Friday, June 26, 2009

Masonic Etiquette

Brethren all,

One of my most vivid memories in lodge was the first time I visited a Scottish lodge in Hong Kong. As a very new Mason coming from a small, suburban Chicago lodge, I was overwhelmed by the size and pageantry of the meeting.

That was also my first Burns Night and of course, my first taste of haggis. At dinner, we went through the various toasts including a toast to the visitors. The D of C had previously asked if I would respond on behalf of the twenty or so visitors on hand for the Burns Night. Unwittingly, I agreed.

A lengthy and witty visitor's toast was made. The brethren stood and toasted us and then it was my turn. I stood. Raised my glass and said, "Thank you." Then promptly sat down. Amid the puzzled laughter, the D of C ran over and said that I should probably say a bit more. Having never heard a response to a visitors toast, I was clueless what to say. I nervously stood and mumbled my way through another few sentences of praise for this or that. It was a disaster.

Luckily for you, District 124 of the United Grand Lodge of New South Wales and ACT in Sydney, Australia have provided a very useful Masonic Etiquette Guide. This is an interesting and comprehensive guide to how one should act in lodge and at the festive board. It was written with Australian Masonry in mind, but you may apply the principals to any of the lodges in Thailand or elsewhere for that matter.



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