Making Good Men Better
Freemasonry is the oldest fraternity in the world. No one knows just how old it is because the actual origins have been lost in time. Probably, it arose from the guilds of stonemasons who built the castles and cathedrals of the Middle Ages. Possibly, they were influenced by the Knights Templar, a group of Christian warrior monks formed in 1118 to help protect pilgrims making trips to the Holy Land. In 1717, Masonry created a formal organization in England when the first Grand Lodge was formed. A Grand Lodge is the administrative body in charge of Masonry in some geographical area. In Canada, there is a Grand Lodge in each province. Local organizations of Masons are called lodges. There are lodges in most towns, and large cities usually have several. There are about 1,300 lodges in Canada with over 80,000 members.
A Freemason is:
That’s not a surprising question. Even though Freemasons (Masons) are members of the largest and oldest fraternity in the world, and even though almost everyone has a father or grandfather or uncle who was a Mason, many people aren’t quite certain just who Freemasons are. The answer is simple. A Freemason (or Mason) is a member of a fraternity known as Freemasonry (or Masonry). A fraternity is a group of men (just as a sorority is a group of women) who join together because:
- There are things they want to do in the world.
- There are things they want to do “inside their own minds.”
- They enjoy being together with men they like and respect.
(NOTE: Freemasonry and Masonry and Freemasons and Masons are interchangeable.)
Masonary and Lodges
The word “lodge” means both a group of Masons meeting in some place and the room or building in which they meet. Masonic buildings are also sometimes called “temples” because much of the symbolism Masonry uses to teach its lessons comes from the building of King Solomon’s Temple in the Holy Land. The term “lodge” itself comes from the structures which the stonemasons built against the sides of the cathedrals during construction. In winter, when building had to stop, they lived in these lodges and worked at carving stone. Today, Lodge rooms are rectangular with seating along the sides for members and visitors. There are chairs and pedestals in the East, West and North ends of the Lodge room. The Worshipful Master of the Lodge sits in the East (“Worshipful” is an English term of respect which means the same thing as “Honorable.”) He is called the Master of the lodge for the same reason that the leader of an orchestra is called the “Concert Master.” It’s simply an older term for “Leader.”
Freemasons lives are based on honour and integrity, and believe that honesty, compassion, trust, and knowledge are important.
The Ethics of a Mason revolve around certain principles. To be true to our Queen and Country. To love one another and to be true to one another. To work honestly. To respect those of greater experience. Never to slander a brother behind his back. To help fellow masons in distress and to break no laws or conduct themselves in a manner which brings discredit to the Craft.
Freemasonry is a voluntary organization promoting a way of life that binds men together in a worldwide brotherhood.
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We are a society of like-minded men associated in brotherly union, for mutual aid or benefit.
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Masons value liberty of thinking and acting, within due and proper bounds.
“We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” With roughly one third of the founding father of the united States of America being known Masons is there any doubt where these words came from? In modern masonry Freedom has come to have multiple meanings. Freedom to travel between regular lodges, Freedom to practice your religion, Freedom to have your own political beliefs and Freedom to speak your mind and be fairly listened to.
Freemasons respect the opinions of others and strive to improve and develop as human beings.
Tolerance is the unwritten law of Freemasonry. There can be no Brotherly love without it. Many a Mason will articulate Masonic tolerance firstly in terms of religious or political tolerance however that is only a small piece of this principal. True brotherly love is when a brother may show tolerance to another human in spite of others conflicting opinions and failings, even if it must mean applying the old saying of “hate the sin, love the sinner”. Tolerance is not about surrendering our own beliefs or compromising out own values, it is about respecting another’s right to hold differing views.
A Mason spends quality time with his family, shows love and support to his parents, wife and children.
Avon Glen consists of many men with wives and children young and old. Our meetings held for men but we do many activities for the whole family. Masonry isn’t a means to escape your wife and children, it’s a society that opens doors to new experiences for all of you! The Order of Demolay is for sons aged 12-21, Jos Daughters international is for daughters aged 10-20 and the Order of the Eastern Star is for Masons and their wives. Outside of official masonic groups Avon Glen works hard to keep families involved with regular get togethers of members and their families.
A continuous pursuit of knowledge, ethics and spitituality brings more meaning to Mason's lives
In operative masonry, the craft guilds were largely concerned with the development of the individual as a skilled craftsman. The operative stone masons left the ranks of Apprentice and became a Fellow of the Craft when he was able to demonstrate he was a skilled workman who had mastered the requirements of his trade. In Freemasonry we apply the same tenants to an intellectual and spiritual standpoint. Education in lodge is important whether it be history, restrospective lectures, debates or physical presentations a strong part of our lodge meetings are devoted to the learning of our membership. In growing the spiritual side of a brother we look to the good and varied nature of our brethren, by the practice of brotherly love we help good men be better.
Wisdom is the practical ability to know what is true or right, to make good decisions consistently throughout your life.
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What makes me qualified?
In order to become a Freemason, you need some basic qualifications (specific qualifications vary from one lodge to the next, but some general rules apply). But if you meet the Freemason criteria, you still have to go through a process, from petitioning to becoming a full member.
Being a Fraternity, we are an amazing group of men. This allows the organization as a whole to have a very focused and creative dynamic.
Of at least 21 years old in Avonglen Lodge.
Not being pressured by other individuals or organizations to join the craft.
Or Beings. We are not a religious organization, however there is a spiritual base to many of the rituals we perform. That being said, we accept all religions that have a belief in a supreme Being or Beings..
This can be accomplished by being interviewed by a committee from the lodge, and establishing a rapport with that committee.
– 1350, History of Freemasonry
The origins of Freemasonry are not known definitively. National organized Freemasonry began in 1717 with the founding of the Grand Lodge—an association of Masonic lodges—in England. However, Freemason societies have existed for much longer. (read more)
– 1646 History of Organized Freemasonry
Accepted Masons, the largest worldwide secret society. Spread by the advance of the British Empire, Freemasonry remains most popular in the British Isles and in other countries originally within the empire. Estimates of the worldwide membership of Freemasonry in the early 21st century ranged from about two million to more than six million. (read more)
– 1792, First Masonic lodge in the colony of Canada
On 07 March 1792 the Grand Lodge named His Royal Highness Prince Edward as P.G.M. for Lower Canada and William Jarvis as P.G.M. (or more properly Substitute Grand Master) for Upper Canada. Although both men had the title P.G.M., only Prince Edward was given the authority to issue warrants for lodges, whereas Jarvis could only grant dispensations for the holding of lodges. The earliest record of activity was not until July 1795 When a meeting of the P.G.L. was called in Niagara. (read more)
– 1882, History of Freemasonry in Alberta
It was the Grand Lodge of Manitoba that granted a dispensation on January 13, 1882 for the establishment of the first Freemasons’ Lodge outside the boundaries of Manitoba. Saskatchewan Lodge No. 17 G.R.M. was instituted on February 13, 1882 and consecrated on April 21, 1883. (read more)
“Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing.”
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