Freemasonry is the
oldest and most widely known of the world's
important fraternal organizations. Freemasons
share a concern for human values, moral
standards, respect for the laws of society and
the rights of individuals. It provides a code of
living in today's society based on spiritual,
ethical and moral standards.
Freemasonry is a society
joined together in happy unity, men of high
ideals, regardless of colour, creed or worldly
status. It sets high standards of behaviour to be
practiced in daily life and so provides an
example in the community. It is a non-profit
organisation which offers companionship and aid
both to members and the general community who may
be in need.
The object of
Freemasonry is to provide a community service and
in practice this is translated into a variety of
charitable works, ranging from building homes for
the aged to post-secondary and post-graduate
education scholarships, a benevolent fund to help
Individuals, as well as awards and equipment to
assist the handicapped.
The fraternity of Free and Accepted
Masons has its roots in antiquity. Their
traditions date back to the operative Masons who
built the Cathedrals and Castles of
Europe. They formed themselves into lodges to
protect the skills and secrets of their trade and
to pass on their knowledge to worthy apprentices.
During the 17th
century, these lodges began to accept as members,
men of learning and position who had no
connection with the building trades. The workers
in stone became known as operative Masons and the
newcomers; speculative; or accepted Masons.
In 1717 four such lodges meeting
regularly in London decided to unite in forming a
Grand Lodge; and elect a Grand Master.
From this humble beginning has
developed one of the world's most important
fraternal societies. The principle gradually
spread throughout the world, to the point where
there are now about 150 Grand Lodges and
approximately six million Freemasons throughout