Freemasonry is as diverse as the world that we live in, it involves many different cultures, different rituals, and recently, many diverse special interest lodges have developed, with the interests sometimes blending with the Masonry; the interest or hobby assisting with Masonic charities and helping recruitment. This can be seen with Masons taking part in all kinds of activities such as charity runs, charity fishing matches, and of course, charity bike runs. The Widow’s Sons is a Masonic assemblage of men who love bikes, who get together for weekend runs and raise money for Masonic charities, be it the local hospital, the local school or disabled children. They are an excellent example of how a hobby can assist in successfully extending the ethos of Masonry into ones social life.
The Widow’s Sons are made up of various ‘Chapters’ that are drawn from different lodges. Louis Collingwood is a member of the Kentucky based Solomon’s Builders Chapter, it is very active with helping brothers in need along with several other charities throughout the community. As Louis explains, charity is the mainstay of the Widow’s Sons: ‘One thing we live by is that we are all our brothers’ keepers. We show this with our Angel tree ride that each year one of our brothers Sketch custom paints a helmet to be raffled off to raise money for. Then we go get gifts for the children on the angel tree for Christmas. Then our biggest even is called the Zack Attack – a number of Chapters converge to include over 100 bikes for a charity run and the proceeds go to the Progeria Foundation to help kids that have a very rare disability. We are working toward raising money for school supplies for the next year. Other Chapter’s that we know include the Cryptic Knights and the King’s Guard, the latter being located in New York. All of this shows that when you have the brotherhood of men on two wheels there is a willingness to help, not only as Masons but as men that know we need to take care of people.’
The Widow’s Sons was started to help the widows and orphans around the world. It began in the USA in 1998 and has grown world-wide. It is an excellent example of how Freemasonry can diversify and extend its ethos into the realm of one’s social activities, helping to bond brothers together, not just across the country but all over the world. Let’s hope it continues to do so.