Ramsgate Masonic Centre will be opening its doors to the public on January 7 to provide an insight into the country’s oldest fraternity.
The Royal Navy Lodge is based at the masonic centre on the corner of St Luke’s Avenue/Hardres Street (opposite the children’s play area in Boundary Park). Its has some 40 members and includes people from a variety of professions including builders, lorry and taxi drivers, car specialists, public servants and self-employed / company directors.
Charity is a huge theme running through Royal Navy Lodge. Members support many local and national charities through either fundraising events or personal donations.
Freemasonry in England was formally established in England 1717, but there is evidence that unregulated Freemasonry existed many years before this date.
As an organisation it has survived 56 Prime Ministers, 12 Monarchs and countless wars. Today the Masons are one of the largest charity providers in the UK, after the national lottery.
Lodge member Nigel Mann said: “ For many years Freemasonry has perhaps been viewed by conspiracy theorists as a secret society that promotes nepotism amongst its members and seeks to influence the various institutions that govern our lives.
“The reality of course is completely different, no-one is trying to take over the world from an old church hall in Ramsgate .
“We hope our Open Day will help dispel some myths, show off the good work that we do, both charitably and pastorally – we find that the camaraderie within is a significant benefit to our members mental health – and may inspire others to make a New Year’s Resolution to do likewise.”
The Lodge will be open for visitors on January 7 from 11am to 3pm. Entrance is free but people are asked to book via Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/masonic-centre-open-day-tickets-413452646997
The only reason people think that Mr Mann, is because you spent so long keeping your practices a secret-what did you expect? If it had been more open then you wouldn’t have the rumours of sacrifices, gay orgies, running the judiciary etc & of course any secret society that rolls up their trouser legs & do funny handshakes are going to raise eyebrows.
Of course your fraternity is still not totally open, as you do rituals in private that are not allowed to be discussed & will not admit Atheists.
How sad you have nothing better to do then being savage at the expense of other’s. I guess that’s because no organisation would be charitable enough
for you! 🥺
A ridiculous men’s club (yes I know there is a ladies chapter but they are still excluded ) dressing up in regalia, having initiation ceremonies and bowing down before the all knowing eye….for goodness sake! How old are they, 12 ? Get a grip and grow up.
No different than anybody who goes to church & prays to an invisible being. They all believe in a supreme being-whether it be the Eye In The Sky, some sky being who created everything in a week, or his undead zombie son via immaculate conception etc.
Why is one any more acceptable or logical than the other? Why do people laugh at Scientology & then go & pray to an invisible sky being for forgiveness of imaginary sins?
…and that is different to every religious ritual,how?
Forget all the secrecy and mystery, if you are that bothered about it go to a library or even on the web and 99% of the masonic history from there. what is the difference between masonry and a golf club, WI, or any other club?
Well, not a lot really, you have to be invited to join, show an interest in the activities and be of good basic character; whilst freemason’s raise huge amounts of monies for lots of local and national and worldwide good or charitable causes, or those who are for some reason are less fortunate than other, The life boats, disabled persons, children, all benefit from these peoples generosity. They prize honour and virtue above the external advantages of personal rank and fortune.
So before you jump to unfounded opinion and speculation, why not actually pop along and speak to a person who may well be able to answer your questions and put a lot of these myths in perspective for you. Then you can make an informed decision upon your stance on freemasonry first hand. You never know you might even enjoy being part of a world wide society.
They don’t accept Atheists Robin.
neither does the church
I once had the opportunity to join the Freemasons, but very politely declined. I have witnessed their “secret” ceremonies several times though, all highly innocuous.
Yes, sure you did.
Yes, I’m sure I did.
Peter, I have to say that your comment is something of a surprise to us. Perhaps you could share some more details about these opportunities. For example, what lodge did the offerer claim to represent?
Why should I tell a total stranger via a message board? Either believe me or do not believe me. It’s no big deal to me.
The Lodge, strictly speaking, was never used as a church. It was built with that intention, but never consecrated.
