My name is Dan Machin and I’m 45 years old.
Originally from Battersea in South London, but grew up in Wallington Surrey.
However I now live with my girlfriend Siobhan in Lincolnshire, which is beautiful part of the country.
I have worked for the Prison Service for 23 years having served in the Royal Navy as a Physical Training Instructor for the 7 years before that.
I was first introduced to Freemasonry back in 2006 when I was invited to a Ladies Night in Bournemouth.
This was the first time that I had met any Freemasons and I have to say it was a great weekend. My good friend WBro Dale Abercrombie was a member of the Chessington Lodge No6076, along with WBro John Dyne and WBro Andy Howe, who I had worked with at HMP Highdown some years before.
After the Ladies Night in Bournemouth Dale asked me if I would like to join the Chessington Lodge.
Initially I was a bit apprehensive about it, as I’d only ever heard the usual about Freemasonry.
Dodgy Handshakes, rolled up trouser legs and that they were trying to take over the world. So I set about researching Freemasonry and read quite a lot about it.
After a few months I decided that I would like to be part of it, so was very happy when Dale proposed me and Andy seconded me. I joined Chessington Lodge in January 2007 and immediately loved it.
I felt a camaraderie that I hadn’t felt since I left the Royal Navy. My Initiation was a bit of a blur, so I set out to then read all about the ritual and its symbolical meanings immediately afterwards.
Not long after my Initiation, I started to learn and perform different parts of ritual and began to enjoy Freemasonry even more.
I’ve always had an interest in history and with the history behind the rituals, I was mesmerised.
For someone who can’t remember what I said last week most of the time, I’ve found learning ritual quite easy, much to the annoyance of my girlfriend and I quite often get “how can you not remember our conversation 3 days ago and yet you can recite pages of that stuff” ha ha!
As the years have passed, I have gradually worked my way through active offices in the Lodge, culminating with me becoming Worshipful Master in October 2016.
2 years before I took up the office of Worshipful Master my parents came home from a weekend in Cornwall where they went to see my Godmother.
On their return they handed a briefcase that belonged to my Godfather, who had passed away a few years before.
I opened the case to find his worship Masters’ apron, Collar and Past Masters Jewel.
I never knew that he was a Freemason and Worshipful Master of his Lodge in Cornwall. My parents had been telling her that I was a Freemason and she immediately went upstairs to get the case and gave it to my parents with a message.
She said “tell Dan that he can’t wear the apron yet, but one day he will” I was so pleased to know that my Godfather was a Freemason and was bursting with pride when I was installed in the chair of King Solomon wearing that very apron.
In June 2010 I was the recipient of the Provincial Grand Masters’ Master Mason Merit Award, something that I told my Godmother as I know that my Godfather would have been very proud of me.
Over the years, lots of people have asked me why am I Freemason? My reply is always the same, I enjoy being part of something so steeped in history and something that has had many influential members, from Royalty to Prime Ministers, as well as many great sportsman and entertainers.
I love the camaraderie that it offers and being on the level with men from all aspects of life, who share the same values. My girlfriend quite often refers to Freemasonry to our friends as “Boy Scouts for grown men” and I can’t really disagree with her, I love it.
I am also a Companion in a Royal Arch Chapter and was recently Advanced to the Degree of a Mark Master Mason.
Freemasonry has so much to offer and I can genuinely say that I am enjoying Freemasonry more and more as the years pass.
Worshipful Brother Dan Machin
Chessington Lodge No6076