What is Freemasonry?

Freemasonry (often referred to as the Craft) is one of the world's oldest and largest fraternal organizations. It brings together men with similar interests and provides a code for living in today's society, based on high moral and ethical standards. Its members strive to live by the principles of honour, integrity, respect, equality and charity. They have a belief in a Supreme Being, (higher power) even though each Freemason may have a different concept of what that really means.

 

Freemasonry is not elitist, as all men are considered equal and therefore a Lodge is composed of ordinary men, who come from all walks of life. While they come from many different backgrounds, each one of them share, a common concern for humanity, the maintenance of moral standards, respect for the laws of the land, the rights of the individual.

 

Freemasonry is not a secret society. It is a well known organization in our communities and our Members freely acknowledge their membership of the fraternity. Our meeting places are normally very prominently located in the cities and towns and our meetings are often advertised in local newspapers.

 

Charity is one of the cornerstones of Freemasonry but we are not a charity. Masonic charities are renowned world-wide for their work with medical research projects, aged care facilities, and many other causes. Locally, each Lodge seeks out worthy projects that may benefit from some form of assistance. Often this help may simply involve monetary aid or on some occasions require physical assistance. Freemasons regularly work on local community programmes sometimes as a Lodge initiative and often as an individual. Masons believe in and practice good will to all men.

 

Freemasons meet as a Lodge, however, Lodge is normally understood to mean the building where they meet. A gathering of such men creates an environment of harmony and tolerance and in order to maintain that atmosphere, religious and political discussions are banned at the meetings. We are also banned from actively soliciting for members. We believe a man should come to Freemasonry of his own free will, without any inducements.

 

Freemasonry offers membership of a world wide fraternity and all that engenders. It also provides an environment that encourages self development through public speaking, leadership and meeting procedural skills. Through the improvement and strengthening of character of the individual, Freemasonry seeks to improve the community. One of our proudest claims is that we "make good men better".

 

Whilst each Lodge is a separate entity, all Lodges answer to the Grand Lodge of the jurisdiction in which they operate. The Grand Lodges do not have an over-arching world wide body which govern and direct them. Any connection between the Grand Lodges is based solely on mutual recognition. Membership of a local Lodge will enable you to attend a Regular meeting in any Lodge anywhere in Australia and the world.

Inside the Lodge

A Masonic meeting is normally composed of three main components, a business part, a ceremonial part and light refreshment afterward known as the "Festive Board".

 

The business component is not dissimilar to any meeting you may have attended at your local sports club or any other public organisation or group. Minutes, correspondence, treasurers report etc.

 

The ceremonial component or ritual is where members or new candidates are instructed in the principles of Freemasonry. This ritual is an oral tradition, of story telling, that has been passed down the generations for hundreds of years. For a candidate the ritual is separated into three parts or Degrees. Each segment builds on previous knowledge with the candidate advancing as he becomes proficient in each of the Degrees. The ritual refers to stonemasons' tools and implements and uses them as symbols in conjunction with the story of the building of King Solomon's Temple, to convey a system of morality.

 

The traditional ceremonies are conducted by various Officers of the Lodge who have all learned their part of the ritual over some time and who strive to deliver their work to the highest standard. This ensures that the Candidate benefits from a deeply meaningful evening with lasting impressions of the values of Freemasonry and what is expected of him as a Mason.

 

Freemasons do have secret modes of recognition. These secrets are utilized throughout the ritual component of the meeting and are imparted under an oath of Fidelity. Unfortunately most of these symbols are now currently in the public domain. A Mason would not knowingly be the source of that information and this is a very clear demonstration that as a man of honour his word is his bond.

 

The Festive Board is the social part of the evening. Members usually socialize over a light supper where it is common for toasts to be proposed, occasionally brief presentations are given and often there will be a raffle.

Outside the Lodge

Like any other group of people, Freemasons often gather socially outside of the regular meeting nights. This helps to strengthen the bonds between the members, as well as providing an opportunity for their partners and families to become involved. There are also more formal mixed functions normally about two or three times a year.

 

Occasionally there are fundraising activities and community work schemes which are conducted to enable the charity side of Freemasonry to be freely practiced. This provides another opportunity for members to socialise while working in the community.

 

We hope you have gained a small but accurate insight into Freemasonry and if you feel that our organization offers you an opportunity to express your personal and social values in a manner that will benefit you and your community, then proceed to our Join Freemasonry tab so that your Masonic journey can begin. click here