A Younger Mason Speaks
Bro Anton Uzunoff on his experiences in Freemasonry
For me, Freemasonry has been both a whirlwind of ceremonies and the slog of lockdown delays.
Coming from outside the United Kingdom for my university studies, I was open to experiencing as many new things as possible from the very beginning. I have always been a fervent pursuer of symbolism and allegory, so I was naturally drawn to the idea of Freemasonry. I wasn’t entirely sure what the entire process would entail, so I decided that the most natural thing to do was pop by Freemasons’ Hall and ask how to apply. After a series of confused looks, the people there told me there was an online form to fill out and a lot of waiting to be had.
Fast-forward to my second year of study, the Treasurer of my current Lodge, Skelmersdale No 1658, interviewed me. As one of five applicants, the plan was to conduct my initiation ceremony in September of 2020, during my third year in university. Unfortunately, the pandemic stifled any hope of this, and I had to wait just over a year before becoming an Entered Apprentice in a double initiation ceremony.
As part of a University Scheme Lodge, I was fast-tracked to my second degree in only two months, with my Raising due in January 2022 along with four other people. The situation in my Lodge is perhaps different to other Lodges as many people join simultaneously, which allows many of the positions in the Lodge to be filled by the newly raised members.
I’m already looking to join the Holy Royal Arch as soon as possible. I am of a scientific inclination, and I look to expand and complete my knowledge in every area I can, including the symbolic, metaphysical, and ritualistic. I am a firm believer that those who seek a complete view of the world must embrace all areas of understanding. As I’ve talked to members of my Lodge, I’ve been advised that joining Royal Arch is something entirely in line with my goals in Freemasonry.
In terms of breadth of experience, there is much to tell, even though I’ve only been a mason for a month and a half. Even in that short time, I’ve seen two initiation rituals, one of which was for a profoundly deaf applicant! I’ve met with people from the Connaught Club, which I intend to join shortly.
I’ve been lucky enough to talk to brothers from Cyprus and Greece, and my fellow Lodge members have been excellent during every ceremony. I am also entirely convinced that I’ve had my annual fee paid back purely in pints of Guinness.
As a new initiate, I believe it’s expected that I should be slightly overwhelmed by the amount of information thrown at me. This couldn’t be further from the truth as I thrive in high-intensity situations. I’m quite looking forward to taking part in a ceremony after my Raising, something I’ve already been contacted about and that I’ve eagerly agreed to. Despite the limited amount of times I’ve seen my brothers, I feel very connected and accepted by all of them, despite the considerable age gap. Our Treasurer specifically not only conducted my interview but also was the person who Passed me to the second degree, an experience even more memorable than my initiation, in my eyes.
I look forward to what the Lodge and the Craft have in store for me, both in terms of lessons and new acquaintances.
This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 48 April 2022 edition.
Arena Magazine is the official magazine of the London Freemasons – Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London.
Read more articles in the Arena Issue 48 here.