PM Hamlet of Van Lodge 8334 UGLE (Caerphilly - South Wales); J Hamlet of Van Chapter 8334 SW, Caerffili MMM 1348; PCN, Caerffili RAM 1348; St Teilo Chapter A&AR 789 Brangwyn SRIA 75; Castell Caerffili OSM 466; Fforest KT 582: Merthyr Tydfil R&SM 120, Penychen - Athelstan 53, RCC 295; KTP 100; OSC 21 TI
Well, I'm not even initiated yet, but I think I am pretty open about where I'm headed.
Although I do turn it over once in my mind before revealing too much about it to my friends. Not because I want to hide the fact, but I know I can get pretty excited when talking about Freemasonry, and I don't want to come across as if I've just joined a sect and been brainwashed. ;D Also, I know there are at least a handful of my friends that I think somewhere down the line might be interested themselves, and I want them to bring it up out of interest, not because they're forced to listen to me rave.
Going back a little, I wasn't sure how to tell my father about my plans for going into FMry. He was a member but left the order, and I always had the impression that he was dissatisfied. So I guess I was worried that he would dislike my choice. Just the opposite: we had a great talk about the choices he had made and how he felt I would enjoy FMry .
And that's been the reception so far: positive. Most of my friends think the order is old-fashioned and reactionary (same as I did), but they are still curious about the rituals and history and very accepting of the existance of such a destinguished yet qurky society. And anyway, most of them knew I had the interest already and probably weren't all that surprised.
The only caution I hold is not to mention any other Bro. as that is their perogative, unless of course thay have already given me freedom to reveal their membership.
I find a general IGNORANCE in most of my aquaintances, on anything to do with Freemasonry, - with most reactions thinking we are tied up with Fred Flintstone and his "lodge"?.
I agree with the above statements 100 percent . I often hear in conversation "Oh did you know hes on the square " i think it is not up to any one to disclose anothers involvement and should respect his privacy.
The lads who work for me know of my involvement and always refer to Fred Flintstone and the rolled up trouser brigade amongst other too rude to mention things.
I am very open about my membership and in conversation might tell someone that i may be finishing early to go to a lodge meeting. I quite often recognise another brother through the forms of recognition and then we know we have something in common to chat about.
I talked about my interest in Masonry with close friends beforehand. I had sworn no oaths and could freely share all I had learned by reading and talking to Masons. Since being a member I feel less inclined to discuss it. I don't take oaths lightly and I worry that I'll inadvertantly say something I shouldn't. I wouldn't like to let myself or my brn down.
Like any other personal matter, Politics, Religion, Sexuality, ideally it should be for the Individual to disclose or not as their wishes and circumstances may warrant. They should not be "outed" by others. Now I am a very open type but others may have good reasons to keep such matters private.
Now being a Freemason is in the Public Domain as most Provinces publish a Year Book and all Brethren are listed at the back with (usually) their Craft and Mark Lodges if any and their RA Chapter if they are Companions in that Degree and there will be pages listing the Officers in each Conclave, Preceptory, etc of the Higher Degrees. As anyone can buy one of these Year Books then it is not a difficult task to discover if someone is a Freemason or not. Some of the larger Public Libraries may even have copies in their Reference section.
Again human nature being as it is other Masons may well mention that they saw a particular man at a Meeting and of course a wife may tell friends , neighbours, etc that her husband is at his Lodge Meeting or that she was at a Ladies Night.
I feel we are better to be open about our Masonic Membership but fully accept that for some this may cause personal difficulties. One can have some close family member who is anti- Masonic , or both Elected Members and moreso Officers of some Public Bodies can encounter problems if their being "On the Square" is known.
It is indicative of the decline in British Society that Membership of an Honourable and Charitable Body is now looked upon as something suspicious by those who ought to know better.