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Progress in LOI

After my initiation, I decided to attend LOI. This is a formal and informal meeting that is held on a Monday evening. LOI stands for the Lodge of Instruction. The text below is a summary of my personal LOI experiences and thoughts to date.

Having heard members talk about LOI (during my initiation evening), I was a little confused about what it was and what happened at the Monday evening meetings. I remember asking if I was permitted to attend, thinking it was only for senior members to decide Lodge issues and business.

It was outlined that I could attend when I wanted and would be more than welcome. However, I may not be able to stay for the duration of the meeting due to the activities being practiced.

So with this in mind, and the lodge being close to my house, I departed for LOI on a dark Monday November night. This was the first Monday after my initiation.
I remember driving to Royston with confusing thoughts in my head, about what would happen at LOI. I was only just digesting what had happened at my initiation on the previous Saturday. I arrived in good time, and found the lodge door locked?

Had I got the correct evening? Had it been cancelled? Should I go home? I decided to wait in the car and eventually people started to appear out of the darkness. One of them approached the lodge door and unlocked it. With a ‘deep breathe’ I got out of the car and went in through the lodge front door.
Erratic thoughts went through my head. Will they remember me? Will they think I am an imposter? Will they shout at me to leave?. I was very nervous.
All these erratic thoughts evaporated instantly as I was greeted with the words “Hello mate, how are you? Have you been here all weekend then?”  A great sense of relief passed through my body and I instantly relaxed and engaged in conversation.

Eventually other people started to arrive and they approached me and asked me how I was? Everyone was again very friendly and welcoming, even people I had not seen before and were not at my initiation. I remember thinking, how do they know who I am, I have never met them?

Once everyone had arrived the meeting commenced and it seemed very informal. In some parts it was very humorous, with people laughing ‘out loud’ at various comments. However, the opening and closing of the meeting was conducted in a formal manner.

During the meeting various agenda items were discussed and I took part in a practice for an activity which included more humour and laughter. I must mention that the humour and laughter mentioned above is not directed at individuals and I was not made to feel insecure or idiotic at any time during the meeting.

Once the meeting had ended, members ‘stood around’ and we all engaged in informal conversation. I remember driving home around 9pm thinking the time had passed very quickly and how much I had enjoyed meeting the other members on a more informal ‘getting to know you’ basis.

Since my first LOI experience as outlined above, I have attended various, but not all LOI meetings. During these meetings I have again started to develop more new friendships and learned more details of Masonic activities, with the chance to ask questions and participate.

The aspects I particularly enjoy about LOI are the informal chances to meet and ask questions about activities I am allowed to participate within. I also get a feeling of ‘helping out’ and assisting during the meetings, as well as observing the opening and closing meeting procedures. This helps with learning about ‘Who does what?’

One of the things I do find a little frustrating is leaving the meetings early for activities I am not permitted to participate within. However, having said that, the enthusiasm remains inside me that eventually I will be allowed to participate, once I have passed through my 2nd and 3rd degrees. This also gives me personal goals to achieve, by attending LOI on a regular basis.

However, some meetings do allow me to stay for the full duration depending upon the agenda. I do not consider the above as a major concern as regards my enthusiasm for Freemasonry.

Time will pass very quickly, as it does with most things in life? So I know when I look back on these words above, I will say to myself. “It wasn’t that bad; before I knew it, I was allowed to stay for the duration of all LOI meetings”.
I will write more about LOI in the future, as I pass through my 2nd and 3rd degrees.........

Bro Richard Scott (Royston Lodge 4304, Hertfordshire)

Bro. Richard Scott

Richard's Masonic Timeline

10th Nov '11

Initiated

10th Nov '12

Passed

9th Nov '13

Raised