The 5th UGLE Universities Scheme bi-annual conference was held on 7th November at Freemasons Hall in Leicester. The event gathered scheme representatives and university initiates from across the country and foreign provinces and has also celebrated a 10 year anniversary of the scheme.
The theme of this year’s conference was “moving on”. And focused on progression of university initiate’s masonic careers after graduation. The plenary session was based around the activities lodges need to undertake to ensure young masons can effectively transit to other lodges after they graduate and how to plan for it from the onset of their masonic careers.
The conference also focused on the success of the University Scheme in South Africa, the importance of lodges to working with their universities and the value social media has to the scheme.
After lunch, figures and statistics from the scheme census were presented. There are now 66 lodges in the scheme. 57 have so far responded to the census, with 45 providing membership data. It was reported that 794 brethren have been initiated through the scheme in those 45 lodges, 555 of whom are still members. The median age of initiates is 23 years, 62% are students, and 84% of those initiated have been raised within a year. Subs range between £60 and £265, with a mean of £145. Average dining fee within London was reported £40.77 and £16.36 outside the capital.
After a successful decade as the scheme president, RW Bro David Williamson PAGM handed over presidential duties to the current AGM, RW Bro Sir David Wooton. To commemorate his time RW Bro Williamson presented the scheme with a loving cup, that has been named in his honour as the DKW Cup. It will be passed on between scheme lodges, with each lodge being allowed to hold it no more than once a year. The cup will be claimed by a lodge if 4 or more brethern from the claiming lodge make a visit to the lodge currently holding the cup. It was announced that the cup will start it’s journey in Leicester, with Wyggeston Lodge No. 3884 being named as the first holder. The cup will encourage brethren to visit other university lodges and bring closer the scheme community.
- Report by Bro Maks Harloff-Bernyk