Peter Southcott, left, with three visitors from Cadogan Court retirement home in Exeter, seated. Standing are Tony Jonas, left and Richard Annetts. The man in the blue sash, Mr Penny, has been a mason for more than 60 years.
The Dartmoor Lodge is particularly known for the warm welcome it affords its guests.
A recent open day at the Dartmoor Lodge saw crowds flock for a fascinating glimpse into the normally hidden world of the Freemasons.
The lodge, based in the Masonic Hall in Totnes Road, South Brent opened its doors to mark 300 years of Freemasonry in England.
Organisers reported “a great day” with more than 80 people in attendance. The lodge offered a free barbecue to tempt people in, which proved especially popular, with supplies quickly cooked and eaten quickly and repeated trips to the shop necessary. The bar was also very popular, with a local guest ale.
The day was an opportunity for members of the lodge and their friends and families to celebrate the tercentenary year, but also a chance to welcome visitors.
These included those that might be interested in Freemasonry, those that had always wondered what a lodge looked like and invited guests who had been recipients of help and donations.
A spokesman for the lodge said: “We as a lodge meet once a month, when we hold a ceremony involving masonic ritual which a lot of non-masons find difficult to understand, and sometimes to accept. Following the formal part of the evening we have what masons call the festive board, which is in reality a slap-up dinner.
“Freemasonry is all about making friends, young and old and indeed we have many visitors from other lodges. The Dartmoor Lodge is particularly known for the warm welcome it affords its guests.
“We have many other social events during the year at which everyone is welcome. Details can be found on our website: www.dartmoor4604.org.uk . Details of how to become a mason can also be found.”
The spokesman pointed out that Freemasons’ charitable donations are second only to the National Lottery in terms of the amount given. Since 2010, the 40 members of the Dartmoor Lodge have given more than £15,000 to local organisations and individuals, all raised from their own pockets and social events.