Exploring any possibilities of reducing the cost of being a member of more than one lodge; improving the public’s perception of Freemasonry; enlightening the populace on the vast charitable donations to local, national and international causes by Masons; the effectiveness of the mentoring system in lodges and suggested improvements, and the criteria in awarding Provincial honours; these were just some of the topics discussed at a meeting of ‘light blues’ which was held at the Blackpool Masonic Hall.
In the firing line to answer questions was Assistant Provincial Grand Master David Winder and there was no attempt at deflecting any bullets. No matter how searching they were, David was candid and transparent in all his responses. No questions were avoided and no answers were diluted. It was a superb opportunity for newer members to gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the direction in which Freemasonry is moving.
Introduced by the Chairman of Blackpool Group John Turpin, David kept his audience spellbound for two hours, answering a flurry of questions and encouraging discussion. It had been hoped that Assistant Provincial Grand Master Harry Cox could also be in attendance to shoulder some of the work with David but Harry had been drawn away on Masonic business in the Isle of Man. Nevertheless, David is more than capable of addressing any concerns that the ‘light blues’ might throw at him. At the commencement of the meeting he was sporting the new Provincial tie; a vibrant little number that will further brighten up any lodge meeting. He soon discarded it, however, in order to more harmoniously blend into the relaxed mood of the forum.
Whilst the ‘club’ consists primarily of Masons who have not, as yet, received Provincial honours, it is not restricted solely to them. A number of ‘dark blue’ Masons also attended the meeting in order to support and encourage younger and newer members and learn about any concerns they may have and consider actions to address them. One of the strongest supporters of the ‘club’ has been Provincial Senior Grand Warden John Lee who has been at the forefront since its conception almost a year ago. Adding further weight to the gathering wasthe Chairman of South Fylde Group Ian Ward, along with grand officer David Thomas.
Although the number of attendees was a little disappointing for the organisers, the event proved highly successful and those in attendance were full of praise for the manner in which David conducted the meeting. Not only were questions answered with candour, the experiences of individuals also added an important human and personal touch to the proceedings. All were extremely happy with the outcomes of the meeting.
Despite the limited numbers, the meeting had gone with a bang (literally) as David struggled to be heard above the explosions and flashes arising from the Blackpool fireworks competition that was taking place in the town during the latter half of the meeting. Within the hall, David had been equally illuminating and was fully appreciated by his audience.
In drawing the evening to a conclusion, John Lee reminded the members that the ‘Light Blues Club’ will next meet on Wednesday 14 December at the St Annes Masonic Hall, where it will attend a meeting of Lytham Lodge No 6915. During the meeting, the Lodge of Instruction will perform a demonstration and, at its close, members will join their wives or partners for a Christmas-styled banquet to celebrate the first anniversary of the ‘club’s’ existence.
The evening had been intriguing for the newer members of the fraternity and many of the more experienced members who were present also learned a thing or two. All in all, smiles were in abundance as they retired to the newly refurbished bar. It had been illuminating, vibrant and thoroughly enjoyable.