After visiting a number of other lodges whiles they were all very friendly the meeting days did not suite my work and when I was getting up at 4am to go to work lodges that met Monday to Thursday were not suitable for me. I visited Lodge University of Sydney Rose Criox Chapter and their Recorder Bob Lions invited me to visit his lodge, Lodge University of Sydney No. 544 which meets at the Sydney Masonic Centre on the 3rd Friday in the month.
This is an unusual lodge by the members own admission. It prides itself on not being stuffy and formal. While it recruits the students and past students from the university it will take graduates from other universities. It always has taken students and 18 years of age has always been the minimum initiation age. This bears a resemblance to the current universities scheme that some may be aware of. The lodge meets eleven times a year which is not unusual here. On top of that it has a hectic social schedule, including bare foot bowls!
The summons will show a few offices which most will not be familiar with. Wine maker is an office quickly identified. I am still not sure what they do!
The members quickly spot a new face and soon introduce themselves. Everyone wears light blue even the GM. This is because they do not have undress dark blue and the dark blues are worn only at installation visiting grand lodge or representing the district or grand lodge. Also, to cope with the heat in summer, the dress code is Dinner Jackets or a White Eaton Jacket. On Installation evenings or group visits (called a ‘Fraternal’) they wear academic gowns.
They sing different odes for opening and closing of each degree but I only recognised one. The visitors then paraded.
The Festive Board or “The South” as it called is very informal with various round tables and no top table. It is all very informal and they all sing the university song in Latin!
It is all good fun, different, but shows Masonry is universal and the differences translate to different locations and cultures. Lodge University of Sydney is a young vibrant growing city lodge and friendly with a capital F.