I've never had any desire to become a Rotarian or a Freemason, but I have unwittingly mixed in both circles.
During my brief stay in Shropshire in the early 80's, I was invited to Rotary Club, and Masonic, events on quite a regular basis. I was even asked to speak at a Rotary Club dinner.
I was once told by a senior Mason that people are never invited to become members; they have to 'make approaches' to an existing member. I have no idea if this is still correct, but I definitely felt as if I was being 'head-hunted'.
'Quasi-secret-societies' such as the Masons, Buffaloes, Rotarians, Druids, etc, have been around since time began. At my old school we had 'The Confessors Club' a Masonic style secret society named after old-boy Edward (I was not a member), and centuries later, alumni at 'Windsor Grammer' created their own version called 'Pop'; personified by the wearing of garish waistcoats (above). Such societies are not uncommon. In the USA I believe they all have various Greek letters as names, and indulge in bizarre initiation ceremonies.
These clubs are invariably male; women being far too sensible for such nonsense.
I wrote recently about being a member of the ICA, but I was also once a member of a political club; mostly for their cheap beer and the use of a very good Snooker room. Otherwise such focused clubs have never interested me. I suppose I'm simply not a club person.
p.s. Please tell me I'm wrong, but isn't that 'Pop' member above (on left) wearing patched trousers? Surely not!
Here Rotary is a service club like the Lions Clubs. I was always involved with Lions.ReplyDelete
I really know very little about the Rotarians. I was invited to meet journalist Brian Hanrahan at one of their dinners, just after the Falklands War (when he became famous), and the members simply ignored him. I felt sorry for him so we spent the evening together. They were a strange bunch.Delete
My husband was invited to join the Masons. He was taken to the hall in London and was stunned at the sheer size and decoration - only to realise the hall was merely the 'holding room' for the main hall. He declined the invitation.ReplyDelete
We can see The Brighton Masonic hall from my UK home; it's HUGE.Delete
My brother was asked if he would like to join the Freemasons. He was quite horrified, saying to me, "Do I come across as the sort of person who would want to benefit other than on my own merit?".ReplyDelete
The other clubs seem to concentrate on charity/fund raising while having a good time. There are female clubs for wives of Rotary and Round Table members, also Soroptomists which are purely female.
I can think of nothing worse than being a mason. I would hate it.Delete
Went to a funeral of a mason. At the appropriate moment, the brethren stood to sing the masonic hymn. Went to another funeral of a mason's daughter. Never been so much secretly pressed on the knuckle since.ReplyDelete
Did they all have their trousers rolled up? I find the whole Masonic thing rather silly.Delete
Just a couple of chaps and I can't see that either's trousers are patched. Our good friend who died last year was a Freemason, but he never talked about it. There was an awful lot of closeted gay men in such organisations.ReplyDelete
The Rotary club I had dealings with seemed to be more of a wife-swapping club.Delete
I wonder how Cressida Dick fits with the Masons. Perhaps she dons an apron and rolls her trousers up.ReplyDelete
I do hope so. It would suit her.Delete
When we were young, my husband joined the Jaycees of America at the urging of a friend. It is a leadership training/civic organization and can be good for one’s career. He belonged to it for a couple of years and it was excellent for job networking and they also had fun parties.ReplyDelete
Nothing to do with me! 😁Delete
Are you sure JayCee?Delete
I’m with Oscar Wilde I this topic: I wouldn’t join any club that would have me.ReplyDelete
About 50 years ago I was sharing digs with a man who was a mechanic with an F1 Team. One evening when our landlord who was a miserable old sod went out he forgot to take his Masonic book with him. He’d left it on the sideboard. So naturally being curious young men we took a little look inside. The next day our host asked us if we’d been reading his book and when we said No he went ballistic. Obviously we couldn’t leave fast enough. Within a couple of days we’d both found somewhere else. The most famous Austrian Freemason is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart so they can’t all be bad can they?
I'm sure they're not all bad. The one I knew in Shropshire was OK; he was my golfing partner, whilst I still played such things. Most of them, however, were pushy tradesman.ReplyDelete
Quite popular up here but they do a huge amount of charity work.ReplyDelete
How I originally got involved with them was through the Youth Club that I ran (for a year). We were raising money for a girl who'd had an accident and needed an electric wheelchair. We raised money by several different methods, including Carol Singing. I gave the cheque to them, made a small speech, and later they presented the wheelchair as if it had been all their own work. The children didn't mind too much as their aim had been achieved, but even so!Delete