Richard Elkington

Richard Elkington
“I think of Freemasonry as a teaching and learning institution. We don't deliver ritual and ceremony for the sake of marching around a Lodge room, we do it to learn about ourselves and to teach others about themselves.”
“Freemasonry is not ‘one size fits all’. Some people might be more interested in a Dining Lodge, rather than a more philosophy-focused Lodge. The Masonic orders may appeal to some people, while the networking aspects of the larger Lodges may appeal to others in a particular area or sphere of activity. It is important to offer that range of experiences to individuals looking to join.”

Richard Elkington joined Freemasonry at the Heyfield Lodge in 1980 at the age of 29, and was always interested in the more philosophical and esoteric side of the organisation. “My experience is with Masonic learning,” Richard explains, “A lot of Freemasonry is about symbolism, meaning, and learning; about oneself, one's relationship with others, brotherly love, charity, compassion, and one's relationship with their God or Supreme Being.”

After Heyfield merged with Rosedale Lodge, Richard felt inspired to form his own lodge centred around these aspects, and did so in 2004 with Lodge Cornucopia. The aim was to be fundamentally a teaching Lodge, and to deliver excellence in all respects: ritual, ceremony, and also in the dining experience. Whilst it was difficult to maintain at first, Richard soon found that there were a slew of prospective Masons drawn to that notion of excellence, and for the way Freemasonry could offer meaning to their lives through its more philosophical facets. Richard is effusive when describing the way Freemasonry can help people develop life skills: “Initially, I joined to pursue values and principles, and to understand myself and others,” he says, “but by learning about yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, you find out ways you can make a better contribution to the community. You find out ways to become a better man, looking after your family, and you develop leadership skills as you manage things at Lodge level.” As a final comment Richard brought up a rather poignant observation: “There's a reason totalitarian regimes always ban Freemasonry, and that's because it teaches people to think for themselves.”