Fred's Five Minute Talks: Your Masonic Questions Answered
Have you ever wondered why we wear gloves at our meetings?
On which page should we open the Volume of the Sacred Law?
Landmarks, what do we know about them?
Ritual; must we follow the ritual according to the book?
So Mote it Be - what do we know about it? Where did it come from?
Why do we have a chequered pavement in our lodge-rooms?
What is the importance of the Ancient Charges?
What is a Lewis? Do they have preference over others?
Which is the oldest lodge?
Why the Seven Liberal Arts & Sciences? What is their importance?
'Calling Off ' and 'Calling On' - what is the purpose?
Deacons - when did they appear in Lodges and why?
What others are saying about this book -
"Fred's Five Minute Talks is an invaluable teaching and mentoring tool, providing much to answer the questions posed by new Freemasons and Past Masters alike. Every Lodge should have a copy in its library and every Lodge Mentor should keep it close to hand." Tony Harvey, Provincial Grand Mentor for Derbyshire, The Prestonian Lecturer for 2012
"An excellent book, that fills in many gaps in Masonic Knowledge and which I will recommend to all members of my lodge."
Roy Marshall, P.M. 2541
'Fred's Five Minute Talks - Your Masonic Questions Answered' by WBro Fred Lomax
I feel that I must immediately and unreservedly endorse the foreword to this book from that highly regarded Masonic writer, WBro John Acaster. He captures the essence of the author and his objectives in writing it and to anybody looking to purchase it, do not be fooled into glossing over John's foreword. This book is much more than the title implies and John sets the scene beautifully in respect of the content and also the character behind the book and I can guarantee, it whets the appetite!
The title indicates the primary approach of the book: brief passages of Masonic knowledge written in a warm, engaging manner providing appetising chunks of information which I can see being easily digested both formally and informally, be that individually in a Mentoring environment or collectively to a Lodge. To place it in context, I see this book very nicely complimenting the series by VWBro Neville Barker Cryer 'Let me tell you more/What do you know about ...' and many others of their ilk by the likes of Julian Reece, Duncan Moore et al. It is also worth pointing out that this is not just another book covering the same issues addressed in many other similar volumes. WBro Lomax comes at it in a way that would address the thought process of the majority of Masons in a sequence which I guess they would appreciate. In addition, it is a volume which would sit in any Brother's collection an essential item in the event of emergencies! To fill the gaps in an evening - planned or otherwise that we know regularly occur - or as a planned item to stimulate conversation in a formal or informal setting. I can imagine many a Secretary and DC considering the book a godsend for those meetings where that little something extra is needed - particularly the dreaded business meetings where the highlight of the summons is conducting a ballot for the officers of the ensuing year! If we are honest, we all know that the plethora of materials out there means NO Brethren should experience the despair of enduring the meagre pickings of an un-stimulating summons. This book puts the ball firmly back onto your Masonic pavement (and Fred tells you about that too!)
And there are some intriguing titles: 'A Fit and Proper Person to be Made a Mason', 'Heart Hand, Badge Sign', 'To Keep Off All Intruders and Cowans to Masonry' and my favourite, 'Must we Follow the Ritual to the Book'... guaranteed to stimulate a healthy conversation! And Fred even gives space to 'Would You Like to Write a Short Talk?' Something we desperately need to engage our brethren to take up.
I think one of its successes is Fred's ability to make a point and engage the reader (listener) in so few words. Countless papers and lectures over many years have covered most of the subjects in this book to great depth and length. However, very few manage to encapsulate them with such brevity to the extent that in a Lodge context the point is made with a light touch. Intriguingly, it then left me wanting to know more and perhaps ask questions - exactly what one would want of a talk: to inspire the recipient to pursue their own course of discovery. Or putting an Orators perspective on it, to then ask questions following its delivery, stimulate debate, give opinion on our Order and its many facets - exactly what so few Lodge meetings achieve but which is so essential and sadly lacking in some of our 'modern' Masonic meetings. And cleverly, you do not need to be a skilled speaker to have a go at anything in this book.
What would I suggest you do then? Buy a copy, mull over it, pose yourself questions from what is presented, discover an opinion of your own, share the contents, your questions and answers with your brethren; stimulate discussion, make a daily advancement and vitally, facilitate somebody else in their voyage of Masonic discovery. In other words, add value to your Lodge in a manner which is far and above greater than the cost of this book.
In summary: it does what it says on the label and more besides and is (IMHO) a valuable addition, not just to your library, but to your regalia case. A book that most definitely needs to be given legs and an invitation to visit!
WBro Martin Roche SGD, APGM (East Lancashire)
Paperback: 128 pages
Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14.6 x 0.8 cm