Gloucester Masonic Centre played host to a significant event with Lodge Gloucester 291 conducting the "raising" of Brother Joe Xuereb on Saturday, February 3.
Held in the presence of the Deputy Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother (W Bro) Khris Albano and his Grand Lodge team, about 50 brethren were in attendance to see Brother Xuereb "Raised" to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason, with the Deputy Grand Master conducting the raising.
The ceremony was not just a formality, but a symbol of Brother Xuereb's deep rooted connection to Freemasonry, tracing back to his Maltese ancestry.
The ceremony was followed by a Feast in the South, masterfully prepared by the Lodge Secretary, W Bro Rob Sterling, a chef by profession, with the assistance of his daughter Amanda. The banquet was a communal affair, with contributions from family members and friends, reflecting the spirit of Masonic fellowship.
In a symbolic gesture, the Deputy Grand Master was presented with the gavel he used during the ceremony, a piece skilfully crafted by W Bro Dirk Moller from century-old, reclaimed timber. The event was not only a celebration of Joe's ascent in Freemasonry but also an exemplification of the values and history that the fraternity holds dear.
Joe's Masonic path began in 2021, sparked by a simple Facebook inquiry about joining Freemasonry in the Gloucester area. His initiation took place in Lodge Gloucester, followed by his Passing to the Second Degree at Lodge Cowper No. 295 in Wingham. However, the true essence of Joe's Masonic pursuit is intertwined with his heritage.
In Malta, Joe's grandfather was a member of the Knights Templar and a Knight of Malta. Joe aspired to follow in his footsteps, a dream set into motion by W Bro Dirk Moller, the Master of Lodge Gloucester. The lineage traces back to the early 1300s in France, where an ancestor of Joe, a Knight Templar named Bereux, fled persecution by inverting his name to Xuereb and seeking refuge in Malta.
The weekend culminated in a breakfast with the Deputy Grand Master and brethren, wrapping up a memorable experience in the serene ambience of Gloucester.