The Colonnade Club was launched on St David’s Day (1st March) 2015 when a small group of volunteers, supported by the Provincial Grand Lodge of South Wales, held a reception for Freemasons aged 45 and under in the Wales Millennium Centre against the iconic backdrop of Cardiff Bay. The afternoon, hosted by the Provincial Grand Master and Founding President of the Club, RW Bro Gareth Jones, OBE, was a huge success and the Colonnade Club was founded with 48 founding members.
Since its inception the Colonnade Club has grown to over 100 members and has become a focal point for young Freemasons living and working in South Wales, providing the means for them to meet and socialise with each other.
Club events range from informal social get-togethers, to more formal dinners, to seminars exploring the meaning and history of Freemasonry, to group trips to Lodges and other sites of Masonic interest across the country.
The Club also has its own Royal Arch Chapter – Colonnade Chapter No 7305 – which all members are welcome to join. The Chapter is the first of its kind to be consecrated and was recently admitted into the United Grand Lodge of England’s Universities Scheme.
The Club is an active and founding participant in the New & Young Masons Clubs Conference (NYMCC) and in October 2018 hosted the fourth annual NYMC Conference in Cardiff, bringing together representatives of the now forty-plus New & Young Masons Clubs from across the Constitution (and even from as far afield as Hong Kong) to share ideas and best practice.
The Colonnade Club has been founded to give young Freemasons in South Wales a means to meet and socialise with like-minded Freemasons of similar ages, whilst bridging the large geographic area and diversity of the Province’s many Lodges.
Primarily the Club’s role is to provide events and other occasions of either a social or educational nature for young Freemasons and their families to enjoy and meet each other and encourage their involvement within the fraternity.
We endeavour to promote a greater understanding and awareness of Freemasonry amongst the general public, with particular emphasis on its benefits for young people. We encourage openness and pride in our membership of the Craft and stress the contemporary role Freemasonry plays in modern society.
Aside from social functions, the Club acts as a representative body for the views of the younger generation of Freemasons. These views, and further suggestions from Brethren within the Club, are then referred to Provincial Grand Lodge through the appropriate channels.
This is an exciting time to be a young Freemason with NYMCs operating and being established across the country. The Colonnade Club hopes to be a useful and vibrant part of this new Masonic community.