A Young Mason Speaks
Bro Edward Compton reflects on his experience
I am Edward Compton from Enfield. Over the past 20 years, I have worked as a pub cook, baker, security guard, gardener and TV extra (any casting directors reading this, the moustache is optional!).
For the past six years, I have been a bus operator for a North London based company. I got involved in Freemasonry through my uncle, a member of several lodges. I asked whether I could join as I had an interest for a few years, and I joined Islington Lodge No 1471 in 2017, which was a very proud moment.
Being involved in Freemasonry means a lot to me, not least having friends from all walks of life and hoping that one day I will meet someone who can cure male pattern baldness! But seriously, I have met some great people from different backgrounds and experiences who I wouldn’t necessarily meet anywhere else. There is a great sense of camaraderie in our Lodge, and I’ve made some great friendships. I also enjoy the feeling of belonging to a society steeped in history and tradition.
Freemasonry has given me more confidence. I’m a people person but can sometimes find speaking in front of larger groups a bit daunting. My Lodge has been very supportive in helping me prepare for our meetings and relax when performing my duties. My first role was to present the Working Tools, and that small but essential task gave me the confidence to take my first office as the Lodge’s Inner Guard, though as an ex-bouncer, it was a job I could easily relate to! Each role has more responsibility, and I am now a Junior Deacon, which I enjoy.
I also relish the social aspect of Freemasonry. Our Lodge of Instruction meets regularly, and we often go for a drink afterwards and have a good night out. The Festive Board dinners after our meetings are terrific fun, and there is a lot of banter and usually a sing-song. The other aspect of Freemasonry I’ve embraced is visiting other Lodges. There are some fantastic Lodges out there, and visiting allows you to relax and take in the ceremonies, build new friendships and concentrate on the great food and wine! There are also lots of social events for Masons to enjoy, such as the Masonic Craft Beer Society event I attended over the summer at Wax Chandlers Hall, a lovely building and where I met some fascinating characters over a beer or two (or six). My Lodge arranges social events throughout the year, including a trip to a West End show with dinner, tours of London attractions and even a Thames cruise. My girlfriend and parents also attended these events, so they also enjoy the social side of Freemasonry.
I am proud of our support for charities and supporting each other. We often run raffles at our social events and meetings, and I help with the collections and make sure we sell as many raffle tickets as possible. During the lockdown, to make sure our Brethren were okay, we set up a WhatsApp group, and I regularly contributed to keeping up everyone’s morale. It’s something I do in my working life too: working as a bus driver during Covid was very taxing, and we had to keep London moving, but I always tried to raise a smile over the intercom with a joke – I’m sure my passengers were laughing under their masks!
I am so happy and grateful that I joined Islington Lodge, and I thoroughly recommend Freemasonry to those interested.
This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 47 January 2022 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 47 here.