Under the CADW initiative dozens of interesting buildings in Wales were open to the public during September 2018. Cardiff Masonic Hall was advertised by CADW as being open on two days and we had the biggest audience ever. The scheme has been running for years and the numbers are usually modest. In 2018 for the first time we hit 50+. These people ostensibly come to see the beauty of a Victorian building but inevitably they ask questions about Freemasonry, often referring to a family member who once was a Freemason. We answer all questions as candidly as we can and each year we seem to pick up at least one new candidate who follows through to being initiated in a suitable lodge.
Cardiff does have the advantage of having three temples and we work up from the smallest. The group is overawed by the third temple when they see the splendor of the Duke of Connaught and are astonished to hear how many meals a week are served to the various lodges that meet each day.
We talk about our charitable work explaining that all funds are raised from members and not from the public. Many people think we only fund ourselves, so it comes as a surprise to discover the breadth of the organisations and people we help.
This ‘Open Doors’ initiative is a real opportunity for us to talk to the uninitiated!