RECRUITMENT, RETENTION, AND RETRIEVAL
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Sir George Clark Memorial Masonic Lodge No. 669 continued with their joint goals of providing enlightenment about our order and encouraging membership, with a men only Open Night at Freemasons’ Hall, Arthur Square, Belfast on Saturday 25th October 2008
This was a follow up to the Open Night held in May 2008 that was open to everyone – men, women, family, friends and children.
Following the October communication, the members of Lodge 669 welcomed 17 gentlemen interested in Freemasonry into their Lodge Room. The Lodge brethren still wore their regalia and also present were the resplendent figures of RW Bro Dennis Millen the Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Antrim, VW Bro Dessie McCormick PPJGW, and W Bro Ivor McAllister PPGI.
Following some informal chat, the guests were welcomed to the Lodge room by W. Bro. Norman Lacey the W. Master of Lodge 669, who gave an interesting talk covering the History, and Aims of Freemasonry. The areas discussed were: secrecy ( or lack of it ) about the Craft, how Freemasonry had developed from the bands of Operative Masons, the role of the Progressive, Administration, and Ritual orientated Officers of the lodge, and the benefits of involvement with Freemasonry.
This was followed by a discourse from our Almoner W Bro David Beggs regarding our charitable works and the role of the Almoner in the Lodge.
RW Bro Dennis Millen then spoke and, without detracting in any way from the charitable aspects of the order, highlighted the benefits of fellowship and personal development, both important aspects of membership. There being no questions all present adjourned to the function room where all hada most present social evening. The enjoyment of all present was obvious from the noise and hilarity at the festive board.
The visitors included new people interested in joining the order, some people whose attendance or membership had lapsed, and a few lost souls, new to the Province of Antrim, who were missing their involvement with Freemasonry.
People had got in contact with the lodge through websites as well as by personal contact. Lodge 669 is now in the happy position of having 13 additional people on their books and are involved in ongoing discussions with several more.
Our new contacts have in turn introduced people from their circle of friends to Freemasonry. The result is that L669 and Freemasonry are becoming known in different sectors of society.
The majority of potential members are in their 30s, married with children, and are just average people who want to get involved and find out more about the order.
Lodge “Open Night” 24th May 2008
Freemason’s Hall in Arthur Square was the venue on Saturday, 24 May 2008, for an Open Night of Masonic and Non-Masonic visitors to Lodge 669.
A total of 74 people attended this new style of event for the Lodge.
Family, friends, Lodge widows, potential candidates, and yes, even children came along to what was a very informative and enjoyable evening.
The Brethren of L669 were delighted to have in attendance the Provincial Deputy Grand Master R.W. Bro Denis Millen, accompanied by his wife Barbara, and also two of the Trustees of Freemasons’ Hall, Arthur Square, W. Bro. Alan Patterson and W. Bro. Ronnie Wilson.
W. Bro. Patterson’s father W. Bro. Arthur Patterson was the first Senior Warden of Lodge 669 and served as W. Master in 1939.
The regular meeting of the lodge was held, and following it’s closing, the Masonic brethren still wearing their regalia, invited all the visitors into the Lodge room.
This was the first time many of the visitors had been in a Masonic lodge room and there was great interest in the regalia and jewels of office worn by the brethren and particularly the finery of the P.D.G. Master.
W. Bro. Norman Lacey the W. Master of Lodge 669 gave a short talk, outlining the links between operative and speculative masons, the background of the order, the way in which items associated with Masons were used as an allegory as guidance for our conduct, the roles of the lodge officers detailed, and links with Provincial Grand Lodge of Antrim explained.
An interesting and open question and answer session followed with some searching questions from the guests.
W. Bro. Ronnie Wilson gave a short talk on the recently renovated Freemasons’ Hall detailing some of the work involved, and explaining our desire to open the Hall for greater usage and to enhance links between Freemasonry and the Public at large.
He then led a conducted tour of the hall explaining the layout and function of the various rooms, detailing the renovation work and outlining the history of the personalities after whom the rooms were named. This highly informative tour was thoroughly enjoyed by all concerned.
A ‘White Table’ festive board was then held in the large function room, with Florence and her team from Fernhill Catering providing a very tasty and high quality buffet supper. W. Bro. Rennie McGrath entertained us in song, and W.Bro. John Cook had us laughing at his funny stories.
