On Saturday 8th July Norman Hucker of Perpetual Friendship Lodge, attended a meeting of Nomadic Lodge from Buckinghamshire, who were on a visit to Somerset. He was a guest of their secretary David Ottram, who preceded Norman as Master of Perpetual Friendship in 1990, having moved to Buckinghamshire some 10 years ago.
Upon Norman’s arrival at the Blue Anchor site, the “temple”, consisting of 2 gazebos, each measuring about 6mtr x 3mtr, had already been assembled and linked together with Buckinghamshire Provincial Banners flying outside. It was pitched at the edge of the campsite.
It was complete with a 2-mtr square Lino type mosaic pavement and a photocopied paper “G” in the ceiling. Around the inside perimeter were about 20 camping chairs for those attending, complete with 3 camping table “pedestals” each with candles in lanterns to protect them from any breeze.
Everyone assembled, with most of the Nomadic Lodge members wearing black shorts, socks and shoes with white short-sleeved shirts and Buckinghamshire Masonic ties.
The Lodge was properly tiled, the Innerguard and Tyler giving their respective knocks with clapperboards, and the dispensations were read.
The candidate was asked the usual questions and prepared in an ajacent tent before being passed to the 2nd degree by the W.M. Unfortunately a heavy storm occurred during the ceremony and whilst the “temple” was watertight the joint in the centre was not, causing the W.M to shuffle with his pedestal to one side to prevent himself and the candidate from getting soaked.
The Lodge was closed in due form and furniture cleared away and prepared ready for the ladies to join them at the White Table Festive Board.
During the relaxed but sincere ceremony, the ladies had gathered and enjoyed Pimms and strawberries in another part of the site.
After a short break everyone reassembled, each bringing their own buffet style lunch where the usual chatter and pleasantries took place before most ambled back to their respective temporary homes while others dismantled the “temple” and packed it all away.
Delphine and Norman then joined Jacque and Dave for another couple of hours reminiscing over the past and catching up on family, friends and, of course, Lodge matters.
The Lodge Meeting “in the field”, was a great experience. Whilst we have our individual Lodge traditions which we all protect, this proves how a Lodge with members having a common interest can improvise to suit circumstances and in so-doing generate their own traditions.
How would our predecessors of not so long ago react….shaking heads, faces full of scorn, tut-tuting and mumbling, it’s never been like this before!!
Information regarding the Nomadic Lodge
The Nomadic Lodge was consecrated in June 2019 to cater for Masons and their families with an interest in caravanning, motor homing or camping. Although they are a Buckinghamshire Lodge some of their Members are from other Provinces as their meetings take place at various locations from May until October and coincide with a long weekend so that family and friends can join them. Most of their “gatherings” are in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire although last year they met in Cornwall and this year at Somerset as mentioned above. They also have planned an additional social meeting at the end of August which includes a riverboat trip from Henley in Oxfordshire.
More about the Nomadic Lodge can be obtained by contacting the Secretary W. Bro. David Outtram david-o@the willow1994.co.uk