; it was a comprehensive ceremony, and then some. Harry McN, serving as the Worshipful Master, delivered a flawless Charge to the Initiate– simply amazing, with his proud father watching from the stands. Ian gave the First Degree Working Tools and Stuart delivered the First Degree Tracing Board Lecture– a rare and hefty piece of work, and a real pleasure to listen to. There were other aspects of ritual rarely seen: the Mode of Preparation (done by Ryan) and Presentation of the Gloves (Matt); these do not feature in a regular First, and certainly require a deep dive into the Masonic literature for a richer understanding.
The evening was not without its moments; didn’t we all laugh when the Junior Deacon’s apron slipped right off his behind during perambulations, and there was a bit of a kerfuffle as his brothers raced to restore his dignity! It was clear to all that the lads put a lot of effort into the day, and all that preparation surely paid off with a beautiful, well-rehearsed performance.
It was a lovely celebration of excellence, performed entirely by Entered Apprentices. I departed with a sense that I had just drunk deeply from the fountains of Masonic wisdom, and bathed in the springs of our cherished traditions. I look forward to returning next year, I really do.