I joined Freemasonry in the 1970’s and was introduced to it by my late father. He had joined Freemasonry before I was born and as I grew up I became familiar with his routine of going out to meetings and so on. I also met lots of his Masonic friends.
He was involved in the ceremony of my own initiation into his lodge and it was a very moving and memorable occasion. I remember being almost overwhelmed by the friendship extended to me by everyone present.
A few months later I moved with a new job to Scotland where I visited a lodge in the Province of East Dunbartonshire under the Grand Lodge of Scotland. Here again I was warmly welcomed and made to feel very much at home. Whilst keeping my links with my Mother Lodge back in Kent, I joined this Scottish lodge and enjoyed several years with them and visiting other lodges in and around Glasgow. It was a terrific experience.
It was quite common to see Freemasons from all over the world visiting lodges in Glasgow and this, coupled with my own experience of relocating to another part of the UK, emphasised the international nature of Freemasonry. It certainly helped me to feel welcomed while living away from my home county.
With another change of job I moved back to Kent and resumed attendance at my Mother Lodge, where I have been a member for over 40 years. Over that time I have met Freemasons of a wide range of faiths and ethnic backgrounds and this, for me, is one of the great virtues of Freemasonry. I have made good friends with Freemasons located all over Kent and other parts of the country.
Freemasonry also provides a number of opportunities for personal development and helped me in my professional life which involved a lot of public speaking.