When I was first asked to be a Mentor of the Elopura Lodge, I had absolutely no idea of my new role until the appointment letter was read out in full to me on the day of my appointment by the Worshipful Master. Then I received the Mentoring Handbook from my Bro Secretary.
It is my experience that If you want to be a useful Lodge Mentor then you must first go through this manual from United Grand Lodge of England. It is a rich source of information to arm yourself for your Mentoring duties. From that manual I learned that the Proposer and Seconder need not necessarily be the best choice of Mentor.
We at Elopura Lodge now have eight (8) pairs of Mentors and Mentees in the lodge each of whom were recruited by me to help me in my allotted task. The foremost benefit to the Mentee which I believe is to make Masonry an enriching experience for the new Brother so that he at once feels part of the Lodge “family”. He must be imbued with a sense of belonging, feel safe and secure and allowed to bring out the best in him. Not everybody is a ritualist but everybody is good at something. If that something is allowed to blossom, then we need not worry about retention or loss of interest or slowly drifting away. In this sense, preparation must start well before he is considered for joining. We had our failures in recruiting and on analysis we found that we did not involve the wife in the decision to join the lodge. We just took the brother's word for it. Now before joining, we invite the wife and address her concerns if any.
Choosing a Personal Mentor
When making a choice of Mentors in the Lodge for the respective Mentees, I look at a number of factors:
How often do they meet?
Do they play golf or any other games together?
Are they members of the same committee in other organizations?
Do they meet often for social drinks?
Are they friends outside and share the same hobbies e.g. fishing?
Are they the Proposer or Seconder and meet regularly?
In our Lodge we have combinations of all of the above including some with large age gaps. For example we even have a Mentee whom is a Mentor for a younger Brother. I am sure they will have a unique masonic journey together learning and sharing and doing rituals and allotted tasks together.
The Lodge Mentor keeps track of the progress of all the pairings on a quarterly basis. In this respect, pages numbers 25, 171,172 and 173 of the Mentoring manual are important tools
Education is also a part of the Mentoring process so I happily organize lectures, quiz, and explanations after practice meetings on various aspects of the lodge and our workings. Being involved in the preparation of the Lodge goes a long way to have a sense of belonging besides encouraging enquiry and curiosity. one would be surprised how even directions like North ,South East and West can be baffling for a new made brother. Inclusiveness is a major part of not letting a brother drift away or losing interest. Let them be part of organizing major events in the lodge. You would be surprised how well some of them perform and how their talents bloom.
W Bro Dr Edmond Fernandez
Elopura Lodge No. 7545 E.C.