The New and Young Masons’ Clubs Conference

On Saturday, 24th October 2015, at Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen Street, The Connaught Club hosted the inaugural New and Young Masons’ Clubs Conference (NYMCC).

London’s young Masons club, The Connaught Club, was founded in 2007 by Past Metropolitan Grand Master R.W. Bro. Russell Race, DL, to give young Freemasons in London a means to meet and socialise, with like-minded people of similar ages, who might otherwise be dispersed over London’s many Lodges and large geographic area. In the eight years since the Club was formed, it has grown to over 300 subscribing members (membership is £25 per annum) and arranges around 20 Club events per year. Past events have included seminars on Side Orders; trips to witness other types of Workings (most recently to Dublin); its monthly Friday Social – held on the first Friday of each month at the Freemasons’ Arms, Long Acre – Summer Picnics and its Christmas Dinner.

Following in the footsteps of The Connaught Club’s great success, many other young Mason and ‘light blue’ clubs have been formed throughout the UK and many other parts of the world – South Africa boasts three Connaught Clubs!

The Conference, which was attended by over 120 Brethren from across the country – representing 32 Provinces – was organised to bring together the many young and ‘light blue’ clubs to explain which events have worked well for their respective clubs, present best practices they’ve discovered and impart any event organising tips they possess.

Six clubs – The Connaught Club, Southampton Light Blues Club, Holywell Club (Sussex), Colonnade Club (South Wales), Buckinghamshire Northeast Corner Club and the Adair Club (Somerset) – each delivered 20 minute presentations on their respective clubs. Details included how their clubs were formed, their admin processes, financial planning, event organisation, issues they’ve encountered and the plans they have for the future of their clubs. With so many great tips and ideas being shared, there was no doubt that the Conference was a huge success by bringing together so many clubs, assisting each other and inspiring the Brethren representing Provinces which currently don’t possess such a club to form one.

The last club to deliver its presentation, The Adair Club, announced it would be hosting the 2016 New and Young Masons’ Clubs Conference on Saturday, 1st October 2016, at the Grand Lodge of Bath – details to book your ticket will be announced soon.

After the Conference, the Brethren in attendance were invited to join The Connaught Club for its Lodge meeting later that afternoon. Burgoyne Lodge No. 902 is made up of past and present members of the Club. As membership of the Club is restricted to Brethren under the age of 35, the Lodge was formed as a means for Club Brethren to continue their association with the Club once they reach the ripe (young) age of 35. Membership of the Lodge is open to any past or present member of the Club, no matter what age; however, all of the Officers in the Lodge are current members of the Club (under 35).

The Lodge held its Installation meeting in the wonderful Temple 10 and performed a splendid exhibition of ritual work. There was, however, a small issue when an attempt was made to hold a ballot for eight joining members – the ballot box and balls could be found nowhere! Despite this setback, not only was a success ballot held using an alms bag and XXX Extra Strong Mints, but also, a new type of Workings was (well, maybe not) created – Trebor Workings! ;-)