I had the pleasure of visiting Harvard Lodge twice this past week. The first time was for a Third degree (in Cambridge Masonic Temple), and then at their usual turf, Grand Lodge in Boston (picture), for a stated meeting and a lecture. Two very different meetings, but both great experiences. And these guys are so young they made me feel old!
Due to the unique demographics of their lodge (most are students), they can only hope to retain their members for a few years, which means that they need a certain influx, and they have to arrange things so that the work does not put an undue strain on the officers and their studies. So members are put through the degrees in groups, but all were raised individually – that’s a long day’s work, but there was no slacking of standards. As an added bonus, to me at least, a fellow forum traveller, RooferJim, was in the Chair. The ritual work was impressive, and performing the degree, as they do, in Academic robes do add something special.
Then, a few days later, there was the (brief!) stated meeting, which moved into dinner – and to my surprise there was around 40 guests: students from Harvard that had been anonymously “recommended” by brothers of the lodge. They were invited to get a sense of the lodge (and vice versa) and possibly consider membership, but there’s a long and deliberate process. Also, there was live jazz and a lecture on Br. Benjamin Franklin by Br. Matthew Bauer. Pretty cool. From the dinner we moved upstairs to Harvard’s own “apartment” (club) for drinks and chat. It is hard to tell how many of these guests will be back, but there certainly seemed to be enough of an interest, and you could definitely do worse than hang out with these guys going through university.
Read about Harvard Lodge.