The 2023/24 master of Carnarvon Lodge Chris Upton OBE, has not wasted any time at all organising social events for his Carnarvon Lodge No 2376 members, their family, and friends. Having been installed as master of his lodge in December 2023, Chris has quickly organised a White Table event which was focused on shedding light on life inside the lodge and what happens after our meetings and the festive board.
The evening started with members of the lodge welcoming family, friends, and potential new candidates to Preston Masonic Hall. Brethren and guests all gathered in the bar and introductions were made while the lodge room was setup. Once ready, all Freemasons made their way to the lodge room, with the exception of Kevin Byrne, who stayed with the evenings non-Masonic guests.
Upstairs, a quick business meeting was held, with the lodge opening and closing as normal. To include and engage their guests Carnarvon Lodge invited them into the lodge room prior to the officers parading out and sat them down for a brief explanation on Freemasonry.
Chris Upton led the presentation and started by giving the guests a brief history on Freemasonry and how it’s a great support to many people across the world. He also gave his own personal feelings and experience of Freemasonry and how he enjoys being surrounded by like-minded people who are there to support each other and others in the community.
In a well created speech, Chris spoke about the integrity, friendship, respect and service that Masons learn and share with each other. He also spoke about the charitable efforts of Freemasons locally and nationally, including the overseas aid that is given by Masons.
For a bit of fun, Chris listed a few famous Masons as well as members of the royal family who have joined the Craft. The attention then led into the lodge room and a brief explanation of the impressive lodge room was given.
Following his informative and personal introduction to Freemasonry, Chris explained the difference of each apron by asking brethren to stand to show the guests each stage. Fortunately for the guests, they had brothers present wearing each apron, including the Provincial Grand Stewards apron. Each apron was accompanied with a brief summary by Chris so that guests could hear and visually see the difference as Masons progress through Freemasonry.
Before wrapping up the lodge section of the White Table event, the officers of Carnarvon Lodge each stood in order and gave a brief explanation of who they were in the lodge and what their role involved, ending with Chris as the master of the lodge.
The guests then witnessed the brethren parade out of the lodge and they were all welcomed downstairs for a meal which included slight parts of a festive board, mainly the gavels.
At the festive board, everyone’s spirits were high despite the room being extremely cold. Chris welcomed his fellow Carnarvon Lodge members, visiting brethren and especially the family, friends and interested men who had come to join the White Table event.
The meal was enjoyed by all and in-between the gavelling wardens there were toasts to the King, to visitors and a raffle. Carnarvon Lodge brethren were also delighted to welcome Val Derbyshire and Cath Mortimer, the widows of Terry Derbyshire and David Mortimer, who were both stalwarts of the lodge and greatly respected in Freemasonry.
As the evening ended, it was commented as a great success. Following the White Table event, Carnarvon Lodge now have two new candidates who will be joining the lodge in March and April, their February meeting is a third degree, which is one of three that are planned.