Our Most Worshipful Grand Master, Most Worshipful Brother Douglas T.Grey was interviewed by reporter Ms Victoria Leonard for an article that appeared in this evening’s Belfast Telegraph. As we all are probably aware, the newspapers interest in Freemasonry has been raised in respect of the recent article published in the Guardian newspaper, and the full page response published by The United Grand Lodge of England in the Times, The Guardian, The Telegraph, and over the week-end it will also appear in the Sunday Times.
As our Most Worshipful Grand Master points out, Irish Freemasonry is very different to that currently in vogue in England, and these differences can best be summarised using the words of the late Rt Wor Brother Robert L. Orr who stated that we in Ireland are a part of society and not apart from society.
The Freemason’s of Ireland are a very public grouping, well known in their local communities and visible at functions such as Annual Charity Services, Dinners, Breakfasts, Open Days and Talks to local history and community associations. Our Members appear regularly in the local press, as most Lodges are involved with outreach to support local Charities, as well as the larger more formal national fundraising initiatives.
We in the Masonic Order in Ireland, some 20 years ago, took the decision to become more visible in our Communities. Our Headquarters in Dublin opened for Tours and many of our regional Halls became involved in European Heritage Open Days. A number of Lodges, such as The Lodges that use the Larne Masonic Centre, run annual fun days in the summer for families, with all kinds of diversions for children on the day. Many of our Lodges act as hosts for Santa Claus at Christmas and annual carol services are now common throughout the Island. England, now belatedly is starting to consider emulating the work already commonplace throughout the island of Ireland.
I for one, am proud to be a Freemason, and my family, friends, employers and work mates are all aware of my interest and involvement. I am firmly of the opinion that our English Brethren need to step up to the plate,take a pride in their membership and, as Freemasons, play a much greater role in their local communities.
And just to keep you all current, with the very latest developments, our Most Wor Grand Master has had a further in-depth interview, this time with Ronan McGreevy of the Irish Times. This is an excellent, informative and balanced interview which provides a detailed view of our official position in this matter. We in Ireland, under our Most Worshipful Grand Master, have a clear vision of our future, and our developing role in society at large. We can but do all in our power to support him in his vision of our way forward.