This entertainment was interspersed by short talks on:
‘Masonic Charitable Works’ by W. Bro. David Beggs Lodge Almoner and Vice Chairman of Arthur Square Charity Committee, ‘Freemasonry from the perspective of a Mason’s Wife’ by Mrs Ada Elliot – wife of one of our members, and a talk on ‘Masonic Equality and Famous Masons’ illustrated by the Rudyard Kipling poem:
‘The Mother Lodge’ given by W. Bro Brian McBride.
The Provincial Deputy Grand Master R. W. Bro. Denis Millen congratulated the
W. Master and Brethren on the success of the event, and he was particularly pleased to see children included.
Installation Meeting 26th January 2008 – Our 70th Anniversary
Our 70th Anniversary Installation meeting was very well attended by 60 guests from 31 Lodges.
English, Irish, Scottish, and South African Lodges were represented.
The W. Master W. Bro. Norman Lacey was Installed by his good friend RW Bro. Rodney McCurley, The Assistant Grand Master RW Bro. Leslie Johnston, and Provincial Deputy Grand Master of Antrim, R.W. Bro. Dennis Millen were present.
The Haggis was piped in by W. Bros David Beggs, and Willy Cardwell, and addressed by
W. Bro. Peter Pollock.
The Falkirk Toast was given by the R.W. Master of Roslyn St. Clair Lodge No. 606 GLS, W. Bro. Jim Fleming, after which we enjoyed a superb meal, and were entertained by the humour of
W. Bro. John Cook, and songs from W. Bro. Rennie McGrath. CLICK HERE for photographs.
Ladies Night: Sept. 2007 CLICK HERE for photos
The Ladies night DINNER/DANCE held at the 45 Club, 45 Park Avenue, Holywood Road, Belfast was a great success. The dance band – “DREEMZ”, put on an excellent show, the dinner was great, our Comedian John Cook had us all laughing, and we had loads of raffle prizes.
All proceeds from the event will go to charity. Our thanks to everyone who came to the dance, and contributed generously to the Grand Master’s Festival Fund. The Festival is supporting three children’s charities – N. Ireland Children’s Hospice, Laura Lynn Hospice for Children, and Samaritans.
Lodge Widows Day Outing May 2007, to the Somme Heritage Centre, followed by an excellent Lunch at Donaghadee Golf Club. CLICK HERE
Meeting at Grand Lodge Dublin:
On April 21st, 2007, Lodge 669 held their April Communication in the Grand Lodge Temple, Molesworth Street, Dublin.
The Brethren were given a excellent tour of the Musum, and Temples by the Tyler who then assisted us during our meeting afterwards. Bro. Colin McMullan was passed to the Second Degree.
CLICK Here for some photographs of the day
Irish Ritual Demonstration;
On Saturday 24th March 2007, a team of Brethren representing Sir George Clark Memorial Lodge No.669 attended a large meeting of Croydon Millenary Lodge No. 7745 Brethren and guests, to demonstrate an Irish Constitution Entered Apprentice Degree. The meeting was also attended by the Assistant Provincial Grand Master of Surrey
W. Bro. Paddy Johnson, two Past Assistant Provincial Grand Masters, Grand Lodge Officers, and Provincial Grand Lodge Officers of Surrey and other Provinces in England.
We were welcomed with great hospitality, and friendliness, by the Croydon Brethren.
It was an evening enjoyed by all, with an excellent meal, in their Masonic Centre
W. Bro. Rennie McGrath brought his guitar along, and entertained the Brethren at the festive board with a selection of Irish songs. With a collection in the Lodge, a raffle and auction after dinner, a large sum of money was raised for charity..
Lodge 669 has nominated the Grand Master’s 2008 Festival to receive the final total of £669.00. This Festival is raising funds from every Lodge and Freemason in Ireland.
All of the money donated will be shared amongst: The Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice, Samaritans, and Laura Lynn Children’s Hospice Dublin
CLICK HERE to view some photographs of the event. Click on a photo to enlarge it.
Installation Night January 2007 Click Here for photographs
Photographs of the Installation Dinner 28th January 2006
Click on Photos to Enlarge