Knocking on the door of Freemasonry
Photographs and interviews: W Bro Simon Greaves
Meet seven fresh faces who attended a Discover Freemasonry evening at Freemasons’ Hall
At Arena, we think it’s important that we keep the torch alight by being relevant to younger, newer candidates. When hundreds of potential Freemasons visited our London headquarters to find out more about the organisation for themselves, the welcome was as warm as the unseasonably balmy early autumn weather outside – and we were there to ask a few questions.
Our interviewees represented a true cross-section of society, but all seek friendship, fellowship, networking and an opportunity to serve others and their communities.
Who My name is Vladimir. I work here as a nurse. I came here from the Philippines five years ago.
Why Growing up, I heard about the Freemasons in Britain. My friend is also joining the Freemasons back home. He said, just try to be yourself and ask about the first steps. So I’m just curious and when I read about this event on the internet, I came here.
What I like the values of service and integrity. For me it’s a big step as I try to work on myself. Hopefully I’ll make some new friends and meet some nice people on the journey.
Who I’m Dumitru. I’m 25 years old. I used to be a competitive body-builder; now I’m a prison officer. I’m also doing my Master’s thesis.
Why I want to meet people similar to me. I’m looking for a sense of brotherhood, charity and ways I can connect with other people.
What Tonight I just expect to get some information about the organisation as a whole and its activities.
Who My name is Daniel. I’m 34 years old, born and raised in London. I’m a chartered accountant and I now work in internal audit for an insurance company.
Why Curiosity was the main driver. Obviously I know about the Freemasons and I’ve a very basic understanding of who they are and what they do, and what they stand for.
What I hope to gain a sense of community, of belonging to an organisation that’s bigger than myself, sharing my values and trying to improve myself, and trying to help the wider community.
Who I’m Nora. I’m based in London and I’ve been in the UK for over 15 years having studied in Edinburgh and then started working in advertising and PR. Now, after having studied psychology, I ventured into writing and that’s where I am right now.
Why It was my friend Rudina’s idea. I was very interested to see what I would find here as it’s a long-established institution and it has roots in Edinburgh where I studied. So I thought, let’s have a look.
What The idea that it’s a Fraternity and a Brotherhood and people basically helping each other is something I can really relate to. It’s something I want to be a part of.
Who My name is Rawa. I’ve been in London for 24 years now. I graduated up North in a university and I’m from Kurdistan, northern Iraq.
Why I’ve always been interested in Freemasonry and I’ve always known that I wanted to find out more about them and maybe be part of it.
What Networking, to be honest with you, and getting to know the people here – amazing!
Who I’m Vincent Okosodo from Nigeria. I’ve been over for work in the UK for two years. I’ve done a lot in the UK. I’m currently a project manager in the construction industry. I also have a company in Nigeria – it’s like a global hub to attract foreign investment as I’m very strong on African information.
Why On this journey, you want to find the people with like minds, people who are thinking more about a bigger society and a better place. This is why I came here. It’s more like taking a step forward to share life and learn more about myself and what I’m doing.
What Seeing everyone here, I think this is a place where I am going to find like minds. Coming here today, for the first time, I’m just thinking: what are you doing with your life, what are your ambitions? I hope others are too, and I’m going to find some answers.
Who My name’s Felix and I’m an apprentice chef at the City of London Club in Liverpool Street. I’ve served many a Mason and I thought: I have already donned one apron, so why not don another!
Why Heritage-wise I’m Sephardic Jewish and I’m very interested in the mysteries behind King Solomon. I’ve just finished a great book by Karl Jung and I’ve found there is a lot of intrigue behind Freemasonry and I’d like find out more about the gnosticism of it. I’m very interested in the universal unconscious, the universal mind.
What There is a lot of community I’m missing out on. A big problem with the modern age is that we don’t have much of a community and I think that being in a comforting environment where I can be around people who are a positive influence can make me better as a person.
This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 53 December 2023 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 53 here.