Lodge Acacia 232, Baildon has been involved in three yearly meetings with our European Brethren of Lodges Acacia for fifteen years. Including Sweden, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Austria, and even Russia and Romania.
The latest meeting in Malmo Sweden, on 21st September, provided a fantastic educational and social experience. Thirty-one brethren and their partners, the largest group journeyed to Sweden.
The weekend began with an introductory reception in the dungeon of a castle, where we were welcomed and entertained. Our W. Ms., wife Christine made a response on behalf of the lodge in fluent Swedish!
The next day involved the brethren being introduced to the splendid Masonic rooms off the main square of Malmo. Easily identifiable by the two Ashlars at the Entrance. Each being one cubic metre of stone!
This was followed by a live Initiation, a ritual which none of us will forget. The candidate appeared more than usually nervous and hesitant. It transpired that the questions he was asked for a period of ten minutes were live, and his responses were used to assess his suitability. No prompting. He was eventually returned to material light by three amazing magnesium flashes ignited by flames blown up narrow tubes.
An excellent luncheon followed in which toasts and songs, as well as gifts, were exchanged. This was attended by fifty-one visiting brethren.
An evening social event, at which accompany partners were present, followed. A select group of senior brethren were invited to a tour what is the equivalent of R. A. rooms. This involved stumbling down tunnels into a subterranean room two levels below ground level. And I mean stumble. The passageways were unlit, and no more than four feet high, unlit save small alcoves containing skulls and other assorted bones.
In the magnificent small Scarlet temple, an explanation was given of ‘blue’ and ‘red’ masonry practised in most of Europe. They must be doing something right, having initiated forty candidates in the previous year...
The official part of the weekend concluded with dancing, song, and much imbibing, the details of which are a little hazy. Save to say that everyone left in high spirits, looking forward to our next meeting scheduled for Rotterdam in 2021.