There was a sense of anticipation as several hundred people arrived at Freemasons’ Hall last Thursday evening 6th February and were shown into the magnificence of the Grand Temple; many describing themselves as being curious as they waited for the beginning of the ‘Discovering Freemasonry in London’ evening.
They were welcomed to the event by the head of London Freemasons, the Metropolitan Grand Master - Sir Michael Snyder who emphasised that Freemasons were drawn from all strands of society and that they were one of the largest donors to charity in the country. He mentioned the current appeal for the two new ‘Super Hi-Lift’ platform vehicles for the London Fire Brigade, which will be the tallest in Europe and will cost in the region of £2.5 million. Sir Michael also mentioned the financing and equipping by London Masons of the second helicopter for the London Air Ambulance, the provision of a number of fast response vehicles for the London Ambulance Service, the purchase of the Cyber Knife for St Bartholomew’s Hospital enabling cancer patients to have the best possible treatment, as well as the many smaller charities supported by London Freemasons not only in monetary terms but also in time.
He pointed out that all the money given by London Masons comes from their own pockets and that Freemasons do not solicit any collections from the public.
The audience were then able to watch a short film on Discovering Freemasonry produced by the United Grand Lodge of England.
The evening then went on with Matthew Hampson (Metropolitan Grand Inspector), a senior London Freemason, giving an insightful presentation on the history of Freemasonry in England and Wales, the principles on which the order is founded and what Freemasons do at their Lodge meetings.
Two younger London Freemasons, Saif Halim and Daniel Cohen then gave the perspective of two younger members, what being a Freemason meant to them and the enjoyment they got from it, as well being able to do some good for others.
Senior London Freemasons as well as the Grand Master of the Honourable Fraternity of Ancient Freemasons (Women freemasons) Christine Chapman, took questions from the floor, after which there was an opportunity for all those present to socialise over a glass of wine in the Vestibule of the Grand Temple where many more questions were asked and answered.
The audience were a mixed group with some attending because they were curious to see inside the building and others because they had an interest in becoming a Freemason, many commenting on how interesting they had found the evening.
Sir Michael Snyder (pictured above), the Metropolitan Grand Master - head of London Freemasons, welcomed the visitors to the event.