Name: Owen Parry
Name: Alan Ligertwood
Name: Philip “Cedric” DuCroix
To this day I do not know if my father was a Freemason. I believe my grandfather was in the Craft, although, I have never been able to find out which Lodge he belonged.
Dad frequently spoke to me about Freemasonry. It was always his wish that I should one day join the “Craft”. He challenged me to find out what was in “Rooms 1, 2 and 3”. Apparently “Room 3” was the most important. This was where you met the “Man” and saw the “Chair”. I vaguely recall mention of the “Holy Bible”, “Jacobs Ladder” and the “Sanctum Sanctorum”. How no one could pass the “Guard” at the door unless he was “Qualified”. Stories of “Faith”, “Hope” and “Charity”. Stories of secrecy and mystery that would intrigue and frighten me.
I did not have a pleasant childhood. When Dad lost his job, during the depression, we sank to the depths of despair. For the most part, I do not recall receiving gifts during the Festive Season. Gifts were for the wealthy, I did not know where my next meal was coming from or if there would be one. How we managed through those difficult times, I choose at this time, not to recall. Suffice to say that we were dependant on the charity of others, and, not surprisingly, those who had the least did the most.
Finally I left school, found employment and slowly endeavoured to pick myself up out of the gutter. Then Dad fell seriously ill. Not knowing to which religious denomination he belonged (he steadfastly refused to say) I requested the attendance of the Roman Catholic and Anglican priests, both of whom administered the Sacrament.
Time went by, as it is wont to do, and eventually, to fulfil Dads desire, I became a Freemason. I have been in the “Craft” since 1967 and never once have regretted my decision. Did I ever find out what was in “Rooms 1, 2 and 3” and about the “Man” and the “Chair”, the “Holy Bible”, “Jacobs Ladder” the “Sanctum Sanctorum” and the “guard” at the door? Was Dad right???... The answer is Yes and No... perhaps his stories were also veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.
Then the other night, when I returned from Lodge and pondered the nights proceedings, my life to this point in time, Dad and his stories and how, because of him I became a Freemason, it dawned on me, nay it hit me like a bolt from the blue, I had done nothing for Dad... absolutely nothing. It was Dad who had done something for me. He had given me a gift – the gift of Freemasonry. The gift of kindness and brotherly affection. The gift of satisfaction and delight that only disinterested friendship can afford. The gift of love, the bridge that spans the divisions of time. The gift I would treasure even unto the end.
Now I understood. I slowly took the handkerchief from my pocket and wiped the tears of gratitude that had filled my eyes and run down my cheek. That night, for the first time in a long while, I thanked my father.