The concept of special interest or affinity lodges has never really caught on in the U.S., but more and more of them have been appearing throughout England. It was announced last week that the United Grand Lodge of England has recently chartered Spinnaker Lodge No. 9932 on the Isle of Wight, especially geared for area Masons interested in boating.
From the Yachting and Boating World website on 9/23:
Spinnaker Lodge, the first ‘boating lodge’ in the country for freemasons, will be launched later this year.
This is one of many new special interest lodges in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight dedicated to a variety of subjects, from football and rugby through to scouting and motorcycling.
This allows members to combine their love of a particular sport or activity with their masonic activities; self-development, raising money for charity and supporting the local community.
There are more than 9,000 masons in Hampshire and Isle of Wight, many of whom either own their own boat or crew on a regular basis.
The founding Master of the new Spinnaker Lodge, Frank Milner, is the proud owner of a Moody 27 and is looking forward to recruiting new crew members and receiving advice and help with projects from fellow boating enthusiasts.Spinnaker Lodge meetings will be held on a regular basis in spring and late summer at various masonic centres around the Solent, all of which are close to marinas.
Members will arrive by boat, enjoy a pontoon party in the afternoon before attending the lodge meeting in the evening.
This will followed by a meal or other social event, when wives and partners can also join in the festivities.
Founder member Chris Waight, who owns Vulnerable, a Fairline Targa 47, sums up his thoughts on the new lodge.
“I’ve been a freemason for over 20 years and really enjoy and value the friendships I’ve made in that time,” he said.
“Joining the new Spinnaker Lodge will give me a great opportunity to meet up with other freemasons who like me, enjoy boating,” concluded Waight.
The new lodge will be encouraging both existing and new members who are interested in yachting and motor boating, to meet, talk about all things boating and share experiences and knowledge with each other.According to their Facebook page, the lodge will officially be consecrated November 4th at the Southampton Novotel. Their first meeting as a lodge will be in January 2017 at the Royal Naval and Royal Albert Yacht Club in Pembroke Road, Portsmouth. Summer meetings will be held at Cowes, Lymington and Southampton. These will be 'sail to' events, with evening events for all including non-Masons, guests and partners.