David Illingworth’s grandfather, a Mason for over 60 years, was from a generation that was quite discreet about their association with the Craft, however David knew two things about him very clearly: firstly that his grandad was very involved with his lodge and was constantly involved in charitable and community works, and secondly that he loved the organisation dearly. When his grandfather passed away, David could think of no better way to honour his memory than joining up himself, and he has never regretted his decision for a moment.
David, one of the younger members of Brunswick United Lodge at 31 years of age, officially became a member in 2016, and since then has noticed marked improvements in himself as well as a greater sense of pride in his everyday dealings. One of his most cherished memories was when he was chosen to give a scholarship cheque to the students of Moreland Primary School to help them with their transition into high school.
David says the key to being a good mason is to simply be a good person. “I uphold the morals of freemasonry as much as I can in my day-to-day life,” he says, “particularly the core tenets of ‘brotherly love, relief and truth.’” He also believes it has helped him in his professional life, where he works as an Analyst setting up contact centres for the National Australia Bank, as it has given him an overall more positive outlook and mindset vocationally.
David’s advice to anyone thinking of joining is to forget what you think you might know. “Freemasonry is very misunderstood,” he explains, “the reality is it’s an organisation of good people trying to make themselves and the community better. We aren’t devil worshippers – for one thing most of us just aren’t that interesting!”
The best thing to do, he suggests, is to come along for a dinner night at a local lodge, or for a more casual setting attend a Blue Lounge Social Club meeting if you’re under 50, and “within five minutes of meeting the people there you will know whether it is for you or not.” David remains confident good men will not be disappointed by their first interaction with Masonry.