As an Apprentice, Freemasonry was but a word and concept very new to me.
My understanding of the Brotherhood was limited to the point of ignorance, but I knew that as a human being I wanted to learn from others, that as I, have a thirst for knowledge and self-improvement.
As an apprentice I received my first piece of the Freemasonry puzzle. The first piece was self study and self reflection. To understand myself as Man, as brother, as an apprentice to learn and gain knowledge – even though at this time I had very little understanding of this knowledge.
As Fellow Craft I received my second piece of the Brotherhood puzzle. A puzzle I may add that has no definitive image.
At first I thought the image was my own reflection but as a Fellow Craft, learned that the image changed as I applied the learning of my teachers and fellow brethren. During every lodge visit something else in the workings became clear or I understood the symbolism of actions and comments. It was as if I had been looking, but not seeing.
Reading and studying …….but not comprehending even some of the basics. Through my labours I became a workman ………through my understanding I have become a better workman using the tools of trade to shape the cubic stone.
Looking at the floor in front of me I learned that this represents society and not just merely a floor. The tessellated border is not just a frame surrounding the floor but represents the Brotherhood and my fellow brethren, around the globe, that have allowed me to take my place within the order, to support Society.
I also learned that this puzzle of Freemasonry has no definitive shape or images ……but it is up to the individual of how he wants to shape this image guided by the Flaming Star….. always surrounded by the tessellated border. That the image is shaped by our choices in the journey of life, by our fellow man and ……through those we love and hold dear.
As I progress on my journey, shaping the image of the puzzle …..I am thankful that I am able to learn from others, my fellow brethren…….in the knowledge that they too are on a journey….. and we share the same goals even though our journey may differ.
Thankful that I know that they have covered far more road than I …….but that they will share their knowledge, experience and journey with me freely, in confidence….knowing that by doing so they contribute to the greater good and to the benefit of all mankind.
Thus, in conclusion I would like to thank all those that have participated in my short journey thus far……to my fellow brethren in Lodge De Goede Verwachting for being patient, supportive and always available to assist me with knowledge and guidance. To my fellow Brethren here tonight thank you for your attendance and support ……..and I look forward to learning from you all, in becoming an educated and informed Freemason.
I thank you all,…… Brethren.