To mark the occasion, invitations were sent out to about 4,000 members, both at home and abroad, for a theatrical and musical celebration of the tercentenary at the Royal Albert Hall on 31 October 2017. Two members of St. Augustine Lodge were honoured to have been invited to attend this historic celebration.
The production started off with a fitting homage to how Masonic ritual usually goes - with a few (planned?) stumbles, which drew understanding chuckles among those present. A brief introduction to the background that led to the genesis of organised Freemasonry was given by Sir Derek Jacobi, Samantha Bond and Sanjeev Bhaskar, who served as observers throughout the production.
The story followed the journey to enlightenment of an initiate to Freemasonry, Mr Aveney (later revealed to be an anagram for ‘Every Man’). The initiate was first introduced to the three key moral virtues, each one representing a key step on Jacob’s ladder: Faith, Hope and Charity, as well as one of the pillars supporting a Freemason’s lodge: Wisdom, Strength and Beauty. On his journey, Mr Aveney was taught many important lessons by a variety of historically notable Freemasons, bearing in mind the first admonition by his guide Hiram - that the only requirement of each mason was that each person “be the best that (he) can be”.