Some people join Freemasonry as bright-eyed 18 year olds. Others come to the organisation a little later in life. David Manallack, a lecturer in Medicinal Science at Monash University, became a Mason at Brighton District Lodge at the ripe ‘old’ age of 51. However, David believes his Masonic journey began well before he officially became a member – both his father and grandfather were Freemasons and David remembers fondly the Masonic social outings, such as the barn dances he attended in his youth, and the high-minded values that were instilled in him as a child.
In 2011, David bumped into an old primary school friend on his way home from work. Before this chance encounter, the last time they had seen each other was all the way back in 1972. This serendipitous moment lead to a catch-up further down the track and an enlightening conversation, during which his friend revealed he was a Freemason. “This was without doubt the trigger point,” David says, remembering the moment fondly. “Without hesitation I told him I was interested.”
A month later his friend had invited David to his lodge in Brighton where he was instantly struck by the “camaraderie and relaxed atmosphere”. David often thinks to himself “why didn’t I join earlier?”, particularly given his family history. His main response is that in the beginning he felt like he wouldn’t know anyone. Fortunately, David had a friend to guide him through and was easily able to overcome this hurdle, and in turn his advice to anyone contemplating joining is: “don’t hesitate. There will be plenty of new friends you will meet, I guarantee it!”