It is true that Freemasonry has been abused throughout the centuries, where the fraternity was used as a switchboard for favours asked and favours repaid.
If chaps want to indulge in the regalia and ritual, then that’s fine. But dishing out a multimillion pound contract to this contractor (because he’s a Brother) rather than that contractor (because he isn’t) won’t do.
I’ll probably go and gave a look, if they’ll let me in without baring my chest. It’s a bit of local history.
I can honestly say that I never saw any women baring their chests whenever I witnessed their ceremonies (if there were then it might’ve swayed me to join).
The Fraternity is just that. Women are not allowed to join. Part of the induction ceremony involves baring the chest of the candidate, to ensure that he is not a woman.
I’m astonished that you, as a non-Mason, were allowed to witness ceremonies. It certainly used to be the case that only Freemasons (and the initiate) could be present, on pain of death.
They’d occasionally hire the Winter Gardens for big ceremonies, and I’d take a peek through the crack in the door when I worked there.
Many conspiracies turn out to be facts not theories as Mr Mann should know. I’ve certainly known friends and a family member decline invitations for membership due to the undue and unpalatable influences they witnessed in their professions from the freemason club. But I guess some at the bottom of the pyramid are blissfully unaware of those further up that food chain.
It’s quite simply just another Mafia – your in or your out – black ball/white ball
Looks a beautiful place, as for some of the comments just shows how small minded some people are, many of the worlds majestic buildings were built by masons, not to mention the great charity work they carry out.
Nevertheless, it’s also the case that Masonic fraternity has been abused in order to gain preferential treatment both in terms of contracts and judicial outcomes.
Nor for nothing were there secret handshakes and other clandestine methods of signalling mutual membership.
When I was a Winter Gardens doorman, I often had men coming up to me and giving me a “funny” handshake. It was one of these times, after realising that I wasn’t one of “them”, that someone asked if I was interested in becoming a member. To which I politely declined.
Incidentally, I often let female workers take a peek at their ceremonies (something I was very strictly forbidden to do!). Like me, they were totally underwhelmed by it all. That said, I have nothing against those who are members. In general, I found them very friendly.
Imagine if it had actually happened.
Another member? Tell us all about it.
Incidentally, I do know several people locally who ARE members. Do you want me to name them?
… as well as Lycett, Aris, Griffin, Grainger, McMillan, Jones
The names are on the photographs on their facebook pages that are public you idiot. They are also on their websites – You are a real Piorot or Holmes. Dude, you are the most special of special
I will gladly give you a few more that aren’t on there (and no-one has answered why the pic of the guy in the big chair – see link below – has been digitally altered to hide his face). Perhaps you know?
Incidentally, I know exactly what goes on at these events: I have a life-long friend who is a high ranking member, and he has me in hysterics when (confidentally) telling me tales! Sadly no mentions of armed guards at the winter gardens though.
My understanding is that you never get invited to become a member, you have to ask to join.
As stated above, someone asked me if I was interested in becoming a member. Because I said “No”, I wasn’t interested in finding out what the next step was.
Are you a member?
I think you should actually go along and see what it is all about before sharing your fantasies here. Not a single one of your fantasies as set out above proves true. I too worked as a contractor at the Wintergardens when there have been big gatherings. Their social gatherings and Lodge meetings are not the same thing. What happens in the lodge is not replicated at socials. Actually, maybe you shouldn’t go as I believe they prefer honest men to join their fraternity.
You’re the fourth person here to imply I’m a liar… and I wasn’t even talking about evening social events – I’m on about the big (annual?) event in the main hall.
List of local members coming up!
Keep digging dude. I am not implying that you are lying. I am telling you that you are a Bull5hit Bertie… asked to become a mason, rituals at socials, funny handshakes when you are not dressed for an occasionn here you are employed as a labourer. Your former manager(if you were really working at the Winter Gardens) is a well respected Mason.
How about being man enough to use your own name?
It wasn’t a social; it was a big day-time induction in the main hall where I allowed several female employees to witness what was going on.
