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Raising and my third degree…

My nerves started again. This time a whole week before the event!

I lit the fire on the Saturday before and started thinking about the next Saturday when I hopefully would become a Master Mason. Staring aimlessly into the flames, pint in my hand and the wife watching yet another singing and dancing programme on the TV. I looked at the clock on the hearth and said that in a week’s time it will be all over. The wife replied and said ‘what will be all over?’ I then explained what I had been thinking about, to which she then replied that she did not want me to ‘go on all week about it’ and I will be fine, as I had been in the previous degrees. She then returned to her singing programme on TV, which now sounded like wailing banshees. I could not watch and did a puzzle in the Saturday paper. Obviously with another pint in my hand!

Sunday arrived and I went to church, walked the dog and started ‘thinking’ again. I started muttering to myself as I was walking the dog, for reassurance, sometimes looking behind me in fear that someone might hear me and call the police! I am sure many masons across the UK go through the dog walking and muttering phase on a regular basis? For the rest of the day, I went for a swim and tidied the garden of leaves…Still thinking….Even underwater????

During the Sunday evening meal I talked about my third with the wife. I explained some of the regalia and the differences in the aprons that people wear. The conversation then reverted to ‘in a week’s time’ …

I was in fear of being shouted at, so kept the conversation short, I then asked what time the singing was on TV tonight! This evaded any raised voices and frustrated looks.

That evening, I phoned my father who would be a guest at my third degree. We had a long conversation and he seemed very excited, which made me even worse, as I did not want to look silly in front of my own father the following Saturday. The conversation did clear my mind and I was pleased I had phoned him for reassurance. If you have read my other writings, you will know my father was involved in freemasonry for many years.

Monday came and the working week commenced. This helped to take my mind away from worrying too much. However, I did catch myself staring into space on occasions thinking about ‘this coming Saturday’. It also helped to talk with some of my work colleagues about my third, many of whom know I am involved with masonry. Interestingly, many of my work colleagues have attended Masonic ladies evenings and have thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

The week passed by very quickly. I sat and had a drink on Friday night and thought, at least I will not be subjected to all that singing and dancing on TV tomorrow evening. I will be at my third degree instead. With that thought, I started to get nervous again… It was now less than twenty four hours to go…

Saturday morning arrived, this was the day. I started to feel like I was going for a job interview! People had told me at LOI to enjoy the evening and that I would be well looked after. They also told me I had prepared well and had nothing to worry about. 'Easier said than done', came to mind.

During the morning I took the dog for a walk and did more muttering. I then returned and started doing various jobs around the house like a 'man possessed'. This helped me to relax my mind and keep it occupied. My wife was very impressed at how clean the house was when she arrived home from the weekly food shop.

I had a large lunch on Saturday, as I knew I would not eat again until the early evening and if I left my lunch until later I would probably not feel like eating. Afternoon came and I started to think about 'things' again and what would happen? Fortunately my father arrived around 3pm and calmed me down with his conversation. He talked about his 3rd degree and various lodges he had visited during his Masonic career.

Then I started to get ready to leave, the nerves and my heart racing again. We left the house around 4:15pm and once in the car, surprisingly my nerves started to settle. Once again I thought to myself, no going back now, so just enjoy it like I had been told on numerous occasions at LOI. We arrived in good time and I had a drink whilst my father spoke with others. People smiled and gave me confidence in their conversation.

The meeting started and suddenly I felt so calm, odd really as I had no idea how the meeting would unfold. I knew all of the people at the meeting and sat next to my father, which gave me confidence. However, I did not want to make a mistake with him present, so a little pressure was still evident in my thoughts. During the meeting I was very well looked after, everyone had put in a great effort in preparing for this. So I was determined to do my best for them as well.

The meeting drew to a close, nerves had totally disappeared and I felt calm and totally at ease. I was now a Master Mason! What a thought?...

The meal afterwards was very enjoyable, my father and others did speeches and I was congratulated numerous times. Still in a daze, I said my 'thank yous' and wondered about some of the words I had heard during the meeting.

My father and I returned home at around 10:15pm, my wife asked how it went and I summarised various topics. We had a drink and I sat in front of the fire watching the flames. Thoughts came into my head that exactly a week ago I had been doing the same thing!!! And now it was all over...Time flies, I thought...

No escape from the singing!.... My wife gave us the results and described what had happened during the programme. My father and I asked questions, and 'appeared' as if we were interested. Apparently my mother is also a keen fan of the singing as well!!!

So what now after my 3rd degree? I am going to take some time to digest what I was told and hopefully observe another third in the next meetings. The 3rd degree could now lead to other things and could be considered only the start of my Masonic career? Eventually, I would like to join the Royal Arch and another order. The third degree has opened many doors to a fruitful Masonic career if I choose to progress.

I would now like to attend another meeting at a different lodge and experience different meeting formats.... This will probably be the next time I write about my Masonic journey...

I would like to thank everyone who has guided and supported me over the last two years, to become a Master Mason. The countless hours of effort they have given freely astound me. Thank you for answering my questions when I was confused and I am sure in future you will have more questions to answer from me at LOI.

Also, thanks to my father and his Masonic experiences..... I know I have made you proud.

And lastly. But not least:

When my wife read this writing about my third degree, she said it made her look like an 'air head' that only watches singing and dancing. I can assure you, she is not an 'air head' and I would not be the man I am today without her dedicated support, commitment and decision making.

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