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Lagavara1

Eat first

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Freemasons’ Hall Arthur Square Belfast, has reopened from the Covid lockdown with an Eat First initiative.  The hall manager advises that to minimise issues raised under a risk assessment that holding festive boards prior to actual meeting has positive outcomes.

1Eating first enables a much needed social aspect between the brethren before entering a Lodge room for rigid formal proceedings.    

2 Eating first eliminates the need to rush the meetings – which are most likely to be more lengthy – as the caterers demand an actual arrival time in the dining room.

3 Eating first also is more akin to when members would normally eat at home. That is generally 6.00 to 7.30 rather than sitting down to a meal from 8.30 onwards.   

4 Eating first does not alter the time the Lodge members normally arrive at the hall.   

I think this a good initiative and maybe Covid has enabled change. Maybe, not suit everyone and eat first is not compulsory. And absolutely no rushing during the meeting has to be a worthy benefit. Definitely suits me and my associates.

Any one else doing something different since lockdown has ended?       

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It raises an interesting debate...

Last night, the dining didn't finish until 10pm, and then there was the travelling home.  However, several of the older brethren did not dine or left early.

Had dining occurred first (assuming the same overall start time), leaving early would be more problematic; likewise those electing not to dine do not get home any earlier.  On the other hand, working brethren could choose not to dine, thus arriving later...

 

But I do think the English custom of a three course meal, plus cheese board, could be reined in.

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We ditched the 3 course meal quite a few years ago(!) - now it's 2+cheese; the only time we have 3+cheese is at Installation. We meet Saturdays so leaving early rarely happens until the weather is bad. Invariably we've finished by 9.30 .. 9.45 at the latest.

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