New Faces: Meet 7 new men
Photographs and interviews: W Bro Simon Greaves
Why are we Masons? A small sample of new members threw up the traditional reasons – family history, brotherhood and fraternity – but also some unexpected motives.
But the underlying bonds of friendship and mutual interest in self-improvement quickly surfaced among seven newcomers we interviewed in May at a special Lodge meeting for Metropolitan Grand Lodge’s Welcome Project. The wide cross-section of occupations, from mechanic to music agent, also showed the everlasting appeal of mixing with men from other walks of life.
They were among the members and guests of Hornsey Lodge No 890 – the scarlet-aproned Metropolitan Escorting Officers’ Lodge, led by Worshipful Master W Bro Anthony Codd – who treated them to a narrated demonstration of an initiation performed by the Metropolitan Grand Stewards’ demonstration team, an experience revealing much of the ritual they had only recently experienced for the first time.
Who? My name’s Jonathan Picardo, I’m a member of Goliath Lodge No 5595. I’m an architect by profession. I’ve run my own practice for the last 10 years.
Why? I was introduced to the Lodge by a colleague friend of mine. But my knowledge of Freemasonry goes back to my childhood, originally from my grandfather, and I’ve had friends in along the way. But I’ve just come to it now. I’m right for it, I guess.
How’s it going? In February I was initiated and I just became a fellowcraft. You get engagement more by having information to take on board and gradually learning. But there’s also lots of humour in the Lodge and I love the way that counters the seriousness; because that’s the nature of it all – it reflects real life.
Who? I’m Paul Ryan-Reader, Simplicity Lodge No 7865, I work as a music agent.
Why? My great-grandfather was a Freemason and it’s something I’ve always had an interest in. And when I eventually came across a good friend of mine who was a Freemason, it gave me the opportunity to join.
How’s it going? The excitement is from being around everyone. The general brotherhood, fraternity and the regalia and historic nature of it.
Who? My name is Daniel Melinte, I’m part of Royal London Hospital Lodge No 2845.
Why? I was asked to join by one of my colleagues and then started to do my homework! And, yes, after a couple of months I decided to join.
How’s it going? Being a Freemason, I can say, has changed my view of everything. I have more friends and I hope I am getting to be a better man.
Who? My name is Aaron Joyce. I’m at Boston Park Lodge in Middlesex, No. 4576, and I joined about two weeks ago.
Why? So my great-grandfather was a Mason, as was my father and my brother `so I’m looking to carry on that family tradition.
How’s it going? Well, in the short weeks I’ve been a Mason I’m already here at the big house! I can’t believe how inviting and friendly it is, and the people from all walks of life I’ve met. It’s far exceeded my expectations.
Who? I’m Daniel Smith, Frederick Wheeler Lodge No 8037 and I’ve been a Freemason since November last year.
Why? A lot of my family are Freemasons so I was very interested in the order, becoming a better person, meeting new people.
How’s it going? I’ve been made very welcome. Most exciting has been meeting new people, making new friends and learning about new cultures.
Who? Hi! I’m Riccardo Sieve, Motherland Lodge No 3861. I’m 29 and currently a computer science consultant.
Why? Above all, curiosity. I’d read about Freemasonry and wanted to know more. I wanted to try to be a better man myself, too – and so far its been very helpful!
How’s it going? I joined on March 18, 2023 and I’m now newly a fellowcraft. At first the ritual was confusing, but remember: Freemasonry is a lifetime journey so it’s important to have fun and enjoy it on a day-by-day basis. There is so much to enjoy, from the ritual itself to the environment and of course the brethren; who are all very helpful, welcoming and, I would say, enhancing for my life.
Who? I’m Konstantinos Parsaudis, Wandsworth Lodge No 1044. I am 43 years old, a father of one and I live in London and work in construction.
Why? I think it was a combination of friends and hearing good things about it. And also curiosity about the ritual.
How’s it going? This is my first year and I’ve really enjoyed it so far. I’m surprised but delighted by the people I’ve met so far. They are very helpful and try to make me feel as comfortable as possible for this journey.
This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 52 August 2023 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 52 here.