One of my Lodges had a little social the other evening. A very informal thing.
A number of the members of the Lodge have only been Masons for a few years, if that. It's another one of those lodges that's in the rebuilding stages. It's been busy with degree work, but it hasn't done much else.
"The object of meeting in a lodge is of a two-fold nature," says the Address to the Brethren, "moral instruction and social intercourse."
As the members of the lodge really don't know each other very well, the fifth Thursdays of the month have been set aside for social intercourse. Members are invited to show up dressed as they would for Lodge (OK, not wearing an apron), and have a libation or two (paid for) and sit down and talk to anyone about whatever. No toasts. No speeches. It's all very informal.
This past Thursday, members were told any non-Masonic friends of theirs would be more than welcome. And two of the new guys brought buddies of theirs. Whether they become Freemasons is anyone's guess, but I hope they got "a favourable opinion, preconceived of the order." Or its members, at least.
While the idea is for the newer officers and members to get acquainted, two of the older members of the Lodge came out to support the event and enjoyed talking to the guys younger than their sons.
One of the other Lodges in the District was holding a meeting at the Hall that night (raising five) in an air condition-less room, and several of us met up with them after their degree, including one of the Entered Apprentices who came.
Everyone seems to think it's a good idea. I'm happy we tried it.