I was not a labourer. I was a well-dressed doorman in a suit and tie.
I assume you’re talking about Steve Davis? Good bloke.
Anyway… why WOULD I lie? I’ve hung out with Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, P.J. Proby and Jerry Lee Lewis (photos on my site), so I’m hardly going to try to impress people by claiming that I hung out with sexist old men in Margate, am I? It’s important to you, but NOT to most people here in the real world.
Or are you referring to N.T.?
Look on the Royal Navy website or Facebook page. If you really worked there, you’ll know him. All the members’s names are published with their photos, so you’re not naming and shaming. You’re making your own name that of a donkey. Socials at the Winter Gardens during the day are for high ranking officers, something you’ll never be abke to attend. Most socials are open to non masonic guest sDoorman my ar53. You are lying because you’re a troll
Still hiding behind your Camberwick Green-inspired alias then?
Yes, we all saw the day event with the high ranking officers, fancy chair and carpets, much to our amusement. Of course I didn’t attend it – I guarded the door.
As for me “not working there”, it is very well known, even on this site, that I did. See here for example:
You’re gonna have to justify the lie of you being a guard at a “masonic meeting”. When meetings are in prigress, there is a guard inside the lodge and an armed one outside. Dig, dude, dig. Your hole is getting bigger. So did you see your former manager on the pages mentioned? Women and non-masons are allowed at social functions because you lot have to do the catering
Armed guards at the Winter Gardens for a Freemasons event?! I think you’re the one in fantasy land, Sammy boy!
You’re obiously just an unemployed troll who likes to argue, whereas I have a book to promote. Enjoy your day.
At Least get your facts straight when you’re trolling dude. You are getting caught up in your lies now. There was never a Masonic neeting at the Winter gardens, nor will there ever be. You are trying to make out that a social event was a lodge meeting and that you witnessed it all. Next you will probably tell us that you had to feed the goat. You’re a joke!
Why are you obsessed with social evenings, or are they the only ones they (reluctantly) let you into? I’ve already said that they were high ranking officers daytime events (I worked on at least two of them during my time there, at both entrances to the hall).
More to the point, tell us about these “armed guards”. What did they have, guns? Swords? Fireman axes? Were they licensed to bring weapons into a public building? Of course, the truth is that you – unlike myself and numerous staff of both genders – you’ve never witnessed one (if it’s any consolation, they’re very boring).
If there really was a meeting, you would have seen what they were armed with. Or just Google it. This was not a Masonic meetong. It was a social event. Huge difference between the two.
Just goes to show how much they have to hide.
As this is an Open Day “to help dispel myths”, will application forms to join be offered on the day?*
(* To males only)
I think many act up, complain, spread disinformation and pretend they know more than they do because in their hearts they feel they wouldn’t make the cut anyway. In many cases that which we feel in our hearts turns out to be true so be sure to keep down those unbecoming thoughts.
I say it best to be charitable, in spirit and deed, keep your heart open and pure and your rewards will arrive via anything but selfish means, regardless of what those poor and distressed folk may claim
I’m sure they do, Lee. But as I said, having seen it all first hand, it is not something I would want to be involved in (call me “woke”, but I wouldn’t join ANY club that wasn’t fully inclusive to both women and transexuals).
Why has the bloke in the big chair had his face digitally altered?
Contra to popular beliefs there are female lodges, try Westgate, In the meantime go and take a look with your eyes and mind open, you never know you maybe enlightened and be in a position o make an informed rather than hearsay opinion
Why not mixed gender lodges?
And which one do transexuals join?
The 19th century is over!
There are 8 Masonic Lodges in East Kent.
Nobody has heard of Peter Checksfield.
Proof if needed that they’re all in their own little, woman-free, world.
Hello Peter, did this all happen to you when you were in the SAS, or cant you share state secrets?
Or may be when you were busy writing about Gary Glitter……
Believe me, writing about Gary Glitter, is far, far less dodgy than hanging about with Thanet Freemasons.