Second Contact of Freemasonry

January 5, 2007

A week or so after my first contact with a Mason, I attended the Freemason BBQ.

It was actually put on by a few different lodges that were in the surrounding areas out of town.  The lodges were too far out of town for me to probably end up joining, but my future Sponsor suggested that I go because I would still learn a lot about Freemasonry.

The BBQ was held in a barn on a farm, and there were probably around 75 people.  I showed up about an hour after it started and I soon realized that my Future Sponsor was not there yet.  I felt really out of place at the start because I didn’t know a single person there and after all, I wasn’t really a Mason. 

A few years ago my wife and I were in Edmonton and met Jay Cutler at an autograph session at a bodybuilding store.  Jay Cutler is the current Mr. Olympia.  The thing that really stuck out in our minds from that experience, besides feeling like a four year old child while flexing biceps with Jay Cutler for a photo, was that all of the staff at the store were “Freaky Nice”.  The staff were all serious bodybuilders and were quite intimidating physically.  We figured that the staff were trained to be this “Freaky Nice” so that the average person wouldn’t run away scared.  They were so nice and sincere and helpful that we even bought some clothing.

The Masons that I met there were not quite that “Freaky Nice”,  but were still notably much nicer than what you would expect from the general population.  I left the bodybuilding store thinking that all of the staff were “happy brainwashed cult members”, but I left the BBQ thinking that I had just met a great bunch of people.

When people discovered during our conversations that I was not a Freemason, but was just checking things out, they were still just as friendly.  I had felt that at some level I was crashing the BBQ and didn’t really belong there.

The Grand Master of Alberta was also there and I guess that I was expecting something like the “Grand Poo-Bah” to be carried in like a Pharaoh and surrounded by servants at all times.  In reality, I didn’t even know that he was the Grand Master until he was introduced right before the meal.  I didn’t end up speaking to him, but he just seemed like an average guy at the BBQ.  I did speak with several Masters of lodges, and they were just as regular and normal as everyone else.  I guess I was expecting things to be similar to a strict military chain of command with the most senior members naturally intimidating the most junior.

I can’t remember all of the specific details, but one Mason about my age with a wife and two small children, had serious health problems about a year ago and couldn’t work.  His lodge immediately stepped up to the plate and helped his family out in a variety of ways – one of which was paying his mortgage for a year.  This really impressed me.

I learned that the Freemasons were not just a group of men who were nice and friendly to one another, but really did care about its members and looked out for one another.

The thing that I tried to find out was which lodge would be the best one for me to join.  I heard that different lodges offered different things.  Some lodges were more sociable, some were very family oriented, some are mainly into research, some are more into charity work and some were simply more fun.  I also heard that one of the lodges in the area was most likely going to close because its members were all in their 70’s.  The more that I talked to people, the more that I became concerned with joining a “good” lodge.

It was suggested that I send an email to the Grand Lodge, so that is what I did when I got home.

This is my 4th post on Freemasonry and my experiences as a Freemason.  Here is the Table of Contents of my Masonic Journey.

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