The brethren Blackpool Lodge of Integrity No 5864 and the guests were treated to a unique initiation ceremony. What made this special was the candidate being of the Muslim faith.
Awais Rehman, 26 years of age was born and raised in Preston and is employed as a civil servant with a keen interest in Freemasonry. Whilst visiting Blackpool Masonic Hall last year at the heritage weekend he had a chance encounter with work colleague Stuart Gay at the open day that led to an introduction to Blackpool Lodge of Integrity and his subsequent initiation ceremony.
Having been prepared by the lodge tyler Gordon Ivett, Awais entered the lodge after being challenged by the inner guard. Awais was guided round the lodge by the junior deacon Derek McMenemy assisted by the senior deacon Granville Coxhill.
The WM Colin Rogers expertly conducted the ceremony with guidance from the director of ceremonies Joe Codling. Upon reaching that of the ceremony that required an obligation, a copy of the Koran was placed on the pedestal and Awais recited his obligation on the Koran.
After having being restored to his personal comforts, Awais was welcomed back into the lodge to receive the charge from John Wall and the working tools by Scott Burns.
An audible sigh of relief was heard around the lodge room at the completion of the ceremony, this being the cue for the group mentor Ray Lamb to welcome Awais into freemasonry and the Blackpool Group, particularly Blackpool Lodge of Integrity.
The lodge being closed and the Bible along with the Koran put away ready for Awais’s further ceremonies. The brethren retired to the dining room for a very enjoyable festive board.
Awais will not have to wait long to witness another initiation ceremony as Blackpool Lodge of Integrity have another candidate scheduled for the October meeting.