STEPPING STONES

james jones

STEPPING STONES

A personal account of a journey to the temple doors. If you are reading this article then chances are your already a member of the craft or considering taking your first step towards a brighter future. Which ever is the case, I hope you will find my efforts both interesting and informative. My personal Masonic journey has begun somewhat later than many and perhaps a little background information as to how I arrived at the lodge doors of Glasgow Kilwinning No.4, may prove useful to those considering becoming a mason. My name is James Jones and I was born in London into a family of silversmiths that goes back six generations so an understanding of tradition passed from era to era began at an early age. As a youngster I seemed naturally drawn to articles decorated with Masonic symbols that passed through the family workshop. The quality of the workmanship in terms of manufacture and decoration was always of the highest standard and they radiated the energy and effort that had gone into their creation. When I asked my grandfather what the symbols meant his reply was that the answer lay in a journey. I would have to take for myself when the time was right and the truths behind such matters would arrive gradually and be both subtle and life changing  –  Wise Words Indeed. So over forty years this advice never left me and my interest never waned and I came close to taking the necessary steps in the 1980’s but personal circumstances and a somewhat itinerant lifestyle meant the moment to begin my personal journey never seemed to arrive; until one day in may 2017 whilst sitting in a battered old van in a Glasgow car park with the rain pelting down that moment arrived. Using the wonders of this modern technological age namely an i phone I googled Freemasons Glasgow and found a website that was titled Provincial Grand Lodge of Glasgow. This was my bull by the horns moment.... one phone call was all it took to start the process. I explained to a very friendly gentleman my reasons for calling and he asked a number of simple questions and took some personal details. Don’t worry someone will contact you within the next few days via your email address, thank you for calling Provincial Grand Lodge Glasgow. Within a short time an informal meeting was arranged in a Glasgow city centre coffee house. Hi James, I’m Bob McDougall.....And so began a number of gentle questions obviously designed to ascertain who I was, some personal background and my intentions. The whole meeting lasted about 40mins and was cordial and Bob did his utmost to put me at my ease and a further meeting was arranged. In series of further meetings Bob explained his position within Scottish masonry and asked me if I knew members of the craft that could vouch for me and confirm that I was a fit and proper person.

Unfortunately Not or at least none that I know of. No problem James, having taken in to account all you have told me so far I would like to bring along a member of lodge Glasgow Kilwinning No.4 to our next meeting. Hi Bob, Hi James, this is Ian and I believe you will have a number of mutual acquaintances. Hi Ian pleasure to meet you. There then followed a series of friendly but quite probing questions regarding my business life. Tough few moments but we clicked and did indeed have number of mutual contacts. A further meeting at which it was agreed that Bob would be my proposer and Ian my seconder on my application for initiation into Glasgow Kilwinning No.4. And so in late September a letter arrived thanking me for my application and a request that I attend a committee of enquiry in a months time. Also enclosed were a number of very informative pamphlets pertaining to freemasonry and the path to initiation. Late October I attended a meeting of the committee of  enquiry. Essentially a relaxed but important moment akin to a job interview infront of the directors and governors of a major institution. Thank you James the committee will contact you with their decision shortly. A welcoming letter arrived soon after read......  Dear  James  welcome...  etc. The date set for your Initiation is set for 21st. March 2018 Dress  code  is.....In conclusion what do I consider to be the important discoveries so far? I can truly say that the first nervous step that I took into what appeared a somewhat scary world to me will prove to be a momentous one. I entered into and joined a body of men whose espouse all that is good in humanity, poles apart from the picture painted by those with their own less than honest agenda or the ill informed who have yet to separate fact from fiction (the only antidote to that is education  tempered with a good dose of common sense and a belief in the innate morality of the majority of mankind) The sense of welcome has been palpable and not once I have I experienced a hair raising moment or had that gut feeling that anything is other than it should be, something that would be difficult to say of my interactions in the wider world outside the lodge. I have experienced nothing other than kindness, friendship and a genuine concern to ensure that my well being on all levels is attended to. I find that humbling and would aspire to emulate such conduct (despite my propensity to put my foot in it on numerous occasions).

For me the moment when I swore that freely given oath was absolutely and without question the right decision. Freemasonry is about personal growth within a body of individuals you trust implicitly and hopefully the ability to pass that baton on to the next candidates. The rest is educational, fascinating, spiritually enhancing and above all fun. And what of the initiation ceremony you ask?  well I am not at liberty to divulge this and my experience tells me that it is all the more memorable for that. You could of course be tempted To do an internet search but most information is wrong or misleading. I recommend you put your trust in your soon to be brothers who prepare you prior to initiation and thus enter through those doors as a complete tyro. My one regret? I should have taken that step sooner. To mitigate that? I have ended up in a Scottish Lodge and I have always had an affinity for the colour green; so everything happens for a reason. 

James Jones MM Glasgow Kilwinning No.4

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