What is Freemasonry?
It is believed that our organization evolved from the Middle Ages as a guild of operative masons to an inspirational group of men holding the ideals of personal growth and charity. Early written records of Freemasonry exist from the 14th century in Scotland, in fact Mozart’s last opera, The Magic Flute, is allegory for the enlightenment members find in Masonry.
Stone Masons have been around since the start of time once the Human race decided it wanted to live in accommodation sheltered from the elements. The early Masons formed themselves into groups to protect their skills travelling from job to job and the skilled Mason would only train those who they thought worthy. We have examples of this when researching the early building of Temples, Cathedrals, Churches, and Large Houses to name a few. When each and every stone will have been stamped with the Craftsman’s individual Mark to identify those who were given the task of producing the work. Masons formed themselves into groups which later came to be called Lodges.
There are two principal theories as to how modern Freemasonry came about. Firstly there came a time when operative masons’ lodges began to admit men who were not stonemasons, as ‘free’ masons and that these Freemasons eventually came to govern the stonemasons Lodges. The second is that groups of like-minded individuals, who sought a degree of privacy for their fraternal activities, imitated the rules and regulations of operative stonemason’s lodges as a means of administering their own affairs.
Either theory could be true we will probably never know, but what we do know is that in its traditions, modern Freemasonry strongly echoes the traditions of its mediaeval operative forbears.
Masonry as we know it began with the formation of the Grand Lodge of England on the 24th of June 1717.when four London existing Masonic lodges, all of which were already meeting regularly formed themselves into a Grand Lodge and for a number of years held an annual feast and elected a Grand Master and two Wardens by 1730, the Grand Lodge had over 100 Lodges within its control. There is evidence that there had been ‘Freemasons’ for 200 years before this, although whether all of the historical references we have are to ‘speculative’ Masons, calling themselves ‘Free’ Masons, or merely to a certain class of ‘operative’ Masons.
When you ask this question of a Mason each and every one has their own reason for joining and therefore you get different answers, it is different things to different men.
A place to build relationships on a solid foundation of friendship, morality and brotherly love. Where within moral and civil guideline, free thought, free speaking and spiritual growth of man can grow into its fullest potential. It provides the opportunity to meet, know and call ‘Brother’ outstanding individuals from all walks of life who you would not have met otherwise. You are part of an organisation that has for its principal tenets, Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. A place that provides self development opportunities, leadership training and experience and the chance to improve public speaking skills. It is a place to spend time with a group of Brothers who by acting as good men can make you want to become a better man. Not better than others but better than you would have otherwise been. You meet with involved members of the community and become part of that community.
Helping others is one of the ways we help ourselves. As Masons improving ourselves is One reason for being a Mason as we continually question ourselves that we may be better a person We try to provide guidelines through a series of degrees – each teaching lessons, testing our values and stretching our limits. They don’t require too much effort as each person decides how far he wants to go. Your life is what you make of it. We just make the journey easier.
We have notable members known for historic contribution. Yet, inside the Lodge we are all equals, intent on making more of our lives. To us reaching our personal ideals makes us successful Men.
The most rewarding fact of being a Mason is the strong sense of belonging; we are all members of an extended worldwide family. When you are a Mason you are part of a fraternal organisation where you enjoy just as much camaraderie in your local area as you would in any part of the world. We are all equals, it doesn’t matter what your occupation is or what your political or religious views are.
We help a variety of organisations, including public hospitals and clinics, medical research, Masonic homes for the elderly, scholarships etc.