Internet Lodge visit to General John J Pershing Lodge
Over a hot and sunny weekend in July I had the very great pleasure in attended the installation of WBro Hugo Rietveld at General John J Pershing Lodge.
We started out journey on the Friday Morning. Thanks to operation Stack, Ferry delays and traffic around Brussels, the journey to our hotel in Genk, Belgium took nearly 10 hours longer than planned.
WBro Rob Allen, WBro Chris Malpus and I left in good time from our hotel to arrive at the hotel where the meeting was going to be held, on the outskirts of Maastricht. It was a beautiful, hot sunny day, so being British, we had hot drinks on the decking outside.
The room for the meeting was a downstairs conference room, to which we were helpfully guided; indeed there was a banner on the outside giving information of what was happening inside and how any member of the public could contact the secretary for further information.
Inside the lodge room, the members were bustling around getting ready, but everyone was very welcoming, ensuring that we were all greeted, and given more coffee. The room had a bar at one end, and the chairs were laid out as you would expect a lodge room to be, i.e. round the outside, but cordoning off the end closest to the door where the bar was.
The Masters table at the far end had the Warrant in front of it and a photograph of General John J. Pershing. The altar was in the centre of the room, with the candles placed about it. To the Master left was the secretary’s table and in pride of place a picture of WBro Ab Goedhalls , showing that he was thought of even in his absence. We met three other visitors from Internet Lodge, WBros Roy Hodgson, Peter Clarke, and Peter Bachmann. I was going to sit with our fellow visitors, but as installed masters several of us were directed to the south east.
The General John J Pershing Lodge usually works Newfoundland ritual, and works in English despite being in the centre of Europe, with most brothers being at least bilingual. Previously to this occasion, however, they had worked Emulation Ritual for installation, so this was going to be the first time ever that this lodge had worked Newfoundland ritual for installation. One of the reasons is that the ritual is very comprehensive and has a running time nearly twice as long as Emulation.
In order to preserve the accuracy and sincerity of the ceremony, the Lodge had taken the decision to read the longer sequences of the ritual. We found that the meanings and passions of the installation ceremony were in no way impacted by the brothers reading.
Much as I would like to go into detail about the workings, I feel I should not as not all of us have gone through this or the equivalent. Suffice to say WBro Hugo Reitveld was installed into the chair in a manner befitting his stature. The ritual is magnificent and the brethren ensured that it was a moving and thoroughly enjoyable experience.
There were toasts and sharing of wine immediately after the ceremony, and I was able to bring greetings from members of Internet Lodge.
I hope to visit this lodge again, when time permits, as the welcome was warm, the ceremony excellent and the sense of a universal fraternity was always at the forefront.
Worshipful Master Internet Lodge 9659