My name is Carl Walkden, I am 20 years old and I am just about to start my third year at University where I am studying for a degree in Sports and Exercise Science. My ultimate aim is to qualify as a teacher and work in a High School.
I have a number of varied interests including listening to music, playing my guitar and getting out in the great outdoors free running, walking and skiing. When I complete my University course I hope to spend the summer in Canada working on a ski resort, where I hope to qualify as a Ski instructor. I am also a member at Penwortham Golf Club where I started on the young masters program and progressed from there.
I was initiated into Freemasonry in April, 2013, when I was 19 years old. My father was the Master of the Lodge of Endeavour No 7036 at the time and my late Grandfather had also been a member. For this reason the Provincial Grand Master was kind enough to grant a special dispensation allowing me to join the lodge before my 21 Birthday. The fact that my father initiated me was even more special and gave the ceremony a more personal touch. I have always had an interest in becoming a Freemason from the experience and involvement of my father and Grandfather over a number of years.
From attending social functions, I had met a number of the lodge members and grown up knowing quite a few of them as close family friends. I had always found them to be friendly, helpful people and their interests in helping others through charity sparked me to express an interest in joining the lodge and helping others myself.
The friendships of my youth did not fully prepare me for the experience of being initiated, as it did not relate to anything I had experienced before. The fact that my father performed the ceremony and a number of friends took part helped me to settle and I was encouraged by their support. Whilst it was not something I had previously experienced in my daily life, I soon came to realize the variety and friendships I was now experiencing is why I enjoy Freemasonry so much. I have taken my first step by becoming a Freemason and have begun to learn the history and traditions of Craft Masonry. It also gives me the opportunity to meet and socialize with a diverse group of people who I otherwise may never have spoken to or met.
We meet once a month for committee meetings and practice nights. In addition to that we meet once a month for our regular meeting, after which we all enjoy a good hearty meal, a pint and a tall story or two!
These evenings are relaxed and happy occasions with comedy a vital ingredient of making it all fun. Throughout the year we meet at least once a month, for the lodge instruction nights where we practice a variety of things including basic lodge procedures, ceremonies and discuss aspects of Freemasonry that help to build on the knowledge and understanding of all members. We are all encouraged to participate and even swap positions in the room to help with learning and experience.
Outside of the meetings there are social events which give an opportunity to cement existing relationships and to develop new friendships. I am glad to be carrying on a family tradition as the third generation of my family to become a Freemason in the Lodge of Endeavour. I am looking forward to many happy years in Masonry as I progress through the offices and settle into this wonderful fraternity.